Eric Gentry Earns Consensus Freshman All-American Honors
DALLAS - Sun Devil linebacker Eric Gentry was named a Freshman All-American, the Football Writers' Association of America (FWAA) announced Monday morning.
Thanks to this distinction, Gentry now becomes a Consensus Freshman All-American, having received the honor from a majority of the national publications. ESPN, Pro Football Focus, 247 Sports, Maxwell Club, and Pro Football Network each gave the distinction to Gentry in addition to the FWAA, making him the first Consensus Freshman All-American at Arizona State since Merlin Robertson in 2018.
Gentry emerged as the season progressed, developing into one of the nation's most impressive newcomers at the linebacker position. The FWAA recognized 27 players on their Freshman All-American team, with Gentry featured as one of four linebackers.
The Philadelphia native has wasted no time making an impact in Tempe, putting together a memorable freshman campaign. He started the final three games of 2021, including the Las Vegas Bowl against Wisconsin. In that game against a physical Badgers offense, Gentry played nearly every snap, collecting five tackles and one tackle for loss.
He finished his first campaign with 45 tackles, five tackles for loss, one sack, and two pass breakups while playing in all 13 games. He was one of just three true freshman linebackers in the Pac-12 to play at least 250 snaps. The highlight of the season came on a crucial fourth down stop, when he tackled UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson in the backfield for a momentum-changing play.
Earning his second career start in the season finale against Arizona, Gentry was all over the field in Arizona State's 38-15 victory for their fifth-straight Territorial Cup win. He collected six tackles (five solo), one tackle for loss, and one sack while taking on more responsibility with communicating the defense. ASU led by Gentry and company allowed only six second-half points to seal the win.
Not only has he produced statistically, he is rated extremely well by Pro Football Focus. Gentry is the second-highest graded true freshman linebacker overall on defense in the FBS. He has displayed a well-rounded game, equally as effective in coverage as he is in the run game. PFF rates him as the second-highest graded true freshman linebacker in coverage in the the FBS (76.0). Gentry has been credited with only five missed tackles, tied for 9th among true freshmen FBS linebackers with 250+ snaps. That is tied for fourth-fewest missed tackles of any linebacker in the Pac-12 with 250+ snaps. Regardless of year, PFF rates him as the fifth-highest graded Pac-12 linebacker.
Gentry continues to add to a growing trophy case. Earlier in the year, Gentry was named a candidate for the Shaun Alexander FBS Freshman of the Year. He is the first Sun Devil to earn Freshman All-American honors since Jayden Daniels made ESPN's team back in 2019. Gentry joins Merlin Robertson as the second linebacker to become a Freshman All-American in the Herm Edwards' era.
2021 FWAA FRESHMAN ALL-AMERICAN TEAM
QB Seth Henigan Memphis 6-3 200 Denton, Texas
QB CJ Stroud Ohio State 6-3 218 Inland Empire, Calif.
RB Braelon Allen Wisconsin 6-2 238 Fond du Lac, Wis.
RB TreVeyon Henderson Ohio State 5-10 215 Hopewell, Va.
WR Corey Rucker Arkansas State 6-0 203 Bentonia, Miss.
WR Xavier Worthy Texas 6-1 160 Fresno, Calif.
TE Brock Bowers Georgia 6-4 230 Napa, Calif.
OL Joe Alt Notre Dame 6-7 305 North Oaks, Minn.
OL Campbell Barrington BYU 6-6 285 Spokane, Wash.
OL Connor Colby Iowa 6-6 298 Cedar Rapids, Iowa
OL Reuben Fatheree II Texas A&M 6-8 320 Richmond, Texas
OL Bryce Foster Texas A&M 6-5 325 Katy, Texas
OL Wyatt Milum West Virginia 6-6 291 Kenova, W. Va.
DL Collin Oliver Oklahoma State 6-2 225 Oklahoma City, Okla.
DL Masson Smith LSU 6-6 292 Houma, La.
DL Josaiah Stewart Coastal Carolina 6-2 245 Everett, Mass.
DL Lukas Van Ness Iowa 6-5 264 Barrington, Ill.
LB Junior Colson Michigan 6-2 225 Brentwood, Tenn.
LB Eric Gentry Arizona State 6-6 200 Philadelphia, Pa.
LB Cal Haladay Michigan State 6-1 235 Elysburg, Pa.
LB Dallas Turner Alabama 6-4 245 Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
DB Calen Bullock USC 6-3 180 Pasadena, Calif.
DB Denzel Burke Ohio State 6-1 192 Scottsdale, Ariz.
DB Duce Chestnut Syracuse 6-0 195 Camden, N.J.
DB Jack Howell Colorado State 5-11 195 Chandler, Ariz.
DB Donte Kent Central Michigan 5-11 185 Harrisburg, Pa.
DB Andrew Mukuba Clemson 6-0 185 Austin, Texas
K Cam Little Arkansas 6-2 185 Moore, Okla.
P Nick Haberer Washington State 6-5 224 Queensland, Australia
KR Brian Battie USF 5-8 165 Sarasota, Fla.
PR Jaylin Lane Middle Tennessee 5-8 174 Clover, S.C.
AP Rasheen Ali Marshall 6-0 201 Cleveland, Ohio