TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Alabama Crimson Tide placed five players on the 2018 Associated Press Preseason All-America Team, the wire service announced on Tuesday. Alabama’s five selections ties for the most for any school on this year’s team.
Offensive linemen Ross Pierschbacher and Jonah Williams received first team recognition for the Crimson Tide while defensive lineman Raekwon Davis, running back Damien Harris and linebacker Mack Wilson were named to the second team.
The Tide’s five picks tied with Wisconsin for the most by one school on this year’s team. Clemson and Stanford were next with four apiece while Washington and Notre Dame each had three players chosen. Boston College, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Ole Miss, Utah and West Virginia were all represented by two players. The Southeastern Conference led all leagues with 13 players honored. The Pac-12 was second with 12.
A veteran presence on the Crimson Tide offensive line, Pierschbacher has made 42 career starts and blocked for 28 100-yard rushing performances during his three standout seasons at the Capstone. The senior from Cedar Falls, Iowa, native is a two-time All-SEC performer and anchored an offensive front that helped UA rank No. 2 in the conference in rushing and scoring a season ago.
Williams has started all 29 games of his career on the Tide offensive line. The Folsom, Calif., native started 15 games at right tackle as a freshman in 2016 and all 14 contests at left tackle in 2017. The junior earned All-America honors from the AFCA and AP a season ago and was a Freshman All-American in 2016.
Davis has established himself as one of the top defensive line prospects in the Southeastern Conference as he begins his junior campaign. The Meridian, Miss., native finished the 2017 season with a team-leading 8.5 sacks, along with 45 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, a fumble return and his first career interception.
The Tide’s top running back in each of the last two seasons, Harris enters his senior season coming off of back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing campaigns and ranks No. 16 all-time at UA with 2,194 career yards. The Richmond, Ky., native has averaged 7.2 yards per carry in his last 281 rushing attempts, dating to the start of the 2016 season.
Wilson was dominant in the postseason for the Crimson Tide in 2017, posting 18 tackles, three tackles for loss and an interception return for a touchdown in the final two games of the season. The junior had a career-high and team-leading 12 stops in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game.
Top-ranked Alabama opens its 2018 season on Sept. 1 in Orlando, Fla., against Louisville in the Camping World Kickoff Game at Camping World Stadium. The matchup is scheduled for a 7 p.m. CT start on ABC.