Tigers Lead All-SEC Football First Team

Hoover, Ala.--Six Auburn players have been selected to the Preseason All-SEC Football First Team selected by sportswriters at the annual SEC Media Days.

On offense, preseason senior All-American Marcus McNeill and junior wide receiver Courtney Taylor are first team selections. McNeill was an All-SEC player as a junior. Taylor is expected to be the leader of a talented group of wide receivers for the Tigers.

Auburn's other offensive selection is senior Cooper Wallace, who was a second team pick behind Georgia junior Leonard Pope. Wallace is expected to have his best season for the Tigers, AU head coach Tommy Tuberville says.

Senior linebacker Travis Williams, who represented Auburn along with McNeill at SEC Media Days, is a first team pick on defense along with sophomore end Stanley McClover. Williams was a first team All-SEC pick last year and McClover made the All-SEC Freshman Team.

Marcus McNeill (73) is shown in action during spring drills.

Auburn's punter, Kody Bliss, and field goal kicker, John Vaughn, a pair of juniors from Brentwood, Tenn., Academy, are also first team All-SEC picks. They will be starting for their third straight seasons.

Auburn's six first team picks was one more than Tennessee. Florida, Alabama and LSU had three picks apiece. Georgia had two picks while one player from Ole Miss, South Carolina and Vanderbilt are on the first teams.

Travis Williams answers a question at the 2005 SEC Media Days.

In the voting for the SEC champion, Tennessee is picked to win the East and the overall title. Auburn is picked No. 2 in the West behind LSU and ahead of Alabama, Arkansas, Ole Miss and Mississippi State, which is picked to finish last.

In the East the writers voted for Florida to finish second ahead of Georgia, South Carolina, Vanderbilt and Kentucky.

Other members of the All-SEC first team offense include Andrew Whitworth of LSU, Max Jean-Gilles of Georgia, Arron Sears of Tennessee and center Mike Degory on the line. Chris Leak of Florida is the QB, Chad Jackson of Florida is at receiver and the running backs are Jerious Norwood of Mississippi State and Gerald Riggs of Tennessee.

On defense, first team members include linemen Jesse Mahelona and Parys Haralson of Tennessee, linebackers DeMeco Ryans and Freddie Roach of Alabama along with Moses Osemwegie of Vanderbilt. The defensive backs are Jason Allen of Tennessee, LaRon Landry of LSU, Roman Harper of Alabama and Ko Simpson of South Carolina.

Kody Bliss has a strong leg as Auburn's punter.

The second team offense includes Tre' Stalling of Ole Miss, Cody Douglas of Tennessee, Randy Hand of Florida, Zac Tubbs of Arkansas and center J.B. Closner of Arkansas. Andre Caldwell of Florida and Skyler Green of LSU are the wideouts. Vandy's Jay Cutler, the league's coaches pick as the top QB, is on the second team in a tie with Brodie Croyle of Alabama. Kenneth Darby of Alabama and Alley Broussard of LSU are the running backs.

The second team defense includes two linemen from LSU, Claude Wroten and Kyle Williams, along with McKinley Boykin of Ole Miss. The linebackers are Kevin Simon of Tennessee, who is back from a season-ending injury suffered early last year. His teammate, Omar Gaither, is on the squad along with Earl Everett of Florida and Patrick Willis of Ole Miss.

The second team secondary includes Greg Blue of Georgia, Charlie Peprah of Alabama, Muhammad Abdullah and Demetrice Webb of Florida.

Skyler Green of LSU is the first team return specialist and Tyrone Prothro of Alabama is on the second team. James Wilhoit of Tennessee is the second team kicker and Eric Wilbur of Florida is the second team punter.


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