Nine Tigers Earn AP All-SEC Honors

Atlanta, Ga.—-Following another strong season that saw the Tigers finish the year 9-2 and earn a berth in the Capital One Bowl in Orlando, Auburn was well represented on the Associated Press All-SEC team released on Monday with nine players named to either the first or second-team.

On offense both senior offensive tackle Marcus McNeill and junior running back Kenny Irons were unanimous selections for the team while punter Kody Bliss was also a first-team choice. The second-team had guard Tim Duckworth on offense with defensive end Marquies Gunn, tackle Tommy Jackson, linebacker Travis Williams, safety Will Herring and cornerback David Irons on defense.

Georgia led the way with 10 All-SEC selections with Auburn having nine and Florida third with six. The Bulldogs filled up the first team with nine players on offense and defense. In addition to McNeill and Irons, other unanimous selections for the first team were guard Max Jean-Gilles, tight end Leonard Pope, and kicker Brandon Coutu from Georgia on offense and DeMeco Ryans from Alabama, Greg Blue from Georgia and Ko Simpson from South Carolina on defense.

A four-year starter for the Tigers at offensive tackle, the 6-9, 338 McNeill finished his career with a streak of 41 games without allowing a sack. He also helped pave the way for Irons to pound out 1,205 yards on the ground with 13 touchdowns. As a team the Tigers averaged five yards per carry with 28 scores on the ground.

Kenny Irons led the SEC in rushing in 2005.

Auburn's junior punter, Bliss had another very solid year for the Tigers. On 38 kicks he averaged 44.8 yards with just four going for touchbacks. He had 11 punts downed inside the 20-yard line. Duckworth led the Tigers in pancake blocks and quickly became one of the league's most dominant run blockers.

The steadiest of Auburn's defensive ends, Gunn was rewarded for his play by the Associated Press. Finishing with 39 tackles in 11 games, he was tied for the team lead in tackles for a loss with 12 ½ and tied for third on the team in sacks with four and a half.

Williams, Auburn's defensive leader at middle linebacker, finished second on the team in tackles with 62 and also added five and a half tackles for losses and two and a half sacks on the season. His fellow leader up front, Jackson had 40 tackles, five and a half for losses, and two sacks.

Travis Williams called the shots for Auburn's defense.

In the secondary Herring's play was one of the bright spots for the defense. Leading the team in tackles with 64, he was always around the ball and did a good job of not allowing the big play. Irons was the shut-down corner for the Tigers, finishing with 37 tackles and leading the team with 10 passes broken up.

For his play this season, Vanderbilt's Jay Cutler was named the SEC Offensive Player of the Year while Ryans was named the Defensive Player of the Year. The Coach of the Year is Steve Spurrier from South Carolina while Arkansas running back Darren McFadden was named the Freshman of the Year.


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