The media contingent at SEC Media Days in Hoover, Ala., picked the Florida Gators to finish second in the SEC East behind Georgia, the conference announced Friday. Florida also had nine players selected to the preseason All-SEC teams, including two first-team members in offensive lineman Martez Ivey and cornerback Duke Dawson.
This is nothing new for Florida, the back-to-back SEC East champions. In coach Jim McElwain’s first two seasons, the Gators were chosen to finish fifth in the East in 2015 and second to Tennessee in 2016. Florida went on to win the division both seasons while Georgia and Tennessee finished tied for second each of the past two years.
“We never get enough credit,” Florida safety Marcell Harris said Tuesday. “A lot of guys have been telling me that they have us not picked to win the East again, but at the same time we honestly don’t even — I don’t even hear it.”
The media unsurprisingly selected Alabama to win both the SEC West and the overall conference title. The Crimson Tide has won the SEC Championship each of the last three seasons. Despite being chosen overall to finish second in the SEC East, Florida did receive three total votes to win the 2017 SEC Championship Game, tied for fourth with LSU behind Alabama (217), Auburn (11) and Georgia (6).
The full list of Florida players selected for the All-SEC teams, accompanied by their stats and accomplishments from the 2016 season, is below.
|Martez Ivey||OL||12 starts at left guard, two-time SEC Lineman of the Week|
|Duke Dawson||DB||24 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, 1 INT|
|Antonio Callaway||WR||721 yards, 3 touchdowns|
|CeCe Jefferson||DE||30 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks|
|Eddy Pineiro||K||21-for-25 FGs, 32 PATs, 48 touchbacks on 66 kickoffs|
|Johnny Townsend||P||47.9 yards per punt, 27 punts inside 20-yard line|
|DeAndre Goolsby||TE||348 yards, 3 touchdowns|
|Jabari Zuniga||DE||25 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, 5 sacks|
|Marcell Harris||DB||73 tackles, 4 tackles for loss, 2 INTs|
|Antonio Callaway||Return Specialist||8.4 yards per punt return|