By Tiger Rag News Services
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – On Tuesday, eight members of the LSU football team were recognized for their outstanding seasons as the conference coaches announced their All-SEC Teams with Tigers earning five spots on the first team and four on the second team.
Highlighting the first-team selections is sophomore running back Derrius Guice, Will Clapp along the line, Ethan Pocic at the center position, Kendell Beckwith at linebacker and Tre’Davious White at defensive back. On the second team, junior Leonard Fournette is one of three running backs, while Arden Key slots in on the defensive line and Jamal Adams at defensive back. Guice also makes an appearance on the second team as well, earning the nod at the all-purpose position.
A year after being named to the all-freshman team, Guice had a breakout sophomore campaign to earn first team honors in 2016 as he led LSU with 1,249 yards and 14 touchdowns, averaging 113.5 yards per game and 8.0 yards per carry. The Baton Rouge native finished first in all-purpose yards with 135.1 per game, tied for first in touchdowns and second in rushing and touchdowns in the conference. Nationally, he finished in the top 30 individually in all-purpose yards, yards per carry, rushing TD’s and rushing yards.
As one of the top offensive linemen in LSU’s history, Pocic started all 11 games for the Tigers in 2016, with 10 starts coming at center and one at right tackle. He led all LSU offensive linemen in total snaps played (680), knockdowns (92), and “great effort” plays (33). He had double-digit knockdown blocks in four games, including having a season-high 14 knockdowns in a win over Texas A&M, allowing just one sack all season.
Clapp started 10 of LSU’s 11 games, seeing action in 576 total snaps which was third on the team. The sophomore accounted for 47 knockdowns, registering eight in a game twice on the season coming against Mississippi State and Florida and did not allow a sack all season.
Coming back for his senior season, Beckwith picked up right where he left off in his junior year by starting 10 games in the linebacker core, leading the team with 91 total tackles, including six tackles for loss and a sack. Beckwith finished second in the league averaging 9.1 tackles per game, registering double figure stops three times and includes having a career-high 16 against Alabama.
A finalist for the Thorpe Award, White capped his LSU career with 31 total tackles and four tackles for loss, while finishing tied for the team lead with two interceptions. He finished the season second in the SEC and 11th nationally in passes defended with 15, leading the league with 13 pass breakups. White scored twice on the year, returning an interception for a score against Wisconsin and returning a punt 60 yards the very next week against Jacksonville State.
Fournette played in seven games in his junior season and finished second on the team in yards with 843 and eight touchdowns, leading the LSU running backs averaging 120.4 yards per game. Against Ole Miss, Fournette was the first to break the single-game rushing mark at LSU when he carried the ball 16 times for 284 yards and three touchdowns against the Rebels, as he rushed for over 100 yards four times on the season.
A knack for finding his way into the backfield, Key became just the fourth LSU player in program history to register double-digit sacks in a single season, earning 10 as a sophomore with just two more needed to tie the record. He finished the season tied for first in the SEC averaging 1.0 sacks per game which was also sixth nationally, while accounting for 12.5 tackles for loss and three forced fumbles which were seventh and second in the league, respectively.
Adams led all defensive backs and finished third on the team in tackles with 70 on the season in starting all 11 games for LSU. His 37 solo tackles led the defense, adding 6.5 tackles for loss and a sack, recording an interception while also forcing and recovering a fumble on the same play. He recorded double figure tackles twice on the season 13 coming at Auburn and 11 against Southern Miss.
LSU takes on the Louisville Cardinals on December 31 at 10 a.m. CT in the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida.