Ben Burr-Kirven, Byron Murphy and Taylor Rapp were each named to The Sporting News’ All-America second team today.
All three members of the Pac-12’s top defense added to their recent haul of postseason honors. Burr-Kirven has been named a first-team All-American by the Associated Press and the Football Writers, while both Rapp and Murphy earned second-team honors from the AP and were first-team selections by Pro Football Focus.
Burr-Kirven, a senior linebacker from Menlo Park, Calif., was named the Pac-12 Pat Tillman Defensive Player of the Year last week and also was the conference’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year for football, making him the first man ever to win those two awards.
One of four finalists for the Lott IMPACT Trophy, Burr-Kirven heads into the Huskies’ date with Ohio State in the 2019 Rose Bowl as the nation’s leading tackler, with 165 total stops, most by a Husky since 1989. He’s also among the national leaders in both fumble recoveries and forced fumbles.
Murphy, a sophomore cornerback from Scottsdale, Ariz., was named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year by Pro Football Focus. A first-team All-Pac-12 pick, he was also the MVP of the Pac-12 Championship Game. Murphy leads the Huskies with is four interceptions.
Rapp, a junior safety from Bellingham, Wash., earned first-team All-Pac-12 for the second straight season in 2018. He’s also a two-time, first-team Academic All-Pac-12 selection and was the Pac-12’s Defensive Freshman of the Year in 2016. He leads the 2018 Huskies in both tackles for loss and sacks.
The Sporting News All-America team is one of five teams recognized by the NCAA that make up the unanimous and consensus All-America teams each year.
The fifth and final of those, the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), comes out tomorrow (Wed., Dec. 12).