Alabama earns 11th place in 76th Annual All-SEC Preseason Team
If there’s any sign of Alabama’s football talent level waning, it doesn’t show up in AL.com/Birmingham News SEC’s 76th Annual Post-Spring Football Report.
The Crimson Tide placed 11 players on All-SEC preseason squads, in a vote of the league’s 14 directors of football information. Alabama has six players on the first team, and five on the second team.
RELATED: Despite Georgia breakthrough, Alabama remains SEC favorite
In the lead was defending Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young, who easily edged out the competition at quarterback. Guard Emil Ekiyor also landed on the first-team attack.
Young, a junior from Pasadena, Calif., set Alabama program records for passing yards (4,872) and touchdown passes (47) in becoming Crimson Tide’s second consecutive Heisman winner (and the first to quarterback). In his first season as a starter, he led Alabama to the SEC title and a berth in the National Championship Game.
RELATED: How Accurate Have SEC Preseason Picks Been Over the Years?
Crimson Tide outside linebacker Will Anderson was the team’s only unanimous selection this year, although two voters called him a defensive end. He’s joined in the first-team defense by three teammates: defensive lineman Byron Young, cornerback Eli Ricks (an LSU transfer), and safety Jordan Battle.
Arguably Alabama’s most dominant defenseman since Derrick Thomas, Anderson was a unanimous first-team All-American and won the Bronko Nagurski Trophy as college football’s top defensive player last season. The Hampton, Georgia junior led the nation in sacks (17.5) and tackles for loss (34.5), the latter total being the second-highest in program history behind Thomas’ 39 in 1988 .
The Crimson Tide’s second teams included a pair of newly arrived transfers: running back Jahmyr Gibbs (Georgia Tech) and wide receiver Jermaine Burton (Georgia). Linebackers Henry To’oTo’o and Dallas Turner, as well as Malachi Moore — who is technically a safety but was picked as a cornerback for this team — were also picked for the second team.
Defending national champion Georgia was next with seven preseason All-SEC selections: four to the first team and three to the second. The Bulldogs’ first teams were tight end Brock Bowers, offensive tackle Broderick Jones, defensive lineman Jalen Carter (who was named on all but one ballot), and linebacker Nolan Smith; with center Sedrick Van Pran, cornerback Kelee Ringo and safety Chris Smith picked for the second team.
Texas A&M also had four first-team members: guard Layden Robinson, safety Antonio Johnson, punter Nik Constantinou and return specialist Ainias Smith. Ole Miss had five total selections, a first team – offensive tackle Nick Broeker – and four second teams – running back Zach Evans (a TCU transfer), tight end Michael Trigg (a USC transfer), offensive tackle Jeremy James and wide receiver Jonathan Mingo.
Arkansas placed two on the first team — center Ricky Stromberg and linebacker Bumper Pool — and two on the second team — safety Jalen Catalon and kicker Cam Little. Auburn also had two on each team — running back Tank Bigsby and defensive lineman Derick Hall on the first team, defensive lineman Colby Wooden and punter Oscar Chapman on the second team.
LSU was the other school with two first-team members: wide receiver Kayshon Boutte and defensive lineman Maason Smith. Tigers defensive lineman Jaquelin Roy made the second team.
Other first-team selections included Kentucky running back Chris Rodriguez, Tennessee wide receiver Cedric Tillman, South Carolina cornerback Cam Smith and Missouri kicker Harrison Mevis. Florida had no first-team selections, but three players picked for the second team: offensive guard O’Cyrus Torrence (a transfer to Louisiana), defensive lineman Gervon Dexter and linebacker Brenton Cox.
Other second-team selections were Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker and defensive lineman Byron Young (not to be confused with Alabama defensive lineman of the same name), Kentucky offensive guard Kenneth Horsey, Missouri offensive tackle Javon Foster and Mississippi State comeback specialist Ladeatrick Griffin. Only Vanderbilt of the SEC’s 14 teams did not have a first- or second-team selection.
2022 Preseason All-SEC Team
Selected by the league’s 14 Football Information Directors
|First team attack|
|Position||player, school||HT.||Weight||To classify|
|Strategist||Bryce Young, Alabama||6-0||194||Jr.|
|Come back||Chris Rodriguez, Kentucky||5-11||224||Sr.|
|Come back||Bigsby Reservoir, Auburn||6-0||213||Jr.|
|wide receiver||Kayshon Boutte, LSU||6-0||205||Jr.|
|wide receiver||Cedric Tillman, Tennessee||6-3||315||Sr.|
|tight end||Brock Bowers, Georgia||6-4||230||So.|
|Start working on||Broderick Jones, Georgia||6-4||315||So.|
|Start working on||Nick Broeker, Ole Miss||6-5||315||Sr.|
|Guardian||Layden Robinson, Texas A&M||6-4||320||Jr.|
|Guardian||Emil Ekiyor, Alabama||6-3||307||Sr.|
|Center||Ricky Stromberg, Arkansas||6-4||318||Sr.|
|First team defense|
|defensive line||Jalen Carter, Georgia||6-3||310||Jr.|
|defensive line||Derick Hall, Auburn||6-3||256||Sr.|
|defensive line||Byron Young, Alabama||6-3||292||Sr.|
|defensive line||Mason Smith, LSU||6-5||298||So.|
|linebacker||Will Anderson, Alabama||6-4||232||Jr.|
|linebacker||Bumper Pool, Arkansas||6-2||232||Sr.|
|linebacker||Nolan Smith, Georgia||6-3||235||Sr.|
|Cornerback||Cam Smith, South Carolina||6-0||185||Jr.|
|Cornerback||Eli Ricks, Alabama||6-2||190||Jr.|
|Security||Battle of Jordan, Alabama||6-1||206||Sr.|
|Security||Antonio Johnson, Texas A&M||6-3||200||Jr.|
|First team specialists|
|Kicker||Harrison Mevis, Mo.||5-11||257||Jr.|
|Bettor||Nik Constantinou, Texas A&M||6-3||230||Jr.|
|Return Specialist||Ainias Smith, Texas A&M||5-10||190||Sr.|
|Second team attack|
|Position||player, school||HT.||Weight||To classify|
|Strategist||Hendon Hooker, Tennessee||6-4||218||Sr.|
|Come back||Jahymr Gibbs, Alabama||5-11||200||Jr.|
|Come back||Zach Evans, Ole Miss||6-0||215||Jr.|
|wide receiver||Jermaine Burton, Alabama||6-0||200||Jr.|
|wide receiver||Jonathan Mingo, Ole Miss||6-2||225||Sr.|
|tight end||Michael Trigg, Ole Miss||6-3||240||So.|
|Start working on||Javon Foster, Mo.||6-5||320||Sr.|
|Start working on||Jeremy James, Ole Miss||6-5||305||Jr.|
|Guardian||Kenneth Horsey, Kentucky||6-3||300||Sr.|
|Guardian||O’Cyrus Torrence, Florida||6-5||334||Jr.|
|Center||Sedrick Van Pran, Georgia||6-4||310||So.|
|Second team defense|
|defensive line||Byron Young, Tennessee||6-3||245||Sr.|
|defensive line||Wooden Colby, Auburn||6-5||284||Jr.|
|defensive line||Gervon Dexter, Florida||6-6||313||So.|
|defensive line||Jaquelin Roy, LSU||6-3||315||Jr.|
|linebacker||Henry To’o To’o, Alabama||6-2||228||Sr.|
|linebacker||Dallas Turner, Alabama||6-4||240||So.|
|linebacker||Brenton Cox, Florida||6-4||253||Jr.|
|Cornerback||Kelee Ringo, Georgia||6-2||205||So.|
|Cornerback||Malachi Moore, Alabama||6-0||190||Jr.|
|Security||Jalen Catalon, Arkansas||5-10||199||Jr.|
|Security||Chris Smith, Georgia||5-11||190||Sr.|
|Second team specialists|
|Kicker||Cam Little, Arkansas||6-2||176||So.|
|Bettor||Oscar Chapman, Auburn||6-3||202||Jr.|
|Return Specialist||Lideatrick Griffin, Miss State||5-10||180||Jr.|
COMING TUESDAY: How the SEC’s Directors of Football Information Rate the League’s Best Players
Creg Stephenson is a sports journalist for AL.com. He has covered college football for a variety of publications since 1994. Contact him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at @CregStephenson.