NCF Nation: Glenn Dorsey

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.
The oldest cliché in football is that you win up front.

The more I watch the sport, especially in this league, the more I’m convinced that it’s not just a cliché.

I went back and looked at which schools in the SEC had produced the most offensive and defensive linemen to be selected in the top three rounds of the NFL draft over the past five years.

Any guesses which school topped that list?

Not surprisingly, Alabama and Florida tied with six apiece.

[+] EnlargeTyson Jackson
AP Photo/Butch DillDominant linemen like Tyson Jackson (LSU), chosen third overall in the 2009 NFL draft, have long been a key ingredient on the SEC's best teams.
The Crimson Tide have had four offensive linemen and two defensive linemen taken in the top three rounds of the draft over the past five years. That doesn’t include Courtney Upshaw, who was an outside linebacker in the Tide’s 3-4 scheme and was drafted at the top of the second round last year.

The Gators have had three offensive linemen and three defensive linemen go in the top three rounds.

Right behind Alabama and Florida (surprise, surprise) was LSU with five.

In fourth place was Auburn with four.

And with those four schools, you have the past seven national champions.

Every SEC school but Texas A&M has had at least one offensive or defensive lineman go in the top three rounds dating to the 2008 draft. Von Miller went No. 2 overall in the 2011 draft, but he was an outside linebacker.

Not since Chris Ruhman went in the second round of the 1998 draft have the Aggies had an offensive or defensive lineman drafted in the first two rounds. That’s getting ready to change, because offensive tackle Luke Joeckel is being projected as a top 5 pick in the 2013 draft, and defensive end Damontre Moore could also go in the first round.

In addition to Texas A&M, Arkansas, Georgia and Kentucky are the only other schools in the league that haven’t produced a first-round selection in the offensive or defensive line over the past five years.

LSU leads the SEC with the most first-round defensive linemen over the past five years with three -- Michael Brockers in 2012, Tyson Jackson in 2009, and Glenn Dorsey in 2008.

South Carolina has put together its best run in school history despite producing very few premium draft selections up front. Defensive end Melvin Ingram went in the first round last year, and is the only offensive or defensive lineman for the Gamecocks to go in the top three rounds over the past five years.

South Carolina hasn’t had an offensive lineman go in the first or second round of the draft since Ernest Dye was taken in the first round in 1993.

LSU is the only school in the league to have produced an offensive or defensive lineman that was taken in the first four rounds each of the past five years.

Mississippi State had defensive tackle Fletcher Cox go in the first round last year, and offensive tackle Derek Sherrod go in the first round in 2011. Prior to that two-year run, the last offensive or defensive lineman from Mississippi State to go in the first round was defensive end Glen Collins in 1982.

Tennessee has gone five straight years without an offensive lineman being selected in the first three rounds of the draft. The Vols haven’t had an offensive lineman go in the first round since tackles Charles McRae and Antone Davis went Nos. 7 and 8 overall in the 1991 draft.

Below is a listing for each SEC school of the offensive and defensive linemen selected in the top three rounds of the draft over the past five years:

  • Alabama: 6 (Four OL, Two DL. Three first-rounders)
  • Florida: 6 (Three OL, Three DL. Three first-rounders)
  • LSU: 5 (One OL, Four DL. Three first-rounders)
  • Auburn: 4 (No OL, Four DL. One first-rounder)
  • Ole Miss: 3 (Two OL, One DL. Two first-rounders)
  • Arkansas: 2 (No OL, Two DL. No first-rounders)
  • Georgia: 2 (One OL, One DL. No first-rounders)
  • Kentucky: 2 (No OL, Two DL. No first-rounders)
  • Mississippi State: 2 (One OL, One DL. Two first-rounders)
  • Missouri: 2 (No OL, Two DL. Two first-rounders)
  • Tennessee: 2 (No OL, Two DL. Two first-rounders)
  • South Carolina: 1 (No OL, One DL. One first-rounder)
  • Vanderbilt: 1 (One OL, no DL. One first-rounder)

The SEC's all-decade team

January, 22, 2010
1/22/10
9:37
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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 teams of the decade

January, 20, 2010
1/20/10
9:51
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Considering that five of the national championships last decade were won by SEC teams, picking the top teams of the decade within the conference shouldn’t be too hard, right?

The hard part is holding it to 10, and even harder is ranking the 10.

Here’s what we came up with based on the overall strength of the team, the overall talent on the team, what the team accomplished that particular season (quality wins, overall record, road wins) and how impressive the team was during the season:

1. Alabama 2009: The Crimson Tide were the last BCS national champion of the decade, not to mention one of the most impressive. They beat four top-10 teams on their way to becoming the first 14-0 national champion in SEC history. They also produced six first-team All-Americans, including the Heisman Trophy winner and Butkus Award winner. They finished second nationally in total defense and scoring defense. Bottom line: It's hard to find many flaws with the 2009 Crimson Tide.

[+] EnlargeHarvin
Steve Mitchell/US PresswirePercy Harvin was the ultimate playmaker for the Gators in 2008, scoring 17 touchdowns.
2. Florida 2008: The Gators (13-1) weren’t unblemished in their sprint to the 2008 national championship. But after losing to Ole Miss by a point in September, they were pretty close to perfect the rest of the way. They won their last 10 games by an average margin of 33.8 points, and the closest anybody came to them was 10 points. The combo of Tim Tebow and Percy Harvin on offense was virtually unstoppable, and Charlie Strong’s defense shut down Oklahoma’s record-setting offense in the BCS National Championship Game.

3. Auburn 2004: Some might be surprised to see the Tigers ranked ahead of three of the SEC national champions from last decade. But that Auburn team was one of the most talented of the last two decades, producing four first-round NFL draft picks. The Carnell Williams-Ronnie Brown backfield tandem was as good as it gets, and the Tigers (13-0) wound up beating five top-15 teams. They were squeezed out of the BCS National Championship Game and had to settle for the Sugar Bowl instead, where they beat Virginia Tech to finish No. 2 in both polls.

4. LSU 2003: It was Nick Saban’s first national championship, and not surprisingly, it was an LSU team built on defense. Marcus Spears and Chad Lavalais were the anchors of a dominant defensive front. The Tigers (13-1) lost at home to Florida in October, but battled back to get themselves in position. The key win was beating No. 15 Ole Miss on the road, and they then took care of No. 5 Georgia and No. 3 Oklahoma in the SEC and BCS national championship games to earn the BCS national title. Southern California was voted the national champion in the Associated Press poll. Seven players from that LSU team were taken in the 2004 NFL draft.

5. Florida 2006: In only his second season at Florida, Urban Meyer led the Gators (13-1) to their first of two national championships last decade. They were the picture of resiliency. Time and time again, they escaped with clutch plays or narrow victories and then played their best football when it counted -- blowing out Arkansas in the SEC championship game and then Ohio State in the BCS National Championship Game. Jarvis Moss’ blocked field goal saved the Gators against South Carolina, and they also escaped at Tennessee by a point. Their only loss that season was on the road at Auburn.

6. LSU 2007: There’s no question that the 2007 LSU team had some good fortune fall its way and the right teams lost at the end of the season, enabling the Tigers (12-2) to get into the BCS National Championship Game. Nonetheless, they were an immensely talented team and fielded one of the fiercest defenses the league saw last decade, led by Outland Trophy winner and Lombardi Award winner Glenn Dorsey. LSU pummeled Ohio State 38-24 in the BCS National Championship game. Both of the Tigers’ losses came in triple overtime, including a 50-48 loss to unranked Arkansas at home on the final weekend of the regular season.

7. Georgia 2002: The Bulldogs (13-1) broke a 20-year drought with their first SEC championship since the Vince Dooley days. A 20-13 loss to Florida kept them out of the national championship race, but they rebounded to win their next five games, capped by a 26-13 victory over No. 16 Florida State in the Sugar Bowl. Two defensive linemen on that team -- Johnathan Sullivan and George Foster -- were first-round draft picks in the 2003 draft. The Bulldogs finished third in the polls.

8. Tennessee 2001: It was easily Tennessee’s most talented team of the decade, and the Vols appeared to be on their way to playing for a second national championship in four years in the Rose Bowl. But they were upset by LSU in the SEC championship game. That’s after taking down No. 2 Florida at the Swamp a week earlier to clinch the Eastern Division title. The Vols (11-2) went on to crush Michigan in the Florida Citrus Bowl after falling to LSU. The following April, three players from that team were taken in the first round of the NFL draft. Tennessee finished fourth in the polls.

9. Florida 2001: Steve Spurrier has called it the best team he coached at Florida that didn’t win an SEC championship. The Gators (10-2) lost two heart-breakers to Auburn and Tennessee. Florida was ranked No. 2 when it lost at home to the Vols and was in great shape to play in the BCS National Championship game. That Tennessee game was pushed back to the end of the season because of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Eight players from that Florida team were drafted in April. The Gators’ 56-23 blowout of No. 6 Maryland in the Orange Bowl was Spurrier’s last game at Florida. He left for the NFL to coach the Washington Redskins.

10. LSU 2006: You want talent? Go back and check out that 2006 LSU team. The Tigers (11-2) had four players selected in the first round of the 2007 NFL draft, including two of the top six picks. Their only losses that season were on the road at No. 3 Auburn and No. 5 Florida, but they rebounded to win their last seven games and took apart No. 11 Notre Dame 41-14 in the Sugar Bowl. The Tigers finished third in the polls and would end up winning the national title the next season.

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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