Digital Postcard No. 11: The FWAA’s 1987 All-America Team

(Ed. Note: This is the eleventh in the series of digital postcards commemorating 75 years of the FWAA All-America Team.  The first FWAA All-America Team was published in 1944 during World War II and is the second longest continuously published team in major-college football.) 

In 1987…..Plans for Disneyland Paris were announced…First Starbucks outside Seattle opened in Vancouver and Chicago…The Dow closed over 2,000 for the first time…Pound of bacon sold for $1.80…..The Simpsons cartoon first appeared….Platoon won Best Picture…Aretha Franklin was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame….President Ronald Reagan gave his tear down the Berlin Wall speech.

On the 1987 FWAA All-America team, Syracuse quarterback Don McPherson was named first team as the Orangemen grabbed the Lambert Trophy as the best team in the East and claimed a berth in the Sugar Bowl. The FWAA’s Coach of the Year was also from Syracuse, Dick MacPherson. Miami (Florida) won the national championship, edging Oklahoma, 20-14, in the Orange Bowl behind a defense led by FWAA All-America Daniel Stubbs. Air Force’s Chad Hennings claimed the 1987 Outland Trophy. Other stars of the FWAA All-America team were South Carolina’s Sterling Sharpe, Oklahoma’s Keith Jackson, Florida State’s Deion Sanders and Michigan State’s Lorenzo White.


Notre Dame’s Tim Brown, an FWAA All-America as a returner, led the Fighting Irish into the Cotton Bowl where they dropped a 35-10 decision to Texas A&M.  Brown, a Dallas native, was the first Irish Heisman Trophy winner to play in a bowl game and third Heisman Trophy winner to play in the Cotton Bowl in four seasons. He returned the opening kickoff 37 yards and caught a touchdown pass for a 7-0 Irish lead, before the Aggies took over in the second half.

Tim Brown: 

Your 1987 FWAA Selectors

  • Lee L. Richards, Eastern Football Magazine
  • Bill Millsaps, Richmond Times-Dispatch
  • Jack Hairston, Gainesville Sun
  • Melanie Hauser, Houston Post
  • Tom Shatel, Kansas City Star-Times
  • Bob Pille, Chicago Sun-Times
  • Bob Hammond, Laramie Daily Boomerang
  • Bob Hurt, Arizona Republic
  • Gordon White, New York Times