UF picked to finish second in East, four Gators named All-SEC

The SEC announced the results of the media’s voting for preseason conference honors on Friday morning.

As expected, the media picked the Gators to finish a distant second in the East behind Georgia. Additionally, defensive lineman Zachary Carter and cornerback Kaiir Elam were named First Team All-SEC, while linebacker Ventrell Miller was named to the second team and wide receiver Jacob Copeland to the third team.

Georgia received 124 of 134 first-place votes in the East. Florida garnered seven. Two media members picked Kentucky to win the division, while one went with South Carolina.

Meanwhile, Alabama received 130 of 134 first-place votes in the West.

Overall, 84 voters selected Alabama to win the SEC Championship and 45 picked Georgia. UF received one vote.

The Gators won the East last season, but most of the offensive firepower from that team is gone, and questions abound on defense. That’s made the Bulldogs the overwhelming favorite in the East entering the season.

Here is the complete preseason poll:

EASTERN DIVISION

Georgia (124) 923
Florida (7) 784
Kentucky (2) 624
Missouri 555
Tennessee 362
South Carolina (1) 355
Vanderbilt 149

 

WESTERN DIVISION

Alabama (130) 932
Texas A&M (1) 760
LSU (1) 633
Ole Miss (1) 529
Auburn 440
Arkansas (1) 241
Mississippi State 217

 

SEC CHAMPION

Alabama (84) 84
Georgia (45) 45
Ole Miss (1) 1
Texas A&M (1) 1
Florida (1) 1
Kentucky (1) 1
South Carolina (1) 1

Elam was named to the Coaches’ All-SEC First Team and the Associated Press All-SEC Second Team following the 2020 season. He started all 12 games and intercepted a pair of passes and broke up 11 more. Earlier this week, he was named to the watch list for the Chuck Bednarik Award, given to the most outstanding defensive player in the country.

Carter started 11 games last season and brings versatility to the defense with his ability to play end and tackle. He led the team with five sacks and 9.5 tackles-for-loss last season and returned a fumble for a touchdown. He was named the SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week after posting season highs of eight tackles and 1.5 sacks against South Carolina.

Miller started 10 games at middle linebacker in 2020 and led the team with 88 tackles. He also contributed 3.5 sacks and 7.5 tackles-for-loss. He was named the SEC Defensive Player of the Week after racking up 15 tackles, two tackles-for-loss and a sack in the opener at Ole Miss.

Copeland enters his redshirt junior season as the most productive and experienced returning wide receiver on the roster. He’s caught 45 passes for 724 yards and five touchdowns in his career. He’ll look to match or exceed those numbers this fall as the Gators’ go-to receiver.

Here’s the complete Preseason All-SEC Team:

OFFENSE

First-Team

QB –  Matt Corral, Ole Miss

RB –  Tank Bigsby, Auburn

RB –  Isaiah Spiller, Texas A&M

WR –  John Metchie III, Alabama

WR –  Treylon Burks, Arkansas

TE –  Jalen Wydermyer, Texas A&M

OL –  Evan Neal, Alabama

OL –  Darian Kinnard, Kentucky

OL –  Kenyon Green, Texas A&M

OL –  Cade Mays, Tennessee

C –  Nick Brahms,  Auburn

Second-Team

QB –  JT Daniels, Georgia

RB –  Kevin Harris, South Carolina

RB –  Zamir White, Georgia

WR –  Kayshon Boutte, LSU

WR –  George Pickens, Georgia

TE –  Jahleel Billingsley, Alabama

OL –  Jamaree Salyer, Georgia

OL –  Emil Ekiyor Jr., Alabama

OL –  Ed Ingram, LSU

OL –  Austin Deculus, LSU

C –  Ricky Stromberg, Arkansas

Third-Team

QB –  Bo Nix, Auburn

RB –  Brian Robinson Jr., Alabama

RB –  Chris Rodriguez Jr., Kentucky

WR –  Ainias Smith, Texas A&M

WR –  Jacob Copeland, Florida

TE –  Nick Muse, South Carolina

OL –  Charles Cross, Mississippi State

OL –  Nick Broeker, Ole Miss

OL –  Myron Cunningham, Arkansas

OL –  Luke Fortner, Kentucky

*C –  Michael Maietti, Missouri

*C – Ben Brown, Ole Miss

DEFENSE

First-Team

DL –  Jordan Davis, Georgia

DL –  Phidarian Mathis, Alabama

DL –  Kingsley Enagbare, South Carolina

*DL –  Zachary Carter, Florida

*DL – DeMarvin Leal, Texas A&M

LB –  Henry To’o To’o, Alabama

LB –  Christian Harris, Alabama

LB –  Will Anderson Jr., Alabama

DB –  Derek Stingley, LSU

DB –  Josh Jobe, Alabama

DB –  Malachi Moore, Alabama

DB –  Kaiir Elam, Florida

Second-Team

DL –  Josh Paschal, Kentucky

DL –  LaBryan Ray, Alabama

DL –  Ali Gaye, LSU

DL –  Trajan Jeffcoat, Missouri

LB –  Grant Morgan, Arkansas

LB –  Ventrell Miller, Florida

LB –  Zakoby McClain, Auburn

DB –  Smoke Monday, Auburn

DB –  Jordan Battle, Alabama

DB –  Jalen Catalon, Arkansas

DB –  Elias Ricks, LSU

Third-Team

DL  – DJ Dale, Alabama

DL – Jayden Peevy, Texas A&M

DL –  Travon Walker, Georgia

DL –  Derick Hall, Auburn

LB –  Owen Pappoe, Auburn

LB –  Nakobe Dean, Georgia

LB –  Christopher Allen, Alabama

DB –  Roger McCreary, Auburn

DB –  Lewis Cine, Georgia

DB –  Alontae Taylor, Tennessee

DB –  Yusuf Corker, Kentucky

SPECIALISTS

First-Team

P –  Jake Camarda, Georgia

PK – Cade York, LSU

RS  – Jerrion Ealy, Ole Miss

AP –  Jerrion Ealy, Ole Miss

Second-Team

P –  Paxton Brooks, Tennessee

PK – Will Reichard, Alabama

RS –  Ainias Smith, Texas A&M

AP –  Tank Bigsby, Auburn

Third-Team

P –  Mac Brown, Ole Miss

PK –  Anders Carlson, Auburn

RS –  Kearis Jackson, Georgia

AP – Ainias Smith, Texas A&M

 

* – Indicates a tie

Ethan was born in Gainesville and has lived in the Starke, Florida, area his entire life. He played basketball for five years and knew he wanted to be a sportswriter when he was in middle school. He’s attended countless Gators athletic events since his early childhood, with baseball being his favorite sport to attend. He’s a proud 2019 graduate of the University of Florida and a 2017 graduate of Santa Fe College. He interned with the University Athletic Association’s communications department for 1 ½ years as a student and has spent the last two football seasons writing for InsideTheGators.com. He is a long-suffering fan of the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Tampa Bay Rays. You can follow him on Twitter @ehughes97.