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July 23, 2014
Motivation for LSU football team
There is no doubt that LSU coach Les Miles can play the lack-of-respect card for motivation with his 2014 football team.
As expected, the Tigers have been selected by media members who attended the Southeastern Conference Media Days to finish third in the Western Division behind Alabama and Auburn. The media viewed LSU as the fifth choice to win the league - also behind South Carolina and Georgia.
There was probably less respect for the Tigers from an individual standpoint. A total of 16 national awards recently announced preseason nominees. Each sponsoring award group has a committee which comes up with the preseason nominees.
LSU had just six players nominated for these awards - offensive tackle La'El Collins, guard Vadal Alexander, center Elliott Porter, running back Terrence Magee, cornerback Tre'Davious White and kicker Colby Delahoussaye. Collins was the only player nominated for two awards.
The Tigers' total of six nominated players matched Arkansas, Ole Miss and Texas A&M for fewest in the SEC West. LSU's seven total nominations were the least for any Western Division team. Alabama led the way with 12 players and a total of 27 nominations.
Undoubtedly, the national opinion is that the offensive line is the strong point of the Tigers team. Collins was nominated for both the Lombardi Award and the Outland Trophy. Alexander was nominated for the Outland Trophy, while Porter was a Rimington Award nominee.
There were 18 SEC players who were nominated for at least three awards. There are more defensive awards, so there is chance for more players on that side of the ball to be recognized. Alabama had five players with at least three nominations, while Georgia was next with four.
Three Alabama defensive players - safety Landon Collins (four), end A'Shawn Robinson (four) and linebacker Trey DePriest (three) - were in the group of 18 players. The other two Crimson Tide players with at least three nominations were wide receiver Amari Cooper and running back TJ Yeldon.
Three of Georgia's starting linebackers received at least three nominations - Ramik Wilson (five), Leonard Floyd (four) and Jordan Jenkins (three). No other SEC player had as many as Wilson's five nominations. Bulldogs running back Todd Gurley had three nominations.
Auburn's Nick Marshall was the only quarterback with three nominations. Just three running backs were nominated for three awards - Gurley, Yeldon and South Carolina's Mike Davis.
Florida's Vernon Hargreaves was the only cornerback with three nominations. Auburn center Reese Dismukes was the only offensive lineman with three nominations.
The other players with three nominations were Arkansas defensive end Trey Flowers, Ole Miss defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche and safety Cody Prewitt, Mississippi State linebacker Bernardrick McKinney and Tennessee linebacker AJ Johnson.
As previously mentioned, LSU had three offensive linemen nominated. The only team with more than three offensive line nominations was South Carolina with four - center Cody Waldrop, guard AJ Cann and tackles Brandon Shell and Corey Robinson.
Four teams, all in the Eastern Division, had fewer than six players nominated - Missouri, Kentucky, Vanderbilt and Tennessee. Amazingly, the Vols had just one player nominated - Johnson, who was mentioned for four awards.
Here is a list of the national award preseason nominees by SEC school.
Georgia (8 players, 20 nominations)
TE Jay Rome: Mackey
C David Andrews: Outland, Rimington
QB Hutson Mason: O'Brien
RB Todd Gurley: Camp, Maxwell, Walker
LB Ramik Wilson: Bednarik, Butkus, Camp, Lombardi, Nagurski
LB Leonard Floyd: Bednarik, Butkus, Lombardi, Nagurski
LB Jordan Jenkins: Bednarik, Butkus, Nagurski
K Marshall Morgan: Groza
South Carolina (8 players, 9 nominations)
WR/KR Pharoh Cooper: Hornung
TE Rory Anderson: Mackey
C Cody Waldrop: Rimington
G AJ Cann: Lombardi, Outland
OT Corey Robinson: Outland
OT Brandon Shell: Outland
RB Mike Davis: Camp, Maxwell, Walker
K Elliott Fry: Groza
Florida (6 players, 10 nominations)
C Max Garcia: Rimington
OT DJ Humphries: Outland
QB Jeff Driskel: Maxwell, O'Brien
RB Kelvin Taylor: Walker
DE Dante Fowler: Bednarik, Nagurski
CB Vernon Hargreaves: Camp, Nagurski, Thorpe
MISSOURI (3 players, 5 nominations)
C Evan Boehm: Outland, Rimington
RB/KR Marcus Murphy: Hornung
DE Markus Golden: Bednarik, Nagurski
KENTUCKY (2 players, 3 nominations)
C Jon Toth: Rimington
DE Bud Dupree: Bednarik, Nagurski
VANDERBILT (2 players, 2 nominations)
C Joe Townsend: Rimington
P Taylor Hudson: Guy
TENNESSEE (1 player, 4 nominations)
LB AJ Johnson: Bednarik, Butkus, Lombardi, Nagurski
ALABAMA (12 players, 27 nominations)
WR Amari Cooper: Biletnikoff, Camp, Maxwell
WR/KR Christion Jones: Hornung
TE OJ Howard: Mackey
C Ryan Kelly: Outland, Rimington
G Arie Kouandjio: Lombardi, Outland
QB Jacob Coker: Maxwell
RB TJ Yeldon: Camp, Maxwell, Walker
RB Derrick Henry: Maxwell, Walker
DE A'Shawn Robinson: Bednarik, Lombardi, Nagurski, Outland
LB Trey DePriest: Bednarik, Butkus, Nagurski
LB Reggie Ragland: Butkus
S Landon Collins: Bednarik, Camp, Nagurski, Thorpe
AUBURN (8 players, 14 nominations)
WR Sammie Coates: Biletnikoff, Maxwell
TE CJ Uzomah: Mackey
C Reese Dismukes: Lombardi, Outland, Rimington
G Alex Kozan: Outland
QB Nick Marshall: Camp, Maxwell, O'Brien
DT Gabe Wright: Nagurski, Outland
LB Kris Frost: Butkus
S Therezie Robinson: Bednarik
MISSISSIPPI STATE (7 players, 12 nominations)
WR/KR Jameon Lewis: Biletnikoff, Hornung
TE Malcolm Johnson: Mackey
C Dillon Day: Rimington
QB Dak Prescott: Maxwell, O'Brien
RB Josh Robinson: Walker
DT Chris Jones: Lombardi
LB Benardrick McKinney: Bednarik, Camp, Nagurski, Thorpe
OLE MISS (6 players, 12 nominations)
WR Laquon Treadwell: Biletnikoff
TE Evan Engram: Mackey
OT Laremy Tunsil: Outland
QB Bo Wallace: Maxwell, O'Brien
DT Robert Nkemdiche: Lombardi, Nagurski, Outland
S Cody Prewitt: Bednarik, Camp, Nagurski, Thorpe
ARKANSAS (6 players, 10 nominations)
TE Hunter Henry: Mackey
RB Alex Collins: Maxwell, Walker
RB Jonathan Williams: Maxwell, Walker
DE Trey Flowers: Bednarik, Lombardi, Nagurski
LB Braylon Mitchell: Butkus
P Sam Irwin-Hill: Guy
TEXAS A&M (6 players, 8 nominations)
C Mike Matthews: Outland, Rimington
OT Cedric Ogbuehi: Lombardi, Outland
OT Germain Ifedi: Outland
RB Tra Carson: Walker
RB Trey Williams: Walker
P Drew Kaser: Guy
LSU (6 players, 7 nominations)
C Elliott Porter: Rimington
G Vadal Alexander: Outland
OT La'El Collins: Lombardi, Outland
RB Terrence Magee: Walker
CB Tre'Davious White: Thorpe
K Colby Delahoussaye: Groza
Here are the 16 awards for which nominees have been announced.
Chuck Bednarik Trophy: best defensive player in the country
Fred Biletnikoff Award: best wide receiver in the country
Dick Butkus Award: best linebacker in the country
Walter Camp Award: best player in the country
Lou Groza Award: best kicker in the country
Ray Guy Award: best punter in the country
Paul Hornung Award: most versatile player in the country
Vince Lombardi Award: best lineman in the country
John Mackey Award: best tight end in the country
Maxwell Award: best player in the country
Bronko Nagurski Award: best defensive player in the country
Davey O'Brien Award: best quarterback in the country
Outland Trophy: best interior lineman in the country
Rimington Award: best center in the country
Jim Thorpe Award: best defensive back in the country
Doak Walker Award: best running back in the country