Perception Change for AU at SEC Media Days

Ten Tigers have been named to the SEC Football Media Days preseason all-league teams and Auburn is picked to finish second in its division.

Hoover, Ala.--What a difference a year makes in perception of the talent level on the Auburn football team.

At the 2013 SEC Media Days not a single Auburn player was voted to the league’s preseason all-conference team. This year three Tigers have been selected to the first team on offense and one more on defense.

Nick Marshall

Senior center Reese Dismukes, senior quarterback Nick Marshall and junior wide receiver Sammie Coates are joined on the first team by senior defensive tackle Gabe Wright, who could also see action at defensive end this season.

At the 2013 media days Tre Mason, who became the 2013 SEC Offensive Player of the Year, was a second team pick along with Dismukes. Defensively, the 2013 Auburn selections were end Dee Ford as a second team All-SEC pick and cornerback Chris Davis as a third team selection.

Sammie Coates caught seven touchdown passes last season for the Tigers.

As a team the Tigers were picked to finish fifth in the SEC West last year and ended up winning the league championship. This year they are picked to finish second in the SEC West behind Alabama with LSU third, Ole Miss fourth, Mississippi State fifth, Texas A&M sixth and Auburn’s season-opening opponent, Arkansas, predicted to finish last in the division.

Alabama is the pick to win the SEC title over South Carolina, which finished first in the voting in the SEC East ahead of Georgia, Florida, Missouri, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Kentucky.

Senior tight end C.J. Uzomah and sophomore guard Alex Kozan have been selected second team all-league picks along with senior defensive back Robenson Therezie.

Alex Kozan

Three Tigers were chosen for the third team All-SEC defensive group with senior cornerback Jonathon Mincy joined by junior linebacker Cassanova McKinzy and sophomore end Carl Lawson, a player who is expected to miss all or a major part of the season as he recovers from ACL surgery he went through in May.

A pair of seniors, running back Corey Grant and guard Chad Slade, have also been named third team all-conference.

Corey is one of the fastest players in the SEC.

Dismukes, who is scheduled to start for a fourth consecutive season, said the Tigers expected to be strong last season even though they were considered the surprise team of the league when they won the SEC championship.

“The expectation really hasn’t changed,” the senior said. “Coach (Gus) Malzahn has done a great job of letting us know our only obstacle is getting better that day instead of worrying about what happens tomorrow.”

Uzomah pointed out that he is expecting the Tigers to be strong again for his senior season. “We definitely have a lot of talent,” he said. “We lost a lot of key players, for sure, but we do have a lot of young guys and guys who are going to feel those places. We feel like we aren’t going to miss a beat.”

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