Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Poll: The SEC's most underrated player
By ESPN.com staff
Before we know it, the 2011 All-SEC and All-America teams will be coming out.
And like always, there will be some very deserving players in this league that get the shaft.
Our aim at the SEC blog is to make sure outstanding seasons don't go unnoticed.
So we're asking you to tell us in our SportsNation poll who has been the league's most underrated player.
We've come up with five candidates, and yes, there could easily be 10 or 12 more on this list. But the five we picked have all flown under the radar to some degree, but all five have put together All-SEC-caliber seasons.
Going in alphabetical order, where would South Carolina's defense be this season without some of the big plays spur linebacker Antonio Allen has made? He has 7.5 tackles for loss, three interceptions, three forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.
Vanderbilt's veteran defense has been a big reason the Commodores are one win away from going to a bowl game. Senior defensive end Tim Fugger has been an excellent leader and is one of those guys who never takes a play off. He has 12.5 tackles for loss, which is tied for third best in the league.
As Dennis Johnson has gotten healthier, Arkansas' offense has gotten more explosive. He's second in the league in all-purpose yards, averaging 149.1 yards per game, and is also averaging 6.6 yards per carry.
When you check out Georgia's gaudy defensive numbers, one of the key cogs in that defense has been junior safety Bacarri Rambo. He leads the SEC with seven interceptions and is tied for the league lead with 14 passes defended.
Kentucky senior linebacker Danny Trevathan is making a bid to lead the SEC in total tackles for the second straight season. He had 144 last season and 118 this season. This league is loaded with great linebackers, but Trevathan is as productive as any of them. How he didn't make the list of 10 finalists for the Butkus Award is anybody's guess.