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BYU Center James Empey Named Freshman All-American

BYU's offensive line competes in the annual Blue-White Game at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo on Saturday, April 7, 2018. (Laura Seitz, Deseret News)

PROVO, Utah – The Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) announced that they have named BYU center James Empey a freshman All-American.

The 13-person panel of national college football experts represented each of the FBS conferences along with independents in the selection of the team. Both true freshmen (18 players) and redshirt freshmen (14 players) were considered.

Empey, the American Fork native, started all 13 games this season for BYU and was ranked by Pro Football Focus as the No. 1 freshman center in 2018.

He becomes the 16th freshman All-American at BYU, fellow offensive lineman Thomas Shoaf earned freshman All-America honors in 2016.

The last BYU center to be named freshman All-American was Tejan Koroma in 2014, who went on to start all four years for the Cougars and is now with the Kansas City Chiefs in the NFL.

Empey joins Clemson starting quarterback Trevor Lawrence and Alabama starting cornerback Patrick Surtain II, who will play for the National Championship on Monday. Empey is one of two players from independent schools to be named a freshman All-American.

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