(WCIA) — Three Illinois football players have been named on the AFCA All-America teams. Illini defensive back Devon Witherspoon was named on first team. Witherspoon was named first team on 6 All American teams.

With four All-America first team selections of the five official All-America teams (AFCA, AP, FWAA, Walter Camp), Witherspoon will become the 21st Illini to earn Consensus All-America status when the list is officially released Thursday. As a Consensus All-American, Witherspoon 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. Witherspoon will be Illinois’ first Consensus All-American since Whitney Mercilus in 2011.

Illinois running back Chase Brown was named on the AFCA second team. Brown also won Football Canada’s Jon Cornish trophy. Brown led the Power-5 in rushing from start to finish during the 2022 regular season. A Doak Walker Award finalist, Brown finished the regular season third in the nation in all-purpose yards (1,883), second in the nation in rushes of 10+ yards (48), and tied for the national lead in 100-yard games (10). Brown was a second team selection on all five official All-America teams.

Offensive lineman Alex Palczewski was named on the AFCA All American second team as well. The Big Ten record holder in career starts, Palczewski has helped the Illinois offensive line be one of nine in the nation up for the Joe Moore Award. He went 428 pass block snaps without allowing a sack in 2022, the most of any Big Ten offensive tackle, while paving the way for Brown, the Power-5’s leading rusher from start to finish.

On Tuesday, Palczewski was named a first-team All-American by the Sporting News to become the first offensive tackle first-team All-American in the modern history of Illinois football. The Illini have not had an offensive tackle become a first-team selection since the eras of two-way players.