Who Is All-SEC?
Fortunately, I was on my way to the sideline and not watching when the injury occurred, looked away at the fatal moment on each of the dozen or more times the replay was on television, and similarly avoided the still photo.
Unfortunately, it might be the indelible image of his broken leg and not his awe-inspiring feats with a football in his arm that his season is remembered for. Prothro had 17 catches for 325 yards in those first five games. He averaged 19.1 yards per catch and had three touchdowns, including that 87-yarder on Bama's first offensive play against Florida.
That's not all he did. Prothro lined up under center and at times at tailback, rushing for 92 yards on nine carries (10.2 yards per rush) including a 41 yarder against South Carolina. He added 81 yards in punt returns and 193 yards in kickoff returns in his shortened season, too. All tolled, Prothro averaged 138.2 yards all-purpose yards per game before being injured, more than any other Bama player and any other receiver in the Southeastern Conference.
There's more evidence in support of Prothro's All-SEC credentials. On the coaches team, he should be able to count on votes from Steve Spurrier, Houston Nutt and Urban Meyer, who each had to prepare for the dangerous receiver. These three coaches will vote for Prothro unless they suffer from severe amnesia.
But what about the coaches who didn't have to prepare for Prothro and didn't see much of him on film after game five. Will they answer the bell? They should. That's the least they can do for the luxury of not having to face an Alabama team with Prothro in the arsenal.
Advocacy for Prothro on the All-SEC team with a injury-shortened season is not a unique position, and the best example is another player in a similar circumstance this season. Tennessee's Jason Allen injured his hip after just five games a week after Prothro hurt his leg, and Allen was also out for the season. Allen's history, as well as the difference he made on the Vol defense in 2005 make him deserving of first team All-SEC honors. Similarly, Wesley Britt was an All-SEC player in 2003 when he was hurt in the first series of the Alabama Tennessee game.
As for other Alabama players on all-star teams this year, the Crimson Tide defensive players will get the longest looks. Offensively, other than Prothro, Brodie Croyle will get consideration among a field of very talented and productive quarterbacks in the league this year, where as many as five of the SEC's signal-callers would be worthy recipients of recognition, including likely winner Jay Cutler of Vanderbilt, LSU's JaMarcus Russell, Georgia's D.J. Shockley or Auburn's Brandon Cox.
Similarly, the field of running backs in the Southeastern Conference is ripe with talent. Kenneth Darby 1,161 yards certainly deserve consideration among the candidates including Kenny Irons (Auburn), Rafael Little (Kentucky), Darren McFadden (Arkansas, freshman All-SEC lock), Jerious Norwood (MSU), Joseph Addai (LSU) and freshman All-SEC candidate Mico McSwain of Ole Miss. JB Closner deserves consideration but will probably fall behind other centers, and Antoine Caldwell surely played as well as most guards this season.
DeMeco Ryans is a lock for first-team All-SEC linebacker. He should win any and all national awards for his play. Freddie Roach should also be under consideration. Roach had some stellar games but was not as consistently a presence as was Ryans. No one else in the league was, either.
Mark Anderson is likely the quickest defensive end in the SEC, and his 13 tackles for loss and seven sacks are among the SEC leaders, fourth place and sixth place respectively.
Roman Harper had a very solid year and is deserving perhaps of the lifetime achievement award style all-SEC honor, where a player is rewarded based on a body of work over his career (that style of voting with be revealed when Jay Cutler is named first team SEC quarterback and possibly the SEC's Player of the Year). Four-year starter Charlie Peprah should be considered for his extremely impressive career playing both cornerback and safety.
Defensive end Bobby Greenwood is deserving of freshman All-SEC honors, and will be a preseason all-star next year.
Mitch Dobbs' Scout.com vote for All-SEC:
QB – Jay Cutler (VU), Brodie Croyle (UA)
RB – Kenneth Darby (UA), Jerious Norwood (MSU)
RB – Kenny Irons (AU), Darren McFadden (AR)
TE – Leonard Pope (UGA), Cooper Wallace (AU)
WR – Sidney Rice (SC), Earl Bennett (VU)
WR – Tyrone Prothro (UA), Dwayne Bowe (LSU)
OL – Andrew Whitworth (LSU), Antoine Caldwell (UA)
OL – Max Jean-Giles (UGA),
C – Rudy Niswanger (LSU), Josh Cope (AU)
OL – Arron Sears (UT),
OL – Daniel Inman (UGA), Brian Stamper (VU)
DE – Willie Evans (MSU), Stanley McClover (AU)
DT – Jesse Mahelona (UT), Claude Wroten (LSU)
DT – Justin Harrell (UT), Marquis Gunn (AU)
DE – Mark Anderson (UA), Parys Harelson (UT)
LB – DeMeco Ryans (UA), Freddie Roach (UA)
LB - Moses Osemwegie (VU), Ko Simpson (SC)
LB – Travis Williams (AU), Patrick Willis (OM)
CB – Jason Allen (UT)
CB – David Irons (AU), Demetrice Webb (FLA)
S – Will Herring (AU)
S – Roman Harper (UA)
P – Blake McAdams (MSU), Chris Jackson (LSU), Cody Bliss (AU)
PK – Brandon Coutu (UGA)
Return Specialist – Rafael Little (UK), Skyler Green (LSU)
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