It is probably only a matter of time until the Cats accept the opportunity to be the first team to win the Birmingham PapaJohns.com BBVA Compass Bowl. I know the anticipation is killing you. But, as we all hold our breath, the media has started to release some post-season awards and a few Cats are earning their spots. The first to dish out recognition is Phil Steele, the esteemed publisher of Phil Steele’s College Football Preview and columnist for the Orlando Sentinel, who has a ravishing quote from Pat Forde in his Wikipedia profile. Nice. Anyway, seven Cats earned spots on his All-SEC teams. Here they are:
Randall Cobb – Cobb finished his junior campaign with 79 catches, good for tops in the SEC. His 955 yards receiving placed him third in the conference, behind only Alshon Jeffery and Julio Jones, and his 7 touchdowns tied with Jones for fifth. He also collected 401 yards and 5 touchdowns on the ground and 835 combined return yards and another touchdown. He had 58 yards and 3 more touchdowns through the air. He also made two tackles and gave back rubs in section 102 during halftime. Ranks second nationally in all-purpose yards.
Danny Trevathan – The junior recorded a league-best 130 tackles for the Cats and placed third with 16 tackles for loss. He ranks 11th and 21st nationally in those categories.
Chris Matthews – Matthews tied with Denarious Moore and AJ Green for the conference lead in receiving touchdowns with 9. He also finished with 57 catches, which placed him fourth in the SEC, and 897 yards, which was good for fifth.
Larry Warford – Warford allowed only one sack on the season and had 43 “knock down blocks”. He also earns special points for having one hell of an offensive lineman name.
Mike Hartline – In his final season in Lexington, perennial fan favorite Mike Hartline finished behind only Ryan Mallett with 3,178 yards passing. His 23 touchdowns placed him fourth in the conference.
Derrick Locke – After the season’s first five games, Derrick Locke was averaging 108 yards and 1.5 touchdowns per contest. But, after an injury against Auburn, he missed four straight games before finishing the year with 145 and 97 yards and 3 combined touchdowns against Vanderbilt and Tennessee. His 816 yards rushing tied him Heisman winner Mark Ingram for ninth in the SEC and his 10 touchdowns placed him 11th in the league.
Winston Guy – Another fan favorite, Guy tallied 98 tackles and three interceptions. His tackle count was the third-most for defensive backs in the SEC and ranked 72nd overall in the nation.