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Jaylen Twyman placed on preseason All-America team

The Pitt defensive lineman racked up 12 tackles for losses and 10.5 sacks in 2019

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 26 Quick Lane Bowl - Pitt v Eastern Michigan Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Pitt defensive lineman Jaylen Twyman was honored with a spot on the 2020 Walter Camp Preseason All-America Team on Thursday. The first-team selection came on the heels of a breakout season for Twyman in 2019, in which he earned consensus second-team All-America honors and first-team All-ACC honors.

This time last year, the Washington, D.C., native was locked in a battle with Keyshon Camp for a starting role on the Pitt defensive line. Twyman would ultimately see action in 13 games and make an immense impact, as he racked up 10.5 sacks and 12 tackles for losses, leading the Panthers in both categories. Twyman was actually the first defensive tackle to lead the team in sacks since the 2013 season, when Aaron Donald accrued 11 as a senior.

In addition to the game-changing plays he was personally responsible for, Twyman also created opportunities for other Pitt defenders by commanding the attention of opposing linemen. Thanks in large part to his efforts, Pitt would finish the 2019 season as the second-ranked team in the nation in terms of sacks, with a total of 51, and the team would ultimately rank 10th in the nation in total tackles for losses, with 103.

After the 2019 season, Twyman was one of several Pitt defensive players considering the NFL draft, but he opted to stay for his junior year. As a result, the Panthers will return seven defensive starters from last season’s roster, and the Pitt defense is expected to rank among the nation’s best once again. Last year, in addition to causing constant disruptions in opposing backfields, the Pitt defense ranked 15th in total defense, allowing 312.9 yards per game, and 12th in run defense, allowing just 108.5 rushing yards per game.

The defensive lineman is the only Pitt player included on the All-America team. However, Pitt safeties Paris Ford and Damar Hamlin and Pitt defensive ends Patrick Jones II and Rashad Weaver all figure to make a significant impact when they return to the gridiron.