We don't know if we'll be walking on Mars in a decade, but now that we've come up with the American Family Insurance 30th Anniversary ALL-USA team, we can take a guess what the 40th Anniversary team might look like.
Sorry Emmitt Smith, Thurman Thomas and Rod Woodson. For argument's sake, we're not going to include anybody who was on the 30th Anniversary Team, even if they are Hall of Famers. We're looking at potential future Hall of Fame players. To do that, we need to consider American Family Insurance All-USA players now in college or early in their pro career.
Defensive line: South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney (South Pointe, Rock Hill, S.C., 2010) must wait another year before he declares for the draft, but the 6-6, 256-pound defensive end is already showing he has the potential to be a future All-Pro, combining great speed and size. Florida defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd (Washington, Philadelphia, Pa., 2009), who led the Gators with 13 tackles for loss this season, is entering the draft this spring and is likely to be a first-round pick. Oregon’s 6-8, 280-pound freshman defensive tackle Arik Armstead (Pleasant Grove, Elk Grove, Calif., 2011) showed he has a bright future and also has the talent to play for the Ducks' basketball team. Tampa Bay Buccaneer Gerald McCoy (Southeast, Oklahoma City, Okla., 2005) was a consensus All-American at Oklahoma and was the only Buccaneer to make the Pro Bowl this season, his first full NFL season. Defensive end DeAngelo Tyson (Statesboro, Ga., 2007), was a standout at Georgia and though he wasn't drafted until the seventh round, has come on in his first season with the Baltimore Ravens.
Linebackers: Notre Dame's Manti T'eo (Punahaou, Honolulu, Hawaii, 2008) won the Nagurski and Butkus Awards this season and finished second in the Heisman voting. Kansas State's Arthur Brown (Wichita East, Wichita, Kan., 2007) was the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year. Reuben Foster (Auburn, Ala. 2012) may only be a high school senior confused about what college he should choose, but he has all the skills needed to perform in college and beyond. Brian Cushing (Bergen Catholic, Oradell, N.J., 2004) was a Sports Illustrated First-Team All-American at Southern Cal and was both the Houston Texans' MVP and a Pro Bowl player in 2011.
Defensive backs: Patrick Peterson (Blanche Ely, Pompano Beach, Fla., 2007) is already a two-time Pro Bowler for the Arizona Cardinals. DeMarcus Milliner (Stanhope Elmore, Millbrook, Ala., 2009) was a consensus All-American for Alabama this season and Dre Kirkpatrick (Gadsden City, Ala., 2008), who preceded Milliner at Alabama, is expected to be an All-Pro with the Cincinnati Bengals, if he can stay healthy. Shaq Thompson (Grant, Sacramento, Calif. 2011), if he continues to improve at Washington, will be playing on Sundays for a long time.
PHOTOS: 40th Anniversary ALL-USA Team?
Quarterback: We're projecting a long way, but future USC QB Max Browne (Skyline, Sammamish, Wash., 2012) has the physical tools to one day be playing in the NFL if he continues to make progress. Though his career has slowed in the pros, given the right opportunity with the Oakland Raiders, Terrelle Pryor (Jeannette, Pa., 2007) could be just as effective in the NFL as he was at Ohio State.
Wide receivers: Dorial Green-Beckham (Hillcrest, Springfield, Mo., 2011) was only a freshman, but led Missouri in touchdowns and closed with 134 yards in receiving in his final two games of the season. At 6-6 and 220 pounds with good speed, he has all the physical skills needed to succeed in college football and beyond. Former Alabama standout Julio Jones (Foley, Ala., 2007) had 10 touchdowns this season for the Atlanta Falcons and made the Pro Bowl, only his second pro season. Robert Woods (Junipero Serra, Gardena, Calif., 2009) was a consensus All-American in 2011 at Southern California, and is entering the draft a year early.
Running backs: T.J. Yeldon (Daphne, Ala., 2011) made an immediate impact as a Sporting News Freshman All-American at Alabama, setting freshman records for the Tide. Oregon's DeAnthony Thomas (Crenshaw, Los Angeles, 2009/2010) may be a bit small at 5-9 173, but he has the speed that would help him play at the next level. Despite playing very little in college, Bryce Brown (Wichita East, Wichita, Kan., 2008) rushed for 178 yards in his first two starts with the Philadelphia Eagles. If he fixes his problems with fumbling, he can be an impact player.
Tight end: Notre Dame standout Kyle Rudolph (Elder, Cincinnati, Ohio, 2008) has already shown he has a good career ahead of him with the Minnesota Vikings; with 79 receptions, including 12 for touchdowns, in his first two seasons.
Offensive linemen: Cyrus Kouandjio (DeMatha, Hyattsville, Md., 2010) started every game this season as a 6-6, 311-pound sophomore and dominated in his team's national championship defeat of Notre Dame. Florida 6-6 left tackle Xavier Nixon (Jack Britt, Fayetteville, N.C., 2008) is a Senior Bowl starter and started in 32 of his 45 games with the Gators. Alabama junior right tackle D.J. Fluker (Foley, Ala., 2008) is entering the draft a year early. The 6-6, 335-pounder was an All-SEC first-teamer and if he improves on his pass blocking, can play a long time in the NFL.
Kicker: Former Georgia kicker Blair Walsh (Cardinal Gibbons, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., 2007) made the Pro Bowl in his first season with the Minnesota Vikings.