The Walter Camp Football Foundation announced on December 11 that junior defensive end Shane Ray has been named a 1st Team-All-American. The sack master has become the 34th All-American at Mizzou, and the eighth under Head Coach Gary Pinkel.
Ray joins previous Tiger honorees Martin Rucker (TE, 2007), Jeremy Maclin (All-Purpose, 2007-2008), Chase Coffman (TE, 2008), Danario Alexander (WR, 2009), Grant Ressel (PK, 2009), Michael Egnew (TE, 2010), and Michael Sam (DE, 2013).
Ray’s nomination marks the second straight year a Tiger defensive end has earned 1st Team-All-American status, following in the footsteps of Michael Sam in 2013. Ray is the first junior to claim All-American status since defensive end Justin Smith in 2000.
This is not the first award for Ray. He has also been named the 2014 SEC Defensive Player of the Year by both the Associated Press and league coaches, as well as earning 1st-Team All-SEC honors by both groups.
As a first-year starter, Ray has set a school record with 14 quarterback sacks (topping the previous mark of 11.5), and he also totaled 21 tackles for loss, while ranking fifth on the team in tackles with 61 on the year. Ray leads the SEC and ranks 3rd nationally in sacks, while he ranks 2nd in the league and 6th nationally in tackles for loss.
The Tigers are off from practice until this Saturday, when they begin on-field preparations for the 2015 Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl against Minnesota, set for 12 p.m. CT on January 1 in Orlando, Fla. Mizzou Football will post live updates on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook throughout the game, and fans can also listen in via Tiger Network radio affiliates.