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Illinois’ Johnny Newton named a consensus All-American

Back-to-back seasons with a consensus All-American for the Illini.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 11 Indiana at Illinois Photo by James Black/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Illini superstar defensive lineman Johnny Newton has officially been named a consensus All-American, signifying that he’s been included on at least three of the five NCAA-recognized All-American teams.

Here’s the list of honors Newton has received thus far:

  • Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) First Team All-American
  • Associated Press First Team All-American
  • Sporting News First Team All-American
  • Walter Camp Football Foundation (WCFF) Second Team All-American

This honor comes well deserved for Newton who finished the 2023 season with 52 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks and 44 pressures. He was recently named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year.

Newton becomes the 27th consensus All-American in program history. You don’t have to look far to find the last Illini player to receive the honor: Newton’s former teammate Devon Witherspoon did it in 2022.

As a result, Newton will be honored with a plaque in Grange Grove, a banner in the Great West Hall of Memorial Stadium, and a jersey hung in the Smith Center staircase, an Illini football tradition for all of the program’s consensus All-Americans.

Next step for Johnny: preparing for the 2024 NFL Draft where he’s likely to hear his name called in the first round. CBS Sports’s most recent mock draft has Newton being selected 10th overall, while ESPN’s Matt Miller has him as the 18th selection.