For the eighth time in the past nine seasons, Michigan State has put at least one player on the Football Writers Association of America's Freshman All-America Team.

Offensive lineman Brian Allen and defensive lineman Malik McDowell both earned the distinction this year, announced on Wednesday.They join Brett Swenson (2006), Greg Jones (2007), Joel Foreman (2008), Jerel Worthy (2009), Marcus Rush (2011), Jack Allen (2012), Jack Conklin (2013) and Michael Geiger (2013) as recent Spartans to make the team.

Allen, a 6-foot-2, 294-pound true freshman, appeared in 12 of 13 games and saw action at both guard positions as well as center. He also contributed on special teams (punt and field goal/extra point). Allen, who played 277 snaps during the regular season, recorded 24.5 knockdowns and allowed only a half sack.

McDowell, a 6-6, 286-pound true freshman, played in all 13 games and recorded 15 tackles (10 solos, 5 assists), with 4.5 resulting in losses (21 yards) including 1.5 sacks (15 yards). He also was credited with two quarterback hurries.

More from an MSU press release:

Michigan State offensive lineman Brian Allen and defensive lineman Malik McDowell have been named to the Football Writers Association of America Freshman All-America Team. The 11-2 Spartans, who rallied from a 20-point deficit for a 42-41 victory in the Cotton Bowl Classic, ranked No. 5 in the final Associated Press and USA TODAY/Amway Coaches Polls.

Allen and McDowell account for one-third of the six Big Ten players selected to the 30-man team, joining Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett, Michigan offensive lineman Mason Cole, Rutgers defensive lineman Kemoko Turay and Nebraska punt returner De’Mornay Pierson-El. Michigan State is the only Big Ten team and one of just four schools (Alabama, Baylor and USC) with multiple players named to the FWAA Freshman All-America Team.

It marks the eighth time in the last nine seasons that a Spartan has earned a spot on the FWAA Freshman All-America Team (10 players total), as Allen and McDowell join placekicker Brett Swenson (2006), linebacker Greg Jones (2007), offensive guard Joel Foreman (2008), defensive tackle Jerel Worthy (2009), defensive end Marcus Rush (2011), offensive lineman Jack Allen (2012), offensive lineman Jack Conklin (2013) and placekicker Michael Geiger (2013).

Allen, a 6-foot-2, 294-pound true freshman, appeared in 12 of 13 games and saw action at both guard positions as well as center. He also contributed on special teams (punt and field goal/extra point). Allen, who played 277 snaps during the regular season, recorded 24.5 knockdowns and allowed only a half sack.

The Hinsdale, Illinois, native previously earned Freshman All-America honors from Scout.com (first team), Athlon Sports (third team) and CollegeFootballNews.com (honorable mention). In addition, Allen was named to Big Ten All-Freshman Teams by ESPN.com and BTN.com.

“Brian Allen is an extremely mature player,” MSU head coach Mark Dantonio said. “Brian was physically mature enough to handle the size and strength of defensive linemen, but most impressively, he was mature enough to manage the intellectual part of the game. He certainly benefitted from having his brother Jack already in the program, so Brian had a foundation of knowledge to build upon.

“Brian will be an outstanding player for us at either of the guard positions or center.”

“Strong and extremely intelligent, Brian Allen continues to work hard at getting better,” offensive line coach Mark Staten said. “He is a perfectionist, who focuses on winning each individual battle while helping the team get the ‘W.’ Regardless of the success he had this year, Brian never looked at it as being good enough. His ability to play left and right guard as well as center – all in the same game – didn’t slow him down.”

Allen earned his first career start at left guard in Game 4 against Wyoming and produced a season-best 10.5 knockdowns as Michigan State rushed for season-high 338 yards in a 56-14 win over the Cowboys. He played three different positions (right guard, left guard and center) in each of the first three games of the season (vs. Jacksonville State, at Oregon and vs. Eastern Michigan). He was pressed into service in the 2014 season opener against Jacksonville State when starting left guard Travis Jackson left the game with an injury. Allen played 24 snaps in the opener against the Gamecocks and tallied two dominators as the Spartans amassed 565 total yards in a 45-7 victory.

McDowell, a 6-6, 286-pound true freshman, played in all 13 games and recorded 15 tackles (10 solos, 5 assists), with 4.5 resulting in losses (21 yards) including 1.5 sacks (15 yards). He also was credited with two quarterback hurries. McDowell played his best football down the stretch, producing one tackle for loss in each of the last three games. He was named to ESPN.com and BTN.com Big Ten All-Freshman Teams.

“Malik McDowell has the physical ability to become a dominant defensive lineman at this level,” Dantonio said. “Malik continued to develop as a player throughout the season and played a lot of quality minutes down the stretch and eventually earned a spot in the starting lineup against Baylor in the Cotton Bowl. He has the size and strength to be an impact player on the defensive front.”

“Malik McDowell already has a great foundation,” defensive line coach Ron Burton said. “As he continues to grow fundamentally and learn the nuances of the game, you’ll see an individual who has an opportunity to become a premier player at his position on the national scene.”

The Detroit, Michigan, native made his first collegiate start at nose tackle against Baylor in the Cotton Bowl Classic and contributed a 1-yard tackle for loss. McDowell tallied two stops, including a 12-yard sack, in the regular-season finale at Penn State. He posted two tackles, including one for a 2-yard loss, in the home finale against Rutgers. McDowell registered two tackles each at Indiana and against Wyoming, including one for a 3-yard loss. He produced a season-best three tackles, including a half sack for 3 yards, at No. 3 Oregon.

The FWAA Freshman All-America Team and coach are selected by a 10-person panel of nationally prominent writers, led by MLive Media Group’s Mike Griffith. Both true freshmen (20 players) and red-shirt freshmen (10 players) were considered for the team.