Joseph Named to AP All-America First Team, Newsome II Third Team
Credit Source: Northwestern University Athletics
EVANSTON, Ill. — Northwestern rookie safety Brandon Joseph was named to the Associated Press All-America first team, the outlet announced Monday, Dec. 28, 2020. He is the only rookie to earn first team honors in 2020. Junior Greg Newsome II received third team recognition.
Joseph is the first Northwestern player to earn first team recognition in a debut season since Tom Myers in 1962. The last Northwestern defensive player to receive the distinction was former linebacker and current Dan and Susan Jones Family Head Football Coach Pat Fitzgerald in 1996, while kicker Jeff Budzien was the most recent Wildcat on the first team list in 2013.
The College Station, Texas, native has an FBS-best six interceptions this season, the most by a Northwestern player in a single season since Willie Lindsey had a program-record seven in 1991. Joseph ranks fourth on the team with 49 tackles. He was named the Thompson-Randle El Freshman of the Year by the Big Ten Conference, NU’s first rookie to receive the honor since Tyrell Sutton in 2005, in addition to being named to the league’s first team all-conference list.
Prior to the 2020 Big Ten Conference championship game, Pro Football Focus graded Joseph as the best strong safety in all of college football for the 2020 season.
Newsome II, who earned consensus first team all-conference honors in addition to being named the Associated Press’ Big Ten first team, was named to the third team for the national list. Newsome II suffered a lower body injury in the Big Ten Conference championship game and declared for the 2021 NFL Draft. He led the Big Ten in 2020 with 10 passes defended, recording nine pass-breakups and an interception. His performance this season was headlined by his match-up against Purdue’s star receiver: David Bell, who led the Big Ten in receptions. Newsome held Bell to just 78 yards; the first time Bell had notched less than 100 yards in five-consecutive games. The Chicago, Illinois, native played in five games this season did not allow a third-down completion (0-for-9) during the regular season and ranked first among Big Ten cornerbacks for completion percentage allowed (12-of-38 targets; 31.6%).
No. 14 Northwestern plays Auburn in the 75th edition of the VRBO Citrus Bowl on Friday, Jan. 1, 2021.