Our writers here at Southbound and Down decided to give you our preseason SEC football predictions in a similar way to how the SEC does their preseason media releases following SEC Media Days. Several members of our staff got together and came up with our picks for the major SEC individual awards, our first and second team All-SEC selections, and our preseason poll/SEC champion pick.
All in all, four of our writers participated by filling out ballots. They are:
- Elliot Reeder (Twitter – @elliot_reeder)
- Matt Melton (Twitter – @matt_melton20)
- Justin Brown (Twitter – @Justinb31Brown)
- Jordan Patterson (Twitter – @JoPattontheBets)
Our preseason All-SEC picks featured the same lineup format as the ones the SEC uses.
Also as you will see, ties were not broken. Therefore some positions have more than the originally formatted number of players at a position. Also, “(unanimous)” by a player’s name means that they were a unanimous pick for that award/team. For instance, a unanimous first team All-SEC pick was named on every first team ballot. Other first team players might have been named on every ballot (first or second team), but only players chosen unanimously for *that* team are listed as unanimous.
Without any further ado, here are our 2023 preseason SEC football picks, starting with the conference’s major individual awards:
SEC Football 2023 Preseason Predictions: All-SEC teams, Conference Champion & More
- Offensive Player of the Year – RB Quinshon Judkins (Ole Miss)
- Defensive Player of the Year –
- LB Harold Perkins Jr. (LSU) (Tied)
- DL Mykel Williams (Georgia) (Tied)
- Freshman of the Year – S Caleb Downs (Alabama)
Judkins returns as a First Team All-SEC player from a year ago in which he led the SEC in rushing yards and TD’s. He ended up with 274 carries, 1,567 rushing yards, 15 receptions, 132 receiving yards, and 17 total TD’s a year ago. Judkins was the conference’s Freshman of the Year last year as well. Georgia tight end Brock Bowers also received a vote for OPOTY.
We ended up with a tie on our pick for the SEC’s Defensive Player of the Year award as LSU’s Harold Perkins ended up tied with Georgia’s Mykel Williams. Like Judkins, Perkins also had a stellar freshman season in 2022 as he helped lead LSU to the SEC Championship Game a year ago. Perkins had 72 tackles, 13 TFL, 7.5 sacks,1 INT, and 4 Forced Fumbles last year as he lined up at multiple positions for LSU.
Mykel Williams is another player coming off a strong freshman season as well. Williams played a key role in a loaded fefensive line room a year ago as Georgia won their second straight national title. On the year, Williams ended up with 28 tackles, 6.5 TFL, and 4.5 sacks. Williams is expected to play an increased role this year for the Dawgs, and seems to be next in the line of great Georgia defensive linemen.
Downs comes in as a five-star and the consensus top safety in the class of 2023, and is expected to play heavily (and likely start) Day 1 in Tuscaloosa. Downs could be one of the best defenders immediately on what is expected to be an improved Alabama defense. Texas A&M running back Rueben Owens also received a vote for Freshman of the Year.
All in all, Georgia led the way with ten First Team selections. LSU was next behind them with six, while Alabama had four. Combining the First and Second teams, Georgia had 14 selections, Alabama was right behind with 13, and LSU had 7. Arkansas was next up with five.