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Nine LSU players make Phil Steele’s preseason SEC teams: A fan’s reaction
On May 28, Phil Steele, publisher of Phil Steele's 2011 College Football Preview, released his preseason All-SEC Team list.
There are nine LSU Tigers on it. Only one LSU player earned first-team honors. Steele's preseason All-SEC Team consists of four teams on offense, defense and special teams. The All-SEC first teams for offense, defense and special teams are listed below, with a list of the nine All-SEC LSU players following that.
First Team Offense
Quarterback: Aaron Murray, Georgia
Running Back: Marcus Lattimore, South Carolina
Wide Receivers: Alshon Jeffrey, South Carolina; Greg Childs and Joe Adams, Arkansas
Tight End: Orson Charles, Georgia
Center: William Vlachos, Alabama
Offensive Guards: Barrett Jones, Alabama; Larry Warford, Kentucky
Offensive Tackles: Bradley Sowell, Mississippi; Cordy Glenn, Georgia
First Team Defense
Defensive Ends: Devin Taylor, South Carolina; Jake Bequette, Arkansas
Defensive Tackles: Jaye Howard, Florida; Malik Jackson, Tennessee
Linebackers: Courtney Upshaw and Dont'a Hightower, Alabama
Linebackers: Jerry Franklin, Arkansas; Danny Trevathan, Kentucky
Cornerbacks: Morris Claiborne, LSU; Stephon Gilmore, South Carolina
Safeties: Robert Lester and Mark Barron, Alabama
First Team Special Teams
Kick Returner: Andre Debose, Florida
Punt Returner: Joe Adams, Arkansas
Kicker: Blair Walsh, Georgia
Punter: Drew Butler, Georgia
As you can see from the lists above, Steele is high on the talent of Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, and South Carolina. Here's how LSU's players stacked up:
Morris Claiborne, First Team, Cornerback
Rueben Randle, Second Team, Wide Receiver
Josh Dworaczyk, Second Team, Offensive Guard
Ryan Baker, Second Team, Linebacker
Russell Shepard, Third Team, Wide Receiver
Tyrann Mathieu, Third Team, Cornerback
Alex Hurst, Fourth Team, Offensive Tackle
Sam Montgomery, Fourth Team, Defensive End
Stefoin Francois, Fourth Team, Linebacker
There are certainly positions you can scratch your head about on the full list from Steele. For instance, Georgia's Isaiah Crowell is listed as a fourth-team running back. There's just one catch: Crowell is a true freshman who hasn't played a snap for the Bulldogs yet. He has upperclassmen ahead of him on the depth chart that he'll have to overcome for playing time.
Speaking not just as a Tiger fan, I'd have liked to see Spencer Ware in Crowell's spot. Ware didn't play much until the Cotton Bowl last year for LSU, but he averaged 7.6 yards per carry (10.2 in the bowl game). As Stevan Ridley moved on to the NFL, Ware will be the guy for LSU at running back in 2011. I don't think anyone will be surprised if he tops 1,000 yards on the ground this Fall.
As an LSU graduate and fan, I could feel like my alma mater was slighted with so few players picked for a preseason All-SEC team, but I'll just wait to see LSU Tigers on the postseason lists instead.
More from Patrick Johnston:
"Phil Steele's 2011 Preseason All-SEC Team", Phil Steele.com
Stats from NCAA.org
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