Auburn picked for sixth-place finish in SEC West; multiple Tigers given All-SEC marks

Auburn football's first season under Hugh Freeze will come with tempered expectations, as the Southeastern Conference announced its All-SEC teams and predicted orders of finish Friday.
The Tigers are slated to finish sixth in the SEC West according to the league's preseason poll, despite receiving four first-place votes. The program also had six members selected to All-SEC status.
USF transfer running back Brian Battie was named a first-team kick returner. Running back Jarquez Hunter, defensive backs DJ James and Nehemiah Pritchett, kicker Alex McPherson and punter Oscar Chapman all selected to the league's third team.
The teams and projected standings are selected by members at the league's Media Days, which took place in Nashville, Tennessee, this week.
Auburn's projected finish has it sandwiched between Arkansas and Mississippi State, which received three and one vote, respectively, to win the division. Every member of the West except for Ole Miss received at least one first-place vote.
The all-league accolades were a first for McPherson and Pritchett. Battie, James and Chapman have all been previously been named All-SEC by other outlets and Hunter garnered a freshman All-SEC honor in 2021.
Battie headlining Auburn's six-player contingent isn't much of a shock, as he was an All-American kick returner in 2021. He was also named preseason All-SEC by Phil Steele. He transferred to Auburn after logging his first 1,000-yard rushing season a year ago, and he's generated 1,427 kick return yards in three seasons.
Hunter follows Battie as perhaps the most exciting player of the bunch. He's expected to take over for Tank Bigsby as the program's feature back this season, and rushed for a career-high 675 yards in 2022.
The duo of James and Pritchett passed up professional opportunities to return to Auburn for this season. They led the program last season in pass breakups while combining for 74 tackles.
Like Hunter, McPherson is also expected to fill big shoes, taking over for former kicker and Auburn legacy Anders Carlson. Chapman will enter this fall as one of the more seasoned kicking specialists in the league. He was top 10 in the SEC in both average yards per punt and punts downed inside the 20-yard line last fall.

Latest Player Notes

How Wisconsin athletes are benefiting from a unique NIL deal with Madison's Exact Sciences

Feb 17, 2024MJ Hammill entered what can be a scary time of an athlete’s life in mid-December.She went into the volleyball ...

Mike Griffith: Texas is Georgia's primary focus this offseason

February 16, 2024The Georgia Bulldogs face three SEC contenders on the road next season in Alabama, Texas and Ole Miss. According ...

Navigating a season that could see Texas play Georgia more than once

February 17, 2024The Texas Longhorns and Georgia Bulldogs will play in Austin on Oct. 19. It may not be the only time they ...

After some key departures from the team, Dykes got busy in the portal this offseason.

5:11 PM on Feb 16, 2024Biggest unanswered question: Who will emerge as the clear WR1?Before last season, Williams was the ...

How Louisville football coach Jeff Brohm balances transfer portal, high school recruiting

Louisville Courier JournalCollege football used to buzz on the first Wednesday in February, but Louisville football's office ...

Bob Asmussen | Illinois defense counting on linebackers to plug the gaps

College Football Reporter/ColumnistCHAMPAIGN — A new linebacker coach is in place at Illinois, and Archie McDaniel said he ...

Where Alabama’s quarterback group stands before spring practice

Alabama football’s offense is going to look different this season. Kalen DeBoer has replaced the retired Nick Saban as head ...

Why did AJ McCarron return to the St. Louis Battlehawks?

When AJ McCarron joined the resurrected XFL last year, the former Alabama All-American hadn’t played since suffering a knee ...

Colorado football self-reported 11 minor NCAA violations from Deion Sanders’ first year with Buffs

1/26/2024The Colorado football program has self-reported 11 minor NCAA violations since the hiring of head coach Deion Sanders ...

What Steve Young said about today’s NFL quarterbacks

By Jackson Payne Steve Young may have enjoyed a Hall of Fame career in the NFL, but that doesn’t stop him from feeling just ...
See More Player Notes