LSU enters the 2015 college football season ranked No. 15 in Athlon Sports' preseason Top 25 and the coaches throughout the SEC seem to back that position, if not believing the Tigers should be higher. On Tuesday the Preseason Coaches All-SEC teams were released with seven Tigers occupying 10 positions on the various teams, tying SEC West rival Alabama for the most selections among the conference’s 14 teams.
The Tigers placed two on the first-team offense with right tackle Vadal Alexander and running back Leonard Fournette considered among the best of the best. Fournette added a second-team and a third-team selection as an all-purpose player and return specialist, respectively. LSU’s presence on the offensive teams was rounded out by junior wide receiver Travin Dural (third team).
The Tigers had the third-ranked pass defense in the nation in 2014 and one of the ring leaders, senior safety Jalen Mills, is back. Mills was named to the first-team defense, while linebacker Kendell Beckwith and cornerback Tre’Davious White earned second-team honors. Sophomore defensive tackle Davon Godchaux landed on the third-team defense.
The final LSU player selected was senior punter Jamie Keehn (second team). Keehn handled all 71 of the Tigers’ punts in 2014, averaging a field-flipping 44.9 yards per kick with 25 punts fair caught and 27 downed inside the 20.
The complete listing of 2015 Preseason Coaches All-SEC Teams can be found at secsports.com.
Breaking Down LSU’s 2015 Preseason Coaches All-SEC Selections:
Fournette was a standout as a true freshman rushing for 1,034 yards while scoring 10 touchdowns on the ground. The Louisiana native also had 127 yards in the passing game off of seven receptions. He helped put the Tigers in great field position on kickoff returns, averaging 26 yards per return on 24 attempts, taking one back 100 yards for a score.
Dural was the Tigers’ leading receiver with 37 receptions for 758 yards and seven touchdowns in 2014. Alexander is no stranger to All-SEC recognition, earning All-SEC Freshman honors from the coaches in 2012 and was named to the second team last season.
On defense White tied (Ronald Martin, Rickey Jefferson) for the team lead in interceptions with two; while also collecting 33 tackles, three tackles for a loss, a sack, eight passes defended and six breakups. Mills had 62 tackles, three tackles for a loss, one pick, and five defended passes in 2014.
Godchaux received amble playing time as a freshman coming up with 42 tackles, 1.5 tackles for a loss, and three quarterback hurries in 2014. Beckwith was the team’s second-leading tackler with 77, to go along with 7.5 tackles for a loss, two sacks and one interception.
— Written by Ryan Wright, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and an established media professional with more than two decades' worth of experience. Over the years, Wright has written for numerous sites and publications and he recently started his own recruiting site, www.recruitingnewsguru.com. Follow him on Twitter @HogManinLA.