Alabama Leads In Pre-Season Picks

One reason Alabama was an overwhelming favorite to win the Southeastern Conference championship this year when sports reporters voted at SEC Media Days is because the reporters thought Alabama had more good players than any other team.



Oh, not that many, you say.

Alabama had 16 men listed on the All-SEC teams – first team, second team, and third team, selected by the reporters. Arkansas had 14.

BUT...

Alabama had more than half its selections on the first team, nine Crimson Tide players voted by the media. Of Arkansas's 14 picks, eight were on the third team.

South Carolina, which was picked to win the SEC Eastern Division, was the only other team with double-digit selections, 10 Gamecocks making the list.

Georgia, which had the second most first team picks with six, had nine players on the three teams.

LSU, which has been Bama's closest competition in team selections pre-season, had one first team selection and a total of seven. Florida had nine total selections (none on the first team) and defending national champion Auburn had eight, one on the first team.

Alabama's 16 players on the All-SEC Team is the most in any year. This is only the second time in Media Days history there have been three units on the All-SEC Team (2006).

Alabama's nine players on the All-SEC First Team is the most in any year. The previous high was eight set in 2010 by Alabama and 2009 by Florida.

There were no huge surprises on Alabama selections. The first team offense had tailback Trent Richardson, offensive linemen Barrett Jones (who received 148 of 167 votes cast), and center William Vlachos. The first team defense included nose teackle Josh Chapman, linebackers Dont'a Hightower (144 votes), and Courtney Upshaw and defensive backs Mark Barron (140 votes) and Robert Lester.

Although Richardson is not expected to be a part of special teams, he was a first team "all purpose" selection.

Alabama's second team pre-season All-SEC members were offensive lineman D.J. Fluker, offensive lineman Chance Warmack, wide receiver Marquis Maze, and defensive back Dre Kirkpatrick.

Named to the third team were tight end Michael Williams, linebacker C.J. Mosley, and return specialist Marquis Maze.

The leading vote-getter on this year's team was South Carolina wide receiver Alshon Jeffery with 152 total votes. It is the third highest vote total in Media Days history behind Alabama's Mark Ingram (165) and Dont'a Hightower (158), both from last year.

Jeffery is the first wide receiver to be the leading vote-getter since Florida's Jabar Gaffney in 2001 (81 of 84 total votes).

A total of 86 players are on the first, second and third units.

Each team had at least three representatives on the first, second and third units. Nine of the 12 teams had representatives on the first unit.

The first unit is comprised of 15 seniors, 10 juniors and two sophomores. The second unit has 12 seniors, 12 juniors and three sophomores. The third unit has 15 seniors, seven juniors and 10 sophomores. In total, there are 42 seniors, 29 juniors and 15 sophomores.

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