The SEC has had a proverbial stranglehold this week with Media Days taking up much of the attention from Monday to Thursday. On Friday, the conference again had the spotlight aimed on them as the preseason all-conference teams were announced.
Overall there weren’t too many surprises around the conference. The names and faces you might expect to headline the first team were all there. Chad Kelly (Ole Miss), Leonard Fournette (LSU), Nick Chubb (Georgia), Calvin Ridley (Alabama) and Christian Kirk (Texas A&M) were the head honchos on offense under center and at the skill positions. OJ Howard, the Tide’s dynamic tight end, rounded out the weaponry that the SEC doled out for the first team and it’s as dynamic a crop of players can get. The offensive line was headlined by standout Cam Robinson who amassed 315 of 331 total votes, and was joined by Dan Skipper (Arkansas), Greg Pyke (Georgia), Alex Kozan (Auburn) and Ethan Pocic (LSU).
Defensively a dossier of talent was showcased. The D-Line is headlined by Aggies edge rusher Myles Garrett as well as Jonathan Allen (Alabama), Carl Lawson (Auburn) and Derek Barnett (Tennessee). Reuben Foster (Alabama), Kendell Beckwith (LSU) and Jalen Reeves-Maybin (Tennessee) round out the linebacker corp and the secondary features Eddie Jackson (Alabama), Jalen Tabor (Florida), Tre’Davious White (LSU) and Cameron Sutton (Tennessee).
Perhaps one of the only qualms you could make about the first team was the lack of a particular defensive lineman for Mizzou. Tigers edge rusher Charles Harris is not only one of the best players in the SEC but the entire country as well. Harris found himself on the second team around Montravius Adams (Auburn), Bryan Cox (Florida) and Davon Godchaux (LSU). Although it’s quite loaded on the D-Line on the first team, Harris belongs in that company of Allen, Garrett, Lawson and Barnett and it’s a shame that he didn’t make the cut. The “no respect” rhetoric sometimes can get a bit grating, but Mizzou’s standout pass rusher, and their fans, may have some legit beef here.
Elsewhere, everything shook out as you’d expect it to. Tennessee was heavily featured across the board. The Volunteers, who were the media’s pick to finish first in the SEC East, had nine players scattered across the first, second and third teams. Three Vols were on the first team defense - Barnett, Reeves-Maybin and Sutton - and quarterback Joshua Dobbs and running back Jalen Hurd headlined the second team’s offense. Offensive lineman Jashon Robertson was featured on the third team, while special teamers Evan Berry, Alvin Kamara, and punter Trevor Daniel were on the second and third team units at their respective position groups.
The Tide, who were picked to win the West and the SEC, had 13 players scattered across the three teams. Offensive lineman Alphonse Tayor and Ross Pierschbacher were featured on the second and third teams and on the other side of the ball, linebacker Tim Williams and defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick were named second team defenders while Marlon Humphrey landed on the third team. JK Scott was named as the first team’s punter while kicker Adam Griffith was elected to the second team.
The Tide couldn’t quite touch their mark of nine preseason All-SEC first team players set back in 2011 or the eight they had in 2010, but still had the most of anyone with seven players featured on the first team roster.
Each team from the conference had at least one representative on the first, second, and/or third teams. South Carolina and Kentucky had just one selection each: Gamecocks kicker Elliott Fry who was picked for the third team, and Wildcats running back Stanley “Boom” Williams who was also a third team selection. Vanderbilt meanwhile had two with running back Ralph Webb and linebacker Zach Cunningham both making the second team.