Tech’s Williams, Grimm named to All-America teams
Sporting News puts Williams on third team; Grimm earns third-team AP honors
Virginia Tech sports: www.hokiesports.com
Virginia Tech freshman tailback Ryan Williams has been named a third-team All-American by Sporting News, and senior linebacker Cody Grimm was named a third-team All-American by the Associated Press, in voting announced on Tuesday.
Williams, from Manassas, is just the third Tech running back in school history to be named an All-American by one of the five nationally recognized squads, following Kevin Jones, who was a consensus All-American in 2003, and Lee Suggs, who was a third-team selection in 2000.
Grimm, a Fairfax native, arrived in Blacksburg in 2005 as an invited walk-on who was deemed too small (5-11, 210) to play at many schools. This season, Grimm has a team-leading 99 tackles, including 9.5 for loss and three sacks, five PBU, an NCAA-leading (tied) seven forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
Williams has run for a Tech and ACC freshman record 1,538 yards and needs 110 yards in the bowl game to break the school’s single-season mark set by Jones in 2003. He has 20 total touchdowns, 19 via rush and was named first-team All-ACC earlier this month. Williams has had a play of 40 yards or more in seven games, has 17 rushes of 20 yards or more, 25 rushes of 15 yards or more and 41 rushes of 10 yards or longer.
“I think this honor is truly deserving and Ryan had a great year,” said Tech associate head coach and running backs coach Billy Hite. “The things he did from game one to game 12 have been absolutely amazing. I think he became a complete football player. He was not only outstanding with the ball in his arm, but he ended up becoming a very good blocker. He also has very good hands and can catch the ball. The thing about him is he’s remained so humble through this and I’m so happy for him and this football team that he made All-America this year.”
“It’s just a blessing to receive an honor like this with the rest of the elite players in the nation. I just want to thank the whole team for making this whole experience possible for me,” Williams said today.
Williams was one of three freshmen to make Sporting News’ All-America Team (out of six spots). Pitt’s Dion Lewis made the second team while Oregon’s LaMichael James made the third team with Williams.
Grimm keeps alive an impressive streak by defensive coordinator Bud Foster. He has had at least one All-American from the defense in each of his 15 seasons as either coordinator or co-coordinator at Tech. This includes 2004 when Sports Illustrated honored two players, even though that is not one of the five major All-America squads. The five nationally recognized All-America squads are the AP, Walter Camp, Sporting News, FWAA and AFCA.
“I’m very proud and happy for Cody,” said Foster. “He has worked extremely hard to get where he is today. He’s a dynamic football player and we’re all very, very happy for him. I think it also makes a statement about our program to have an All-American streak like this. But Cody is a guy who has earned all of his success and I’m very, very proud of him.”
“I’m just really honored to be looked at that highly by members of the media,” Grimm said. “Coming in here as a walk-on and finishing things off by being named an All-American is a big accomplishment and I’m just really happy and honored for the recognition.”
Grimm becomes the second walk-on in program history to earn All-America honors, joining John Engelberger (second-team AP, 1999).