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Top 10 returning players at Arkansas State are headlined by EDGE Kivon Bennett

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The Arkansas State Red Wolves will once again deal with a lot of turnover in 2022. A year after watching their head coach jettison for Utah State, taking their quarterback Logan Bonner with them, they saw a mass exodus of players leave via the transfer portal this past offseason. Yet, the Red Wolves bring back a ton of exciting college football prospects in their top 10 returning players. Most notably, it should be a big change this year for Arkansas State fans, as this defense may be the best one they’ve had in some time.

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Top 10 returning players at Arkansas State

The countdown to the regular season continues here during Pro Football Network’s Top 10 Returning Players series. We’ve crossed the country to the Sun Belt and are firmly entrenching ourselves across the southeastern portion of the country with our look into each FBS team. Looking only at players returning to their same team from a season ago — we’ll deal with transfers later –, we’re counting down all the top 10 players returning to action on every team. Here are the top returners from Arkansas State.

10) Emmanual Stevenson, TE

A big target in the receiving game for the Red Wolves, Emmanual Stevenson quietly had a great true freshman season. He can play as an inline tight end but really shined in the middle of the season when given the opportunity to play as a stand-up receiving option. Combine that with the fact that he is no stranger to potential highlight-reel blocks in both facets, and Stevenson could develop into a top-notch TE.

9) Jaden Harris, LB

What Jaden Harris may lack in size at the linebacker position, he makes up for with his instincts and high motor. Harris understands his assignment and has a great knack for finding the football, both in coverage and against the run. He had a forced fumble and 4.0 tackles for loss because of that ability.

8) James Blackman, QB

Back to run the show on his own, James Blackman enters his second season at the helm of the Red Wolves this fall. The former Florida State quarterback threw for 1,344 yards and eight touchdowns a season ago, splitting time with Layne Hatcher and playing in just six games with five starts. Blackman’s quick delivery allows him to get the ball to the short area of the field well, but he also has plenty of arm strength to find his receivers streaking open downfield.

7) Jeff Foreman, WR

A big-play threat in his own right, Jeff Foreman has steadily increased his production over the past three seasons. Finding ways to win on the outside, Foreman is a valuable deep threat in the Arkansas State offense. He has sure hands and a documented ability to go up and win the 50-50 balls against any type of coverage defender. Foreman won’t be targeted in the short area much, but that is no indictment on his all-around ability. It’s more a praise of his ability to win downfield.

6) Melique Straker, LB

Hailing from Carleton College and not having played in live game action since 2020, it took Melique Straker a bit of time to see the field. But once he got on the field, he made a big difference.

Straker has the potential to develop into a true three-down LB. He can do everything asked of him from the weakside, but Straker’s best attribute may be his ability to cover all types of receivers on underneath routes. He came on strong down the stretch of the season in that regard.

5) Leon Jones, CB

A former two-year letterer at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Leon Jones burst onto the Sun Belt scene in 2021. Jones recorded a team-high eight pass breakups, logging significant time against opposing team’s No. 1 wide receivers. Jones has great size and even better length at the position. He’ll help to anchor a secondary that may be better than most think in 2022.

4) Te’Vailance Hunt, WR

Averaging over 14.5 yards per catch in his first season in Jonesboro, Te’Vailance Hunt proved why he was such a highly sought-after recruit last year. Back now as the No. 1 target for his QB, Hunt will look to improve on his 740 yards and six touchdowns from last season. Hunt has a great catch radius and plays even bigger than his 6’1″ frame would indicate. His body control is well above average, and he’s no stranger to ripping off big gains after the catch.

3) Samy Johnson, CB

Leading the team with three picks a year ago, Samy Johnson presents a big challenge for opposing quarterbacks to throw against. Battling through injuries in the middle of the year, Johnson led the team in interceptions despite missing two games and starting only eight contests. Johnson latches on to the opposing receiver, and if he doesn’t make a play on the ball, it’s hard to complete anything against him due to his closing speed and knowledge of when to time his move.

2) Kenneth Harris, CB

It was just nine games a season ago but Kenneth Harris broke out. Starting the final two games of the season, Harris ultimately finished second on the team with two interceptions. This came after he started just four games a season prior and still led the team in pass breakups. He’s a sticky cornerback with great size on the outside. He limits receptions very well and doesn’t let anything by him.

1) Kivon Bennett, EDGE

An absolute wreaker of havoc off the edge, Kivon Bennett terrorized opposing quarterbacks last season. If it wasn’t his team-high eight sacks, it was his constant force against opposing tackles that pushed the pocket and disrupted QBs left and right.

As great as Bennett is off the edge, his overall team value knows no end. He’s a valuable contributor on special teams as well, blocking punts or pushing off the edge against field goals all the same. In his first season at Arkansas State, Bennett looked every bit like the four-year Tennessee veteran. He’ll have one more season to show it off again.

Honorable mention players returning to Arkansas State in 2022

  • Johnnie Lang, RB
  • Ethan Miner, G/C
  • Ernesto Ramirez, G
  • John Mincey, DT
  • Taylon Doss, S

Cam Mellor is the Senior Director of the College Football/NFL Draft vertical for Pro Football Network. You can find his writing here and follow him on Twitter: @CamMellor.





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Why Eagles’ Jalen Reagor isn’t focused on trade rumors or social media insults following an offseason of loss

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PHILADELPHIA — Jalen Reagor knows what you’re thinking.

He’s seen the personal attacks on social media and heard the jeers from Eagles fans at the NovaCare Complex during practices in training camp. The former first-round pick is also well-versed in what “boos” sound like at Lincoln Financial Field. He knows that fans aren’t going to buy into the hype of a strong summer and that most of them want him to be traded … for basically anything. But none of that really matters to him.

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Jalen Reagor looking to rebound after offseason of loss

This offseason, Reagor endured a couple of tough life lessons through loss.

In January, Reagor’s grandmother — who he credits with raising him — passed away. He then lost his best friend, former NFL cornerback Jeff Gladney, in a deadly car crash in May. Those losses gave Reagor a lot to think about as he entered his third NFL training camp.

He leaned heavily on his father, Montae, a former Eagles and Indianapolis Colts defensive lineman, for emotional strength and wisdom. Through those hard times, Reagor pushed forward with added perspective. He also got in the best shape of his career.

Reagor believes that’s exactly how Gladney would want him to carry on in his memory.

“I’m not all the way through [the grieving process], but I know I have a job to do,” Reagor said. “And I know what [Gladney] would want me to do. I’m just continuing to [honor] him every time I touch the field — give it to him and God — and do the best that I can.”

Reagor entered last year’s training camp out of shape. This offseason, his wide receivers coach, former NFL wideout Aaron Moorehead, believes he returned to Philly in better shape than most of his teammates.

“He came in as good a shape as anyone in the camp this year, and it’s showed by the way he’s played,” Moorehead said.

Reagor has routinely made headlines for his sensitivity to social media. And while the occasional hiccup — like a dispute over his playing toughness early in camp — has occurred, he’s in a better place mentally because of the personal experiences he’s had over the past few months.

He knows what’s important in life, and he’s not trying to dwell on the criticisms of faceless posters or disgruntled fans.

“Just put my head down and go to work,” Reagor said. “Not really worried about anything else, just focused on myself.”

Down the totem pole

While Reagor returned to camp with an improved physique and attitude, he found himself deeper down the depth chart than in years past.

The team traded first- and third-round picks to the Tennessee Titans to acquire top wideout A.J. Brown in April. Philly then immediately gave Brown a four-year, $100 million contract extension.

Brown’s arrival ruled out a starting role for Reagor. He had already been succeeded in the lineup by DeVonta Smith, last year’s first-round pick, and draft classmate and friend, Quez Watkins, last season.

So, Reagor came into the summer fighting for a job with the fourth spot on the totem pole being his best option for playing time.

“I love a good challenge,” Reagor said. “It’s a humbling experience because you go from being a first-rounder to you battling — but I like challenges, though.”

Stay or trade?

The Eagles can’t cut Reagor, as that move would enact a $6.04 million dead-money hit, according to Over The Cap.

The team’s only option in a potential divorce would be through a trade. While Reagor’s name has repeatedly been mentioned in trade rumors, and the Baltimore Ravens — according to a league source — showed some interest in him during the offseason, the Eagles don’t seem to be in a rush to unload him for just about anything.

In particular, Reagor has the backing of Moorehead, who has known him since the coach and Reagor’s father were teammates in Indianapolis in the 2000s. Moorehead hasn’t given up on the former first-round pick, even if his depth chart is now stacked to the brim.

“He’s had a nice camp so far, he’s made plays, and he’s done everything that we’ve asked him to do,” Moorehead said. “He’s got to come in and challenge himself every day to be great on the field, off the field, and continue to take care of himself. We have had no issues this year.”

In order for Reagor to have a role with the Eagles, he needs to outlast veteran Zach Pascal — a favorite of head coach Nick Sirianni — undrafted standout Britain Covey, Deon Cain, Greg Ward, John Hightower, Lance Lenoir, Devon Allen, and Keric Wheatfall for a job. The Eagles also have listed Reagor as their top punt and kick returner on their first unofficial depth chart, which could lead to a game-day place to make plays.

But does Reagor want a new opportunity through a trade? Publicly, he’s standing firm on his goal to revitalize his potential where it all started.

“I want to be here for the rest of my career,” Reagor said. “But, you know, it’s a business — a business of production. I’m going to handle my end, and I’m going to let them handle theirs.”

Make-or-break preseason

Last summer, Reagor made a couple of circus catches that tantalized the fan base and gave the Philly faithful hope that he had turned the corner from his underwhelming rookie season. Reagor went on to play 67% of the offensive snaps, but he caught just 33 passes for 299 yards and two touchdowns.

That’s why it’s understandable that fans are a little hesitant to buy into Reagor’s positive reviews through three weeks of camp. The wideout has been running mostly with the second-team offense, even with Smith sidelined with a groin injury. Despite the depth reps, though, Reagor has made the most of his targets, especially of late.

On Wednesday, Reagor worked with the starters and was able to beat No. 1 cornerback Darius Slay on an out route. Starting QB Jalen Hurts looked Reagor’s way and put the ball where only he could get it. Reagor made a highlight fingertip catch before heading out of bounds for a 10-yard gain in 11-on-11 team drills.

“It’s one of those things that the coaches game plan,” Reagor said about the play. “If Slay would have played off, you have a certain conversion — but he played off, I came full speed, and a great throw by Jalen. It’s my job to make the quarterback look good.”

That highlight added to a handful of big plays made in previous practices, as Reagor has routinely used his deep speed to get open for chunk plays. He hasn’t been perfect — no wideout can make that claim — but he’s looked consistently capable of making plays when the ball goes to him, which is a steady improvement from his first two years.

As one source told Pro Football Network, Reagor is “locked in.”

All that said, the Eagles still might spotlight Reagor in the preseason to shop him to the highest bidder before final cuts. Or, maybe, they’ll finally help him get in rhythm with Hurts and the starters as Smith recovers on the sideline.

Either way, Reagor knows he can’t worry about the end result. He just needs to do his job.

“We’ve got a hell of a room,” Reagor said. “It’s a competition in there. Obviously, people have their jobs, some people don’t, and some people are fighting. So, you’ve got to come in, and when people go down, you’ve got to step up. When people are up, you’ve just to make sure you’re ready when it’s your time.”



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Make way for Baylor’s returning offensive linemen

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For one final college football season, the Preseason All-Big 12 Team features Oklahoma and Texas. However, it’s also the last year before the conference welcomes BYU, Cincinnati, and UCF into its ranks which will change its course for the next few decades. Presented in conjunction with our release of our College Football All-Americans, we at PFN debut our 2022 Preseason All-Big 12 Team, as voted on by our team of national analysts and NFL draft evaluators.

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PFN’s 2022 All-Big 12 Team

It is important to note that these teams may look a bit different than the all-conference teams listed by each individual conference. Our teams mirror our All-Americans, taking into consideration not only what a player has accomplished to date but looking forward to what we expect to see based on the growth of the athlete’s career.

Offense | First team

QB: Dillon Gabriel, Oklahoma
RB: Bijan Robinson, Texas
RB: Deuce Vaughn, Kansas State
WR: Xavier Worthy, Texas
WR: Xavier Hutchinson, Iowa State
WR: Quentin Johnston, TCU
TE: Ben Sims, Baylor
FLEX: Malik Knowles, Kansas State
OT: Connor Galvin, Baylor
G: Trevor Downing, Iowa State
C: Jacob Gall, Baylor
G: Grant Miller, Baylor
OT: Anton Harrison, Oklahoma

Defense | First team

EDGE: Felix Anudike-Uzomah, Kansas State
DT: Siaki Ika, Baylor
DT: Dante Stills, West Virginia
EDGE: Will McDonald IV, Iowa State
LB: DeMarvion Overshown, Texas
LB: Dillon Doyle, Baylor
LB: Dee Winters, TCU
CB: Al Walcott, Baylor
CB: Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson, TCU
CB: D’Shawn Jamison, Texas
S: Kenny Logan Jr., Kansas
S: Anthony Johnson Jr., Iowa State
FLEX: Keondre Coburn, Texas

Specialists | First team

PK: Isaiah Hankins, Baylor
P: Michael Turk, Oklahoma
KR: Malik Knowles, Kansas State
PR: Phillip Brooks, Kansas State
LS: Matt Hembrough, Oklahoma State

The All-Big 12 Team is stacked at the top, including the nation’s best returning offensive line in Baylor. The Bears sport three first-team offensive linemen, including Connor Galvin at left tackle. Dillon Gabriel earns the top honors at quarterback after transferring in from UCF as he’s one of the premier downfield passers in all of college football. He edged new rival Spencer Sanders out for the top spot as the Oklahoma State quarterback headlines the second team.

Offense | Second team

QB: Spencer Sanders, Oklahoma State
RB: Devin Neal, Kansas
RB: SaRodorick Thompson, Texas Tech
WR: Marvin Mims, Oklahoma
WR: Phillip Brooks, Kansas State
WR: Bryce Ford-Wheaton, West Virginia
TE: Jahleel Billingsley, Texas
FLEX: Brennan Presley, Oklahoma State
OT: Khalil Keith, Baylor
G: Chris Murray, Oklahoma
C: Steve Avila, TCU
G: Doug Nester, West Virginia
OT: Cooper Beebe, Kansas State

Defense | Second team

EDGE: Brock Martin, Oklahoma State
DT: Tyler Lacy, Oklahoma State
DT: Jaxon Player, Baylor
EDGE: Tyree Wilson, Texas Tech 
LB: O’Rien Vance, Iowa State
LB: Gavin Potter, Kansas
LB: Krishon Merriweather, Texas Tech
CB: D.J. Graham, Oklahoma
CB: Noah Daniels, TCU
CB: Woodi Washington, Oklahoma
S: Dadrion Taylor-Demerson, Texas Tech
S: Jason Taylor II, Oklahoma State
FLEX: Garmon Randolph, Baylor

Specialists | Second team

PK: Casey Legg, West Virginia
P: Isaac Power, Baylor
KR: Jaylin Noel, Iowa State
PR: D’Shawn Jamison, Texas
LS: Kasey Kelleher, Oklahoma

Oklahoma State wasn’t just represented by their quarterback as the versatile Brennan Presley made his way to the second-team offensive flex position. Brock Martin and Tyler Lacy should dominate the Cowboys’ pass-rushing unit while Jason Taylor II patrols the backend.

Offense | Honorable Mention

QB: JT Daniels, West Virginia
RB: Roschon Johnson, Texas
RB: Tahj Brooks, Texas Tech
WR: Taye Barber, TCU
WR: Isaiah Neyor, Texas
WR: Jordan Whittington, Texas
TE: Brayden Willis, Oklahoma
FLEX: Sam James, West Virginia
OT: Earl Bostick Jr., Kansas
G: Micah Mazzccua, Baylor
C: Zach Frazier, West Virginia
G: Cole Birmingham, Oklahoma State
OT: Christian Duffie, Kansas State

Defense | Honorable Mention

EDGE: Eli Huggins, Kansas State
DT: Cade Hall, Baylor
DT: Jaylon Hutchings, Texas Tech
EDGE: Trace Ford, Oklahoma State
LB: Deshaun White, Oklahoma
LB: Daniel Green, Kansas State
LB: Rich Miller, Kansas
CB: Julius Brents, Kansas State
CB: Ekow Boye-Doe, Kansas State
CB: Jacobee Bryant, Kansas
S: Key Lawrence, Oklahoma
S: Marquis Waters, Texas Tech
FLEX: Jalen Redmond, Oklahoma

Specialists | Honorable Mention

PK: Alex Hale, Oklahoma State
P: Austin McNamara, Texas Tech
KR: Brennan Presley, Oklahoma State
PR: Derius Davis, TCU
LS: Randen Plattner, Kansas State

For the rest of the Pro Football Network All-Conference Teams, view each conference here: ACC | B1G | Pac-12SECIndependentsAACC-USAMACMWCSun Belt

Cam Mellor is the Senior Director of the College Football/NFL Draft vertical for Pro Football Network. You can find his writing here and follow him on Twitter: @CamMellor.





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Bryce Young set to lead Alabama, SEC this fall

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After the balance of power shifted in the 2021 college football season, the 2022 Preseason All-SEC Team gives pause for a potential Georgia repeat in the national championship. Instead, the Alabama Crimson Tide look poised to regain their spot as they’re led by QB Bryce Young in 2022. Presented in conjunction with our release of our College Football All-Americans, we at PFN debut our 2022 Preseason All-SEC Team, as voted on by our team of national analysts and NFL draft evaluators.

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PFN’s 2022 All-SEC Team

It’s important to note that these teams may look a bit different than the All-Conference teams listed by each individual conference. Our teams mirror our All-Americans, taking into consideration not only what a player has accomplished to date but looking forward to what we expect to see based on the growth of the athlete’s career.

Offense | First team

QB: Bryce Young, Alabama
RB: Tank Bigsby, Auburn
RB: Devon Achane, Texas A&M
WR: Kayshon Boutte, LSU
WR: Cedric Tillman, Tennessee
WR: Jermaine Burton, Alabama
TE: Brock Bowers, Georgia
FLEX: Jahmyr Gibbs, Alabama
OT: Darnell Wright, Tennessee
G: O’Cyrus Torrence, Florida
C: Sedrick Van Pran, Georgia
G: Layden Robinson, Texas A&M
OT: Broderick Jones, Georgia

Defense | First team

EDGE: Will Anderson Jr., Alabama
DT: Jalen Carter, Georgia
DT: Gervon Dexter, Florida
EDGE: BJ Ojulari, LSU
LB: Henry To’oTo’o, Alabama
LB: Bumper Pool, Arkansas
LB: Anfernee Orji, Vanderbilt
CB: Kelee Ringo, Georgia
CB: Cam Smith, South Carolina
CB: Malachi Moore, Alabama
S: Jordan Battle, Alabama
S: Jalen Catalon, Arkansas
FLEX: Jaylon Carlies, Missouri

Specialists | First team

PK: Harrison Mevis, Missouri
P: Nik Constantinou, Texas A&M
KR: Jahmyr Gibbs, Alabama
PR: Ainias Smith, Texas A&M
LS: Marco Ortiz, Florida

Bryce Young takes the top spot as the conference’s best quarterback returning to action, and he’ll have an emerging talent in Jermaine Burton to throw to this season. Alabama reached into the transfer portal to add a one-of-a-kind running back in Jahmyr Gibbs that should give defenses headaches in 2022. Vanderbilt turns heads with their selection of Anfernee Orji to the All-SEC First Team as he is one of the most dominant linebackers in the country.

Offense | Second team

QB: Will Levis, Kentucky
RB: Chris Rodriguez Jr., Kentucky
RB: Zach Evans, Ole Miss
WR: Justin Shorter, Florida
WR: Antwane Wells Jr., South Carolina
WR: Josh Vann, South Carolina
TE: Cameron Latu, Alabama
FLEX: Tayvion Robinson, Kentucky
OT: Javon Foster, Missouri
G: Nick Broeker, Ole Miss
C: Ricky Stromberg, Arkansas
G: Kenneth Horsey, Kentucky
OT: Warren McClendon, Georgia

Defense | Second team

EDGE: Derick Hall, Auburn
DT: Zacch Pickens, South Carolina
DT: Byron Young, Alabama
EDGE: Byron Young, Tennessee
LB: DeAndre Square, Kentucky
LB: Ventrell Miller, Florida
LB: Dallas Turner, Alabama
CB: Emmanuel Forbes, Mississippi State
CB: Kris Abrams-Draine, Missouri
CB: Eli Ricks, Alabama
S: Antonio Johnson, Texas A&M
S: Trey Dean III, Florida
FLEX: Nehemiah Pritchett, Auburn

Specialists | Second team

PK: Will Reichard, Alabama
P: Oscar Chapman, Auburn
KR: Kris Abrams-Draine, Missouri
PR: Tayvion Robinson, Kentucky
LS: Connor Choate, Texas A&M

The Kentucky Wildcats have an exciting trio returning to the offensive side of the ball. Will Levis leads the team at quarterback with Chris Rodriguez in the backfield and Virginia Tech transfer Tayvion Robinson set to expand the role Wan’Dale Robinson made famous last season. Two Byron Youngs make the team as Alabama’s rushes from the interior and Tennessee’s crushes QBs from the edge. Both are players to watch every week.

Offense | Honorable Mention

QB
Spencer Rattler, South Carolina
Hendon Hooker, Tennessee

RB
Kenny McIntosh, Georgia
Raheim Sanders, Arkansas
Re’Mahn Davis, Vanderbilt
Jo’quavious Marks, Mississippi State

WR
Jonathan Mingo, Ole Miss
Dakereon Joyner, South Carolina
Will Sheppard, Vanderbilt
Jaden Walley, Mississippi State
Ladd McConkey, Georgia
Adonai Mitchell, Georgia

TE
Jaheim Bell, South Carolina
Trey Knox, Arkansas

FLEX
Ainias Smith, Texas A&M
Nick Brahms, Auburn

OT
Jeremy James, Ole Miss
Austin Troxell, Auburn
Bradley Ashmore, Vanderbilt
Richard Gouraige, Florida

G
Javion Cohen, Alabama
Brady Latham, Arkansas
Emil Ekiyor Jr., Alabama
Keiondre Jones, Auburn

C
LaQuinston Sharp, Mississippi State
Julian Hernandez, Vanderbilt

Defense | Honorable Mention

EDGE
Ali Gaye, LSU
Trajan Jeffcoat, Missouri
Cedric Johnson, Ole Miss
J.J. Weaver, Kentucky

DT
DJ Dale, Alabama
Maason Smith, LSU
Colby Wooden, Auburn
Daevion Davis, Vanderbilt

LB
Ethan Barr, Vanderbilt
Jacquez Jones, Kentucky
Micah Baskerville, LSU
Mike Jones Jr., LSU
Jeremy Banks, Tennessee
Owen Pappoe, Auburn

CB
Kool-Aid McKinstry, Alabama
Tyreek Chappell, Texas A&M
Ennis Rakestraw Jr., Missouri
Jaylon Jones, Texas A&M
Deantre Prince, Ole Miss
Carrington Valentine, Kentucky

S
DeMarcco Hellams, Alabama
Tykee Smith, Georgia
Rashad Torrence II, Florida
AJ Finley, Ole Miss

FLEX
Jaylen Mahoney, Vanderbilt
Latavious Brini, Arkansas

Specialists | Honorable Mention

PK
Anders Carlson, Auburn
Cam Little, Arkansas

P
Jeremy Crawshaw, Florida
Paxton Brooks, Tennessee

KR
Lideatrick Griffin, Mississippi State
Juju McDowell, South Carolina

PR
Xzavier Henderson, Florida
Kearis Jackson, Georgia

LS
Kneeland Hibbett, Alabama
Jacob Quattlebaum, Auburn

For other Pro Football Network’s All-Conference Teams, view each conference here: ACCB1GBig 12 | IndependentsAACC-USAMACMWCSun Belt

Cam Mellor is the Senior Director of the College Football/NFL Draft vertical for Pro Football Network. You can find his writing here and follow him on Twitter: @CamMellor.





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