Media Predicts Nick Saban's Alabama To Win 2017 SEC Championship; Three Wildcats Earn Preseason
SEC Football Media Days concluded on Thursday, July 13 with media in attendance predicting Alabama to win the 2017 SEC Championship.
Coach Kirby Smart's Georgia club was selected to win the SEC Eastern Division with 1,572 points, including 138 first-place votes, narrowly edging two-time defending division champion Florida who was second with 1,526 points and 96 votes to win the division. Tennessee was third with 998 total points. Points were awarded on a 7-6-5-4-3-2-1 scale.
Coach Nick Saban's Alabama squad was picked to win the SEC Western Division with 1,683 total points, while Auburn was second with 1,329. Alabama received 225 first-place votes in the West. LSU was third with 1,262 points.
Six times since 1992 – four times in the last 20 - the predicted champion at SEC Media Days has proceeded to win the SEC Championship. Media in attendance have correctly predicted the eventual champion two of the last three seasons.
Alabama had the most first-team All-SEC selections (see below) this season with 10, which is a new record for the SEC Media Days All-SEC Team.
Three UK football players also earned a spot on the Preseason Media Days All-SEC teams.
Junior defensive end/linebacker Denzil Ware was named second-team defense, while junior safety Mike Edwards and junior linebacker Jordan Jones were named to the third team.
Ware, a native of Opp, Alabama, returns as one of Kentucky’s leading pass rushers as he ranked second on the team in total sacks (5.5) and tackles for loss (12.0) last year. He has started in 24 of 25 career games for the Wildcats, including 19 consecutive.
Edwards led all SEC defensive backs in tackles in 2016 with 100 and was one of just six players overall in the league with 100 or more tackles on the season. He ranked second on the team and seventh overall in the SEC in tackles per game (7.7) and tied for 10th in the conference in total passes defended (11). He was a second-team Associated Press All-SEC selection, and was a third-team pick by Athlon and Phil Steele.
He had two interceptions of Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson in Kentucky’s win over No. 11 Louisville in 2016, earning him SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Week.
The Cincinnati native is currently on the watch list for the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award, given to college football’s top defensive back.
Jones, of Youngstown, Ohio, was named to the first-team defense in 2016 after leading the SEC in solo tackles per game (5.7). Overall, he led UK and ranked third in the league in total tackles per game with 8.4. He finished the season with 109 tackles and led the Wildcats with 15.5 tackles for loss.
Jones is currently on the preseason watch lists for the Bednarik Award and the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, given annually to the nation’s top defensive player.
2017 PRESEASON MEDIA DAYS ALL-SEC TEAM
(Total points earned in parenthesis)
QB Jalen Hurts, Alabama (196)
RB Derrius Guice, LSU (223)
RB Nick Chubb, Georgia (211)
WR Calvin Ridley, Alabama (232)
WR Christian Kirk, Texas A&M (197)
TE Isaac Nauta, Georgia (134)
OL Braden Smith, Auburn (201)
OL Martez Ivey, Florida (198)
OL Jonah Williams, Alabama (187)
OL Ross Pierschbacher, Alabama (174)
C Frank Ragnow, Arkansas (174)
QB Nick Fitzgerald, Mississippi State (121)
RB Bo Scarbrough, Alabama (151)
RB Kamryn Pettway, Auburn (141)
WR Antonio Callaway, Florida (152)
WR J'Mon Moore, Missouri (91)
TE Hayden Hurst, South Carolina (115)
OL Isaiah Wynn, Georgia (116)
OL Jashon Robertson, Tennessee (108)
OL K.J. Malone, LSU (101)
OL Martinas Rankin, Mississippi State (101)
C Bradley Bozeman, Alabama (155)
QB Austin Allen, Arkansas (102)
RB Ralph Webb, Vanderbilt (105)
RB Sony Michel, Georgia (30)
WR Deebo Samuel, South Carolina (64)
WR Jauan Jennings, Tennessee (42)
TE DeAndre Goolsby, Florida (76)
OL Lester Cotton, Alabama (96)
OL Greg Little, Ole Miss (94)
OL Javon Patterson, Ole Miss (87)
OL Koda Martin, Texas A&M (69)
C Will Clapp, LSU (66)
DL Da'Ron Payne, Alabama (196)
DL Da'Shawn Hand, Alabama (180)
DL Trenton Thompson, Georgia (172)
DL Marquis Haynes, Ole Miss (159)
LB Arden Key, LSU (191)
LB Rashaan Evans, Alabama (180)
LB Roquan Smith, Georgia (157)
DB Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama (232)
DB Ronnie Harrison, Alabama (156)
DB Armani Watts, Texas A&M (137)
DB Duke Dawson, Florida (137)
DL Cece Jefferson, Florida (151)
DL Marlon Davidson, Auburn (120)
DL Christian LaCouture, LSU (107)
DL Denzil Ware, Kentucky (78)
LB Shaun Dion Hamilton, Alabama (156)
LB Skai Moore, South Carolina (128)
LB Tre' Williams, Auburn (103)
DB Tray Matthews, Auburn (126)
DB Donte Jackson, LSU (123)
DB Carlton Davis, Auburn (109)
DB Dominick Sanders, Georgia (109)
DL Marcell Frazier, Missouri (77)
DL Jabari Zuniga, Florida (76)
DL Dontavius Russell, Auburn (70)
DL Rashard Lawrence, LSU (54)
LB Jordan Jones, Kentucky (91)
LB Lorenzo Carter, Georgia (82)
LB Oren Burks, Vanderbilt (58)
DB Anthony Averett, Alabama (104)
DB Marcell Harris, Florida (83)
DB Mike Edwards, Kentucky (71)
DB Tony Brown, Alabama (62)
P JK Scott, Alabama (222)
PK Daniel Carlson, Auburn (218)
RS Christian Kirk, Texas A&M (176)
AP Christian Kirk, Texas A&M (161)
P Johnny Townsend, Florida (99)
PK Eddy Piniero, Florida (106)
RS Evan Berry, Tennssee (117)
AP Derrius Guice, LSU (133)
P Trevor Daniel, Tennessee (58)
PK Gary Wunderlich, Ole Miss (94)
RS Antonio Callaway, Florida (84)
AP Kerryon Johnson, Auburn (66)
Universty of Georgia Athletics Photo
University of Alabama Athletics Photo