HOOVER, Ala. — It didn’t take long for Georgia football to get served up its first dose of preseason humble pie, and it came before the SEC Media Days event had officially kicked off on Monday.
The USA Today Network, which represents the largest group of newspapers in the nation, deemed no Bulldogs players worthy of preseason All-SEC honors on offense or defense. Punter Jake Camarda was the only UGA played to make preseason All-SEC.
Former UGA offensive lineman Cade Mays, now a USA Today All-SEC pick at Tennessee, was as close as the Bulldogs’ offense or defense came to having a first-team selection.
The SEC Media Days, an annual event featuring the league’s coaches and representatives from each school, begins today with Florida coach Dan Mullen, LSU coach Ed Orgeron and South Carolina’s Shane Beamer appearing.
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Georgia coach Kirby Smart, along with players Jordan Davis and JT Daniels, will appear at the event on Tuesday.
An All-SEC team, voted on by several media members from across the league from different companies will be released from the SEC Media Days later this week.
But the USA Today team, which is first-team only, features four players from the Crimson Tide and Texas A&M.
Georgia was picked to win the SEC East, while Alabama was picked to win the SEC West and the SEC Championship Game.
One might think winning the SEC East Division with no first-team All-SEC players would make Kirby Smart the USA Today Network’s choice for preseason SEC Coach of the Year, but that honor went to Nick Saban.
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Georgia has added three highly-rated transfers in the form of receiver Arik Gilbert (LSU) and defensive backs Tykee Smith (West Virginia) and Derion Kendrick (Clemson), but USA Today selected Alabama’s Kool-Aid McKinstry as the preseason Newcomer of the Year.
Las Vegas has installed Bulldogs’ quarterback JT Daniels as the strongest Heisman Trophy favorite from the SEC, but the USA Today network selected Alabama receiver John Metchie III as it’s Preseason Player of the Year.
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USA Today Preseason All-SEC
Quarterback: Matt Corral, Ole Miss
Running back: Tank Bigsby, Auburn
Running back (tie): Isaiah Spiller, Texas A&M
Running back (tie): Kevin Harris, South Carolina
Wide receiver: John Metchie III, Alabama
Wide receiver: Treylon Burks, Arkansas
Tight end: Jalen Wydermyer, Texas A&M*
Offensive line: Darian Kinnard, Kentucky
Offensive line: Evan Neal, Alabama
Offensive line: Kenyon Green, Texas A&M
Offensive line: Charles Cross, Miss State
Offensive line: Cade Mays, Tennessee
Placekicker: Cade York, LSU
All-purpose: Jerrion Ealy, Ole Miss
Defensive line: DeMarvin Leal, Texas A&M
Defensive line: Kingsley Enagbare, South Carolina
Defensive line: Brenton Cox Jr., Florida
Defensive line: Trajan Jeffcoat, Missouri
Linebacker: Christian Harris, Alabama
Linebacker: Grant Morgan, Arkansas
Linebacker: Zakoby McClain, Auburn
Defensive back: Derek Stingley Jr., LSU*
Defensive back: Kaiir Elam, Florida
Defensive back: Jalen Catalon, Arkansas
Defensive back: Josh Jobe, Alabama
Punter: Jake Camarda, Georgia
* Unanimous choice
Coach of the year: Nick Saban
Player of the year: John Metchie III, Alabama
Newcomer of the year: Kool-Aid McKinstry, Alabama
ORDER OF FINISH
6. South Carolina
2. Texas A&M
4. Ole Miss
7. Mississippi State