Thursday, December 9, 2010
LSU's Peterson pulls off double
By Chris Low
The SEC coaches thought enough of LSU's Patrick Peterson this season to name him Defensive Player of the Year and Special Teams Player of the Year, a rare double for a player in this league.
Patrick Peterson returned two punts for TDs and had four INTs in 2010.
Of course, Peterson is a rare talent. Not only is he the best cornerback in college football, but he emerged as one of the most explosive return specialists in the game this season, taking two punts back for touchdowns. In his first season returning kicks, Peterson broke the school record with 851 kickoff return yards.
The other individual SEC awards, as voted on by the coaches, went to Auburn quarterback Cam Newton as the Offensive Player of the Year, South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore as the Freshman of the Year and Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy as the Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
In somewhat of a surprise, the coaches voted for South Carolina's Steve Spurrier as the SEC Coach of the Year. Auburn's Gene Chizik was the Associated Press winner of the award, as voted on by the media, and beat Spurrier twice this season. It's the seventh time Spurrier has been named SEC Coach of the Year. He earned the honor five times at Florida and also received the award in 2005, his first season at South Carolina.
Auburn senior offensive tackle Lee Ziemba won the Jacobs Trophy, which goes annually to the top blocker in the SEC. Ziemba has started in all 51 games at Auburn since arriving as a freshman in 2007.
So if you count the Associated Press individual awards, it's been an impressive haul for the Tigers. They can claim the top coach, top offensive player, top defensive player and top blocker in the SEC.
No wonder they're in the BCS National Championship Game.