Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is the offensive player of the year and one of five members of the top-ranked Crimson Tide to earn first-team honors on The Associated Press All-Southeastern Conference team.
No. 16 Kentucky (No. 14 College Football Playoff ) has the SEC’s defensive player of the year in linebacker Josh Allen and the coach of the year in Mark Stoops. Vanderbilt running back and Illinois transfer Ke’Shawn Vaughn was named newcomer of the year.
Alabama (13-0) is the top seed in the College Football Playoff after overcoming Tagovailoa’s ankle injury to rally past Georgia 35-28 in the Southeastern Conference championship game Saturday. Kentucky (9-3) will face No. 13 Penn State (9-3, No. 12 CFP) in the Citrus Bowl on Jan. 1 after posting its highest regular-season win total since 1977.
Tagovailoa, Allen and Mississippi wide receiver A.J. Brown were unanimous first-team selections.
Tagovailoa, one of the prime contenders for the Heisman Trophy, has thrown 37 touchdown passes with only four interceptions to rank second nationally in passing efficiency. He struggled in the SEC championship game before leaving in the second half with a high ankle sprain, though coach Nick Saban is hopeful the sophomore will be ready for the Dec. 29 Orange Bowl semifinal with No. 4 Oklahoma (12-1).
Allen has recorded 14 sacks to lead all Power Five players. Brown leads the SEC in catches (85) and yards receiving (1,320).
Vaughn has rushed for 1,001 yards and 10 touchdowns while averaging 6.95 yards per carry.
Alabama players joining Tagovailoa as first-team picks include offensive tackle Jonah Williams, center Ross Pierschbacher, wide receiver Jerry Jeudy and defensive tackle Quinnen Williams.
The Crimson Tide had eight overall all-SEC selections to lead all teams. No. 6 Georgia (No. 5 CFP) had seven players earn all-SEC honors, though cornerback Deandre Baker was the Bulldogs’ only first-team selection.
A panel of 28 writers and broadcasters who cover the SEC voted on the AP all-conference team.