In the U.S., "All-American" can mean two things.
(1) It can be used as a general phrase, meaning simply clean-cut and middle class. "He's the all-American boy" is a cliché sentence.
Note, this usage has nothing at all to do with sports.
Note, it is sometimes (often?) used (today) somewhat derogatorily or at any rate sarcastically. (I have no idea if that was the case in earlier usage; maybe it was originally used straight-up.)
(2) In the world of U.S. college sports, it specifically means: "in that year, the Nation's best athlete, for that particular team position."
(To clarify: consider college football. You have the various positions (quarterback, kicker, etc). Imagine a hypothetical "dream team" of the single best quarterback, best kicker, and so on nationwide. A number of major media outlets each year decide on such a "dream team": those top college athletes are that year's "All-Americans in college football" (or, whatever sport).)
(Just to further clarity: in professional sports similar terms have arisen, for example "All-Stars", "All-Pro" etc.)
Regarding the the first use of "All-American" in the college sports sense: "Wikipedia" asserts with absolutely no evidence given that it was an 1889 article: it is associated with Walter Camp (a "father of Football" historical figure in the U.S.).
In contrast to All-American-1, All-American-2 is not used sarcastically, it's just used neutrally to mean "the best quarterback (kicker, forward, whatever) that season".
What I seek to understand
When did All-American-1 come in to use
When did All-American-2 come in to use
Was one or the other coined in one go from whole cloth by someone?
- In fact: is one or the other, a reference to the other? ie, one was already existing and the other was a reference to it?