SEC names All-Freshman team
Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel heads the SEC All-Freshman team, which is made up of players from 12 teams. Auburn and Vanderbilt are not represented on the squad.
|Alabama's Amari Cooper was one of many high-impact SEC freshmen. (US Presswire)|
Maybe more than any year in recent memory, the SEC's 2012 All Freshman team isn't as much a reflection of the league's future as its present -- players like Johnny Manziel, Todd Gurley, John Theus, Brandon Shell, Amari Cooper, Mike Evans, Jalen Collins, Denzel Nkemdiche and Trey Williams are already among the league's best (or even the nation's best) at their respective positions.
Which makes the team arguably an even bigger honor than it would normally be. Here's the complete team, released by the SEC office Thursday, with notes to follow:
2012 FRESHMAN ALL-SEC FOOTBALL TEAM
(*-Ties) (Coaches could not vote for their own players)
FRESHMAN ALL-SEC -- OFFENSE
TE -- Jerell Adams, South Carolina
OL -- John Theus, Georgia
OL -- D.J. Humphries, Florida
OL -- Brandon Shell, South Carolina
OL -- Vadal Alexander, LSU
C -- Ryan Kelly, Alabama
WR -- Amari Cooper, Alabama
WR -- Mike Evans, Texas A&M
QB -- Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
RB -- Todd Gurley, Georgia
RB -- T.J. Yeldon, Alabama
AP -- Trey Williams, Texas A&M
FRESHMAN ALL-SEC -- DEFENSE
DL -- Dante Fowler, Florida
DL -- Jonathan Bullard, Florida
DL -- Issac Gross, Ole Miss
DL -- D.J. Pettway, Alabama
LB -- Denzel NkemdichE, Ole Miss
LB -- Benardrick McKinney, Mississippi State
*LB -- A.J. Turner, Arkansas
*LB -- Otha Peters, Arkansas
*LB -- Antonio Morrison, Florida
DB -- Jalen Collins, LSU
DB -- T.J. Gurley, South Carolina
DB -- Rohan Gaines, Arkansas
DB -- LaDarrell McNeil, Tennessee
FRESHMAN ALL-SEC SPECIAL TEAMS
PK -- Andrew Baggett, Missouri
P -- Landon Foster, Kentucky
RS –- Trey Williams, Texas A&M
- There are 12 teams represented on the list, with Auburn and Vanderbilt the only absentees. Combined with Auburn's shutout on the AP All-SEC team, it's easy to understand how the Tigers slipped to their first winless season in the league in more than 30 years.
- Missouri was also shut out everywhere but at placekicker, which will be a disppointment to the Tigers and guard Evan Boehm, a highly touted true freshman who started every game and was a surpising anchor for Mizzou's injury-ravaged line. Alabama's Ryan Kelly is a fine prospect but played sparingly behind All-American Barrett Jones at center --perhaps on an All-Freshman team, with so few candidates, the SEC should waive the requirement to name a center, in order to recognize an actual game-in, game-out contributor like Boehm.
- On the heels of his second-team All-SEC nod from the AP, Nkemdiche's All-Freshman honor is another strong rebuttal to the doubters who dismissed his original offer from Ole Miss as nothing but a ploy to lure his younger brother (and 2013 consensus No. 1 prospect) Robert. Wherever Robert lands or however he plays, Nkmdiche's impressive freshman season -- 78 tackles and 12 of them for loss, both team highs -- has established him as a star in his own right.
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