A 6-3, 310-pound redshirt freshman from Chicago, Ill., Tomlinson started all 12 games for the Blue Devils this fall, playing a total of 926 snaps. He was named the ACC's Offensive Lineman of the Week following Duke's 31-27 road win over FIU on October 1.
A member of a Blue Devil offensive front that ranks second in the league in sacks allowed per passing attempt (25.95), Tomlinson helped protect quarterbck Sean Renfree, who established a new school single-season record for completion percentage (.650) while ranking second in the ACC in passing yardage.
In addition, the Blue Devil passing game featured receivers Conner Vernon, who became the first player in ACC history with multiple seasons of 70-plus catches, and Donovan Varner, who is the only player in ACC history with three seasons of 60-plus receptions. On the ground, Tomlinson helped open holes for a rushing attack that accounted for 19 touchdowns - the highest total by a Duke offense since 1994.
Tomlinson becomes just the sixth Duke player to earn first team Freshman All-America accolades, joining running back Tony Benjamin (Football News; 1973), linebacker Carl McGee (Football News; 1975), linebacker Michael Tauiliili (Sporting News; 2005), offensive tackle Kyle Hill (Sporting News; 2008) and Vernon (Sporting News; 2009).
2011 Sporting News Freshman All-America Team
QB -- Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville
RB -- Giovani Bernard, North Carolina
RB -- De'Anthony Thomas, Oregon
WR -- Sammy Watkins, Clemson
WR -- Marqise Lee, USC
TE -- Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Washington
OL -- Jroniss Grasu, Oregon
OL -- Laken Tomlinson, Duke
OL -- Mike Matulis, South Carolina
OL -- Marcus Martin, USC
OL -- Fabbians Ebbele, Arizona
DL -- Scott Crichton, Oregon State
DL -- Marcus Rush, Michigan State
DL -- Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina
DL -- Anthony Johnson, LSU
LB -- A.J. Johnson, Tennessee
LB -- Dion Bailey, USC
LB -- Ryan Shazier, Ohio State
DB -- Merrill Noel, Wake Forest
DB -- Blake Countess, Michigan
DB -- Marcus Roberson, Florida
DB -- Bryce Callahan, Rice
K -- Michael Hunnicutt, Oklahoma
P -- Brad Wing, LSU
KR -- Tyler Lockett, Kansas State
PR -- Mario Hull, Rice