• #1 by jbcarol on 29 May 2017

    Quote is counting down to the 2017 SEC football season on Sept. 2 by presenting the No. 1 player to wear each number 1 through 99 in the conference's history. There are 99 days until the first Saturday of the SEC football season, and the No. 1 99 is Mississippi State linebacker Johnie Cooks.

    Middle linebacker Johnie Cooks piled up tackles and accolades in four seasons at Mississippi State, but he also helped the Bulldogs pile up victories in a way they hadn't for decades. MSU's 17 victories in his junior and senior seasons were the most in consecutive seasons for the school in 40 years.

    The most memorable victory for Cooks' Bulldogs came on Nov. 1, 1980, when MSU upended No. 1 Alabama 6-3 in Jackson before 50,891 spectators, the largest crowd to attend a sports event in Mississippi at that time. Mississippi State's victory ended the Crimson Tide's 28-game winning streak and MSU's 22-game losing streak to Alabama.

    Already a second-team All-SEC pick as a freshman, Cooks was a first-team All-SEC selection in 1980. The next season, he raised that to first-team All-American on The Associated Press' team. UPI chose him as the SEC Defensive Player of the Year...
  • #2 by jbcarol on 29 May 2017

    Two of the best defensive players in the history of the SEC wore No. 98 - Tennessee defensive tackle John Henderson and Alabama defensive end Leroy Cook.

    Both were two-time consensus All-Americans - Cook in 1974 and 1975 and Henderson in 2000 and 2001. They were, of course, also first-team All-SEC selections in those seasons.

    Both played on strong teams for coaches who are in the College Football Hall of Fame.

    In his four seasons under Phillip Fulmer at Tennessee, Henderson played on teams that posted a 26-6 SEC record and a 41-9 overall mark and won two SEC East titles, one conference championship and one national crown. The Volunteers captured the first BCS national-championship game 23-16 over Florida State to cap the 1998 season.

    Henderson also won the Outland Trophy, earning the historically most important college-football award for linemen for the 2000 season.
  • #3 by jbcarol on 29 May 2017

    If all Alabama linebacker Cornelius Bennett had done in his collegiate career was flatten Notre Dame quarterback Steve Beuerlein, he'd still have a place in Crimson Tide lore - and a Daniel Moore painting ("The Sack").

    Bennett clobbered Beuerlein so hard, the Notre Dame quarterback said: "When I got up, I saw mouths moving, but I heard no voices." Bennett's hit set the tone for Alabama's first victory over the Fighting Irish - a 28-10 win on Oct. 4, 1986.

    But Bennett did a lot more than that, such as earn the SEC Player of the Year Award for the 1986 season. He also received the Lombardi Award, presented annually to the nation's best lineman or linebacker, that season.
  • #4 by jbcarol on 29 May 2017

    In 1988, Auburn gave up an average of 7.2 points per game, the lowest figure in the conference's past 37 seasons. The Tigers also led the nation in rushing defense and total defense that season.

    In the middle of that defense was Benji Roland.

    The more memorable member of the Tigers' defense was Outland Trophy winner and SEC Player of the Year Tracy Rocker at defensive tackle. But Roland's contributions were such that the catchy phrase "Rocker and Roland" was coined for the Auburn defense, and The Sporting News named Roland as a first-time All-American at the end of the season.

    With Roland and Rocker in the defensive line, Auburn led the SEC in scoring defense and rushing defense in 1986, 1987 and 1988.

    That defensive dominance translated into an SEC championship in 1987 and a shared title in 1988 for the Tigers.
  • #5 by jbcarol on 30 May 2017

    Before embarking on an NFL career that has him preparing for his 12th season with the Buffalo Bills this summer, Kyle Williams was disruptive defensive tackle at LSU.

    During Williams' three seasons as a starter, the Tigers gave up an average of 13.9 points per game, leading the nation in that statistic during the 2003 season, when they also topped the nation in total defense.

    LSU won the BCS national championship for that season, too.

    Tigers compiled a 20-4 conference record and a 33-6 overall mark from 2003 through 2005.

    Williams capped his collegiate career by being selected as an All-American on the Pro Football Weekly team and earned second-team recognition in The Associated Press' All-American selections.
  • #6 by jbcarol on 31 May 2017

    During the 1992 season, Alabama led the nation in rushing defense and total defense, posted an undefeated record and swept the end-of-season polls to earn the national championship.

    The Crimson Tide had two consensus All-Americans on its defense that season - ends John Copeland and Eric Curry.

    Only two of Alabama's 13 opponents in 1992 scored more than one touchdown. The Tide gave up an average of 55.0 rushing yards, 194.2 total yards and 9.4 points per game. The rushing-yardage average is the lowest in the SEC over the past 46 seasons.

    That defensive strength helped Alabama captured its first outright SEC championship and its first national crown since 1979.

    No. 2 Alabama upended No. 1 Miami (Fla.) and Heisman Trophy winner Gino Torretta 34-13 in the Sugar Bowl...
  • #7 by jbcarol on 01 Jun 2017

    Jonathan Allen became the first SEC player to earn both the major defensive player of the year awards in the Bednarik and Nagurski.
  • #8 by jbcarol on 02 Jun 2017

    In 1983, Tennessee's Reggie White was an All-SEC defensive end and an All-American defensive tackle. End or tackle, he also was the SEC Player of the Year that season. White was the first of two defensive linemen to earn that honor, which was presented annually from 1933 through 2001.

    White's No. 92 has been retired by Tennessee. It's also been retired by the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles and Green Bay Packers.

    "The Minister of Defense" was a member of the College Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2002 and the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2006.
  • #9 by jbcarol on 03 Jun 2017

    No. 91 belongs to Doug Atkins.

    Atkins went to Tennessee on a basketball scholarship, but made his mark on the football field. The Volunteers compiled a 29-4-1 record from 1950 through 1952, giving up an average of 7.8 points per game. Tennessee's conference record during those three seasons was 14-1-1.

    More than two decades after Atkins' final game for Tennessee, an All-SEC Quarter-Century Team was selected for the 1950 through 1974 seasons. Atkins was the only unanimous selection for the teams, and he was named the conference's top player of the quarter century.

    Tennessee finally retired Atkins' No. 91 in 2005...
  • #10 by jbcarol on 04 Jun 2017

    Fairley established the Auburn single-season record for sacks as the former Williamson High School star registered 11.5 during the Tigers' 14-0 season, which ended with a 22-19 victory over Oregon in the BCS national-championship game.

    In 2010, Fairley earned consensus All-American recognition, the SEC Defensive Player of the Year Award and the Lombardi Award.

    The SEC began presenting a Defensive Players of the Year Award in 2002, and Fairley is Auburn's only winner of the honor.

    A heart condition may end Fairley's NFL career per published reports.
  • #11 by jbcarol on 05 Jun 2017
  • Continuation of the countdown to '17 kickoff featuring top players by uniform number from Bama, Tennessee, Auburn and LSU:

    Tennessee's Larry Seivers was a consensus All-American, and he earned that honor twice in 1975 and 1976.
  • #12 by jbcarol on 06 Jun 2017

    Terry Beasley formed a record-setting passing combination with quarterback Pat Sullivan at Auburn, helping the Tigers run up a record of 26-7 from 1969 through 1971.

    Beasley was one of the SEC's best receivers from his first season, when he led the league in yards per catch and was second in touchdown receptions.

    In his junior season, he became Auburn's first 1,000-yard receiver - and the third in SEC history - while also leading the conference in scoring. His average of 20.2 yards per catch in 1970 was an SEC record for a player with 50 receptions and has been bettered only once since.

    In 1971, Beasley led the SEC in receiving yards again, and this time, led the league in receptions, too.

    When his career ended, Beasley had caught more touchdown passes than any player in SEC history, a record that stood for 24 years. His conference career record for receiving yards per game lasted for 30 years.
  • #13 by jbcarol on 08 Jun 2017

    Jordan Matthews was an All-SEC wide receiver for Vanderbilt in 2012 and 2013, when the Commodores posted nine victories in each season.

    Vanderbilt hadn't won nine games in a season since 1915 and, with two nine-win seasons in a row, set a school record for victories in consecutive campaigns.

    In 2013, the former Madison Academy standout set an SEC record for receptions in a season with 112 - 15 more than any receiver had caught in a single campaign to that point in the conference's history. The single-season receptions record has since been broken by Alabama's Amari Cooper.

    But Matthews still reigns as the conference's leader in career receptions with 262 and career receiving yards with 3,759. He was the fourth SEC receiver with 3,000 receiving yards.
  • #14 by jbcarol on 08 Jun 2017

    1989, when Keith McCants finally stepped out of the shadow of Derrick Thomas on the Alabama defense and helped the Crimson Tide earn a share of the SEC title for the first time since 1981, he was the conference's best defensive player, maybe the best in the nation.

    The former Murphy High School standout was a unanimous All-American selection in 1989, the only No. 86 in the SEC's history to be chosen as a first-team All-American by all the organizations used by the NCAA to compile the consensus team.
  • #15 by jbcarol on 09 Jun 2017

    Tight end James Whalen helped keep coach Hal Mumme's Air Raid Offense rolling at Kentucky with a breakout senior season that landed him on the SEC's All-Decade team for the 1990s.

    A walk-on at Kentucky who'd started his collegiate career at Shasta College, Whalen was the SEC's leading receiver in 1999, when he caught 90 passes for 1,019 yards and 10 touchdowns. He led the SEC in receptions and TD catches and ranked third in receiving yards as he became the conference's first tight end with at least 1,000 receiving yards in a season.

    Not only did all three figures rank as the best among the nation's tight ends in 1999, but Whalen's 90 receptions were the most in one season for a tight end in NCAA Division I-A [FBS] history.

    Whalen's big season earned the tight end a spot on the consensus All-American team, making him the seventh Kentucky player to receive that accolade.
  • #16 by jbcarol on 10 Jun 2017

    Marcus Spears came to LSU as a tight end, and he was good enough to make the SEC All-Freshman team at that position in 2001. By the time, he left, though, Spears had become a consensus All-American defensive end for the Tigers.

    Spears played tight end, defensive end and fullback for the Tigers as a freshman. He made the switch to defensive end full-time in 2002 and earned a place on the All-SEC team at that spot in 2003, when LSU led the nation in scoring defense and total defense.

    That season, Spears helped LSU win the BCS national championship. In the Sugar Bowl, which served as the national-title game for the 2003 season, Spears returned an interception 20 yards for a touchdown to give LSU a 21-7 lead against Oklahoma early in the third quarter. The Tigers defeated the Sooners 21-14 to give coach Nick Saban his first national title.

    In 2004, Spears repeated as an All-SEC selection and added consensus All-American to his list of accolades.
  • #17 by jbcarol on 11 Jun 2017

    83 is Florida wide receiver Dwayne Dixon.

    Some numbers in SEC football history are stacked with All-Americans and several conference Players of the Year. A couple even have multiple Heisman Trophy winners. No. 83 is not one of those numbers.

    As a senior, he was a first-team All-SEC selection.
  • #18 by jbcarol on 12 Jun 2017

    In 1976 and 1977, Alabama's Ozzie Newsome was the All-SEC first-team tight end. In 1977, the former Colbert County High School three-sport star also earned consensus All-American honors - but not at tight end.

    Newsome was a consensus All-American receiver that season. On the American Football Coaches Association's All-American selections in 1977, Newsome was the first-team split end.

    Regardless of the terminology or position for Newsome, the results were good for Alabama, which posted a 26-2 SEC record, won three conference championships and went 42-6 overall in his four seasons with the Crimson Tide.

    Newsome's Alabama career earned him a spot in the College Football Hall of Fame. After he left the Tide, Newsome's 13-season career - as a tight end - with the NFL's Cleveland Browns landed him in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, too. 
  • #19 by jbcarol on 13 Jun 2017

    Mike Pitts played on coach Paul "Bear" Bryant's final four teams at Alabama, which allowed the defensive lineman to break in as a freshman contributor on the Crimson Tide's last national-championship squad under Bryant - the undefeated 1979 club.

    By the time Pitts left Alabama, he'd become a consensus All-American.

    Pitts was a first-team All-SEC selection in 1981 and 1982, part of a streak of five years that the Crimson Tide had a defensive end on the all-conference first team -

    n 1982, Pitts was a first-team All-American selection by the American Football Coaches Association, the Football Writers Association of America and United Press International - three of the four organizations used by the NCAA that season to determine the consensus All-American team.
  • #20 by jbcarol on 14 Jun 2017

    Steve Meilinger was a jack of all trades and a master of them all from 1951 through 1953 for coach Paul "Bear" Bryant's Kentucky teams.

    Meilinger lined up at end, fullback, halfback and quarterback on offense and end, linebacker and back on defense during his time with the Wildcats, earning the nickname "Mr. Anywhere." He also returned punts and kickoffs and, for his final two seasons, punted for Kentucky.

    For All-SEC purposes, Meilinger was an end on the 1951 and 1952 all-star teams and a fullback in the 1953 selections. He earned All-American recognition as an end in 1952 and 1953.

    Kentucky was ranked in the final Associated Press poll the final three seasons of Meilinger's career for the Wildcats. In the rest of Kentucky's football history, it's finished in the final AP poll of the season three times.

    Meilinger is one of five members of the College Football Hall of Fame inducted as a Kentucky player.
  • #21 by jbcarol on 15 Jun 2017

    In 1957, Kentucky slumped to 3-7 after 11 consecutive winning seasons and finished last in the SEC with a 1-7 record. That didn't keep Kentucky tackle/place-kicker/punter Lou Michaels from earning the SEC Player of the Year Award, the first time a player other than a quarterback or running back had won that honor since 1940 and one of five times in the 68-year history of the award that it went to a player from a losing team.

    It also didn't keep the two-way standout from becoming a consensus All-American for the second straight season at time when the national all-star team consisted of 11 players.

    It also didn't keep Michaels from finishing fourth in the Heisman Trophy voting.

    Michaels settled in as a defensive end and kicker in the NFL, entering the pros as the fourth player picked in the 1958 draft. He spent 13 seasons in the NFL.

    Michaels is one of five members of the College Football Hall of Fame inducted as a Kentucky player.
  • #22 by jbcarol on 16 Jun 2017

    Antone Davis helped clear the way for three 1,000-yard rushers at Tennessee - Reggie Cobb, Chuck Webb and Tony Thompson.

    By the time Davis reached his senior season in 1990, the Volunteers' offensive production resulted in an SEC championship for Tennessee after it had shared the league title the previous year with Alabama and Auburn.

    1990 Volunteers averaged scoring 36.7 points per game, the highest output in the SEC in 17 years.

    As a senior, Davis earned the Jacobs Blocking Trophy as the SEC's top blocker and received recognition as a unanimous All-American. 
  • #23 by jbcarol on 18 Jun 2017

    Georgia defensive tackle Bill Stanfill won the 1968 Outland Trophy, and it would be 20 years before another SEC player won the award as the nation's best interior lineman.

    Stanfill's career landed him in the College Football Hall of Fame after he earned consensus All-American honors as the frontman of Georgia's top-rated defense in 1968. The Bulldogs had another future Hall of Famer, defensive back Jake Scott, in the secondary.

    Bulldogs had led the SEC in scoring defense and total defense in Stanfill's junior season, and they did that again in 1968, this time leading the nation in scoring defense by yielding an average of 9.8 points per game.

    The Bulldogs won the SEC championship in 1968 after earning a share of the title in Stanfill's sophomore season. During Stanfill's three years, Georgia lost two SEC games.
  • #24 by jbcarol on 18 Jun 2017

    A&M's first season in the SEC turned out to be memorable. Quarterback Johnny Manziel became the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy as the Aggies set a conference single-season record with 7,261 yards of total offense in 2012.

    One of the big - 305 pounds -- reasons for Texas A&M's offensive success was the Aggies' left tackle, Luke Joeckel.

    While Manziel was a consensus All-American in 2012, he wasn't a unanimous All-American. Joeckel was.

    Joeckel also won the Jacobs Blocking Trophy as the SEC's best blocker over another unanimous All-American -

    Joeckel earned the Outland Trophy, too. Joeckel is the only Texas A&M player who has won the Outland.
  • #25 by jbcarol on 19 Jun 2017

    Barrett Jones was an All-SEC guard, tackle and center during his time at Alabama, played for three BCS national-championship teams and earned consensus All-American honors twice.

    Jones spent his first two seasons mainly as the Crimson Tide's right guard. After breaking in with a national-title team in 2009, Jones was an All-SEC guard in 2010.

    The next season, he moved to left offensive tackle. Alabama won the BCS crown again, and Jones added to his accolades by receiving the Outland Trophy, which is presented annually to the nation's best interior lineman.

    The Tide repeated as the national champ in the 2012 season with Jones in a new position. At center...

    Shoved McCarron in the national championship game.
  • #26 by jbcarol on 20 Jun 2017

    Rocker's 1988 season was so good that Alabama's Derrick Thomas set the NCAA single-season sack record that year and Rocker still won the SEC Player of the Year Award.

    In 1988, Rocker became the first SEC player to win the Outland Trophy, presented annually to the nation's best interior lineman, and the Lombardi Award, presented annually to the nation's best lineman/linebacker in the same season. He was the SEC's first Outland winner in 20 years, and it would be another 16 years before another SEC player won the Lombardi.

    Auburn led the nation in scoring defense, total defense and rushing defense in 1988.

    Rocker and Bo Jackson are the only Auburn players to earn consensus All-American recognition twice, with Rocker achieving that status in 1987 and 1988. The Tigers won the SEC title in 1987 and shared it in 1988.

    Rocker is one of the two SEC players in the College Football Hall of Fame who wore No. 74. The other is Florida defensive end Jack Youngblood.
  • #27 by jbcarol on 21 Jun 2017

    "In over 30 years with the game, he's the finest offensive lineman I've ever been around,"

    -- Bear Bryant
  • #28 by jbcarol on 22 Jun 2017

    LSU defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey cleaned up in the 2007 season. For that season, he won the:

        Lombardi Award, presented annually to the nation's best lineman/linebacker.
        Lott IMPACT Trophy, presented annual to Defensive IMPACT Player of the Year, with IMPACT standing for integrity, maturity, performance, academics, community and tenacity.
        Nagurski Trophy, presented annually to the nation's best defensive player.
        Outland Trophy, presented annually to the nation's best interior lineman.
        SEC Defensive Player of the Year Award
        unanimous All-American
  • #29 by jbcarol on 23 Jun 2017

    At Huffman High in 2005, tackle Andre Smith became the first and, so far, only offensive lineman to win Alabama's Mr. Football Award, and the accolades kept coming during his three collegiate seasons with the Crimson Tide.

    Smith received All-SEC recognition twice, earned the Jacobs Blocking Trophy, captured unanimous All-American honors and won the Outland Trophy...
  • #30 by jbcarol on 25 Jun 2017

    Something happened in the SEC's 1950 football season that hadn't happened before and hasn't happened since: Kentucky was the outright conference champion. The Wildcats' only other SEC football crown is a shared title in 1976.

    One reason for Kentucky's success under coach Paul "Bear" Bryant was tackle Bob Gain.

    As with many of the SEC's 1950 football stars, Gain was able to specialize in the NFL after playing both ways in college. In his 13-year career with the Cleveland Browns, Gain played defensive tackle, earning Pro Bowl recognition five times.

    In 1950, Kentucky finished second in the nation in total defense and capped an 11-1 season by winning the Sugar Bowl 13-7 over Oklahoma, which entered the contest averaging 34.5 points per game.

    Gain became the SEC's first winner of the Outland Trophy...

    Gain is one of Kentucky's five players in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
  • #31 by jbcarol on 25 Jun 2017

    Jacobs Blocking Trophy has been presented to the SEC's best blocker since the 1935 season. With two ties at the top of the voting, the award has been given 84 times. Only once has it been earned by a player from Kentucky.

    In 1976, the Jacobs Blocking Trophy went to Kentucky offensive tackle Warren Bryant.

    Bryant also earned first-team All-SEC recognition for the third straight season in 1976. He's one of four Kentucky players to be selected to the All-SEC first team three times, along with ends Steve Meilinger and Tom Hutchinson and kick returner Derek Abney.

    During Bryant's senior season, the American Football Coaches Association, The Sporting News and Walter Camp Football Foundation named him a first-team All-American, and he entered pro football as the sixth player picked in the 1977 NFL Draft.
  • #32 by jbcarol on 26 Jun 2017

    Ole Miss' Jackie Simpson certainly must be the only player to be an All-SEC first-team selection at guard who has a 62-yard punt return for a touchdown against LSU...

    In 1955, he was an All-SEC third-team halfback; in 1956, he was an All-SEC second-team halfback; and in 1957, he was an All-SEC first-team guard.

    As a senior, Simpson also was a first-team All-American guard for the American Football Coaches Association and the Football Writers Association of America.

    In addition to those duties, Simpson was a place-kicker, too.

    In the pros, where he could specialize, Simpson played linebacker (and made three field goals for the Oakland Raiders in 1962).

    During Simpson's time with Ole Miss, the Rebels won one SEC title, posted a 14-3-1 conference record and a 26-5-1 overall mark, won the Cotton and Sugar bowls...

    It would be fifty years, FIFTY, before they achieved back-to-back New Year's Day bowl games.
  • #33 by jbcarol on 27 Jun 2017

    Auburn's Ed King was a unanimous All-American choice, picked as a first-teamer by all five of the selectors used by the NCAA to assemble the consensus team for 1990.

    Then the former Central-Phenix City standout left for the NFL with a season of eligibility remaining.

  • #34 by jbcarol on 28 Jun 2017

    Alan Faneca was a six-time All-Pro for the Pittsburgh Steelers and has been a finalist for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in both of his years of eligibility.

    Faneca was good at LSU, too.

    Faneca earned All-SEC recognition during his sophomore and junior seasons, when LSU led the SEC in rushing offense. Running back Kevin Faulk topped 1,000 rushing yards in each season.

    In 1998, Faulk ran for 1,000 yards for a third time, but Faneca had left for the NFL with a season of eligibility remaining. While Faulk got his yardage again, LSU dropped to 2-6 in conference play and 4-7 overall after going 14-7-1 in the SEC and 26-9-1, with three bowl victories, with Faneca in the lineup.

    Faneca capped his collegiate career in 1997 as a consensus All-American and the winner of the Jacobs Blocking Trophy...
  • #35 by jbcarol on 29 Jun 2017

    Steve DeLong was the first Tennessee player to win a major national award, earning the Outland Trophy as the nation's best interior lineman for the 1964 season.

    DeLong finished eighth in the balloting for the Heisman... DeLong was the All-SEC middle guard...

    The changing rules of football were reflected in the All-American teams. In 1963, the Football Writers Association of America had DeLong as a guard on its All-American team. In 1964, with most selectors switching to offensive and defensive units, DeLong was an All-American middle guard, although the AP team had him listed as a linebacker.
  • #36 by jbcarol on 30 Jun 2017

    Anderson was the consensus All-American center in 1985, but he played all the positions on the offensive interior for the Bulldogs.

    In 1985, Anderson also earned the Jacobs Blocking Trophy

    During Anderson's time at Georgia, the Bulldogs posted an 18-5-1 SEC record and won one conference title and went 35-9-4 overall. Two of the ties came in their four bowls
  • #37 by jbcarol on 01 Jul 2017

    Jonathan Luigs played center for Arkansas, the Razorbacks became the second SEC team to have a 1,000-yard rusher for four consecutive seasons - and in two of those seasons, the Hogs had two 1,000-yard rushers

    In 2006, Arkansas' 286.5 rushing yards per game were the highest for an SEC team in 21 years. The Ground Hogs helped the Razorbacks win the SEC West title outright for the only time. That season also was Luigs' first as the All-SEC center.

    The next year, he repeated that honor and also received the Jacobs Blocking Trophy, which is presented annually to the SEC's best blocker, and the Rimington Trophy, which is presented annually to the nation's best center, while being named a consensus All-American.
  • #38 by jbcarol on 02 Jul 2017

    Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant once said the Georgia star was the best college football player ever, and the legendary Jim Thorpe said he was the best football player ever.
  • #39 by jbcarol on 03 Jul 2017

    All-SEC and All-American teams for the 1958 and 1959 seasons list Auburn's Zeke Smith as a guard. But the Tigers' annual Defensive Player of the Year Award isn't named for Smith because he was a good blocker.
  • #40 by jbcarol on 04 Jul 2017

    Alabama has had four winners of the Outland Trophy, but Chris Samuels was the first.

    Samuels won the Outland in 1999, when he also received the Jacobs Blocking Trophy as the SEC's best blocker and earned unanimous All-American.

    A four-year starter at Alabama, Samuels helped clear the way at left offensive tackle for three 1,000-yard rushing seasons - one by Dennis Riddle and two by Shaun Alexander.

    A prep star at Shaw...
  • #41 by jbcarol on 05 Jul 2017

    For the 2008 season, Arkansas' Jonathan Luigs was heading into his senior campaign as a two-time All-SEC selection who'd won the Rimington Trophy as the nation's best center and the Jacobs Blocking Trophy as the SEC's best blocker in 2007.

    But Luigs didn't become a three-time All-SEC first-teamer. Instead, the All-SEC center in 2008 was Alabama's Antoine Caldwell.

    Caldwell was the consensus All-American center for the 2008 season, too. 

    The Crimson Tide had had one consensus All-American over the previous eight seasons.
  • #42 by jbcarol on 06 Jul 2017

    Emory Ballard had a lot of ways to describe Kent Hull, the center for the first four of his seven teams as Mississippi State's coach.

    For instance, Hull was "a rolling bunch of butcher knives" and as "tough as a two-bit steak."

    In the middle of Mississippi State's wishbone offense from 1979 through 1982, Hull helped the Bulldogs achieve a level of success they hadn't reached since the 1940s.

    Mississippi State had played in three bowl games in its history before the Bulldogs appeared in the Sun Bowl to cap the 1980 season and ended the 1981 season at the Hall of Fame Classic.

    State's 5-1 record in league play in 1980 stands as the Bulldogs' best since they went 4-0-1 in the SEC in 1941, when MSU won its only conference crown. A 21-15 loss at Florida on Sept. 27, 1980, kept MSU from tying Georgia's undefeated national-title team for the SEC championship that season.

    In 1982, Mississippi State led the SEC in total offense for the first time -- only once since.
  • #43 by jbcarol on 07 Jul 2017

    Of the many good SEC players who have worn 57 on their jerseys, three had particularly excellent collegiate careers - Georgia Tech tackle Bobby Davis, Tennessee linebacker Steve Kiner and Alabama center Dwight Stephenson.

    After earning second-team All-SEC recognition in his first season on the Tennessee varsity and helping the Volunteers win the SEC title in 1967, Kiner was an All-SEC first-teamer as a junior and a senior.

    Kiner also was a consensus All-American in 1968 and a unanimous All-American in 1969, when he finished ninth in the voting for the Heisman Trophy.

    Tennessee lost two conference games in Kiner's three seasons and added another SEC championship in his senior campaign.

    Davis started as a freshman for Georgia Tech's 1944 SEC championship team...
  • #44 by jbcarol on 08 Jul 2017

    Maurkice Pouncey began his career at Florida as a guard, where he started the first game of his freshman season. He ended it as the nation's best center, winning the Rimington Trophy for the 2009 season. Pouncey also was the consensus All-American center in 2009.
  • #45 by jbcarol on 09 Jul 2017

    Nearly 30 years after his last game for Alabama, linebacker Derrick Thomas still figures prominently in the Crimson Tide's football record book.

    He holds the Alabama career records with 52 sacks and 68 tackles for loss.

    Thomas' accolades: SEC's first winner of the Butkus Award, unanimous All-American selection and the 10th-place finisher in the Heisman Trophy voting in 1988.
  • #46 by jbcarol on 10 Jul 2017

    All-American Lee Roy Jordan, who helped Alabama finish atop the final polls of the AP and UPI for the 1961 season - the Tide's first wire-service national championship.

    During Jordan's three seasons playing for coach Paul "Bear" Bryant, Alabama compiled a 29-2-2 record. The Tide yielded 120 points in those 33 games. The 1961 team led the nation in scoring defense and total defense, giving up only 25 points in compiling an 11-0 record that season.

    Jordan was the All-SEC center in 1961 and 1962 in the closing days of one-platoon football. The all-conference teams consisted of only 11 players then, and they were listed by their offensive positions.

    Jordan was a unanimous selection as the All-American center for the 1962 season. The former Excel High standout capped his college football career by making 31 tackles in Alabama's 17-0 victory over Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl on Jan. 1, 1963. 
  • #47 by jbcarol on 11 Jul 2017

    State was in full retreat for most of his three seasons with the Bulldogs. As Lewis led MSU in tackles for three straight seasons, the Bulldogs managed to win one SEC game and compiled a 7-23 overall record.

    Mississippi State's record didn't keep Lewis from earning accolades, though, and some came even after he left the Bulldogs. He was one of the three linebackers picked for the SEC's 50th anniversary team in 1972. Lewis was a member of the College Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2001.

    One-platoon football died in 1964, when NCAA rule changes established unlimited substitution, and Lewis played his first varsity season in 1965. But State still used Lewis at center as well as linebacker. When Lewis got to the NFL, he got a brief look at center with the Dallas Cowboys before settling at linebacker.
  • #48 by jbcarol on 12 Jul 2017

    Harry Gilmer is unique in Alabama's football history as the only Crimson Tide player who's been the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft. But Gilmer's special place in Alabama football goes a lot deeper than that.

    A four-time All-SEC selection, Gilmer still figures prominently among the stat leaders in the Alabama record book almost 70 years after his final game for the Crimson Tide. He holds the mark for the highest average for any player with at least five rushing attempts in a game at 36.0 yards as he ran for 216 yards on six carries against Kentucky in 1945.

    Gilmer's school records for career touchdown passes stood for 31 years, career all-purpose yards for 40 years, career interceptions for 46 years, career punt-return yards for 61 years and TD responsibility for 61 years.

    Gilmer was the epitome of the triple-threat back in football's pre-T-formation days.

    Gilmer is the only player to lead Alabama in passing for four seasons, and the former Woodlawn High star also was the Tide's leading punt and kickoff returner every year of his collegiate career.
  • #49 by jbcarol on 13 Jul 2017

    Kavanaugh went on to be the nation's leading receiver in 1939 as he earned SEC Player of the Year and consensus All-American honors

    Kavanaugh became the 10th SEC player selected for the College Football Hall of Fame when he joined the Class of 1963. He's one of two SEC's No. 51's in the College Football Hall of Fame, along with Georgia Tech center-linebacker George Morris...
  • #50 by jbcarol on 14 Jul 2017

    Tennessee guard Chip Kell earned first-team All-SEC recognition three times. In 1968, he was the all-conference center. In 1969 and 1970, he earned All-SEC honors as a guard.

    Kell won the Jacobs Trophy as the SEC's top blocker in 1969 and 1970.

    He was a consensus All-American in 1969, earning first-team recognition from five of the six selectors used by the NCAA to compile the consensus squad. As a senior, he did even better, earning unanimous All-American recognition.

    During Kell's three seasons at Tennessee, the Volunteers compiled a 13-3-1 SEC record and won the league title in 1969. Overall, Tennessee went 28-5-1, including a 16-0-1 mark at Neyland Stadium.

    Kell is one of two SEC players who wore No. 50 enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame. The other is Tennessee linebacker Frank Emanuel.

    Runner-up at No. 50: Auburn center Reese Dismukes.