It's now June, which means meaningless pre-season things that arouse ire, contempt, and rampant nationwide speculation. Phil Steele's 2015 All-American and All-Conference Teams are the first in what will be many of these, and there's a little bit of everything for fans of the Maroon & White.
Congrats to Myles Garrett, whose record-breaking freshman season, along with the arrival of defensive coordinator John Chavis, has placed him squarely on the second team as an All-American. Obviously, that also makes him a first-team All-SEC player. Unfortunately, he is the ONLY Aggie on the four-deep conference team, but it's difficult to argue with that too much.
The offense is better-represented, of course, with seven players cracking the four-deep. WR Josh Reynolds is a second-teamer; QB Kyle Allen, WR Ricky Seals-Jones, C Mike Matthews, and OT Germain Ifedi are third-team, and WR Speedy Noil and OG Joseph Cheek round out the fourth team.
Kicker Taylor Bertolet is a bit of a surprise as a second-teamer, where he's joined by Speedy again as a punt returner, who is also a fourth-team kick returner. The excruciating science that must go into these demarcations is impressive.
Congrats to all the Ags who have garnered this kind of positive attention and raised expectations for play. Looking forward to seeing how they live up to it.
But the real story here is at punter. Drew Kaser was not only left off the All-America list, but he was not even listed as one of the four best punters in the SEC. The media's intense anti-Kaser predisposition has spilled over from last year's Ray Guy Finalist snub and in fact has taken on an audacious new level of bias. Alabama's punter is very good, yes, but Kaser is at least a second-team All-SEC caliber punter and his total exclusion is nothing short of rampant corruption or inexcusable ignorance. In 2014, Kaser trailed only one of the four punters selected by Steele in gross yardage. We'll have to sit back and see if this fuels his intense drive and indeed if he is selected to attend SEC Media Days again this year if he will have something to say about it.