Stuart McNair

Seven Alabama players named pre-season All-SEC first team with 13 overall picks

Jonathan Allen leads pre-season All-SEC balloting among defensive players

Alabama was the overwhelming favorite of reporters predicting the Southeastern Conference season, and their votes at SEC Media Days confirmed that choice as a league-high 13 Crimson Tide players were named to All-SEC teams, including a conference-high seven first team selections.

In addition to the seven Alabama players selected first team – three players on both offense and defense and one specialist – the Tide selections included four second team selections and two on third team.

Senior defensive end Johnathan Allen was the leading vote-getter among defensive players, while sophomore wide receiver Calvin Ridley and junior offensive tackle were third and fourth among all vote-getters.

The Alabama selections on offense were senior tight end O.J. Howard, Ridley, and Robinson. The defensive selections were senior linebacker Reuben Foster, senior safety Eddie Jackson, and Allen. Junior JK Scott was first team punter.

Senior offensive guard Alphonse Taylor, senior linebacker Tim Williams, sophomore cornerback Minkah Fitzpatrick, and senior place-kicker Adam Griffith were named to the second team. Sophomore center Ross Pierschbacher and sophomore cornerback Marlon Humphrey were third team.

Howard and Ridley return to lead a deep Tide receiver corps in 2016. The duo combined for more than 1,600 receiving yards and nine touchdowns a year ago. Robinson, Taylor and Pierschbacher return from an offensive line that cleared the way for a Tide ground game that averaged nearly 200 yards per contest.

Allen will lead a defense that returns five starters from a year ago. The senior recorded 12 sacks in 2015. Foster, the team’s leading returning tackler, and Williams lead a linebacker corps that includes five players who saw regular action last season. Jackson, Fitzpatrick, and Humphrey combined for 11 interceptions and 21 pass break-ups a season ago. 


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