Six Tigers Earn AP All-SEC Honors

Auburn was well represented with six players selected to the Associated Press All-SEC team.

Auburn, Ala.--Six Auburn football players were selected to the Associated Press All-Southeastern Conference teams that were released Monday. Seniors Ben Grubbs and John Vaughn and junior Quentin Groves were named to the first team while seniors Tim Duckworth, Kenny Irons and Kody Bliss were selected to the second team.

Grubbs, an offensive guard from Eclectic, Ala., earned first-team status after starting in all 12 regular season games for Auburn this season and the past 37 straight. He was named SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week twice this season, the only player in the league to do so, collecting the honor Sept. 11 after Auburn's 34-0 win over Mississippi State and Nov. 9 after a 27-0 win over Arkansas State. He was graded better than 90 percent in eight of Auburn's first 11 games this season.

Ben Grubbs is expected to be a first day selection in the next NFL Draft.

Vaughn, a Brentwood, Tenn., native, set a career-high with 19 field goals this season, giving him 49 for his career, which is an Auburn career record. His 89 points this season is an Auburn single-season best among kickers and gives him 307 in four seasons, also a Tiger record. He became the first Tiger kicker in team history to make 50-plus-yard field goals in consecutive weeks, first booting a 52-yarder against Washington State Sept. 2, then followed that with a 55-yarder against Mississippi State Sept. 9.

Quentin Groves with one of his two big sacks against Alabama.

Groves, a Greenville, Miss., native, enters Auburn's AT&T Cotton Bowl appearance against Nebraska with 9.5 sacks, which stands second in the SEC and 16th nationally, and 12 tackles for loss, which leads the Tigers. He had three second-half sacks in Auburn's 27-17 win over Florida Oct. 14, earning him SEC Defensive Player of the Week honors. He was selected the conference's Defensive Lineman of the Week Nov. 20, just two days after two first-half sacks that produced two fumbles and 14 Auburn points in a 22-15 victory at Alabama.

The honor is the second straight AP second team selection for Duckworth, who played in and started 11 games this season. He was named SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week Sept. 30 after Auburn's 24-17 victory at South Carolina. Duckworth, a native of Taylorsville, Miss., helped guide Auburn to 10 games of 100 yards or more rushing this season.

Duckworth earned his second-straight selection to the All-SEC team.

Irons, a Dacula, Ga., native, had three 100-yard games for the Tigers this season, including 183 against Washington State Sept. 2 in the team's season-opener. That effort earned him SEC Offensive Player of the Week honors for the third time in his two seasons at Auburn. Irons third in the SEC with 82.1 yards per game, finished the regular season with 821 yards rushing on 174 carries and four touchdowns in 10 games. The honor is his second AP selection after being named to the first team in 2005.

Kenny Irons was banged up for his entire senior season but still managed to be one of the SEC's leading rushers.

Bliss' selection his third honor by the AP in the past three seasons after taking a first team selection in 2005 and honorable mention in 2004. In 2006, he punted 41 times for an average of 46.1 yards per attempt, which would stand third in the nation but he is four punts shy of qualifying. He trapped opponents inside their 20-yard-line 12 times while 17 of his punts went more than 50 yards. He booted a career-high 71-yard-punt in Auburn's 38-13 win over Tulane Oct. 21.

Bliss is one of the national leaders in punting average despite not having enough attempts to officially qualify.

Seniors Cole Bennett, Marquies Gunn and David Irons each received votes for All-SEC honors. Bennett played in the first three games, collecting two receptions for 25 yards. Gunn, meanwhile, finished the regular season with 33 tackles, including seven for loss, and three sacks. Irons posted 39 tackles, and finished tied for fourth in the SEC with 13 passes defended, two of which were interceptions.

The Tigers will meet Nebraska Jan. 1 in the 71st annual AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic. The game kicks off at 10:40 a.m. CT at Cotton Bowl Stadium and will air live on FOX.


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