Pitt football may have had a disappointing season, but Jabaal Sheard is officially ending his on a high note.
Defensive end Jabaal Sheard got off to a rough start this year. This Summer, after his assault case in which he allegedly threw a victim through a window, it wasn't even known if he'd play or not. Some were calling for him to be suspended the entire season.
But he went on to a fantastic senior season and, Monda, was named as an AFCA All-American:
"I am very humbled and appreciative to receive this honor from the American Football Coaches Association," Sheard said. "While it is my name on the award, this really is about my teammates and coaches. They have helped me become the person and player I am today. I will always be indebted to them."
The AFCA All-Americans are selected by college football coaches. Dave Wannstedt is understandably proud of how his year turned around:
"We are all incredibly proud that Jabaal has received this prestigious honor," Wannstedt said. "From the first snap of training camp to his final game, he has been just exceptional. Jabaal is very deserving of joining the All-America tradition we have at Pitt."
Seriously, whatever you think of the 'punishment' that Sheard got from the team, no one can dispute the year he had. Sheard's numbers are very similar to Brandon Lindsey's, who had a great year as well. Sheard has only four more tackles, two solo tackles, and one less sack than Lindsey. Sheard also had four forced fumbles. So why has he been getting much more recognition than Lindsey this season? Because he put up his numbers while being constantly double-teamed. Without Greg Romeus most of the year, Sheard was constantly the focus of game planning. To have the kind of year he had was pretty amazing.
It's safe to say that he went from a potential NFL player and late-round pick to having a good chance at being an early-round selection.
Sheard was also the only Big East representative.
Check out the entire All-American team.