HOOVER, Ala.-Auburn offensive tackle Marcus McNeill received the highest number of votes (84 out of 87) from the media and highlighted the preseason All-SEC team released at SEC Media Days on Friday at the Wynfrey Hotel.
From a team standpoint, Tennessee led the way with five first-team selections. Auburn was second with four while Florida and Alabama each had three. Georgia and LSU had two selections while South Carolina, Vanderbilt and Mississippi State each had one.
The first team offense featured McNeill, Leonard Pope of Georgia (TE), Andrew Whitworth of LSU (OL), Max Jean-Gilles of Georgia (OL), Arron Sears of Tennessee (OL), Mike Degory of Florida (C), Courtney Taylor of Auburn (WR), Chad Jackson of Florida (WR), Chris Leak of Florida (QB), Gerald Riggs of Tennessee (RB), Jerious Norwood of Mississippi State (RB).
The first team defense was led by Tennessee defensive back Jason Allen, who got 77 votes. Others on the team included Stanley McClover of Auburn (DL), Jesse Mahelona of Tennessee (DL), Parys Haralson of Tennessee (DL), DeMeco Ryans of Alabama (LB), Travis Williams of Auburn (LB), Moses Osemwegie of Vanderbilt (LB), Freddie Roach of Alabama (LB), LaRon Landry of LSU (DB), Roman Harper of Alabama (DB) and Ko Simpson of South Carolina (DB).
The second team selections on offense were Cooper Wallace (TE, Auburn), Tre' Stallings (OL, Ole Miss), Cody Douglas (OL, Tennessee), Rand Hand (OL, Florida), Zac Tubbs (OL, Arkansas), J.B. Closner (C, Alabama), Andre Caldwell (WR, Florida), Skyler Green (WR, LSU), Brodie Croyle (QB, Alabama), Jay Cutler (QB, Vanderbilt), Kenneth Darby (RB, Alabama) and Alley Broussard (RB, LSU). Croyle and Cutler both were named for receiving an equal number of votes (10).
The second team defense selections were McKinley Boykin (DL, Ole Miss), Claude Wroten (DL, LSU), Kyle Williams (DL, LSU), Brandon Siler (LB, Florida), Kevin Simon (LB, Tennessee), Omar Gaither (LB, Tennessee), Earl Everett (LB, Florida), Patrick Willis (LB, Ole Miss), Greg Blue (DB, Georgia), Charlie Peprah (DB, Alabama), Muhammad Abdullah (DB, Kentucky), Demetrice Webb (DB, Florida).
Where the talent comes from:The state of Alabama had the highest number of high school football products on the preseason All-SEC team. Alabama had 10 first and second team selections, followed by Florida with eight, Louisiana with six and Georgia with five. Mississippi (4), Texas (3), South Carolina (2), Tennessee (2), North Carolina (2), Hawaii (1), Indiana (1) and California (1) rounded out the states represented.
Alabama topped the first team selections with 6. Next were Georgia and Florida with three each. Florida had the highest number of second team selections with five. Alabama and Louisiana had four.
Tennessee the pick: Tennessee was selected by the media to win the overall SEC championship. The Vols received 37 votes, followed by Florida (21), LSU (16), Georgia (6), Auburn (4), Alabama (2) and Ole Miss (1). Tennessee also was selected to win the SEC East, followed by Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Vanderbilt and Kentucky. LSU was the pick to win the SEC West, followed by Auburn, Alabama, Arkansas, Ole Miss and Mississippi State.
Hot seat talk: Alabama coach Mike Shula was asked to address his name being on the "hot seat" list by several preseason publications. "When I took this job, my name was on the hot seat from Day 1," Shula said. "That's not just here (at Alabama), that's at any school. I don't worry about that because if I do, I am not doing what I need to be doing which is helping this football team improve."
Versatile Hillis: Arkansas coach Houston Nutt cited Peyton Hillis as a player that could turn into a weapon on offense this season. "I felt like had he not gotten hurt in the Florida game that he was getting ready to take off," Nutt said. Hillis can play fullback, tailback and even wide receiver.
Prediction time: LSU head coach Les Miles, who coached against both Texas and Ohio State was asked about the contest between the Longhorns and Buckeyes Sept. 10 in Columbus. Good luck. I am not playing, so. I don't know how they are going to do. I think they are both talented teams. It will be interesting to see how Texas responds on the road. I know those Ohio fans get after them.
Third teamer: Ryan Perrilloux, the nation's top-ranked dual-threat quarterback prospect in the class of 2005, will start preseason camp behind Jamarcus Russell and Matt Flynn. "He's a guy that's going to come in and get some reps," Miles said. "He comes from the disadvantage of not being there and not necessarily understanding the system. But very capable. I think we will find that we will approach our game week and our game days and determine who our starter is and at that point in time we'd like to go with one guy from that point forward."
Renewal: Brooks said he would never take away a player's scholarship based on the player not having enough talent to compete in the SEC. "Unless they have done something detrimental to the program or the university, or don't comply with what they need to do to be a better player, in other words, they constantly miss weight workouts, they constantly do those types of things, then, you know, I am going to renew them," Brooks said. "It's not their fault if they're not quite good enough to be an SEC player if you will. They were recruited to be one, and somebody thought they could be one. And to me, when a player comes to Kentucky and he works and tries to do what he can do to be a good player, and he keeps his nose clean, stays eligible, I am going to renew him."
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