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AP: Nine linebackers in nation better than Mauti, Hodges

The Associated Press unveiled the 2012 AP All-American teams today, but you will not find any Penn State players on the list this year. So, cue the perhaps unnecessary outrage if you choose.

On offense you will see Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Johnny Manziel headlining your first team AP All-American offense, joined by the Big Ten's Montee Ball (Wisconsin) at running back and protected by Michigan's Taylor Lewan. Honestly, when you look through the first, second and third team offensive All-Americans on this list, it is hard to argue a Penn State player should have received a nod over any, and that includes sophomore wide receiver Allen Robinson.

Should one of Penn State's top linebackers have received more consideration to be included on the list this year? You can make a case that at least one should have been included, but in a  strong year for linebackers it really is hard to get too worked up about it.

 

 

The first team linebackers are highlighted by Notre Dame's Heisman finalist Manti Te'o, who did have a particularly strong season even though some Penn State loyalists will suggest he was a product of a hype machine. Te'o ended his season with seven interceptions, 103 tackles and 5.5 tackles for loss and was the clear leader of Notre Dame's defense. Georgia's Jarvis Jones and Alabama's C.J. Mosley round out the first team linebackers. 

Mauti had numbers that were largely on par with Te'o, aside from interceptions (three), and remember that Mauti racked up 96 tackles and one more sack than Te'o in one less game (plus a large portion of a second game) due to injury. Mauti also forced three fumbles while Te'o forced zero.

The AP second team defense includes LSU's Kevin Minter, UCLA's Anthony Barr and Kansas State's Arthur Brown. The third team includes Khaseem Greene of Rutgers, Stanford's Trent Murphy and BYU's Kyle Van Noy.

While Penn State players will be left off the AP list, there is also this reminder of Penn State's football culture to keep in mind…

 

 

Feel free to make your case for Mauti or Hodges over any of these candidates if you wish in the comment section below.

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Kevin McGuire

About Kevin McGuire

Contributor to College Football Talk on NBCSports.com. Member of the FWAA and National Football Foundation. College Football Hall of Fame voter. Also managing Bloguin's NittanyLionsDen.com and Macho-Row.com.

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