In a ‘down’ season, SEC has most players on AP All-America team


The Associated Press released its All-America team Monday and – surprise, surprise – it’s loaded with names from SEC schools, especially on defense.

Of the 11 starters on the first-team defense in the annual list of the nation’s best players, six come are from the SEC. It’s part of a nation-best group of eight players representing the SEC on the first team.

Yes, that’s right: Despite a down season, the SEC has the most first-team All-Americans of any league.

On defense, the first team has defensive end Myles Garrett of Texas A&M, defensive end Derek Barnett of Tennessee, defensive tackle Jonathan Allen of Alabama, linebacker Reuben Foster of Alabama, linebacker Zach Cunningham of Vanderbilt and safety Minkah Fitzpatrick of Alabama. First-team offensive members from the conference are offensive tackle Cam Robinson of Alabama and tight end Evan Engram of Ole Miss.

The Big Ten is second with seven first-team players, followed by the Pac-12 with four.

Defensive tackle Montravius Adams of Auburn, linebacker Tim Williams of Alabama, safety Jamal Adams of LSU and kicker Daniel Carlson of Auburn earned places on the second team.

The third team has tight end O.J. Howard of Alabama, all-purpose player Christian Kirk of Texas A&M, center Ethan Pocic of LSU, linebacker Kendell Beckwith of LSU, cornerback Jalen Tabor of Florida and kicker Gary Wunderlich of Ole Miss.

In all, the SEC leads all conferences with 18 of the 75 selections (24 percent) across the three teams. A full breakdown:

SEC– 18
Big Ten – 16
ACC – 11
Pac-12 – 10
Big 12 – 9
Conference USA – 3
Mountain West – 3
American Athletic – 2
Mid-American – 1
Independent – 2

Alabama is tied with Ohio State for the team lead with six selections: Howard, Robinson, Allen, Foster, Williams and Fitzpatrick. The Buckeyes, who could meet the Crimson Tide in the title game of the College Football Playoff, are the only other team with as many as three first-team picks (center Pat Elflein, all-purpose player Curtis Samuel and safety Malik Hooker).

Clemson is next with five, while LSU, Michigan, Oklahoma and Texas have three each.

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