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4 Longhorns named to Athlon Sports’ 2019 All-America team

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The Longhorns are expected to boast some of the best star power in the country in 2019.

NCAA Football: Sugar Bowl-Georgia vs Texas Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Athlon Sports has announced its 2019 All-America team and the Texas Longhorns are well represented, as the publication placed four Longhorns on this year’s list.

Junior quarterback Sam Ehlinger, who pieced together one of the most successful seasons in program history after amassing 42 total touchdowns, was dubbed as a third-team selection, behind only Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence and Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa. Despite missing all but a few snaps of Texas’ 23-17 win over Baylor and the majority of the Longhorns’ 24-10 win over No. 16 Iowa State, Ehlinger eclipsed the 3,000-yard mark on the season, completing 275-of-425 attempts for 3,292 yards and 25 touchdowns with only five interceptions. He also totaled 164 rushing attempts for 482 yards and 16 touchdowns, which is now a program record for the most rushing scores by a quarterback.

The man set to snap him the ball, senior Zach Shackelford, was named as the second-team center after finishing as a second-team All-Big 12 selection in 2018. Now a leader on a rebuilding Longhorns offensive line, Shackelford owns 37 career starts in 40 appearances.

Collin Johnson, who’s widely expected to emerge as Ehlinger’s new top target, was named as a fourth-team wide receiver. As a junior, Johnson fell just shy of a 1,000-yard showing, hauling in 68 receptions for 985 yards and seven touchdowns before electing to bypass the NFL and return for his senior season. In doing so, Johnson is expected to cap his career among the nation’s elite.

On the other side of the ball, Caden Sterns was named as a fourth-team safety, which would seemingly mark the floor for the sophomore who earned numerous Freshman All-American honors and the Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year award last season after totaling 62 tackles, eight passes defended, and four interceptions. Sterns was the only Big 12 defensive back included, as TCU’s Jeff Gladney was named as a fourth-team linebacker.

All told, Texas’ four All-America selections by Athlon Sports tied Oklahoma as the most among any team in the conference. Nationally, only Alabama (9), Clemson (8), and Georgia (5) have more players named to the publication’s All-America team.