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2014 Midseason All-America team

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  • By Chase Goodbread, Mike Huguenin and Bryan Fischer NFL.com
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With the first half of the 2014 college football season complete, it's time to highlight some of the campaign's top individual performers. Members of the CFB 24/7 team -- Gil Brandt, Daniel Jeremiah, Bucky Brooks, Charles Davis, Chase Goodbread, Mike Huguenin, and Bryan Fischer -- voted on the 2014 Midseason All-America team.

QB Marcus Mariota, Oregon

Particulars: 6-4, 225, junior
The skinny: Despite issues along the offensive line and an inexperienced wide receiving corps, the future first-round quarterback is still having his best season with the Ducks. Mariota is completing just shy of 70 percent of his passes, leads the country in pass efficiency, and has a sterling 17 touchdowns with no interceptions. He's done all that while also rushing for nearly six yards per carry and five touchdowns.

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RB Todd Gurley, Georgia

Particulars: 6-1, 230, junior
The skinny: If his suspension lasts the rest of the year, Gurley won't show up on any postseason All-America lists. But for what he's accomplished to this point (773 yards, 8 TDs in only five games), he's an easy choice for midseason recognition. He's the most dominant running back in college football, with apologies to Ameer Abdullah and Melvin Gordon.

RB Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin

Particulars: 6-1, 206, junior
The skinny: Gordon reached the 1,000-yard plateau faster than any back in school history. He currently is riding a streak of four consecutive games with at least 175 yards, and he has had two four-TD outings this season. He is second in the nation in rushing yards (1,046) and rushing yards per game (174.3) and has put up huge numbers despite playing for a team that has a woeful passing attack.

FB Jalston Folwer, Alabama

Particulars: 6-0, 250, senior
The skinny: Fowler hasn't carried the ball all season, but he is an exceptional blocker and is money near the goal line as a receiver off the play-action pass (7 TDs out of 12 receptions since 2013). He doesn't see snaps on a full-time basis, but he can be counted on to make an effective block when he is in the game.

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WR Amari Cooper, Alabama

Particulars: 6-1, 210, junior
The skinny: Despite being virtually a non-factor last week against Arkansas (two catches, 22 yards), Cooper still ranks fourth in the NCAA with 768 yards on the season. Opponents will roll more safety help to Cooper's side in the second half of the season, making it harder for Alabama to get him the ball. But he could still be on his way to the most prolific receiving season in Alabama history.

WR Kevin White, West Virginia

Particulars: 6-3, 210, senior
The skinny: The junior college transfer developed into a starter last year but has exploded onto the scene in 2014 as one of the best in the country. He's turned into quarterback Clint Trickett's best friend in the passing game and leads the country in receiving yards and is a close second in catches per game. His physical stature allows him to dominate smaller defensive backs while his speed allows him to get behind everybody in the secondary.

TE Nick O'Leary, Florida State

Particulars: 6-3, 235, senior
The skinny: O'Leary has provided Jameis Winston (and Sean Maguire) with a steady presence at tight end. He is second on the team with 24 receptions (275 yards and two TDs) and set a school record for career receptions by a tight end (83) in last week's win over Syracuse. He has three games with at least five receptions this season.

OT Brandon Scherff, Iowa

Particulars: 6-5, 320, senior
The skinny: The big man from a small town in Iowa remains a road-grader in the running game. He proved his toughness by playing just five days after undergoing a surgical procedure on his knee. He's in the running to be the first lineman selected in the 2015 draft.

OT Andrus Peat, Stanford

Particulars: 6-7, 315, junior
The skinny: One of the premier left tackles in the country, Peat is athletic enough to be a large tight end but strong enough to handle interior defensive linemen. He's still only scratching the surface of his potential, and the former NFL staffers who are coaching at Stanford have continued to drop lofty comparisons for him.

OG A.J. Cann, South Carolina

Particulars: 6-4, 311, senior
The skinny: Cann has been the best performer on a South Carolina offensive line that, as a group, hasn't quite performed to expectations this season. He has lots of power to move defenders off the point of attack and figures to be among the top guards chosen in the 2015 NFL Draft.

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OG Jarvis Harrison, Texas A&M

Particulars: 6-3, 330, senior
The skinny: The massive guard missed a couple of games early in the season and reportedly spent that time in coach Kevin Sumlin's dog house for being out of shape. But since returning, he has helped anchor one of the top offensive lines in the SEC. Harrison isn't the quickest of guards and isn't well-suited to pull, but he is very powerful and can open big holes in the running game.

C Reese Dismukes, Auburn

Particulars: 6-3, 295, senior
The skinny: The anchor of the Auburn offensive line has tons of experience as a four-year starter and is a candidate for the Rimington Trophy as the nation's top center. The season-ending injury to standout guard Alex Kozan in the preseason hasn't made things easier on Dismukes, but he's had a very strong season just the same.

DE Shane Ray, Missouri

Particulars: 6-3, 245, junior
The skinny: Ray is well on his way to a huge season for the Tigers, having already amassed eight sacks and 12.5 tackles for loss. He is explosive off the line of scrimmage and extremely disruptive. His draft stock has soared this season, and he could give Missouri the SEC Defensive Player of the Year for the second year in a row.

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DE Vic Beasley, Clemson

Particulars: 6-3, 235, senior
The skinny: He is third nationally with eight sacks, and he got the best of touted Florida State OT Cam Erving in their one-on-one matchup, finishing with two sacks. He has had at least one sack in each of Clemson's six games and became the school's career sacks leader (29) last week, passing former NFL players Gaines Adams and Michael Dean Perry.

DT Leonard Williams, USC

Particulars: 6-5, 300, junior
The skinny: Considered by some to be a potential top-10 pick if he declares early, Williams is as explosive a defensive lineman as you'll find in college football. Although he's started somewhat slow by his standards, he's still a disruptor on the highest levels and rarely sees anything other than a double-team. He was dominant in the Trojans' last game and a big reason why they upset a top-10 team on the road.

DT Danny Shelton, Washington

Particulars: 6-2, 340, senior
The skinny: A disruptive force for an underrated Huskies defense, Shelton is tied for fifth in the country in sacks from his interior position and has done so despite frequently drawing double-teams. He's equally effective stopping the run as he is rushing the passer, ranking eighth among FBS players in tackles for loss.

LB Shaq Thompson, Washington

Particulars: 6-1, 230, junior
The skinny: Thompson was a highly regarded linebacker in the Pac-12 but has turned into a legitimate Heisman contender at midseason. He has five total touchdowns (he also plays running back), and only one team in the country has more defensive scores than the four he has by himself.

LB Benardrick McKinney, Mississippi State

Particulars: 6-5, 250, junior
The skinny: The fourth-year junior, who is expected to enter the NFL draft early, leads a surprisingly strong Mississippi State defense in tackles with 41. But he's also the emotional leader of the unit and has a knack for big plays (six tackles for loss, three sacks, two fumble recoveries). One NFL scout told College Football 24/7 that McKinney's style of play reminds of former Alabama star Rolando McClain, who is enjoying a career revival with the Dallas Cowboys.

LB Eric Striker, Oklahoma

Particulars: 6-0, 220, junior
The skinny: One of the most explosive linebackers in the nation, opposing quarterbacks have to be aware of where Striker is at all times or they'll find themselves on the ground quickly. He's already on pace to exceed the stellar numbers he put up as a sophomore, and he has significantly improved in coverage to turn into the complete package as an outside linebacker.

CB Marcus Peters, Washington

Particulars: 6-0, 190, junior
The skinny: While his Oregon counterpart gets most of the press out West, Peters has had the better season despite missing a full game. He's shut down his side of the field in the passing game and his support against the run has been key for Washington in 2014.

CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Oregon

Particulars: 5-10, 195, senior
The skinny: He's been picked on more than expected this season but is still one of the top cornerback prospects in college football. Ekpre-Olomu is one of the smoothest players you'll find in one-on-one coverage, and he has come up big in big games, with acrobatic interceptions against Michigan State and UCLA.

S Landon Collins, Alabama

Particulars: 6-1, 220, junior
The skinny: In a secondary that has struggled at times, Collins has been an anchor this season with a team-high 46 tackles, four breakups, and a pair of interceptions. His ability to stop the run is equally impressive, if not more. As one of the top underclassmen in the country, he's being heavily scouted this year and is acquitting himself very well.

S Gerod Hollimon, Louisville

Particulars: 6-0, 213, junior
The skinny: Holliman is one of numerous Floridians on the Louisville roster left behind by coach Charlie Strong, and new coach Bobby Petrino sure is happy about that. Holliman leads the nation with seven interceptions; he didn't have any in his first two seasons. He also is a big reason Louisville is second in the ACC and 11th nationally in pass defense (just 170.4 yards per game).

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PK Roberto Aguayo, Florida State

Particulars: 6-1, 203, sophomore
The skinny: He won the Lou Groza Award as the nation's top kicker last season and seems well on his way to winning it again. He has made all 13 of his field-goal attempts this season, including two of 50-plus yards. In addition, 41 percent of his kickoffs have gone for touchbacks.

P Tom Hackett, Utah

Particulars: 5-11, 190, junior
The skinny: One of the early leaders for the Ray Guy Award, Hackett has been a key part of a terrific special-teams unit for the Utes. He's not only done the job pinning opponents inside the 20 and angling kicks like the best of them but is second in the country in average at 48 yards per kick.

RS Tyreek Hill, Oklahoma State

Particulars: 5-10, 185, junior
The skinny: Hill has lived up to claims that he's the fastest player in college football, particularly on special teams. He is tied for the FBS lead with two kick-return touchdowns, and he is averaging nearly 30 yards per return if he doesn't end up scoring. Add in being a dangerous punt returner, and you can see why opposing coaches spend a lot of time kicking away from Hill.

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