NCF Nation: David Pollack

SEC all-BCS-era team

January, 13, 2014
Jan 13
10:30
AM ET
It’s time to celebrate the best of the best in the SEC during the BCS era.

So what we’ve done is taken on the monumental task of selecting an All-SEC team from the BCS era, which officially ended last Monday with Florida State’s 34-31 victory over Auburn in the VIZIO BCS National Championship.

To be eligible, a player had to have played at least one season in the SEC at any time between 1998 and 2013. More weight was given to those players who had longer careers and displayed consistency over the course of their careers.

Before the second-guessing commences, there were some spectacular players -- even a few players who won national awards such as the Heisman Trophy -- that were left off this team.

Nonetheless, it’s one star-studded team.

Here’s a look:

OFFENSE

[+] EnlargeTim Tebow
Derick E. Hingle/USA TODAY SportsTim Tebow accounted for more touchdowns than any player in SEC history.
QB -- Tim Tebow, Florida: A tough call at quarterback, but Tebow had a hand in two national championships, won the Heisman Trophy in 2007 and accounted for more touchdowns (145) than anybody in league history.

RB -- Mark Ingram, Alabama: In 2009, Ingram became the first Alabama player to win the Heisman Trophy with a 1,658-yard rushing season. He rushed for 42 career touchdowns, breaking Shaun Alexander's school record.

RB -- Darren McFadden, Arkansas: A two-time winner of the Doak Walker Award, McFadden averaged 120.8 rushing yards per game for his career, second only to Herschel Walker and Emmitt Smith in the SEC.

WR -- A.J. Green, Georgia: He combined speed, size and incredible body control to haul in 23 touchdown catches in 31 career games. Green caught more than 50 passes in each season from 2008 to 2010.

WR -- Josh Reed, LSU: The Biletnikoff Award winner as the top receiver in the country in 2001, Reed hauled in 17 touchdown catches in his last two seasons. He set the SEC single-season record in 2001 with 1,740 receiving yards.

TE -- Jason Witten, Tennessee: It’s hard to beat Witten in any era as both a receiving and blocking tight end. He had seven career touchdown catches, including five during his All-SEC junior season in 2002.

AP -- Percy Harvin, Florida: Harvin was Mr. Everything for the Gators on their 2008 national championship team and a two-time All-American. He finished his career with 32 touchdowns (19 rushing and 13 receiving).

OL -- Shawn Andrews, Arkansas: Andrews is the last player to win the Jacobs Award as the SEC’s top blocker in back-to-back seasons (2002 and 2003). The Hogs’ massive offensive tackle was a consensus All-American in both of those seasons.

OL -- Barrett Jones, Alabama: Jones was a part of three national championship teams at Alabama and started at every position on the line but left guard during his career. He won the Rimington Trophy in 2012 as the country’s top center and won the Outland Trophy a year earlier as the Tide’s left tackle.

OL -- Marcus McNeill, Auburn: A two-time All-America selection at offensive tackle, McNeil paved the way for the Tigers' explosive rushing attack and was a huge part of their unbeaten 2004 SEC championship team.

OL -- Chris Samuels, Alabama: The Crimson Tide have been stocked with menacing offensive linemen during their storied history, and Samuels is right there near the top. The big offensive tackle won the Jacobs Award and Outland Trophy in 1999 and helped lead Alabama to an SEC title.

C -- Maurkice Pouncey, Florida: Also a standout guard earlier in his career, Pouncey gravitated to center and won the Rimington Award in 2009 as the nation’s top center. He was a devastating blocker and made 40 starts in 41 career games.

DEFENSE

DL -- Glenn Dorsey, LSU: The most decorated SEC defensive tackle of the BCS era, Dorsey won the Outland Trophy and both the Lombardi and Nagurski awards in 2007. He was the centerpiece of that LSU national championship defense in 2007.

DL -- John Henderson, Tennessee: A two-time All-American, Henderson is one of just five defensive players in the BCS era to win the Outland Trophy (2000) as college football’s most outstanding interior lineman.

[+] Enlarge Jadaveon Clowney
Streeter Lecka/Getty ImagesJadaveon Clowney had 24 sacks in three seasons at South Carolina.
DL -- Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina: Even though his numbers dipped this season, Clowney remains one of the most disruptive defensive ends to play in the SEC during the BCS era. He finished with 47 tackles for loss, including 24 sacks, in 36 career games.

DL -- David Pollack, Georgia: Pollack joined Herschel Walker as Georgia’s only three-time, first-team All-Americans. He racked up a school-record 36 sacks from his defensive end position and was a two-time SEC Defensive Player of the Year in helping the Bulldogs win the 2002 SEC title, their first in 20 years.

LB -- C.J. Mosley, Alabama: Mosley is the only player in the Nick Saban era at Alabama to have back-to-back 100-tackle seasons and was a part of two national championship teams. He was terrific in coverage and an even better tackler.

LB -- Patrick Willis, Ole Miss: Before he found stardom in the NFL, Willis terrorized the SEC and won the Butkus Award in 2006 as college football’s top linebacker. He was a tackling machine for the Rebels and the quintessential middle linebacker.

LB -- Al Wilson, Tennessee: The heart and soul of Tennessee's 1998 national championship team, Wilson was a playmaking machine at middle linebacker for the Vols. He was a two-time All-SEC selection and consensus All-American his senior season.

CB -- Champ Bailey, Georgia: One of the most versatile players in SEC history, Bailey participated in more than 1,000 plays during the 1998 season and won the Bronko Nagurski Trophy as the nation’s best defensive player.

CB -- Patrick Peterson, LSU: No matter where Peterson lined up, he was the most explosive player on the field. As a cornerback, few were better. He won the Thorpe and Bednarik awards in 2010 and scored touchdowns three different ways during his career: punt return (two), interception return and return of a blocked field goal.

S -- Mark Barron, Alabama: The Crimson Tide’s 2011 national championship defense was dripping with talent, but Barron might have been the best of the bunch. He was a three-time All-SEC selection and two-time All-American.

S -- Eric Berry, Tennessee: Berry was as good in coverage as he was blowing up ball carriers. He won the Jim Thorpe Award in 2009 as the top defensive back in the country and was a finalist the previous year. He finished with 14 career interceptions.

SPECIAL TEAMS

PK -- Billy Bennett, Georgia: Bennett is the SEC record holder with 87 made field goals from 2000 to 2003. Bennett was equally accurate, connecting on 79 percent of his kicks.

P -- Dustin Colquitt, Tennessee: A finalist for the Ray Guy Award in both 2002 and 2003, Colquitt averaged 43.1 yards a punt during his career. As a junior in 2003, he had 19 punts of 50 yards or longer and 21 punts downed inside the 20-yard line.

RS -- Derek Abney, Kentucky: His eight career returns for touchdowns (six punts and two kickoffs) are an SEC record, and six of those came during one season (2002). Abney set seven NCAA records, 11 SEC records and 14 school records.
Thanks for all of your responses on the best college players in the SEC who didn’t go on to great or long careers in the NFL.

Several of your nominations were already on my list, and there were several that I hadn’t thought about.

The “Simply Saturday” series that had been running on ESPN.com wrapped up Friday with its top 10 players of all-time who were great college players, but not necessarily great NFL players. Ohio State’s Archie Griffin was No. 1.

Combining everyone’s efforts, I’ve come up with an SEC version of the top 10. One caveat is that these are guys I actually saw play. I know I’m dating myself, but that takes us back to the mid-1970s.

The players are listed alphabetically:

Reidel Anthony, WR, Florida (1994-96): He caught 18 of Danny Wuerffel’s 39 touchdown passes during the Gators’ 1996 national championship season, but was out of the NFL after only five seasons.

Tim Couch, QB, Kentucky (1996-98): Couch threw 73 touchdown passes during the 1997 and 1998 seasons and was the No. 1 overall pick in the 1999 NFL draft by the Cleveland Browns. He lasted just five seasons in the NFL.

Eric Curry, DE, Alabama (1990-92): The tandem of Curry and John Copeland coming off the edge during that 1992 national championship season was as good you’re going to find in college football.

Major Ogilvie, RB, Alabama (1977-80): I can still hear ABC’s Keith Jackson calling Ogilvie’s name. He was a vintage Bear Bryant player in that wishbone offense and always came through in the big games. Ogilvie carried the ball just 299 times during his career, but scored 25 rushing touchdowns.

David Palmer, WR, Alabama (1991-93): The “Deuce” was one of those players I genuinely expected to score every time he touched the ball. He was that elusive and did a little bit of everything for the Crimson Tide ... and did it well.

David Pollack, DE, Georgia (2001-04): A neck injury prematurely ended Pollack’s NFL career, but he was a terror for opposing quarterbacks in college. Only two players in Georgia history were three-time, first-team All-Americans -- Herschel Walker and Pollack.

Tracy Rocker, DT, Auburn (1985-88): Rocker won both the Outland Trophy and Lombardi Award during the 1988 season and was the model in those years for what you were looking for in an interior defensive lineman.

Chuck Webb, RB, Tennessee (1989-90): Webb remains the best and most dynamic running back I’ve ever seen play for the Vols. Had he not blown out his knee at the start of the 1990 season, he would have been a star at the NFL level.

Scott Woerner, DB, Georgia (1977-80): He was a great kickoff and punt returner and also finished his career with 13 interceptions. Woerner was one of the rocks on that 1980 national championship team. He only played in 17 NFL games and spent much of his short pro career in the USFL.

Danny Wuerffel, QB, Florida (1993-96): The 1996 Heisman Trophy winner was amazingly accurate, and more importantly, always know where to go with the ball. As far as Steve Spurrier is concerned, Wuerffel will always be the measuring stick.

Obviously, there are countless other players who could have made this list.

Here’s a sampling of some others who were nominated:
  • Charles Alexander, RB, LSU
  • Shawn Andrews, OT, Arkansas
  • Jay Barker, QB, Alabama
  • Aundray Bruce, LB, Auburn
  • Ed Chester, DL, Florida
  • Rohan Davey, QB, LSU
  • Robert Edwards, RB, Georgia
  • Brent Fullwood, RB, Auburn
  • David Greene, QB, Georgia
  • Tommy Hodson, QB, LSU
  • Kenny Irons, RB, Auburn
  • Matt Jones, QB, Arkansas
  • Keith McCants, LB, Alabama
  • Dewayne Robertson, DT, Kentucky
  • JaMarcus Russell, QB, LSU
  • Heath Shuler, QB, Tennessee
  • Odell Thurman, LB, Georgia
  • Troy Williamson, WR, South Carolina
  • Tim Worley, RB, Georgia
  • Eric Zeier, QB, Georgia

The SEC's all-decade team

January, 22, 2010
1/22/10
9:37
AM ET
We’ll take one final look at the last decade before we turn our attention to what lies ahead in the SEC.

On Tuesday, we ranked the top 10 players of the decade. So today, we unveil our all-decade team, which is broken down by position. The only rule was that a player had to play at least two seasons from 2000 to 2009 to be eligible.

This is what we came up with, so fire away:

OFFENSE

QB Tim Tebow, Florida

RB Darren McFadden, Arkansas

RB Mark Ingram, Alabama

WR Josh Reed, LSU

WR Sidney Rice, South Carolina

AP Percy Harvin, Florida

TE Ben Watson, Georgia

OL Shawn Andrews, Arkansas

OL Marcus McNeil, Auburn

OL Andre Smith, Alabama

OL Michael Oher, Ole Miss

C Jonathan Luigs, Arkansas

DEFENSE

DE David Pollack, Georgia

DE Alex Brown, Florida

DT Glenn Dorsey, LSU

DT John Henderson, Tennessee

LB Patrick Willis, Ole Miss

LB Rolando McClain, Alabama

LB DeMeco Ryans, Alabama

CB Joe Haden, Florida

CB Carlos Rogers, Auburn

S Eric Berry, Tennessee

S LaRon Landry, LSU

SPECIAL TEAMS

K Billy Bennett, Georgia

P Dustin Colquitt, Tennessee

KR Derek Abney, Kentucky

PR Javier Arenas, Alabama

SEC players of the decade

January, 19, 2010
1/19/10
9:39
AM ET
All week long, we’ll be taking a look at the last decade in college football.

You know, the best players, the best coaches, the best teams, the best programs and the most memorable moments.

I welcome your feedback. When it comes to the SEC, I’m sure there won’t be any strong feelings.

One thing to keep in mind is that we’ll be looking at the period from 2000 through 2009. The more a player, coach or team did during those years, the more weight that player, coach or team will be given.

For instance, if there’s a choice between a player who starred from 1998-2001 and one who starred from 2004-2007, the latter is probably going to get the benefit of the doubt ... if it's close.

Tebow
Derick E. Hingle/US PresswireFlorida quarterback Tim Tebow won the Heisman Trophy in 2007.
But not in every case.

In the end, we’re looking for the best the SEC had to offer over the last decade. That’s as simple as I can say it. Nonetheless, we all know how subjective (and fun) something like this can be.

That said, we’ll start with the top 10 players of the last decade in the SEC. It’s a crime to only pick 10 in a league like the SEC, but that was my task.

So here goes.

1. Tim Tebow, QB, Florida: The Heisman Trophy winner in 2007, Tebow set the SEC career record for touchdowns (57) and is the only player in major college history to run for 20 touchdowns and pass for 20 touchdowns in the same season when he did it in 2007. He won two national championships.

2. Glenn Dorsey, DT, LSU: The most dominant defensive lineman of the decade in the SEC, Dorsey was a two-time All-American and won the Outland Trophy, Lombardi Award, Nagurski Award and Lott Trophy in 2007 on his way to leading the Tigers to a national championship.

3. Darren McFadden, RB, Arkansas: In a decade that featured some terrific running backs in the SEC, McFadden was the Rolls Royce. He was a two-time winner of the Doak Walker Award and Walter Camp National Player of the Year in 2007. He rushed for 3,477 yards and 30 touchdowns his last two seasons.

4. David Pollack, DE, Georgia: Joined Herschel Walker as Georgia’s only three-time first-team All-American. A two-time winner of the Ted Hendricks Award, Pollack also won the Lombardi Award, Bednarik Award and Lott Trophy in 2004 to become the most decorated defensive player in Georgia history.

5. Patrick Willis, LB, Ole Miss: The most decorated defensive player in Ole Miss history, Willis was a two-time All-American and won the Butkus and Lambert awards in 2006 as the nation’s top linebacker. He was a two-time SEC Defensive Player of the Year and led the nation in solo tackles in 2005.

6. Eric Berry, S, Tennessee: The SEC’s premier defensive back for the decade, Berry won the Jim Thorpe Award in 2009 and was a two-time finalist. The two-time All-American finished his career with 14 interceptions in three seasons and just missed the NCAA record for career interception return yardage.

7. Eli Manning, QB, Ole Miss: Earned first-team All-America honors in 2003 and was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2004 NFL draft. Manning finished his career with a school-record 10,119 passing yards, ranking fifth all-time in the SEC, and also threw 81 career touchdowns, which was third all-time in the SEC.

8. Percy Harvin, RB/WR, Florida: The only thing keeping Harvin from being ranked higher on this list is that he was hampered by injuries. Still, he was easily the most explosive player of the decade. He ended his career with at least one touchdown scored in the last 15 games he played, and was a key cog in the Gators’ 2008 national title.

9. Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama: Even though he’s had just one great season, what a season it was. Ingram became Alabama’s first Heisman Trophy winner in 2009. One of the best after-contact runners you’ll ever see, he rushed for 1,658 yards and scored 20 touchdowns in leading the Crimson Tide to a national title.

10. Rolando McClain, LB, Alabama: The centerpiece of Alabama’s national championship defense, McClain won the Butkus and Lambert awards in 2009 as the nation’s top linebacker. A three-year starter, he’s been called one of the smartest players Nick Saban has ever coached.

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