The SDS post-spring All-SEC team
We’re halfway there. The long, seemingly endless offseason is officially halfway behind us. With pro days, spring practices and the NFL draft all checked off the calendar, we’re now just counting the days until teams can begin practice for the fall.
Since we have just about all of the information we’re likely to get before preseason practices start, SDS decided to take stock of the SEC. We polled the staff and came up with our end-of-spring All-SEC team.
KEY: *Unanimous selection
WR: Pharoh Cooper, South Carolina
WR: D’haquille Williams, Auburn
LT: Laremy Tunsil, Ole Miss
LG: Sebastian Tretola, Arkansas
C: Evan Boehm, Missouri
RG: Greg Pyke, Georgia
RT: Vadal Alexander, LSU
TE: Hunter Henry, Arkansas
QB: Dak Prescott, Mississippi State*
RB: Leonard Fournette, LSU*
RB: Nick Chubb, Georgia
The backfield should come as no surprise. Prescott is the reigning first-team All-SEC quarterback, and he’s back for his senior year at Mississippi State. Fournette and Chubb, who came one vote away from a unanimous selection (the lone dissenting vote was for Alabama’s Derrick Henry), are both sophomores who were highly impressive in their debut seasons.
Out wide, Cooper was a vote away from a unanimous selection as well coming off his first-team All-SEC selection last fall. Williams surprised many by coming back for his senior year, and his pairing with new Auburn quarterback Jeremy Johnson could mean big things.
Offensive line voting was more muddled than the skill positions. At tight end, Hunrey nudged out Evan Engram, while Laremy Tunsil made an appearance on all but one ballot. The rest of the positions saw a lot of different names appear, with Alabama’s Ryan Kelly and Georgia’s John Theus coming up as two most popular names to miss the cut.
DE: Derek Barnett, Tennessee
DT: Robert Nkemdiche, Ole Miss*
DT: Harold Brantley, Missouri
DE: Jarran Reed, Alabama/Myles Garrett, Texas A&M
LB: Leonard Floyd, Georgia*
LB: Reggie Ragland, Alabama*
LB: Kentrell Brothers, Missouri
CB: Vernon Hargreaves, Florida*
CB: Cameron Sutton, Tennessee
S: Jalen Mills, LSU*
S: Tony Conner, Ole Miss
There were five unanimous selections on defense, more than twice as many as on offense. Nkemdiche, Hargreaves, Floyd, Ragland and Mills, with the latter three players eschewing the NFL draft for their senior seasons, all appeared on everyone’s ballot.
Barnett and Brantley were the next two most popular names on the defensive line. Barnett is coming off a marvelous freshman season that included 10.0 sacks and 20.5 tackles for loss, and he’ll anchor a young and talented Tennessee defense.
Brantley picks up for defensive end stalwarts Shane Ray and Markus Golden and will be the leader of the #DLineZou this fall. He’s joined on the team by his rangy linebacker teammate, Kentrell Brothers, who is the SEC’s returning leading tackler.
Reed and Garrett tied in votes at the other defensive end spot; Reed was a first-team All-SEC selection last fall, while Garrett set the SEC freshman sack record and is expected to make a leap forward under John Chavis.
In the secondary, Mills and Hargreaves are joined by Conner, who played mostly cornerback last year and will move to safety, and Sutton, a young veteran on Tennessee’s defense.
K: Austin MacGinnis, Kentucky
P: JK Scott, Alabama
Scott was a Ray Guy Award finalist last year, and he is one of the most effective special teams weapons in the country. As a freshman, he led the nation in punting average and had the broadcasters raving about his abilities during the Sugar Bowl.
MacGinnis, another rising sophomore, led the SEC in field goals made last year, connecting on 21-of-27 attempts (77.8 percent), and was 8-of-12 from 40 yards or farther including multiple makes from beyond 50 yards.