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SEC Preseason All-Conference Team: Athlon releases 2024 prediction

Screen Shot 2024-05-28 at 9.09.17 AMby:Kaiden Smith07/07/24

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The SEC will look a little bit different next season, as Texas and Oklahoma join the conference and a divisionless schedule will make every week matter even more in what many regard as the toughest conference in college football. With a multitude of impact players having a chance to elevate their teams to to an SEC title and the College Football Playoff in the first season of the 12-team expanded field.

Many of the SEC’s top players from last season return to the conference, some of whom are on different teams within the league. And two new teams paired with players primed for a breakout season leaves plenty room for new shining stars in the SEC.

Ahead of a historical season for the SEC, Athlon released their Preseason SEC Football 2024 All-Conference Team. Check out who they predict will be the best players at every position in the Southeastern Conference from star quarterbacks to punters and kickers below.

First Team

Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

OFFENSE

QB: Carson Beck — Georgia
RB: Trevor Etienne — Georgia
RB: Jarquez Hunter — Auburn
AP/WR: Luther Burden — Missouri
WR: Tre Harris — Ole Miss
WR: Juice Wells — Ole Miss
WR: Isaiah Bond — Texas
TE: Caden Prieskorn — Ole Miss
C: Parker Brailsford — Alabama
OL: Emery Jones — LSU
OL: Will Campbell — LSU
OL: Kelvin Banks — Texas
OL: Tate Ratledge — Georgia
OL: Tyler Booker — Alabama

DEFENSE

DL: James Pearce — Tennessee
DL: Landon Jackson — Arkansas
DL: Deone Walker — Kentucky
DL: Nic Scourton — Texas A&M
DL: Walter Nolen — Ole Miss
LB: Mykel Williams — Georgia
LB: Harold Perkins — LSU
LB: Danny Stutsman — Oklahoma
LB: Deontae Lawson — Alabama
LB: Smael Mondon — Georgia
DB: Maxwell Hairston — Kentucky
DB: Malachi Moore — Alabama
DB: Malaki Starks — Georgia
DB: Billy Bowman — Oklahoma
DB: Jahdae Barron — Texas

SPECIALISTS

K: Graham Nicholson — Alabama
P: James Burnip — Alabama
KR: Barion Brown — Kentucky
PR: Keionte Scott — Auburn

Georgia has six players on Athlon’s preseason First Team All-Conference list and a league-leading 17 total players on the entirety of all four teams. Highlighted by the backfield duo of Carson Beck and Florida transfer Trevor Etienne, who changed his scenery this offseason through the transfer portal.

Several other players on the First Team like Juice Wells, Walter Nolen, and Isaiah Bond will be on new SEC teams this upcoming season. But all in all, the Athlon’s First Team comprises of some players that aren’t just the best in the SEC, but the entire country this upcoming season.

Second Team

Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

OFFENSE

QB: Jalen Milroe — Alabama
RB: Montrell Johnson — Florida
RB: CJ Baxter — Texas
RB: Ulysses Bentley IV — Ole Miss 
WR: Eugene Wilson III — Florida
WR: Deion Burks — Oklahoma
WR: Kyren Lacy — LSU
WR: Dane Key — Kentucky
All-Purpose: Dillon Bell — Georgia
TE: Luke Hasz — Arkansas
C: Cooper Mays — Tennessee
OL: Earnest Greene — Georgia
OL: Trey Zuhn III — Texas A&M
OL: Armand Membou — Missouri
OL: Josh Braun — Arkansas
OL: Xavier Truss — Georgia
OL: Jeremy James — Ole Miss
OL: Garrett Dellinger — LSU

DEFENSE

DL: Shemar Turner — Texas A&M
DL: Princely Umanmielen — Ole Miss
DL: Nazir Stackhouse — Georgia
DL: Tonka Hemingway — South Carolina
DL: Tim Smith — Alabama
DL: Johnny Walker — Missouri
LB: Taurean York — Texas A&M
LB: Debo Williams — South Carolina
LB: Jamon Dumas-Johnson — Kentucky
LB: Anthony Hill — Texas
LB: Chris Paul — Ole Miss
LB: Jalon Walker — Georgia
CB: Malik Muhammad — Texas
CB: Jason Marshall — Florida
S: Daylan Carnell — Missouri
S: Andrew Mukuba — Texas
S: Nick Emmanwori — South Carolina

SPECIALISTS

K: Bert Auburn — Texas
P: Brett Thorson — Georgia
KR: Zavion Thomas — LSU
PR: Zavion Thomas — LSU

LSU and Georgia both log players from the offensive line on Athlon’s First and Second Teams ahead of the season. As both programs along with Texas will be tough to match across the entire country for strongest units up front offensively.

SEC stars from last season like Jalen Milroe and Princely Umanmielen round out the Preseason Second Team. With South Carolina also seeing representation on all three levels of the defense with Tonka Hemingway up front, linebacker Debo Williams, and defensive back Nick Emmanwori making the cut on the Second Team.

Third Team

Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

OFFENSE

QB: Quinn Ewers — Texas
RB: Justice Haynes — Alabama
RB: Dylan Sampson — Tennessee
RB: Gavin Sawchuk — Oklahoma 
RB: Rocket Sanders — South Carolina 
WR: Nic Anderson — Oklahoma
WR: Dominic Lovett — Georgia
WR: Squirrel White — Tennessee
WR: Moose Muhammad III — Texas A&M
TE: Rivaldo Fairweather — Auburn
TE: Oscar Delp — Georgia
C: Jake Majors — Texas
OL: Cayden Green — Missouri
OL: Austin Barber — Florida
OL: Kadyn Proctor — Alabama
OL: Cam’Ron Johnson — Missouri
OL: Dylan Fairchild — Georgia
OL: Marques Cox — Kentucky
OL: Javontez Spraggins — Tennessee

DEFENSE

DL: Ethan Burke — Texas
DL: Keldric Faulk — Auburn
DL: Ethan Downs — Oklahoma
DL: Kristian Williams — Missouri
DL: Jared Ivey — Ole Miss
DL: J.J. Pegues — Ole Miss
LB: JJ Weaver — Kentucky
LB: Langston Patterson — Vanderbilt
LB: Eugene Asante — Auburn
LB: Shemar James — Florida
LB: D’Eryk Jackson — Kentucky
CB: Daylen Everette — Georgia
CB: Woodi Washington — Oklahoma
S: Major Burns — LSU
S: Corey Ellington — Mississippi State
S: CJ Taylor — Vanderbilt
S: John Saunders — Ole Miss

SPECIALISTS

K: Trey Smack — Florida
P: Jeremy Crawshaw — Florida
KR: Jalil Farooq — Oklahoma
PR: Isaiah Sategna — Arkansas

Athlon’s Third Team is headlined by Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers. Who helped lead the Longhorns to a Big 12 title and the program’s first College Football Playoff appearance last season as he enters his third year as a starter.

But overall, there is a nice combination of proven players and others that ooze with potential ahead of the season. Highlighted by running backs like Rocket Sanders who has over 2,500 career all-purpose yards and Justice Haynes who had just 25 carries in his freshman season at Alabama.

Fourth Team

Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

OFFENSE

QB: Jaxson Dart — Ole Miss
RB: Rueben Owens — Texas A&M
RB: Ja’Quinden Jackson — Arkansas
WR: Kelly Akharaiyi — Mississippi State
WR: Andrew Armstrong — Arkansas
WR: Germie Bernard — Alabama
WR: Keandre Lambert-Smith — Auburn
WR: Barion Brown — Kentucky
TE: Mason Taylor — LSU
TE: Amari Niblack — Texas
C: Eli Cox — Kentucky
OL: Lance Heard — Tennessee
OL: Ethan Miner — Mississippi State
OL: Jake Slaughter — Florida
OL: Vershon Lee — South Carolina
OL: Connor Lew — Auburn
OL: Hayden Conner — Texas
OL: Micah Pettus — Ole Miss

DEFENSE

DL: Alfred Collins — Texas
DL: Trey Moore — Texas
DL: Damonic Williams — Oklahoma
DL: Cam Jackson — Florida
DL: De’Monte Russell — Mississippi State
DL: Tim Keenan III — Alabama
DL: Omari Thomas — Tennessee
LB: CJ Allen — Georgia
LB: Greg Penn III — LSU
LB: Keenan Pili — Tennessee
LB: Jalen McLeod — Auburn
LB: Jihaad Campbell — Alabama
LB: Triston Newson — Missouri
CB: Keionte Scott — Auburn
CB: Toriano Pride — Missouri
DB: De’Rickey Wright — Vanderbilt
DB: Bryce Anderson — Texas A&M
CB: Jaylon Braxton — Arkansas
S: Keon Sabb — Alabama
S: Jordan Castell — Florida

SPECIALISTS

K: Alex McPherson — Auburn
P: Kai Kroeger — South Carolina
KR: Isaiah Sategna — Arkansas
PR: Jordan Watkins — Ole Miss

The Fourth Team rounds out Athlon’s Preseason All-SEC Team and features numerous breakout stars who could find themselves as First-Team All-Conference selection when the season is all said and done. Starting with Ole Miss quarterback Jaxson Dart, who could have a career season in year three with Lane Kiffin.

The transfer portal is also well represented in the Fourth Team. As players on new teams and conference newcomers like Keandre Lambert-Smith, Damonic Williams, and Trey Moore will look to make their presence felt ahead of their SEC debuts.