Zimari Manning, B.J. Jefferson, Prince Robinson and Daniel McCants were already awarded the best in the Lone Star Conference and in the region at their positions. Now they are tabbed among the best in the country after they were named All-American by the Associated Press.
The first-team trio of Jefferson, Manning and Robinson are the first players in school history to be named first team All-Americans by the Associated Press. Those three and McCants bring the program's all-time total to six for players receiving the AP's honor, joining OT Deon Sheppard and DB Devin Hafford who were second-team selections last season.
Tarleton tied Minnesota State (3) for the most first-team honorees.
Manning showcased one of the best individual seasons in program history as the Harlon Hill finalist now has his second All-American first team award in as many weeks. Manning was also named the D2CCA Super Region 4 Offensive Player of the Year, the first in Tarleton history to win the award. He's also been an AFCA first team All-American, the LSC Wide Receiver of the Year and first team All-LSC. Manning is the first wide receiver in school history to earn first team All-America honors, which he's done twice. Manning had the best season by a wide-out in the country as the senior led all of college football at any level in the regular season in yards and touchdowns. Manning finished with 1,462 yards and 22 touchdowns on just 68 receptions. Manning set the Tarleton record for single-season yards and touchdowns and tied the LSC record for TDs in a season.
Jefferson had one of the top seasons by a defender in the country to earn his first career All-America honor. Jefferson is now the first defensive lineman in school history to receive first team All-America honors. Jefferson was the Lone Star Conference Defensive Player of the Year and runner up for the Gene Upshaw Lineman of the Year award, becoming the first in school history to be a finalist for the award. The first team All-LSC defensive lineman and three-time LSC Defensive Player of the Week winner ranked No. 3 in the nation in tackles for loss with 25.5. Jefferson also posted a team-leading 95 tackles, 8 sacks, 13 QB hurries, one interception, one forced fumble and one recovery this season.
Robinson will go down as one of the top defensive backs in school history after being named the Lone Star Conference Defensive Back of the Year and D2CCA first team All-Region. Now he's an All-American. The senior from Houston led the nation in the regular season with three interception returns for scores and had four total interceptions this season. Robinson led the LSC with 17 passes defended and 13 pass breakups and added 57 total tackles for a pass defense that ranked No. 3 nationally in team passing efficiency on defense at 90.2. Robinson joins Ranardrick Phillips (2007) as the only defensive backs in program history to claim first team All-America honors.
McCants, who finished his career as the second-leading rusher in program history with 3,216 rushing yards since 2015, was tabbed an All-America second team running back. The senior from Killeen led the nation in yards per carry this season (8.9) and rushed for 1,457 yards and 15 touchdowns on just 164 carries in 10 games. McCants was named the LSC Offensive Back of the Year, All-LSC First Team, D2CCA All-Region First Team, and now adds the first All-America award to his all-time resumé.