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Cougar Kickoff Countdown: 51 Days

BYU has 51 All-America honorees.

Kyle Van Noy and Ziggy Ansah begin to celebrate a defensive touchdown against SDSU in the 2012 Poinsettia Bowl.
Kyle Van Noy and Ziggy Ansah begin to celebrate a defensive touchdown against SDSU in the 2012 Poinsettia Bowl.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

In the last 53 years, 51 BYU Cougars have received All-America honors.


The first BYU football player to receive All-America honors was Eldon Fortie in 1961. Fortie was dubbed "The Phantom" due to his elusiveness as a runner. His BYU record for most yards rushing in a game still stands at 272 yards. Fortie is one of only two BYU football players to have his number retired.


10 players received All-America honors twice: Jay Miler, Jim McMahon, Gordon Hudson, Chris Smith, Ty Detmer, Luke Staley, Matt Payne, Austin Collie, Dallas Reynolds, and Harvey Unga.


Jim McMahon is hands down the most impressive All-America honoree in BYU history. As a junior, he became the first DI player to throw for over 4,000 yards (McMahon threw 4,571 yards to be exact), including an impressive 47 touchdowns. He also led the nation in total offense, pass efficiency (which is still fourth all-time most efficient), and won the first Davey O'Brien Award. His senior year, McMahon led the nation with 3,555 yards passing, 30 touchdowns, pass efficiency, and total offense. He closed out his career as a Cougar with 70 NCAA records, including holding the most records.


BYU had more All-America honorees in 1984 than any other year at five: Robbie Bosco, Kyle Morrell, Leon White, Marv Allen, and David Mills.


Kyle Van Noy, Ezekiel Ansah, Cody Hoffman, and Riley Stephenson each received All-America honors in 2012. KVN was named to multiple All-America lists for recording a stat in each of the defensive stat categories. Ansah received Pro-Football Weekly All-America honors after a stellar game against Boise State. Hoffman received his All-America honorable mention for his 100 receptions, 1,248 yards, and 11 touchdowns as a junior. Stephenson also received multiple All-America honors after his 26 punts over 50-yards led the nation.

Eldon Fortie 1961
Jay Miller 1973, 1974
Wayne Baker 1974
Brad Oates 1975
Jeff Blanc 1975
Orrin Olsen 1975
Gifford Nielsen 1976
Marc Wilson 1979
Clay Brown 1980
Nick Eyre 1980
Jim McMahon 1980, 1981
Bart Oates 1982
Gordon Hudson 1982, 1983
Steve Young 1983
Robbie Bosco 1984
Kyle Morrell 1984
Leon White 1984
Marv Allen 1984
David Mills 1984
Mark Bellini 1985
Trevor Mattich 1985
Trevor Molini 1985
Jason Buck 1986
Pat Thompson 1988
Mo Elewonibi 1989
Bob Davis 1989
Chris Smith 1989, 1990
Ty Detmer 1990, 1991
Byron Rex 1992
Alan Boardman 1993
Evan Pilgrim 1994
Steve Sarkisian 1996
Itula Mili 1996
Rob Morris 1999
Luke Staley 1999, 2001
Matt Payne 2002, 2004
Daniel Coats 2003
Austin Collie 2004, 2008
Dallas Reynolds 2005, 2008
Jonny Harline 2006
John Beck 2006
Jake Kuresa 2006
Jan Jorgensen 2006
Harvey Unga 2007, 2008
Denis Pitta 2008
Matt Reynolds 2008
Braden Hansen 2009
Kyle Van Noy 2012
Ezekiel Ansah 2012
Cody Hoffman 2012
Riley Stephenson 2012