SEC: Dan Williams

Seven SEC players go in first round

April, 23, 2010
The SEC's seven first-round NFL draft picks on Thursday night was second to the Big 12's nine.

The SEC has now had five picks in the top 20 of the first round four years in a row.

The first-round proceedings Thursday night reminded us all one more time that how decorated you are at the college level and how many awards you win aren't real important in the eyes of pro scouts.

Take Alabama cornerback Kareem Jackson, for instance. He played in the shadow of Javier Arenas all season a year ago. Arenas was a consensus All-American and one of the "stars" of the defense. It was all Jackson could do to earn honorable mention All-SEC status.

Still, he was solid all season as a shutdown cornerback, ran great times in the 40-yard dash and wound up being the fourth defender drafted from the league, going 20th overall to the Houston Texans.

Jackson is another one of those guys who wasn't highly recruited, either. He went to Fork Union (Va.) Military Academy out of school even though he was qualified academically and was committed initially to Vanderbilt until Nick Saban and Alabama jumped on him.

Say this, too, for Jackson. He's supremely confident in his abilities. He turned pro this past season despite Saban telling him he needed another season of college ball.

As for guys who slipped, who would have thought at the end of the regular season last year that Florida defensive end Carlos Dunlap wouldn't go in the first round?

At that point, he was being projected as a top 15 pick by all the analysts. But that next week, he was arrested on DUI charges, was suspended for the SEC championship game, and apparently some of his interviews with teams following the season didn't go well.

In Friday night's second and third rounds, one of the SEC guys to watch will be LSU defensive tackle Al Woods. After a so-so college career, Woods really shot up draft boards this offseason with solid workouts.

And who will be the first SEC player to get picked in the second round?

I'll go with Alabama's Terrence Cody, but my dark horse is Ole Miss' Dexter McCluster.

Here's the complete list of SEC first-rounders on Thursday:

SEC first-rounders the past decade

April, 20, 2010
ESPN draft expert Todd McShay has six SEC players going in the first round in his latest mock draft.

Former Tennessee teammates Eric Berry and Dan Williams will both go in the top 10 picks, according to McShay, who has Berry going No. 7 overall to the Cleveland Browns and Williams No. 9 overall to the Buffalo Bills.

If that happens, Berry and Williams would become the first SEC defensive teammates to go in the top 10 picks of the same draft since Alabama defensive ends John Copeland and Eric Curry went Nos. 5 and 6 in the 1993 draft.

Speaking of first-rounders, anybody want to venture a guess on which SEC team produced the most during the past decade?

Georgia and Tennessee each had 10 from 2000-09. During that stretch, the Vols failed to win an SEC championship, while Georgia won two.

Every SEC team last decade produced at least one first-rounder with the exception of Mississippi State, which hasn't had a player drafted in the first round since defensive back Walt Harris went No. 13 overall and receiver Eric Moulds No. 24 overall in the 1996 draft.

LSU produced nine first-rounders last decade, and seven of those came in the past four years. Alabama produced just three first-rounders during the decade, and offensive tackle Andre Smith last year broke an eight-year drought for the Crimson Tide of not having a first-round selection.

Here's a breakdown of SEC first-rounders over the past decade:

Georgia -- 10

Tennessee -- 10

Florida -- 9

LSU -- 9

Arkansas -- 6

Auburn -- 6

Ole Miss -- 6

South Carolina -- 4

Alabama -- 3

Vanderbilt -- 2

Kentucky -- 1

Berry, Williams could be SEC's top picks

April, 8, 2010
ESPN's NFL draft gurus, Mel Kiper and Todd McShay, have unveiled their latest mock drafts Insider, and there's a chance that former Tennessee teammates Eric Berry and Dan Williams could be the top two SEC players to be selected in this year's draft.

Kiper has Berry going No. 5 overall to the Kansas City Chiefs and Williams No. 12 overall to the Miami Dolphins. McShay has Berry going No. 6 overall to the Seattle Seahawks and Williams No. 7 overall to the Cleveland Browns.

The Vols haven't had two players go in the top 10 picks of the draft since offensive tackles Charles McRae and Antone Davis went Nos. 7 and 8 in 1991.

The last time two SEC defenders from the same team went in the top 10 picks of the draft was 1993 when Alabama defensive ends John Copeland and Eric Curry went Nos. 5 and 6.

So in retrospect, Tennessee might not have been hurting for talent last season nearly as much as former coach Lane Kiffin repeatedly claimed the Vols were.

The other SEC player projected to go high in this year's draft is Alabama linebacker Rolando McClain. Kiper has him going No. 15 to the New York Giants, and McShay has him going No. 11 to the Denver Broncos.

Rounding out the SEC players, Kiper has Florida cornerback Joe Haden going No. 13 to the San Francisco 49ers, Florida center/guard Maurkice Pouncey No. 18 to the Pittsburgh Steelers and Alabama cornerback Kareem Jackson No. 24 to the Philadelphia Eagles.

McShay also has Pouncey going No. 18 to the Eagles, Haden No. 20 to the Houston Texans, Alabama nose guard Terrence Cody No. 28 to the San Diego Chargers and Jackson No. 30 to the Minnesota Vikings.

Alabama hasn't had three first-round selections since 1993 when Copeland, Curry and safety George Teague all went in the top 29 picks.

In fact, until offensive tackle Andre Smith went No. 6 overall in last year's draft, the Crimson Tide had gone eight straight years without producing a first-round pick.

Needless to say, that drought is over.

SEC combine report: Berry runs a 4.4

March, 2, 2010
The NFL combine wraps up on Tuesday, and a flood of former SEC players have left their mark -- both good and bad.

The defensive backs were the last to run the 40-yard dash, and a lot of eyes were on Tennessee safety Eric Berry.

Unofficially, his two 40-yard dash times were 4.46 and 4.40. Earlier, the 5-11, 211-pound Berry did 19 reps on the bench-press, so he certainly didn’t do anything to hurt himself and figures to be a top 10 pick.

Alabama cornerback Javier Arenas tweaked his hamstring running the 40 and didn’t go a second time. He ran a 4.52 unofficially on the first one.

Florida cornerback Joe Haden turned in a disappointing 4.57 in the 40. Again, these are unofficial times, and we’ll try to get you the official times once they’re posted later Tuesday.

Vanderbilt cornerback Myron Lewis helped himself with a 4.45 in the 40 and also weighed in at more than 200 pounds. The NFL loves big corners who can cover.

LSU safety Chad Jones ran a 4.54, but only did nine reps on the bench-press.

Georgia safety Reshad Jones was second among the safeties with 24 reps.

Mississippi State’s Jamar Chaney posted the fastest 40-yard dash time among linebackers, a 4.54. He also did 26 reps on the bench-press and recorded a 39-inch vertical jump. Chaney solidified himself as a solid mid-round pick, possibly as high as the third or fourth round.

Todd McShay of ESPN’s Scouts Inc. also felt like South Carolina outside linebacker Eric Norwood helped himself by running a 4.71 40-yard dash. At 245 pounds, Norwood also showed good lateral movement, quick feet and demonstrated all the qualities that make him an explosive pass-rusher.

A pair of former SEC linebackers that didn’t impress McShay were Kentucky’s Micah Johnson and Florida’s Brandon Spikes. Johnson (258 pounds) ran a 4.99 and didn’t change directions very well. Spikes didn’t run the 40, but looked stiff in drills.

Florida defensive end Carlos Dunlap turned in a fast 40 time (4.71), but according to scouts McShay talked with, Dunlap didn’t come across well in interviews and was characterized as lazy.

Tennessee defensive tackle Dan Williams continues to look like a first-round pick. Weighing 326 pounds, he ran a 5.17 40-yard dash and did 26 reps on the bench. He also moved fluidly during drills.

McShay thinks Alabama nose guard Terrence Cody will probably be a second-rounder. Cody shed some pounds and was down to 354, but ran a 5.68 40, the slowest among the defensive linemen.

Haden, McClain move up on Big Board

February, 25, 2010
Florida cornerback Joe Haden and Alabama linebacker Rolando McClain have both moved up on Mel Kiper's latest Big Board Insider of the top prospects in the NFL draft.

With the NFL combine kicking off this week, Haden is now No. 5 and McClain No. 8. The top SEC player on Kiper's board is Tennessee safety Eric Berry, who's No. 3.

Kiper has Berry as his top safety, Haden as his top cornerback and McClain as his top linebacker, further validation of the caliber of defensive talent the SEC produces year in and year out.

Tennessee defensive tackle Dan Williams has also moved up to No. 17.

The Vols are the only team in the country with two defenders ranked among Kiper's top 20 prospects, which doesn't exactly back up former Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin's repeated claims last season that the Vols were hurting for talent.

Florida joins Oklahoma as the only two teams nationally with three players on Kiper's Big Board. Center Maurkice Pouncey is No. 18 and defensive end Carlos Dunlap is No. 22.

Alabama's Cody on the move ... back up

February, 19, 2010
ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper has moved Alabama nose guard Terrence Cody back into the first round as the No. 28 overall pick to the San Diego Chargers in his latest mock draft.

Cody weighed in at 370 pounds at the Senior Bowl and struggled at times with his conditioning, but Kiper thinks he's a classic run-stuffing nose guard and that a 3-4 team will grab him in the first round.

"People can ask why I moved Terrence Cody back up onto my latest Big Board, and consider him a first-round guy, and here's a case that illustrates why," Kiper said. "Regardless of questions on weight or build, when you look for that 3-4 centerpiece, a guy who has the physical traits of a block-occupying clogger who will let your linebackers play with freedom, Cody's that type of guy. Dynamic or not, you know what he can give you, and on draft day, and that's a huge consideration."

Cody is one of seven SEC players in Kiper's latest first round. He has Tennessee safety Eric Berry going No. 3 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Florida cornerback Joe Haden going No. 7 to the Cleveland Browns, Alabama linebacker Rolando McClain going No. 12 to the Miami Dolphins, Florida defensive end Carlos Dunlap going No. 17 to the Tennessee Titans, Tennessee defensive tackle Dan Williams going No. 26 to the Arizona Cardinals and Florida center Maurkice Pouncey going No. 30 to Minnesota Vikings.

Tide's Jackson a first-rounder?

February, 10, 2010
Alabama cornerback Kareem Jackson is projected as a first-round pick in Todd McShay's latest mock draft.

McShay has Jackson going 19th to the Atlanta Falcons. Jackson gave up his senior season to enter the NFL draft early.

Overall, McShay has seven players from the SEC going in the first round. Other than Jackson, Florida center Maurkice Pouncey is a new addition at N0. 31 to the Indianapolis Colts.

Tennessee safety Eric Berry will be the highest drafted SEC player, according to McShay. Berry is projected to go seventh overall to the Cleveland Browns. Berry's Tennessee teammate, defensive tackle Dan Williams, also moved up in this mock draft to 18th overall to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Rounding out McShay's SEC first-round selections were Alabama linebacker Rolando McClain 12th to the Miami Dolphins, Florida cornerback Joe Haden 13th to the San Francisco 49ers and Florida defensive end Carlos Dunlap 17th to the Tennessee Titans.

The SEC's 30 best players: Nos. 20-16

February, 8, 2010
This is when it really gets tough, because there’s not a lot of difference in the 10th best player in this league and the 20th best player.

Of the first 10 players to make the cut, five will be back next season.

Let’s see how many of these next 20 will be back.

Here we go with selections No. 20-16:

No. 20: Maurkice Pouncey, C, Florida: Versatile enough to play just about anywhere up front, Pouncey remained at center and was the anchor of the Gators’ offensive line this past season. Go back and count how many times he cleared the way for one of Tim Tebow’s key conversions on third or fourth down. Pouncey won’t be easily replaced -- on the field or off the field. He started in 39 games in three seasons and was one of the strongest leaders on the team. He’s giving up his senior season to turn pro.

Jim Brown-US PRESSWIRETennessee running back Montario Hardesty broke through this season with 1,345 yards and 14 touchdowns.

No. 19: Mike Johnson, OG, Alabama: As a junior, Johnson was overshadowed somewhat by first-team All-Americans Andre Smith and Antoine Caldwell. But this past season, with the Crimson Tide losing three starters up front, Johnson stepped up front and center as one of the most complete offensive linemen in the league. He was a consensus first-team All-American from his left guard position and anchored an offensive line that was rock-solid all season. All the while, Alabama went 14-0, won its first national title in 17 years and put up even better offensive numbers than it did a year ago.

No. 18: Montario Hardesty, RB, Tennessee: One of the comeback players of year nationally, Hardesty saved his best for his senior season. He’d been inundated with injuries through much of his career and really didn’t get much of a chance as a junior. But this past season, he plowed his way to 1,345 rushing yards and scored 14 touchdowns. Hardesty carried the ball an SEC-high 282 times and didn’t fumble a single time on a rushing attempt. Prior to this past season, Hardesty had never rushed for more than 387 yards in a season.

No. 17: Ben Tate, RB, Auburn: Tate was one of those guys who didn’t quite make the cut on the preseason list. He was hurt by how dysfunctional Auburn was on offense in 2008. That wasn’t a problem this past season. The Tigers fed him the ball, and he delivered. The 5-11, 218-pound senior rushed for a career-high 1,362 yards and 10 touchdowns. He averaged 5.2 yards per carry and proved to be one of the toughest backs in the league to bring down. Despite carrying the ball 263 times, Tate lost just 44 yards all season. He also showed that he wasn’t just a power back and had three touchdown runs of 35 yards or longer.

No. 16: Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee: Williams had been a solid player for the Vols prior to this past season, but he certainly hadn’t risen to the level where he could be considered one of the top 30 players in the league. That all changed during his senior season. He was consistently the best interior defensive lineman in the league in 2009 and likely played his way into the first round of April’s NFL draft. Williams led all SEC defensive tackles with 70 total tackles and led the Vols with nine tackles for loss and nine quarterback hurries. He stuffs the run with the best of them, but is also an effective interior pass-rusher.
  • No. 21: Rennie Curran, LB, Georgia
  • No. 22: Randall Cobb, QB/WR, Kentucky
  • No. 23: Shay Hodge, WR, Ole Miss
  • No. 24: A.J. Green, WR, Georgia
  • No. 25: Pernell McPhee, DE, Mississippi State
  • No. 26: Malcolm Sheppard, DT, Arkansas
  • No. 27: Mark Barron, S, Alabama
  • No. 28: Terrence Cody, NG, Alabama
  • No. 29: Brandon LaFell, WR, LSU
  • No. 30: Julio Jones, WR, Alabama

Chaney wins Senior Bowl defensive honor

February, 1, 2010
Despite Tim Tebow's struggles, the news wasn't all bad for former SEC players at the Senior Bowl.

Mississippi State linebacker Jamar Chaney had a game-high eight tackles in the game and also recovered a fumble on his way to being name the South team's Defensive Player of the Game.

Alabama tight end Colin Peek caught a 19-yard touchdown pass for the South, while Alabama kicker Leigh Kiffin made both of his field goal attemts from 43 and 33 yards.

Florida receiver Riley Cooper caught two passes for 37 yards and helped his stock all week with his route-running and ability to catch the ball in traffic. Ole Miss running back Dexter McCluster didn't have a big game and lost a fumble, but he was one of the most explosive players during the practices and demonstrated time and time again how dangerous he is in space.

Tennessee defensive tackle Dan Williams also had a big week and walked away with a "B+" grade from Todd McShay of ESPN's Scouts Inc. McShay said Williams clearly separated himself from Alabama's Terrence Cody as the best two-gap defensive tackle in this year's draft.

McShay wrote: "Williams had such a strong overall week that he is solidly in the late-first round area. He is the prototypical two-gap player and will be capable of playing in the NFL in either a 4-3 system in which he protects the linebackers or in a 3-4 scheme in which he lines up at nose tackle."

Recruiting nobodies who made it big (defense)

January, 29, 2010
Now we turn our attention to the defensive players in the SEC over the last five seasons who weren’t necessarily big names during the recruiting process, but wound up playing big where it counts – on the field:

DL Jamaal Anderson, Arkansas: Most recruiting services didn’t even rate him because he was a slow 205-pound receiver coming out of high school. He grew into a defensive end who led the SEC with 13.5 sacks in 2006 and was selected with the eighth overall pick of the 2007 NFL draft.

DL Antonio Coleman, Auburn: With all the sacks Coleman racked up during his career at Auburn, it’s hard to believe he was only a three-star prospect. However, he didn’t even weigh 220 pounds coming out of high school, which no doubt hurt his rating.

DL Malcolm Sheppard, Arkansas: A three-star prospect who chose among Arkansas, South Carolina and Southern Miss, Sheppard wasn’t ranked among the top prospects in the state of Georgia. All he did the last two seasons was lead SEC interior linemen with 24.5 tackles for loss.

DL Dan Williams Tennessee: Williams is another three-star prospect who may end up going in the first round of April’s NFL draft. When he came to Tennessee in 2005, he was considered by some to be the throw-in along with his higher-rated high school teammate, Malcolm Rawls.

LB DeMeco Ryans, Alabama: Ryans remains one of the top linebackers in the NFL and was the Defensive Player of the Year in the SEC as a senior at Alabama. But coming out of high school, he was a three-star prospect, and nearly 40 other linebackers were rated ahead of him nationally.

LB Patrick Willis, Ole Miss: Like Ryans, Willis is one of the top linebackers in the NFL. But he wasn't even seriously recruited by his home-state school, Tennessee, and instead went to Ole Miss, where he carved out a brilliant career. He was a two-time All-American and won the Butkus Award in 2006 as the nation's top linebacker.

LB Eric Norwood, South Carolina: He played high school football in Acworth, Ga., but wasn't recruited by Georgia. In fact, his only other visit besides South Carolina was to Oklahoma State. Norwood set the career sacks and tackles for loss record at South Carolina and earned All-SEC honors each of the last three seasons.

DB Javier Arenas, Alabama: Florida Atlantic and Florida International were battling it out for Arenas until Alabama decided to take him late. Not only did he become one of the most feared punt returners in college football history with seven taken back for touchdowns, but he developed into a first-team All-American at cornerback this past season.

DB Captain Munnerlyn, South Carolina: A two-star player whose finalists were Kansas State, West Virginia and South Carolina, Munnerlyn was both a productive cornerback and return specialist for South Carolina and just finished his rookie season in the NFL after turning pro early.

DB D.J. Moore, Vanderbilt: Clemson and South Carolina are both still wondering how they let Moore get out of state to the Commodores. Nobody questioned his athletic ability. They just questioned where he would play in college. It was an easy answer once he got to Vanderbilt. He developed into a two-time All-SEC selection at cornerback and is now in the NFL.

DB Rashad Johnson, Alabama: Johnson was such an unknown that he and his father sent out recruiting tapes to colleges just hoping to get a look. He ended up walking on at Alabama after turning down a scholarship offer to The Citadel and was a two-time All-SEC selection. Johnson intercepted 11 passes his last two seasons with the Crimson Tide.

Final Senior Bowl rosters released

January, 25, 2010
The final rosters for the Under Armour Senior Bowl have been posted. The game is scheduled for 4 p.m. ET on Saturday from Mobile, Ala.

Vanderbilt is the only SEC school not represented in the game.

Here's the list of participating SEC players on the South team:


CB Javier Arenas

NG Terrence Cody

OG Mike Johnson

TE Colin Peek

K Leigh Tiffin

RB Roy Upchurch


OG Mitch Petrus


DE Antonio Coleman

RB Ben Tate


WR Riley Cooper

QB Tim Tebow


DT Geno Atkins

DT Jeff Owens


CB Trevard Lindley


OT Ciron Black

LB Harry Coleman


LB Jamar Chaney

RB Anthony Dixon


WR Shay Hodge

OL John Jerry

RB Dexter McCluster


LB Eric Norwood


DS Morgan Cox

OT Chris Scott

DT Dan Williams

SEC East recruiting needs

January, 25, 2010
National signing day is next Wednesday, and SEC teams are still working on wrapping up their classes.

Here’s a look at each East team’s most pressing needs:


Receiver: As we saw last season, the Gators weren’t overflowing with explosive playmakers down the field. And their most proven commodities in the passing game, receiver Riley Cooper and tight end Aaron Hernandez, are both gone. Adding redshirt freshman Andre Debose to the mix will help. He underwent hamstring surgery and missed last season.

Secondary: The numbers are still pretty good in the secondary, but the Gators need to start filling in the gaps now that cornerback Joe Haden and safety Major Wright have turned pro early. Safety Ahmad Black will be a senior next season.

Quarterback: John Brantley is going to be a junior next season, so don’t be surprised if the Gators try and add a quarterback in this class.


Defensive line: The Bulldogs lose three senior defensive tackles -- Geno Atkins, Jeff Owens and Kade Weston -- who’ve anchored the middle of that defense for the past couple of seasons. They’re also going to need guys who fit into new defensive coordinator Todd Grantham’s 3-4 scheme.

Outside linebackers: Even though Justin Houston came on last season with 7.5 sacks, the Bulldogs are still looking for anybody who can get to the quarterback.

Offensive line: All of a sudden, Georgia’s young collection of offensive line talent has gotten older. And with the injuries the Bulldogs have had up front the last two seasons, they can’t have enough of those guys.


Defensive tackle: The Wildcats have lost two big-time tackles in each of the last two seasons, Corey Peters and Myron Pryor, and need to re-stock the middle of their defensive line.

Offensive line: Four of the five guys who started for Kentucky on the offensive line in the bowl game were seniors, so there are going to be a lot of new faces for the Wildcats up front in 2010. One of their top reserves from last season, tackle Brad Durham, will be a senior.

Receiver: Randall Cobb needs some help. As special as he is, he can’t do it alone, which means finding a big-play receiver who can not only help next season, but be the centerpiece of the receiving unit for future years, is a must for the Wildcats.


Offensive line: It’s been the root of South Carolina’s offensive struggles under Steve Spurrier. The Gamecocks simply haven’t been able to match up consistently in the offensive line, which again makes that a priority this recruiting period.

Cornerback: The Gamecocks held their breath at cornerback last season. There’s no depth behind Stephon Gilmore and Akeem Auguste, so that’s a position they’re trying hard in this class to address.

Quarterback: Hard to believe, but Stephen Garcia will be a junior next season, and there wasn’t a shakier backup plan in the league last season. The Head Ball Coach has to find another quarterback.


Quarterback: It’s difficult to pinpoint the Vols’ quarterback of the future at this point. They have a junior college transfer, Matt Simms, and high school player, Tyler Bray, already enrolled in school for this semester. Both have a chance to start next season along with returning senior Nick Stephens.

Offensive line: The “veteran” for the Vols up front next season will be sophomore Aaron Douglas, who’s a terrific looking prospect, but has only played one season on the offensive line after playing tight end in high school. Tennessee is frighteningly thin in the offensive line.

Defensive line: Not only is potential first-round tackle Dan Williams gone to the NFL, but ends Chris Walker and Ben Martin will both be seniors next season.


Receiver: The Commodores never recovered after Justin Wheeler blew out his knee in the spring and transfer Terence Jeffers-Harris failed to become eligible last season. They need legitimate threats in the passing game in the worst way if they’re going to improve on last season’s anemic offensive showing.

Secondary: The defensive backfield has been the strength of Vanderbilt’s team the past two seasons under the tutelage of Jamie Bryant, but go back and look at the caliber of players the Commodores have lost back there. They already have six defensive back prospects committed in this class.

Offensive line: Anything the Commodores can do to add some firepower to their offense, they’re going to do. And that includes upgrading the quality and depth in the offensive line. Vanderbilt is losing three senior starters up front.

Six SEC players in Kiper's first mock draft

January, 21, 2010
ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper has six SEC players going in the first round in his initial mock NFL draft.

Interestingly enough, five of the six are juniors. Kiper's first pick from the SEC is Tennessee safety Eric Berry, going No. 3 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Florida cornerback Joe Haden is projected as the No. 7 pick to the Cleveland Browns.

The rest of the SEC selections, according to Kiper, are Alabama linebacker Rolando McClain No. 12 to the Miami Dolphins, Florida defensive end Carlos Dunlap No. 15 to the New York Giants, Florida tight end Aaron Hernandez No. 21 to the Cincinnati Bengals and Tennessee defensive tackle Dan Williams No. 26 to the Arizona Cardinals.

If you're counting, that's three Gators in the first round. And with two Vols projected to go in the first round, maybe they weren't hurting for talent quite as much as Lane Kiffin and the previous staff carried on about last season.

Notice some of the big names that didn't show up in Kiper's first mock draft? Among them: Alabama nose guard Terrence Cody, Florida linebacker Brandon Spikes, Auburn defensive end Antonio Coleman, South Carolina linebacker Eric Norwood and Florida quarterback Tim Tebow.

SEC players invited to the NFL combine

January, 12, 2010
Here’s a look at the SEC seniors invited to participate in the NFL scouting combine Feb. 24-March 2 in Indianapolis. There will also be some underclassmen invited once the deadline passes for early entry into the draft.

LSU had the most players invited in the SEC with 11. Alabama was second with eight:


CB Javier Arenas

NG Terrence Cody

DE Brandon Deaderick

OL Mike Johnson

TE Colin Peek

K Leigh Tiffin

DE Lorenzo Washington

S Justin Woodall


OL Mitch Petrus

DT Malcolm Sheppard


RB Ben Tate


WR Riley Cooper

DE Jermaine Cunningham

RB/RS Brandon James

LB Brandon Spikes

QB Tim Tebow


DT Geno Atkins


FB John Conner

LB Micah Johnson

CB Trevard Lindley

LB Sam Maxwell

DT Corey Peters


DE Rahim Alem

DT Charles Alexander

OT Ciron Black

LB Harry Coleman

CB Chris Hawkins

RS Trindon Holliday

WR Brandon LaFell

LB Perry Riley

RB Charles Scott

RB Keiland Williams

DT Al Woods


RB Anthony Dixon


CB Marshay Green

DE Greg Hardy

WR Shay Hodge

OL John Jerry

S Kendrick Lewis

RB Dexter McCluster


LB Eric Norwood

S Darian Stewart


RB Montario Hardesty

OT Chris Scott

DT Dan Williams


CB Myron Lewis

OT Thomas Welch

SEC all-bowl team

January, 12, 2010
Having had a few days now to digest the 2009 bowl season, here’s a look at the All-SEC bowl team:


[+] EnlargeTim Tebow
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images Tim Tebow torched Cincinnati for a career-high 482 passing yards and three TDs.
QB Tim Tebow, Florida
Broke Vince Young’s record for total offense in a BCS bowl game with 533 yards in the Gators’ 51-24 rout of Cincinnati in the Allstate Sugar Bowl. Completed 31 of 35 passes for a career-high 482 yards.

RB Dexter McCluster, Ole Miss
Was there a better player in the SEC the second half of the season? McCluster rushed for 184 yards and two touchdowns in the AT&T Cotton Bowl win.

RB Mark Ingram, Alabama
Despite cramping up in the Citi BCS National Championship Game, the Heisman Trophy winner showed his grit and led the Crimson Tide with 116 rushing yards and two touchdowns.

WR Riley Cooper, Florida
Led the Gators’ offensive explosion in the Sugar Bowl with 181 receiving yards, including an 80-yard touchdown. Cooper averaged 25.9 yards on seven catches.

WR Brandon LaFell, LSU
The Tigers didn’t put up much offense, but LaFell had five catches for 87 yards, including a 24-yard touchdown. LaFell led all SEC players with 19 touchdown catches over the past two seasons.

TE Aaron Hernandez, Florida
His nine catches led all players in the Sugar Bowl, and he finished with 111 receiving yards. Hernandez opened the Gators’ scoring with a 7-yard touchdown catch.

OL John Jerry, Ole Miss
Helped clear the way for Ole Miss’ 193 rushing yards against an Oklahoma State defense that finished ranked 11th nationally against the run.

OL James Carpenter, Alabama
Combined with Mike Johnson to make the key block that helped spring Trent Richardson on his 49-yard touchdown run in the second quarter of the Citi BCS National Championship Game.

OL Justin Anderson, Georgia
The Bulldogs were playing without starting right tackle Josh Davis, and Anderson came off the bench in the second half to help give a much-needed lift to the running game.

OL Mike Johnson, Alabama
The anchor of an Alabama offensive line that paved the way for both Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson to each rush for more than 100 yards against Texas’ vaunted defense.

C Maurkice Pouncey, Florida
Spent more than five hours at Tulane Hospital with kidney stones and had several IV’s, but didn’t miss the start and led the way for the Gators up front.


DE Marcell Dareus, Alabama
Had the hit that knocked Texas quarterback Colt McCoy out of the game and also returned an interception 28 yards for a touchdown right before halftime.

DE Carlos Dunlap, Florida
Came back strong from his suspension in the SEC championship game with two sacks in the Gators’ Sugar Bowl romp.

DT Geno Atkins, Georgia
Pressured Texas A&M quarterback Jerrod Johnson relentlessly. Atkins finished with a sack and also blocked a field goal attempt in the second quarter.

DT Dan Williams, Tennessee
A rock all season long in the middle for the Vols, Williams ended his career with nine tackles, including a half a sack in the 37-14 loss to Virgina Tech in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.

LB Patrick Trahan, Ole Miss
His 34-yard fumble return for a touchdown sealed the game for the Rebels with 3:12 remaining. Trahan also had an interception on Oklahoma State’s next possession.

LB Jerry Franklin, Arkansas
Finished with 10 tackles and had a third-quarter interception that turned the game around for the Hogs. East Carolina was leading 10-0, but Franklin intercepted a pass and returned it 31 yards to set up an Arkansas field goal.

LB Eric Norwood, South Carolina
Wrapped up a record-setting career at South Carolina by leading the Gamecocks with 10 tackles in their 20-7 loss to Connecticut in the Bowl.

DB Walter McFadden, Auburn
Intercepted two passes in Auburn’s Outback Bowl win. McFadden’s first pick set up a touchdown, and he did the honors himself on the second one – returning it 100 yards for a touchdown.

DB Tramain Thomas, Arkansas
His 37-yard interception return for a touchdown tied the game in the third quarter. Thomas also tipped away a pass at the goal line in the final minutes that might have saved the game.

DB Kendrick Lewis, Ole Miss
Intercepted two passes in Ole Miss’ 21-7 Cotton Bowl victory over Oklahoma State. His big hit in the fourth quarter also forced the fumble that Patrick Trahan returned 34 yards for a touchdown to break the game open.

DB Chad Jones, LSU
Did a little bit of everything in his final game at LSU. Led the Tigers with eight tackles, including one for loss, while also forcing a fumble, breaking up a pass and blocking a kick.


K Alex Tejada, Arkansas
His 37-yard field goal in overtime was the difference in Arkansas’ 20-17 victory over East Carolina in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl.

P Spencer Lanning, South Carolina
In extremely cold conditions, Lanning punted seven times for a 42.3-yard average and had a long of 48 yards. He also doubles as the Gamecocks’ place-kicker.

KR Brandon Boykin, Georgia
Tied an SEC record with his third kickoff return for a touchdown this season, taking one back 81 yards to answer Texas A&M’s first touchdown.