For the first time since 2005, the Washington State Cougars have a consensus All-American on their roster. With this morning’s announcement of the Associated Press All-American team, junior left guard Cody O’Connell became the first Coug since Jerome Harrison to earn the honor.
“The Continent” helped fill the hole left on the left side of the line with the departure of Joe Dahl and Gunnar Eklund this season and performed spectacularly along with sophomore Andre Dillard. O’Connell allowed just one sack on nearly 600 dropbacks on his way to being named an Outland Trophy finalist.
The 6’8”, 354 pound lineman actually has a chance to do something even more special: become an unanimous All-American, something only one other person at WSU has ever done.
Jason Hanson (kicker, 1989) is the only unanimous All-American WSU has ever had. https://t.co/hNoOA6Wshq— Stefanie Loh (@StefanieLoh) December 12, 2016
We’ll get to the question of whether O’Connell stays in school or goes to the draft in a second but this gives us another chance to say: what the hell, Pac-12? O’Connell was merely an honorable mention offensive lineman on the All-Pac-12 teams but he’s now been named a consensus All-American. There were apparently 12 offensive linemen in the conference better than O’Connell. Really! Those guys should be super mad they aren’t getting the recognition he is!
Grape job, Pac-12.
So, does this help push O’Connell out the door to the NFL Draft? Ultimately, it still comes down to his draft grade and whether he thinks he can improve on it at all by staying in school another year. He does only have one year of tape ... but it’s an All-American year of tape. Just four guards were taken in the first three rounds last year so it’s already a position where there isn’t a great chance of being drafted high to begin with. It will be interesting to see what O’Connell decides to do when the time to declare comes next month.
Congrats to Cody!