Now that SEC Media Days are over and the media’s Pre-Season picks have been announced, here’s how my unofficial ballot would look:
Today, we’ll take a look at the defense. Later in the week will be reserved for offense.
No major surprises. The best team—LSU—has the most picks (four). No other team has more than two.
As expected, Florida only has one first teamer—defensive end Derrick Harvey; however, I think the Gators will have, collectively at least, a better defense than many fans expect.
Preseason teams, by and large, are based upon productivity. Florida, given its youth, will rely on potential. The Gators may be unproven now, but that will change by November.
Glenn Dorsey, Sr., LSU: Dominant defensive tackle produced 64 stops, third best on the squad, impressive productivity for an interior lineman.
Quentin Groves, Sr., Auburn: Speed gives foes fits. Has 23 career sacks, three short of the school record.
Derrick Harvey, Jr., Florida: Named second-team All-SEC last December. His performance against Ohio State showed why he should have made first team.
Tyson Jackson, Jr., LSU: Big defensive end will complement Dorsey to give the Tigers the SEC’s most feared defensive line.
Jasper Brinkley, Sr., South Carolina: A big reason the Gamecocks could contend for an SEC East title. Made 11 solo tackles against Florida last year.
Ali Highsmith, Sr., LSU: If Dorsey or Jackson fail to make the tackle, Highsmith will help out, an attribute that will help protect the Tigers’ young secondary. Good against the run and pass.
Prince Hall, Soph., Alabama: Earned Freshman All-SEC honors a year ago, when he collected five or more tackles in eight games.
Simeon Castille, Sr., Alabama: Always around the ball. Had five interceptions, broke up six passes and recovered three fumbles in 2006.
Chevis Jackson: Sr., LSU: Will be expected to provide leadership for a defensive backfield that lost both safeties. Good tackler. Thirty three of his 46 stops were solo efforts.
Jonathan Hefney, Sr., Tennessee: Hefney better be good, because the Volunteers have to replace three starters in the secondary. Played well in big games last year, amassing 19 tackles against Air Force and nine against Florida.
Derek Pegues, Jr., Mississippi State: Rare bright spot for Sylvester Croom. Athletic enough to play cornerback or safety.
Punter: Britton Colquitt, Jr., Tennessee: Great leg. Averaged 44.9 per boot in 2006.