The College Football All-Decade Team

College Football All Decade team.
College Football All Decade team. / The Big Lead

College football was dominated by Alabama in the 2010's. The Crimson Tide is well-represented on this list, with good reason, but players from many conferences made their mark.

COACH: Nick Saban, Alabama, 2007-Present

Alabama went 113-15 this decade and won four national championships. They played in another two College Football Championship Games and appeared in another playoff. Saban had the Crimson Tide ranked No. 1 at some point in each season and won nine postseason games in addition to five SEC championships. Bama’s two worst seasons of the decade, 2010 and 2019, saw the Tide win 10 games and finish ranked 10th and TBD. Easy call here.

QB: Deshaun Watson, Clemson, 2014-2016

The top quarterback recruit in the class of 2014, Clemson unretired the number 4 for him as a true freshman. He then won the starting job by the end of September. He tore his ACL in November and still scored four touchdowns against South Carolina. He was then back to lead Clemson to a 14-1 record, an ACC title, and a loss in the national championship game. In his junior year Clemson went 14-1 again, but beat Bama for the title. 

Watson completed 67 percent of his passes and threw for 10,168 yards and 90 touchdowns in about two and a half seasons. He also ran for 1934 yards and 32 touchdowns. He won two Davey O’Brien awards and was a two-time Heisman finalist.

QB: Cam Newton, Auburn, 2010

After a... rocky start to college at the University of Florida, Newton spent a year at Blinn College before ending up at Auburn where he helped the Tigers go 14-0 and win the BCS National Championship. The 2010 All-SEC, All-American, Heisman Trophy, Maxwell, Walter Camp, and Davey O’Brien award winner threw for 2854 yards and 30 touchdowns and ran for 1473 yards and 20 more touchdowns. It was arguably the greatest college season ever. 

RB: Derrick Henry, Alabama, 2013-2015

In three seasons at Alabama, Henry averaged 6 yards per carry and scored 45 touchdowns, but he’s mostly on here for his 2015 Heisman season. He rushed for 2,219 yards and 28 touchdowns as Bama went 14-1 and won the National Championship. He ran for 158 yards and three touchdowns in the title game.

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RB: Christian McCaffrey, Stanford, 2014-2016

In three years McCaffrey had 3,922 rushing yards, 1,206 receiving yards, 1,479 kick return yards, 380 punt return yards and scored 33 total touchdowns. He also threw two touchdown passes. He set the Rose Bowl record for most yards from scrimmage and then sat out the Sun Bowl as a junior to prepare for the NFL Draft. A shining example for all great players.

WR: Amari Cooper, Alabama, 2012-2014

An All-American and a Heisman finalist, Cooper won two SEC titles and a national championship at Alabama. He averaged 15.2 yards per reception and scored 33 touchdowns. He set single-season Alabama records receiving yards and touchdowns and the SEC record for receptions as a junior. 

WR: Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State, 2009-2011

A two-time consensus All-American, Blackmon had 233 catches and scored 40 touchdowns between his sophomore and junior years at Oklahoma State under Mike Gundy. He won the Fred Bilenikoff Award both years as the nation’s top receiver. 

WR: Corey Davis, Western Michigan, 2013-2016

In four years at Western Michigan, Davis had 331 receptions and 52 touchdown catches. He also amassed 5,278 receiving yards, which is the current FBS record. He was the MAC freshman of the year and as a senior he was the MAC offensive player of the year.

TE: Mark Andrews, Oklahoma, 2015-2017

Before he was Lamar Jackson’s favorite target, he was Baker Mayfield’s. In 2017 he was an All-American, All Big-12, Ozzie Newsome and John Mackey Award winner as the nation’s top tight end. He averaged 15.8 yards per catch over his three seasons at Oklahoma and caught 22 touchdowns.

OL: Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M, 2010-2012

Johnny Manziel won the Heisman in 2012. Joeckel was the one protecting his backside. He’s also a fun trivia answer as he won all-conference honors in both the Big 12 and SEC without transferring. He went on to become the No. 2 pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. 

OL: Jake Matthews, Texas A&M, 2010-2012

Two-time All-SEC. Two time All-American. He spent the first three years of his college career at right guard before moving to left guard when Luke Joeckel turned pro. He then became the No. 6 pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.

OL: Barrett Jones, Alabama, 2008-2012

Jones was an All-American and an Academic All-American at Alabama. He played guard, center and tackle and is the only person to win an Outland and a Rimington at two different positions. Alabama won three titles while he was in their trenches. 

OL: Billy Price, Ohio State, 2014-2017

Price was All-Big 10, All-American and All-Ohio as the Bengals picked him with the 21st pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. He also helped Ohio State win a national title.

OL: David Yankey, Stanford, 2010-2013

Yankey was a consensus All-American and All-Pac 12 performer. He played guard and tackle and switched between positions during games. In 2012 he won the Morris Trophy, which is given to the best lineman in the Pac-12.

DL: Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina, 2011-2013

Forty-seven tackles for a loss, 24 sacks and nine forced fumbles in three seasons. He was All-SEC and All-American twice and was the 2012 SEC Defensive Player of the Year. He was so good as a sophomore that people wanted him to sit out his entire junior season. He is the owner of arguably the greatest highlight in college football history.

DL: Joey Bosa, Ohio State, 2013-2015

Bosa was the 2014 Big 10 Defensive Player of the Year had 13.5 sacks and four forced fumbles. He was a key part of the most recent Buckeyes national championship team. He was a consensus All-American in '14 and '15.

DL: Ed Oliver, Houston, 2016-2018

He was named the ACC Defensive Player of the year and college football's best interior defensive lineman in 2017. A two-time All-American, Oliver had 122 solo tackles and 53 tackles for a loss in his career.

DL: Aaron Donald

Donald had 29.5 sacks in his four seasons at Pitt. He was All-ACC, All-Big East, All-American. In 2013 he won just about every award possible for a defensive lineman, including the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, Chuck Bednarik Award, Lombardi Award and Outland Trophy.

LB: CJ Mosley, Alabama, 2010-2013

Mosley won individual awards and was a two-time NCAA champion. He twice made the All-SEC first team and was a two-time consensus All-American. As a senior he won the Butkus Award. He finished his career with 317 tackles and scored three defensive touchdowns.

LB: Manti Te'o, Notre Dame, 2009-2012

Te'o finished his career as the third-leading tackler in Notre Dame history. He had 100-plus tackles in three consecutive seasons decade. In 2012 had 113 tackles, 1.5 sacks and 7 interceptions and helped Notre Dame reach the BCS National Championship game. While all the wins were vacated, no one took his Maxwell, Chuck Bednarik, Walter Camp, Butkus, and Lombardi awards or hisLott and Bronko Nagurski trophies.

LB: Luke Kuechly, Boston College, 2009-2011

In two seasons this decade, Kuechly had 212 solo tackles and six interceptions. In 2011 he won the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, Butkus Award, Lombardi Award and Lott Trophy. He was also the ACC Defensive Player of the Year and a consensus All-American.

DB: Patrick Peterson, LSU, 2008-2010

He was the 2011 Bronko Nagurski, Butkus, Lombardi and Lott award winner. He was also first team All-ACC and the league's defensive player of the year. He also averaged 29 yards per punt return this season.

DB: Jalen Ramsey, Florida State, 2013-2015

A two-time All-ACC performer, Ramsey helped Florida State win the BCS National Championship in his freshman year. He ended up with 122 solo tackles, 5 sacks and 3 interceptions. He was a consensus All-American in his junior season and was then drafted fifth in the 2016 NFL Draft.

DB: Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama, 2015-2017

A key part of two Crimson Tide national championship teams, Fitzpatrick won the Chuck Bednarik and Jim Thorpe Awards in his junior season and was twice a first team All-SEC performer. He had 24 passes defended in his career to go along with 9 interceptions.

DB: Tyrann Mathieu, LSU, 2010-2011

The Honey Badger only had two seasons at LSU before he was dismissed, but his sophomore season was one for the books. He scored two interception return touchdowns and two punt return touchdowns. He had 4 career picks, 11 forced fumbles and 6 sacks.

Returner: Rashaad Penny, San Diego State, 2014-2017

The All-American running back averaged 30.2 yards per kick return over his four years at San Diego State. He returned 7 kicks for touchdowns and dalso scored a touchdown on one of just two punt returns his senior year.

Kicker: Roberto Aguayo, Florida State, 2013-2015

Aguayo was a three-time All-American who was also All-ACC. Aguayo made all 198 of his extra point attempts at Florida State and made 69 of 78 field goal attempts. He was so good at FSU that he was drafted in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft.

Punter: JK Scott, Alabama, 2014-2017

Scott won two national championships at Alabama and even booted a 73-yard punt in the 2015 Sugar Bowl against Ohio State. One hundred eight of his 243 career punts were downed inside the 20. He was twice honored as first-team All-ACC.

Honorable Mention: Jameis Winston, Baker Mayfield, Andrew Luck, Lamar Jackson, Joe Burrow, Dalvin Cook, Ezekiel Elliott, Leonard Fournette, Saquan Barkley, Melvin Gordon, Marquise Lee, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Tyler Lockett, Trent Taylor, Zach Ertz, Garrett Bradbury, Pat Elflein, Arie Kouandijo, Cam Robinson, Khalil Mack, Myles Garrett, Jonathan Allen, Chase Young, Reggie Ragland, Desmond King, Vernon Hargreaves, Adoree Jackson, Christian Kirk, Tony Pollard, Zane Gonzalez, Daniel Carlson, Tom Hacket, Michael Dickson, Alex Kinal