The All-SEC bowl team for 2019
Bowl season isn’t over just yet, but for every non-LSU team, it is. The hay is in the barn and we can officially look ahead to next year.
But before we do that, I thought it would be a good idea to shell out some accolades for some impressive SEC bowl performances that we saw the past week or so.
I came up with an All-Bowl team for the SEC, but I just went with 10 guys who I thought went above and beyond for their respective teams. Sorry, but I didn’t pick 5 offensive linemen, 5 defensive linemen, outside linebackers, a tight end, etc.
These 10 SEC players made a loud closing statement to cap the 2019 season:
Jerry Jeudy, Alabama WR
My goodness, he was special. Just flat out ridiculous. Jeudy dominated from the jump. His 85-yard touchdown catch on the first play from scrimmage fueled a career-high 204 yards on 6 catches. He was easily the best player on the field all afternoon. For a guy who absolutely didn’t have to play in the Citrus Bowl, all Jeudy did was cement his Alabama legacy and improve his draft stock.
George Pickens, Georgia WR
Ohhhhhh, so that’s what it looks like for Georgia to throw the ball downfield. Pickens wasn’t just making plays downfield. He made plays everywhere. Pickens looked every bit like the 5-star talent he was tabbed as. He had 12 catches for 175 yards and a score en route to Sugar Bowl MVP honors. That was exactly the type of performance that Georgia needed without Lawrence Cager and Dominick Blaylock, and it was exactly the type of performance that’ll launch Pickens’ 2020 hype train.
Justin Jefferson, LSU WR
Jefferson could have had 7 touchdowns had they not taken him out in the 3rd quarter of the Peach Bowl blowout. Single coverage against an Oklahoma defensive back was like Joe Brady says — it was 1-on-0. Jefferson’s 4 touchdowns on 14 catches for 227 yards were all part of a historic day for the LSU offense. He got a whopping 18 targets while Oklahoma put all of its attention on Ja’Marr Chase. Jefferson’s performance was yet another reminder of how unstoppable this LSU offense is.
— ESPN (@espn) December 28, 2019
Joe Burrow, LSU QB
Yeah, so if you have 8 touchdowns in a Playoff semifinal game, you make this team. Easy enough, right? Burrow’s heroics didn’t feel like heroics. It felt like he was on “rookie” of a video game. Everything he did worked, whether that was hitting Terrace Marshall on a floating pass that looked like a throw-away, or peppering the aforementioned Jefferson in the end zone, Oklahoma had no chance of stopping the Heisman Trophy winner. It was a record-setting day in a record-setting year for the LSU legend.
Richard LeCounte, Georgia S
I’ll be honest. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen what LeCounte did before watching it play out on Wednesday night. On his 2nd interception of the night, which put the game on ice, the Georgia junior ran all the way to the Dawgs’ sideline from the far side of the field and hurdled the bench to celebrate with fans:
— GEORGIA HEROES (@GeorgiaHeroes) January 2, 2020
LeCounte put the finishing touches on yet another impressive effort from this Georgia defense. That was Kirby Smart’s best group, and LeCounte was a big part of that.
Tyree Johnson, Texas A&M DL
In a game in which the Aggies were without star defensive lineman Justin Madubuike, Johnson took it upon himself to step up. He had 2 sacks, both of which were major 3rd-down stops (and after A&M turnovers). One of those was incredibly impressive. He essentially bull-rushed Oklahoma State’s left tackle into the quarterback, which will undoubtedly be on his NFL Draft tape when that time comes. The Aggies will rely on Johnson to make another big jump next year as a veteran starter on that defensive line.
Lamical Perine, Florida RB
For a guy who played behind a struggling offensive line for most of the year, what a night that was for Perine. He had 3 touchdowns for the Gators (2 rushing, 1 receiving) in a game in which Florida needed an offensive spark. The guy had a total of 18 touches for 171 yards in a New Year’s 6 Bowl game, which will surely help his NFL Draft stock. For someone who was once told he was “too slow” to play in the SEC, Perine had all sorts of SEC speed in his final game at Florida.
Lamical Perine goes for 61 yards and a GATORS TD. 7-0 Florida pic.twitter.com/QXSjBtgMVQ
— libgator (@lib_gator) December 31, 2019
Eric Gray, Tennessee RB
I’ve always thought it would be cool to do a couple of things. Like, catch a pass in a game. Or, break loose on a long run. Gray, as a true freshman:
- A) Became a featured back on an SEC team
- B) Ran for over 200 yards in a regular-season finale
- C) Scored a game-winning touchdown in a bowl game
- D) Earned bowl game MVP honors
- E) All the above
It’s “E.” It’s always “E.”
That seems fun. Gray has the look of an SEC star. He can bust the long run for a score, he can go in between the tackles and he can be the exact weapon Tennessee needs as it continues to struggle to find a passing game. A performance like Gray’s against Indiana — 120 scrimmage yards and that game-winning score — will certainly add to his offseason buzz heading into his sophomore season.
Noah Igbinoghene, Auburn KR/CB
No, Auburn didn’t win the Outback Bowl. But on a day in which the Tigers needed some big-time plays, Igbinoghene provided the biggest of them all. His 96-yard kickoff return for touchdown gave Auburn its biggest lead of the game. The former receiver did so well in the Outback Bowl — he also had 4 tackles and a tackle for loss as a cornerback — that he declared for the NFL Draft following Wednesday’s game. Strike while the iron is hot, I suppose.
Lynn Bowden, Kentucky QB
My favorite performance of bowl season belonged to Bowden. Why? It wasn’t because of the pregame punch he threw, which he admitted wasn’t a smart choice. But where do you want to start with Bowden? The fact that he not only played in this game before heading off to the NFL, but that he had 34 (!) carries and a quarterback rushing record of 233 yards. The dude just gives everything he has. That included a perfect floating pass to Josh Ali for the game-winning score in the final seconds.
You could tell what that meant to Bowden to close his career that way. It was perfectly fitting that one of the coolest, most unselfish individual seasons we’ve ever seen finished in that fashion. I’m going to miss watching Bowden do his thing. He’s a Kentucky legend in every way.