For the first time ever, the Associated Press released a Midseason All-America team to honor those who have excelled through college football's first seven weeks.
Northern Illinois defensive end Sutton Smith earned a spot on the second team after a stellar start to the 2017 season. The redshirt sophomore ranks first in the FBS in sacks with 8.5, and he has brought down a quarterback in all five games Northern Illinois has played against FBS competition this season.
Smith checks in at fifth on the team with 32 tackles, and he leads college football in tackles for loss with 16.5. He has terrorized opposing offensive lines and consistently has fought his way into backfields all season long. His relentless pressure on Nebraska's quarterback Tanner Lee led the Huskies to a landmark 21-17 upset over the Cornhuskers in Lincoln on Week 3.
Smith also has forced two fumbles and adds two pass deflections to his name. His Huskies are currently 4-2 and sport an undefeated record in the MAC. Northern Illinois' defense is seventh in the nation in yards allowed per game (281) and Smith leads just one of 11 units across the nation that yields under 100 rushing yards per contest.
The Midseason All-America teams were selected by 16 AP Poll voters. The full teams can be found here.