SEC coaches drop Manziel to preseason second-team

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Southeastern Conference coaches apparently don’t think Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel is the league’s best quarterback.

The coaches rated the Texas A&M quarterback as the preseason second-team selection on the teams released by the league Thursday. Georgia’s Aaron Murray was the first-team choice while Alabama’s AJ McCarron received third-team honors.

Manziel became the first freshman to win the Heisman last season, but allegations he received payment for autographs could threaten his eligibility.

Manziel’s lawyer has said he believes the quarterback will play in Texas A&M’s season opener against Rice on Aug. 31 even if an NCAA investigation isn’t finished, but that decision could ultimately be the Aggies’.

The cloud over his eligibility might have had something to do with Manziel’s downgrade. He was the first-team pick by league media before those allegations surfaced.

All three quarterbacks put up big stats, but Manziel had an unprecedented season in the SEC, even one-upping 2010 Heisman winner Cam Newton of Auburn. He led the league with 1,410 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns and also passed for 3,706 yards and 26 scores.

Manziel is the first player in NCAA history to surpass 5,000 total yards and 1,000 rushing yards in a single season.

Murray also has put up impressive numbers.

He is the first quarterback in SEC history to have 3,000 passing yards in three straight seasons, throwing for a school-record 3,893 yards and 36 touchdowns last season while being intercepted 10 times.

Murray already holds the school career marks for touchdown passes with 95 and touchdowns responsible for (104).

McCarron led the nation in passing efficiency with 30 touchdown passes and just three interceptions.

Alabama led the way with five first-team picks and 16 selections overall.

LSU and Georgia both had eight make one of the teams, while Florida and Tennessee had seven each.

Murray and McCarron might have better supporting casts among the skill positions, at least according to the coaches picks.

Georgia tailback Todd Gurley and tight end Arthur Lynch are both first-teamers. So are Crimson Tide tailback T.J. Yeldon and wide receiver Amari Cooper.

Jake Matthews, who protects Manziel’s blind side at left tackle, also made the first team.

Defensively, South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney as a first-team pick. Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley and safety HaHa Clinton-Dix were also among those selected.

Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own players. And the SEC didn’t release the ballots or vote totals.

*Ties

OFFENSE

First Team

Quarterback: Aaron Murray, Georgia

Running Back: Todd Gurley, Georgia

Running Back: T.J. Yeldon, Alabama

Wide Receiver: Amari Cooper, Alabama

Wide Receiver: Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt

Tight End: Arthur Lynch, Georgia

Offensive Line: Jake Matthews, Texas A&M

Offensive Line: Cyrus Kouandjio, Alabama

Offensive Line: Gabe Jackson, Mississippi State

Offensive Line: Antonio Richardson, Tennessee

Center: Travis Swanson, Arkansas

Second Team

Quarterback: Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M

Running Back: LaDarius Perkins, Mississippi State

Running Back: Tre Mason, Auburn

Wide Receiver: Mike Evans, Texas A&M

Wide Receiver: Donte Moncrief, Ole Miss

Tight End: Rory Anderson, South Carolina

Offensive Line: Anthony Steen, Alabama

Offensive Line: Ja’Wuan James, Tennessee

Offensive Line: Wesley Johnson, Vanderbilt

Offensive Line: *A.J. Cann, South Carolina

Offensive Line: *Chris Burnette, Georgia

Offensive Line: *Zach Fulton, Tennessee

Offensive Line: *Jon Halapio, Florida

Center: Reese Dismukes, Auburn

Third Team

Quarterback: AJ McCarron, Alabama

Running Back: Alfred Blue, LSU

Running Back: Keith Marshall, Georgia

Wide Receiver: *Odell Beckham Jr., LSU

Wide Receiver: *Malcolm Mitchell, Georgia

Wide Receiver: *Dorial Green-Beckham, Missouri

Tight End: *Brian Vogler, Alabama

Tight End: *C.J. Uzomah, Auburn

Offensive Line: La’el Collins, LSU

Offensive Line: David Hurd, Arkansas

Offensive Line: Justin Britt, Missouri

Offensive Line: Aaron Morris, Ole Miss

Center:- James Stone, Tennessee

DEFENSE

First Team

Defensive Line: Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina

Defensive Line: Dominique Easley, Florida

Defensive Line: Anthony Johnson, LSU

Defensive Line: Chris Smith, Arkansas

Linebacker: C.J. Mosley, Alabama

Linebacker: A.J. Johnson, Tennessee

Linebacker: Denzel Nkemdiche, Ole Miss

Defensive Backs: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Alabama

Defensive Backs: Craig Loston, LSU

Defensive Backs: Andre Hal, Vanderbilt

Defensive Backs: Loucheiz Purifoy, Florida

Second Team

Defensive Line: Kelcy Quarles, South Carolina

Defensive Line: Daniel McCullers, Tennessee

Defensive Line: *Ed Stinson, Alabama

Defensive Line: *Xzavier Dickson, Alabama

Defensive Line: *Jeoffrey Pagan, Alabama

Linebacker: Lamin Barrow, LSU

Linebacker: Jordan Jenkins, Georgia

Linebacker: Adrian Hubbard, Alabama

Defensive Backs: Damian Swann, Georgia

Defensive Backs: Marcus Roberson, Florida

Defensive Backs: E.J. Gaines, Missouri

Defensive Backs: Deion Belue, Alabama

Third Team

Defensive Line: *Dee Ford, Auburn

Defensive Line: *C.J. Johnson, Ole Miss

Defensive Line: *Ronald Powell, Florida

Defensive Line: *Alvin Dupree, Kentucky

Defensive Line: *Denico Autry, Mississippi State

Linebacker: Avery Williamson, Kentucky

Linebacker: Benardrick McKinney, Mississippi State

Linebacker: *Ronald Powell, Florida

Linebacker: *Trey DePriest, Alabama

Defensive Backs: Deshazor Everett, Texas A&M

Defensive Backs: Nickoe Whitley, Mississippi State

Defensive Backs: Vinnie Sunseri, Alabama

Defensive Backs: Charles Sawyer, Ole Miss

SPECIALISTS

First Team

Kicker: Carey Spear, Vanderbilt

Punter: Kyle Christy, Florida

Return Specialist: Odell Beckham Jr., LSU

All-Purpose: Bruce Ellington, South Carolina

Second Team

Kicker: Cody Parkey, Auburn

Punter: *Tyler Campbell, Ole Miss

Punter: *Cody Mandell, Alabama

Punter: *Steven Clark, Auburn

Return Specialist: Marcus Murphy, Missouri

All-Purpose: Odell Beckham Jr., LSU

Third Team

Kicker: *Andrew Baggett, Missouri

Kicker: *Zach Hocker, Arkansas

Punter: Michael Palardy, Tennessee

Return Specialist: Bruce Ellington, South Carolina

All-Purpose: LaDarius Perkins, Mississippi State

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