It’s unclear if Air Force will play football this fall, but when the Falcons do take the field, their offensive line will be anchored by one of the best blockers in the country.
Senior Nolan Laufenberg was named Tuesday to the Associated Press All-American Second Team. He is one of two offensive lineman outside of Power 5 schools to earn a spot on one of the AP’s top two preseason teams, joining UTEP’s Will Hernandez.
It’s not the first accolade this preseason for Laufenberg, who was also named to All-American teams by the Walter Camp Football Foundation, USA Today and Pro Football Focus. He and teammate Parker Ferguson were also named to the Outland Trophy watchlist in July.
Laufenberg is the first Falcons’ offensive lineman to earn All-American honors since Brett Huyser was named to the fourth team by The Sporting News in 2002. He is Air Force’s first All-American at any position since Weston Steelhammer, a safety, earned honors in 2016.
With Laufenberg playing guard, Air Force rushed for 298.5 yards per-game last season, which was the best in the Mountain West and second-best in the nation. The offensive line also allowed just four sacks in 2019, which was the fewest in the nation.
A 6-foot-3 native of Castle Rock, Colorado, Laufenberg has started 22 games over the past two seasons. He led the Falcons in knockdown blocks last season and was named to the Mountain West’s First Team.
Many expect Laufenberg to be an NFL Draft pick in 2021.
The best offensive line in all of College Football pic.twitter.com/iktPVevqBG— PFF College (@PFF_College) August 20, 2020
Air Force will not play any Mountain West games this fall as the conference has suspended its season, and might attempt to play in the spring. However, Falcons athletic director Nathan Pine has said multiple times that the academy will “explore” playing its pair of C.I.C. games against Army and Navy “if conditions allow.” Air Force is still featured on the latest schedules released for the Black Knights and Midshipmen.
Highest-graded returning Group of Five OL:— PFF College (@PFF_College) June 28, 2020
1. Parker Ferguson, Air Force - 85.7
2. Jake Stetz, Boise St - 83.0
3. Nolan Laufenberg, Air Force - 82.3
4. Max Mitchell, Louisiana - 81.8
4. Cole Spencer, WKU - 81.8 pic.twitter.com/VKxFHwrcWk