Phil Steele released his preseason All-SEC football teams Tuesday. He picks four teams, and there was plenty of Ole Miss sprinkled throughout.
The only first-team selection was Denzel Nkemdiche at linebacker, but the biggest buzz was reserved a third-team end, the younger Nkemdiche, Robert, the incoming freshman.
Some other notable mentions: Donte Moncrief made second-team wide receiver. He’s got first-team potential in my opinion. He will be noticed more by others if the does a better job this season of making big plays even when defenses are keying on him. He’s got to spread his production around more through out the season. Moncrief had dominant performances against LSU and MSU last year, getting five of his 10 touchdown catches in those two games.
Ja-Mes Logan made Steele’s fourth-team offense but made it as a tight end, not a wide receiver. Sounds like Steele thinks the league doesn’t have many quality tight ends, and he rates Logan to be the 13th-best receiver in the SEC.
Logan excelled when he was moved to the slot last year. He and Vincent Sanders really came on to provide Bo Wallace with solid options not named Moncrief. It was a good cast overall and should be made deeper with the signees this season.
Speaking of Wallace, he was one of two guys noticeable by his absence. The top three quarterbacks – Johnny Manziel, A.J. McCarron and Aaron Murray – were easy picks. The fourth spot went to Florida’s Jeff Driskel.
Wallace would have been an easy choice there had his interceptions been lower than 17. He’s got to improve in that area this year.
Also missing was punter Tyler Campbell. Not surprising since he was redshirted last year as a senior. Easy to forget about him because of that, but this is a guy who was the NCAA statistical champion as a sophomore with a 46.4-yard average. As a junior James Shibest changed his style, going more to the rugby style punt, to improve the Rebels’ net punting. That goal was achieved. Campbell lost a little off his average in the process but was still between 42 and 43 yards and showed himself to be a more versatile punter and athlete.
Other Ole Miss mentions were guard Aaron Morris on the second team, running back Jeff Scott, kick returner Jaylen Walton, defensive end C.J. Johnson, linebacker Mike Marry and DB Charles Sawyer all on the fourth team.