McKinley, Thibodeaux Honored by FWAA


EUGENE, Ore. – Oregon safety Verone McKinley III and defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux turned in standout rookie seasons in 2019 and on Monday were named to the Football Writers Association of America-Shaun Alexander Freshman All-America team.

Oregon is one of four FBS teams to have two players honored, while McKinley and Thibodeaux are the only duo from one program on the same side of the ball.

McKinley tied for the Pac-12 lead with four interceptions, highlighted by being one of three FBS freshmen with two picks in a game. All four of McKinley’s INTs came in Pac-12 play over a four-game span in October and early November. The Carrollton, Texas, product started 11 of 14 games and finished with 46 tackles. McKinley was named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week following Oregon’s win over Colorado after returning two INTs a total of 53 yards while adding five tackles.

The top recruit in the nation in 2019, Thibodeaux more than lived up to the hype en route to earning Pac-12 Defensive Freshman of the Year honors. Thibodeaux finished second among FBS freshmen with 9.0 sacks and third with 14.0 tackles for loss, both of which led Oregon. His 9.0 sacks were a program freshman record while he is just the second Duck since 2010 with nine or more sacks in a season.

Thibodeaux saved his best for the final stretch of the season, starting with the first game in November in his hometown of Los Angeles against USC. Over the final six games of the season, Thibodeaux registered 6.0 sacks, 10.5 tackles for loss and 24 total stops. All nine of Thibodeaux’s sacks came against Pac-12 opponents, highlighted by a Pac-12 Championship Game record 2.5 sacks with a blocked punt against Utah.

The 13-person panel of nationally-prominent college football experts represented each of the FBS conferences along with independents in the selecting the team.


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» FWAA Freshman All-America team
» The Athletic Freshman All-America second team


» Coaches Pac-12 Freshman Defensive Player of the Year

» FWAA Freshman All-America team
» USA TODAY Freshman All-America team
» The Athletic Freshman All-America first team
» 247Sports True Freshman All-America team
» AP Pac-12 All-Conference first team
» PFF All-Pac-12 second team
» Coaches Pac-12 All-Conference honorable mention