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LSU DT Ego Ferguson Deserved All-SEC Recognition over Anthony Johnson

Oct 12, 2013; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; LSU Tigers defensive tackle Ego Ferguson (9) and defensive tackle Anthony Johnson (90) celebrate a defensive play against the Florida Gators during the second quarter of their game at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
Carter BryantContributor IOctober 17, 2016

Postseason All-Conference teams are silly. 

The Associated Press released its annual All-SEC team, voted on by members of the media. And, as always, there was much debate over who got snubbed. 

Voting for teams such as these are hard. Writers barely have time to write their own stories, much less watch and evaluate ever player on every team. 

Linemen are the hardest to evaluate. There are few stats and news articles to quickly look up on them. Name recognition and popularity mean plenty when choosing them. 

LSU defensive tackle Ego Ferguson learned the hard way. Ferguson only earned "Honorable Mention" for his efforts this season. His teammate, Anthony "Freak" Johnson, made Second-Team All-SEC.

Notice the word "Freak" attached to Johnson's name. It helped distinguish himself amongst others by a nickname alone. He made multiple preseason All-American teams.

But Johnson's play did not live up to expectations this season.

Anthony Johnson vs. Ego Ferguson Season Statistics
TacklesTFLSacks
Anthony Johnson3273
Ego Ferguson583.51
LSU Sports

Ferguson was far from spectacular for most of the season, but he was better than Johnson.

Statistics are not always an accurate indicator of a defensive lineman's play. But the huge gap between Ferguson and Johnson is tough to ignore. 

Ferguson was far more active getting off blocks and making plays.

Sep 21, 2013; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; LSU Tigers defensive tackle Ego Ferguson (9) tackles Auburn Tigers running back Tre Mason (21) as he carries the ball in the second quarter against the Auburn Tigers at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Crystal LoGiudice
Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Spor

Johnson's numbers are poor. LSU did not have the depth at defensive tackle like in years past, which makes his lack of production even more startling considering his high volume of snaps. 

Johnson was the better pass-rusher, raking in two more sacks than Ferguson. Johnson's quickness makes his "swim" move difficult for offensive linemen to block. 

But both Ferguson and Johnson were inconsistent in getting to the quarterback. They are too powerful to have not pushed the pocket more frequently. 

Ferguson was also more fundamentally sound. On double-teams, he was better at holding at the point of attack. While Johnson made more plays behind the line of scrimmage, he often got pushed around too easily. 

LSU's last game against Arkansas was an accurate indicator of how their seasons went. 

On a 3rd-and-1 in the fourth quarter, Arkansas ran a simple run to the left. Ferguson stood up First-Team All-SEC center Travis Swanson at the line of scrimmage, peeled off the block and made the tackle for the critical stop. LSU was losing, so forcing a punt was critical.

Johnson jumped offsides four times over the course of the game. He was also pushed around by the Razorbacks offensive line. 

The duo had an above-average season, but it was not entirely their fault. All levels of LSU's defense were mediocre. They also had average backups, forcing them to play more snaps.

Ferguson was an overall better defensive tackle and deserved Second-Team All-SEC over Johnson. "The Freak" should be thankful for the preseason hype that surrounded him. 

Follow me on Twitter @CarterthePower.  

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