Tuesday, June 4, 2013
Phil Steele picks his 2013 All-SEC team
By Edward Aschoff
One of the hardest working college football forecasters is back at it, and he's talking All-SEC teams.
That's right, Phil Steele has debuted his all-conference teams and the SEC is the last one left. I mean, does he ever sleep?
Steele has four teams for offense, defense and special teams. It should come as no surprise that Alabama leads the way with 16 total players. Eight of those players made Steele's first-team offense and defense.
Here's a look at the first-team offense, defense and special teams:
QB: Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
RB: T.J. Yeldon, Alabama
RB: Todd Gurley, Georgia
WR: Amari Cooper, Alabama
WR: Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt
WR: Mike Evans, Texas A&M
TE: Arthur Lynch, Georgia
C: Travis Swanson, Arkansas
OG: Gabe Jackson, Mississippi State
OG: Anthony Steen, Alabama
OT: Jake Matthews, Texas A&M
OT: Cyrus Kouandjio, Alabama
DL: Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina
DL: Anthony Johnson, LSU
DL: Daniel McCullers, Tennessee
DL: Dominique Easley, Florida
LB: C.J. Mosley, Alabama
LB: A.J. Johnson, Tennessee
LB: Adrian Hubbard, Alabama
LB: Denzel Nkemdiche, Ole Miss
CB: Deion Belue, Alabama
CB: Andre Hal, Vanderbilt
S: Craig Loston, LSU
S: HaHa Clinton-Dix, Alabama
K: Carey Spear, Vanderbilt
P: Kyle Christy, Florida
KR: Andre Debose, Florida
PR: Marcus Murphy, Missouri
- There were a couple of interesting selections for the first time, in my opinion. For starters, Florida cornerbacker Loucheiz Purifoy isn't listed as a first-team corner. Instead, he's listed as a fourth-team corner and receiver. While I think he'll get time on offense, I don't think he'll get enough to be ranked very high at the receiver spot, and he has the potential to be an All-American at corner. He's extremely athletic and physical. He should play enough on defense to finish the year as a first- or second-team player.
- While Manziel is easily the best dual-threat quarterback around, I just don't think he'll have the monster season he had last year. Too much is different around him, and I think defenses will game plan for him better. I wouldn't be surprised if McCarron ended the season as the first-team quarter in the SEC. I think with his skill and the players he has coming back around him on offense he'll have a 3,000-yard passing season with at least 30 touchdowns.
- You can tell how talented this year's crop of receivers is in the SEC if Ole Miss' Donte Moncrief didn't even make the first-team list. He's a second-team player, according to Steele, which isn't bad. It just shows how good this position is in 2013. Vandy's Chris Boyd is a third-teamer, while LSU's Jarvis Landry made the fourth team. Expect Landry to have a big year for the Tigers.
- Going back to the cornerback spot, I'm not sure Belue or Hal will be first-team players at the end of the season. Both are very talented, and people in Nashville think Hal is an extremely underrated player, but guys like Purifoy, Florida's Marcus Roberson, Georgia's Damian Swan and Missouri's E.J. Gaines will have something to say about who deserves to be at the top of their position. Like receiver, corner is stacked this season in the SEC.
- Steele feels really good about Ole Miss freshman Robert Nkemdiche making an immediate impact, as Nkemdiche is listed on his third team. He has all the talent to have a Clowney-like impact in his first year. He's already on campus and should be pretty fun to watch this fall.
- Kentucky defensive end Alvin Dupree is listed as a fourth-team player, but I think he has a big year in his new position. He's a very talented pass-rusher and should be even better with Mark Stoops helping him.
- Also, Florida quarterback Jeff Driskel made Steele's fourth team. Interesting, considering the season he just had. Though a lot of people I've talked to around the league think he'll have a much better season. He might have a lot of unproven talent at WR, but he's much more confident this year. I was still surprised to see him over the likes of Zach Mettenberger or even one of South Carolina's quarterbacks.
- I like what Steele did with his lines. I think all of those players will have big seasons for their respective teams. Jackson and Easley are two players who I think are flying under the radar heading into the 2013 season.