Jan. 9, 2006
Record-setting University of Notre Dame junior wide receiver Jeff Samardzija has been named a consensus football All-American for 2005 by the NCAA.
The NCAA selects a consensus squad each year based on All-America selections made by the Associated Press, the Walter Camp Football Foundation, The Sporting News, the American Football Coaches Association and the Football Writers Association of America.
Samardzija was a first-team pick by both the FWAA and The Sporting News. He also was a first-team selection by Sports Illustrated, ESPN.com, CBS Sportsline.com, Rivals.com and a second-team pick by Walter Camp and the AP. The Valparaiso, Ind., native was one of three finalists for the Biletnikoff Award presented to the top wide receiver in the country. He and quarterback Brady Quinn shared the Notre Dame Monogram Club Team Most Valuable Player award.
He becomes the first Notre Dame consensus All-American since cornerback Shane Walton claimed unanimous All-America honors in 2002. He’s Notre Dame first consensus All-America receiver/end since Raghib Ismail in 1990 – also joining Eddie Anderson (1921), Tim Brown (1987), Pete Demmerle (1974), Bob Dove (1941 and ’42), Tom Gatewood (1970), Heisman Trophy winner Leon Hart (1948 and ’49), Wayne Millner (1935), Jack Snow (1964), Monty Stickles (1959), Chuck Sweeney (1937) and John Yonakor (1943) as Irish consensus receivers. Hart, Millner and Dove are members of the College Football Hall of Fame.
Samardzija is Notre Dame’s 79th consensus All-American (an NCAA record – Yale is second with 69), with those 79 players now having earned the consensus designation on 95 occasions.
Samardzija set Notre Dame single-season records in 2005 with his 1,249 receiving yards and his 15 touchdown receptions. His 77 catches in ’05 tied the Irish single-season mark for receptions set by Gatewood in 1970. Samardzija finished second nationally in TD catches, with his 15 (in 12 games) finishing behind only fellow consensus receiver Dwayne Jarrett of USC (he had 16 in 13 games).
Samardzija finished fourth nationally in `05 in receiving yards per game with 104.08. He ranked 22nd in receptions per game at 6.42 and 51st in scoring at 7.5 points per game. He set a Notre Dame record by catching at least one scoring pass in eight straight games to begin the 2005 season.