After Dante Fowler was snubbed by the Associated Press on Monday and left only as an honorable mention, the SEC coaches voted him a first-team defensive linemen. It’s easy to see where the discrepancy came from. On paper, Fowler had 5.5 sacks, 12 tackles for a loss and 15 quarterback hurries. The AP must have focused only on the sack numbers, but the SEC coaches knew what it was like to prepare for Fowler off the edge. The junior was also third on the Florida defense with 57 tackles.
Cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III was also named to the first team by the league’s coaches. The AP voted him on the first team Monday, too. Hargreaves had 45 tackles and two interceptions, but he led the defense with 13 pass breakups. For the most part, opposing teams avoided throwing at the All-American. It was the second straight year the SEC coaches voted Hargreaves to the first team.
Florida center Max Garcia was voted to the second team while Auburn center Reese Dismukes was on the first team. Garcia played guard and center during the 2013 season and was asked to move to center in the offseason. He battled inconsistencies snapping the ball during spring practice, but he worked hard to correct it and didn’t struggle with it during the season. Garcia now has a future in the NFL in front of him because of how well he handled the move.
Linebacker Antonio Morrison was also voted to the second team. He bounced back from a slow sophomore season, and Morrison dropped weight to play faster. It was easy to see on the field, as he led the Gators with 98 tackles -- 40 more than the second most on the team. Morrison added six tackles for a loss, one sack, one interception, one pass breakup, three quarterback hurries, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.
The Gators close out the season when they play East Carolina in the Birmingham Bowl on January 3 at 1 p.m.