In yet another sure sign of the impending return of college football, as Phil Steele dropped his All-Conference and All-America teams this morning. Nick Chubb and Leonard Floyd headline the Bulldogs on the list, earning first team All-American honors from the Man of Steele* Ohio State's Zeke Elliott joins Chubb in the theoretical backfield along with USC QB Cody Kessler. LSU's Vadal Alexander (a former Buford High standout) anchors the first team OL along with Laremy Tunsil of Ole Miss. Rebel tight end Evan Engram also made the first team, tying the gang from Oxford the most selections on the first team offense. You can't buy that kind of exposure. Auburn receiver D'quille Williams also made the list, but Auburn is busy buying other things than that.
Floyd was one of four SEC players on Steele's first team, joined by Alabama linebacker Reggie Ragland, Tide defensive tackle A'Shawn Robinson, and Florida cornerback Vernon Hargreaves, III. Isaiah McKenzie was tabbed the 2nd team punt returner. Greg Pyke earned the nod as 3rd team All-American guard, and Jordan Jenkins rounded out the Red and Black contingent as a 4th team All-American linebacker.
One could argue that Marshall Morgan deserved one of the four slots for kickers, and I likely wouldn't disagree. One weird, wind-aided miss in Jacksonville and his 2014 looks a lot different. But for the most part I'd say that the Bulldogs got a fair shake on this list.
Some omissions were a little surprising however. I can only assume that Alabama left tackle Cam Robinson was left out only because he's a rising sophomore. Otherwise, the guy who allowed 3 sacks from the blindside while starting as a true freshman should have probably been on the list. Instead he was merely tabbed the fourth teamer on the All-SEC list (John Theus was second team). Tennessee sophomore Derek Barnett was Steele's second team defensive end at the end of 2-14 and somehow slipped to third team by getting a year older. Which is just nonsensical to me, but then I don't have my own college football preview magazine so what do I know?
In the end you can't take these kind of lists too seriously. With that understanding, what hits and misses do you see on Steele's list? Until later . . .
*This is me drawing Kyle Commenter out into the opening comic book villain-style. Muah ha ha.