SEC Football: 5 Conference Players Wrongly Left off of AP All-America Teams

Jeremy HillmanContributor IDecember 16, 2011

SEC Football: 5 Conference Players Wrongly Left off of AP All-America Teams

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    The 2011 SEC football season is complete and the post-season awards have been handed out.

    One of the more prestigious honors given to college football players at the end of each year is a spot on the AP All-America team.

    A panel of AP voters selects a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd team of All-Americans at each position.

    There are Southeastern Conference players that had impressive seasons and were left out of this season All-America teams by the voters.

    Who are the SEC players that were wrongly left out?

    Click through the following slide show to see who I believe were the athletes most under-appreciated by the AP voters...

Winston Guy Jr., S (Kentucky)

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    Kentucky had a bit of a disappointing season in 2011. However, the play of safety Winston Guy Jr was one of the bright spots in the five win campaign.

    The Wildcat safety finished second in the SEC in tackles, averaging a big 10 tackles per game, and had an impressive 14 tackles for a loss, including two sacks, two interceptions, and a forced fumble from the safety position.

    There was a dynamic crop of safeties in the SEC this season, with the likes of Alabama's Mark Barron and Georgia's Baccari Rambo leading the way, but it is a shame to have senior Winston Guy Jr. lost in the shuffle.

    He finished 2nd team All-SEC this season and will be drafted into the NFL this next Spring.

    Barron and Rambo earned 1st team All-America honors this year.

    Fellow 2nd team All-SEC member Antonio Allen of South Carolina made 2nd team All-America and does not have the stats that Guy Jr. put up this regular season.

    That makes me believe that Guy Jr. deserved at least a 3rd team nod. A disappointing miss by the voters.

Rokevious Watkins, OL (South Carolina)

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    South Carolina finished with an impressive ten wins on the season and is headed to the capital One Bowl to play a good Nebraska team.

    One of the reasons for the solid season was the effective Gamecock rushing offense.

    South Carolina finished the regular season ranked third in the conference in rushing offense with a big 198 rush yards per contest.

    Whether it was star back Marcus Lattimore or emerging back Brandon Wilds, the Gamecock offensive line paved the way for chunks of yards on the ground.

    The best player on the line was guard Rokevious Watkins.

    He has been constantly commended for his work ethic and at 6-4 340 pounds he is a huge force on the line of scrimmage.

    Watkins finished first team All-SEC this season; yet, was left off of all three of the All-America squads by the voters.

    A strange miss by the AP committee.

William Vlachos, C (Alabama)

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    Alabama is headed to the BCS National Championship game in January.

    The Tide won eleven games and put themselves in a position to win a title by playing dominant defense and successfully running the football.

    The leader of the offensive line, the group that makes the Alabama offense run (literally), has been senior center William Vlachos.

    Vlachos grades out as one of the best lineman in the country and will be highly sought after in the NFL draft.

    He is a leader on the field and gives maximum effort every snap.

    He earned 1st team All-SEC honors for 2011. That is impressive when you consider he beat out Georgia center Ben Jones, one of the very best lineman in the country, for the honor.

    However, the AP voters left Vlachos off of all three All-America teams.

    I do not see how anyone could believe that Vlachos isn't one of the three best centers in college football.

Jarius Wright, WR (Arkansas)

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    Arkansas won ten games in the regular season and is making a return trip to the prestigious Cotton Bowl.

    The main driver for such a solid year was the Razorback's prolific passing attack.

    Quarterback Tyler Wilson connected often with star wide out Jarius Wright to fill up the scoreboard and the stat books.

    The top statistical receiver in the SEC, Wright ended the regular season with 63 catches for over 1,000 yards and scored 11 touchdowns.

    Are the voters telling me that the top receiver in the Southeastern Conference, that played against defenses like LSU, South Carolina, Alabama, isn't one of the top six receivers in college football?

    The AP voters placed Broyles, the wide out from Oklahoma, on the list and he missed three games this season due to injury and plays in the no-pass-defense Big 12.

    Broyles is an amazing receiver when healthy, but we all saw what Wright did against Big 12 competition (13 receptions, 281 yards, 2 touchdowns against Texas A&M).

    At least a third team recognition would be appropriate for Wright. There are tons of great receivers out there, but conference and schedule has to be taken into consideration. 

Danny Trevathan, LB (Kentucky)

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    The best player on the Kentucky squad and most underrated player in the entire SEC, is Wildcat linebacker Danny Trevathan.

    The talented defender is 1st in the SEC and 4th in the nation in total tackles with an eye-popping 143 take downs on the year.

    On top of that, he has four interceptions, 12 tackles for a loss, including three sacks, five blacked passes and five forced fumbles in 2011.

    He is a vocal leader on the field and seems to always be making plays on defense.

    Trevathan was named 1st team All SEC this season but was inexplicably left off of the three All-America units. 

    The worst part is that several linebackers from the SEC made it ahead of him, without anywhere near the stats.

    Its not to say players like Alabama's Don'ta Hightower and Courtney Upshaw didn't deserve the honor, they both had excellent seasons. However, look at the stat comparison:

    Tackles

    Trevathan 143

    Hightower 81

    Upshaw 45

     

    Sacks

    Upshaw 8

    Trevathan 3

    Hightower 3

     

    Tackles For Loss

    Upshaw 17

    Trevathan 12

    Hightower 9.5

     

    Forced Fumbles

    Trevathan 5

    Upshaw 2

    Hightower 0

     

    Looks to me as if the voters made a major mistake. If Upshaw and Hightower deserve the honer, Trevathan definitely deserves the honor.

    Horrible miss by the voters.