Lindy’s, Athlon’s and Phil Steele have all picked ASJ as a first-team All-American at tight end, beginning to make him something of a consensus pick entering the 2013 season (here is Steele’s team, released on-line earlier this week).
It’s the first time UW has had a player earn this sort of lofty pre-season recognition since receiver Reggie Williams entering his junior season in 2003 (while Jake Locker got a lot of acclaim, he was not generally considered a first-team All-American as a QB in 2010 with guys like Andrew Luck and others still around, as well).
For those wondering about ASJ’s competition for the John Mackey Award, given annually to the best tight end in the country, there isn’t quite as much consensus on these teams for the spots behind him.
Both Steele and Athlon’s have Georgia senior Arthur Lynch as their second-team tight end, while Lindy’s goes with Jacob Pederson of Wisconsin. Athlon’s lists Arizona State’s Chris Coyle as its third-teamer while Steele (who has four teams) goes with Pederson third and Eric Ebron of North Carolina fourth.
In other words, the Mackey Award appears to be ASJ’s to lose entering the season.
The obvious caveat is Seferian-Jenkins’ legal issues related to a March DUI, which caused him to be suspended for most of spring ball — here’s the latest on that from Bud Withers from a few weeks ago.
The hunch here, though, is that whatever punishment ASJ ultimately receives for that won’t be so much that he won’t be able to still put together an All-American-caliber season.
If so, he could become UW’s first consensus All-American since Williams in 2002 (Williams did not receive that honor in 2003).