Two former Sprayberry High School standouts earned preseason first-team all-Southeastern Conference honors Friday.
Florida defensive lineman Jabari Zuniga and Georgia kicker Rodrigo Blankenship were among the leaders at their respective positions by members of the who cover the SEC.
Zuniga, a redshirt senior, compiled 45 tackles and 6.5 sacks for the Gators last season, while Blankenship, a senior, went 19-for-23 on field goals for the Bulldogs.
Along with Blankenship, Georgia was represented on the first team by running back D’Andre Swift, defensive back J.R. Reed and offensive lineman Andrew Thomas.
Quarterback Jake Fromm and offensive lineman Solomon Kindley were second-team selections, while tight end Charlie Woerner and defensive back Richard LeCounte rounded out the third-team selections.
Alabama led the way with a record 12 first-team selections, led by quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, wide receiver Jerry Jeudy and linebacker Dylan Moses.
Voters also predicted Alabama to win the SEC championship over Georgia in a rematch of last year’s title game. The Crimson Tide was selected by 203 of 260 voters, while the Bulldogs received 49 first-place votes.
LSU received three first-place votes. Mississippi State, Tennessee, Florida, South Carolina and Auburn all garnered one vote each.
Eight programs were picked as the SEC champion on at least one ballot.
The predicted order of finish in the West was Alabama, LSU, Texas A&M, Auburn, Mississippi State, Mississippi and Arkansas.
Georgia was picked first in the East with 1,789 points, followed by Florida, Missouri, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky and Vanderbilt.
Points were awarded on a 7-6-5-4-3-2-1 scale.
Since 1992, there have been seven instances where the predicted champion at SEC media days went on to be victorious in the SEC championship game, including last season, when Alabama rallied to beat Georgia at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.