Dec. 16, 2009
WACO, Texas -
Baylor seniors Joe Pawelek and J.D. Walton earned All-America honors this week as Phil Steele named Pawelek a third-team selection for the second straight season and Walton was selected to the Rivals.com second team.
This is Walton's second All-America honor this season, as the center was named a first-team Associated Press All-American earlier this week.
Walton was a finalist for the 2009 Rimington Trophy and is the No. 1-rated NFL Draft prospect at the center position among seniors by ESPN's Mel Kiper. He recorded 112 knockdowns in 12 games this season (9.3 per game) and earned a coach's grade of 90 percent or higher in nine of 12 games with no grade lower than 86 percent.
The senior from Allen, Texas, has been invited to the Senior Bowl and East-West Shrine games. Walton was also on watch lists for this year's Outland Trophy and Lombardi Award. He finished his career with 36 consecutive starts at Baylor after transferring from Arizona State in 2006.
Pawelek is a two-time Academic All-American (ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA) who earned National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete status as a Campbell Trophy finalist.
The senior from San Antonio led Baylor with 109 tackles (9.1 average ranks second in the Big 12) and added 2.5 sacks and an interception. He finished his stellar career with 422 tackles, 18th-most in NCAA history (since 2000) and nine interceptions. He also tied the school record with 45 career starts at Baylor.
Pawelek, who has been invited to the East-West Shrine game, was a quarterfinalist for the 2009 Ronnie Lott Trophy and was on watch lists for the Butkus, Lombardi and Bednarik Awards.