Army is ranked No. 1 in the country in total defense with one game left in the college football season.
The Black Knights’ defense was rewarded for its breakout year under first-year coordinator Nate Woody with five first-team picks on Phil Steele’s all-Independent team.
Linebackers Jon Rhattigan and Arik Smith, nose tackle Nolan Cockrill, safety Cedrick Cunningham and cornerback Julian McDuffie earned first-team honors.
Army totaled nine first teamers on a list that included BYU, Liberty and UMass players.
Quarterback Tyhier Tyler, guard Peyton Reeder, tackle JB Hunter and long snapper Kyle O’Connor were also named to the first team.
Second-team picks were fullback Jakobi Buchanan, slotback Tyrell Robinson, defensive end Amadeo West and punter Zach Harding.
Senior guard and captain Mike Johnson was a glaring omission. Johnson started every game and was Army’s most consistent offensive linemen. Sophomore safety Marquel Broughton also was surprisingly not selected.