Alabama, Georgia and Auburn were represented on the SEC coaches’ All-Freshman team that was announced on Thursday.
Alabama didn’t lean on its freshman class this season as much as it had in the past two seasons, but three were honored Thursday for their efforts.
Running back Trent Richardson, offensive lineman Barrett Jones and linebacker Nico Jones all landed on the SEC all-freshman team. Jones was one of four players who were unanimous selections.
Georgia placed two on the team: tight end Orson Charles (21 catches for 366 yards and three touchdowns) and defensive lineman Montez Robinson (two sacks).
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Auburn freshman safety Daren Bates was named to the team as well.
Bates had one of the more improbable years for the Tigers in recent memory. The lightly pursued two-star recruit made an impact immediately, winning a starting job in August and starting all 12 games.
He finished fourth on the team with 63 tackles (40 solo, 23 assists). He also had 2.5 tackles for a loss, two pass break-ups, an interception and a fumble recovery.
Mississippi State, Vanderbilt and South Carolina led the way with four representatives each.
OFF THE FIELD
Riley catches grief for bet from gambling advocates
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — For Alabama’s anti-gambling governor, Florida oranges are hot potatoes.
Gov. Bob Riley made the usual friendly bet with Florida Gov. Charlie Crist on last weekend’s SEC football championship game: a crate of Florida oranges versus ribs from Dreamland Barbecue in Tuscaloosa.
But with Alabama’s win comes criticism over Riley’s push to close down the state’s electronic bingo halls.
Riley’s office says he never intended to collect the winnings and he asked Florida not to send the oranges.
Florida officials say they had been planning to send the citrus along. When Florida beat Alabama last year, Riley ponied up the ribs.
A Riley spokesman says the bet is in good fun and criticism is coming from upset gambling advocates.
Kiffin says coaches, staff follow recruiting rules
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee football coach Lane Kiffin said Thursday he was not “aware” of any recruiting violations committed by himself, his assistants or support staff regarding the university’s student ambassador program.
“Myself and our staff take the rules and the bylaws of the NCAA and SEC extremely serious,” Kiffin said. “We work extremely hard to follow those.”
Tennessee confirmed Wednesday the NCAA is looking into the activities of members of the university’s Orange Pride group in a statement.