Five Football Tigers Earn All-SEC Honors

Auburn, Ala.--Auburn continued a 26-year streak Monday when five Tiger football players were named either first team or second team All-Southeastern Conference.

Every season since 1976 Auburn has had at least one player earn All-SEC honors and the 2002 season is no different.

Ben Nowland (55) was the anchor of a rebuilt offensive front.

Senior center Ben Nowland, senior free safety Travaris Robinson and junior linebacker Karlos Dansby all made the first team while senior linebacker Mark Brown and sophomore running back Ronnie Brown were named to the second team.

Nowland, the anchor of an Auburn offensive line that improved with each game, is a three-year starter at center. A fifth-year player who has already graduated with a degree in Industrial Design, he led the way for a ground game that averaged 204 yards rushing per game and scored 30 touchdowns on the ground.

Travaris Robinson made the move from cornerback to safety as a senior.

Robinson started his career at wide receiver for the Tigers before finally finding a home at free safety in his senior season. Second on the team in tackles with 85 and the team leader in interceptions with four, he played a big part in an Auburn secondary that intercepted 20 passes this season. Robinson finished his regular season career at Auburn with perhaps his finest college game, a 12-tackle performance in a 17-7 win over Alabama.

Dansby was the playmaker for the Tigers on defense. Finishing the year with 70 tackles, including 13 for losses, the speedy outside linebacker also had three interceptions. His best game came against LSU when he had eight tackles and two interceptions in a 31-7 victory over LSU.

Brown was the glue that held the Auburn defense together. A senior with unmatched work ethic, he led the team in tackles with 91 and had three double-digit tackle games. He also had nine tackles for loss and two and a half sacks in 2002.

The surprise of the season for many fans, Brown picked up where Carnell Williams left off after his injury and carried the Tigers on his back for much of the second half of the year. Leading the team in rushing with 824 yards on just 138 carries (6.0 yards per carry) and adding a team-best 11 touchdowns, Brown solidified himself as one of the premier backs in the SEC this season. His best game came against Ole Miss when he rushed for a career-high 224 yards and scored three touchdowns in the road win.

Auburn also had two players named to the SEC All-Freshman Team as tight end Cooper Wallace and offensive tackle Marcus McNeill earned the honor. Wallace played in all 12 games and caught passes for 123 yards and two touchdowns. He also played fullback for the Tigers in Auburn's 17-7 win over Alabama to close the regular season.

McNeill started five games for the Tigers at offensive tackle and played in 10. He averaged 48 plays in six SEC games and posted a team-high grade of 86 percent in the win over Alabama.

This group will lead the Tigers into a New Year's Day matchup with the Penn State Nittany Lions in the Capital One Bowl in Orlando. Kickoff is scheduled for noon central time and tickets can be ordered by calling 1-800-AUB-1957 or by going to

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