Auburn Football: Duke Williams Snubbed From All-SEC Teams


Between the All-SEC Teams voted on by the Associated Press and Coaches All-SEC teams, eight Auburn football players were selected among the best in the league at their respective positions.

Tigers leading receiver Duke Williams wasn’t among them.

It’s difficult to argue with the AP or the coaches on their selections for the top receiver spots. Alabama’s Amari Cooper is a finalist for the Heisman Trophy, and may very well be the best player in college football (yes, I have heard of Marcus Mariota).

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Cooper had 115 receptions (the most in SEC history for a single-season) for 1,656 yards and 14 touchdowns (both school records). South Carolina’s Pharoh Cooper, the other first team wideout on both lists, has also been solid. He caught 60 passes for 966 yards and eight touchdowns this year.

Bud Sasser earned second team honors from the coaches, but was tied with Pharoh Cooper for a first team spot on the AP All-SEC team. It’s tough to argue he earned it as well, with ten TD grabs among 70 receptions for 935 yards. Josh Reynolds had 12 touchdowns for Texas A&M, which earned him a spot on the second team from the AP.

So, who would Williams replace?

Sammie Coates, who was voted to the second team by both.

Coates finished the regular season with  717 yards on 30 catches – good for a 23.4 yards per catch average that ranks third in the nation – and he scored four touchdowns. The junior had some huge games, including setting a then career-high 144 yards against LSU and accounted for 122 yards against Ole Miss. He scored touchdowns against both. Then, Coates exploded for 206 receiving yards and two scores on five catches against No. 1 Alabama in the Iron Bowl.

The speedster averaged 157.3 yards in those three big games against opponents ranked in the nation’s top ten at the time.

His performance in Tuscaloosa was probably what grabbed the attention of the voters, but it also showed that as great as Coates can be, he’s not nearly as consistent as Williams was this season for the Tigers. Against everyone else, Coates had an average of 30.6 receiving yards across eight games (he missed the game against San Jose State with an injury).

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  • Williams left in the second quarter of Auburn’s 41-38 loss to Texas A&M with an injury and could not play in either of the next two games, yet he still led the Auburn football team with 45 receptions for 730 yards and five touchdowns. He also had four 100-yard receiving games, which is one more than Coates, and they came against opponents that were just as good.

    The junior college transfer had nine catches for 154 yards and a touchdown in the season opener against Arkansas, eight grabs for 110 yards and a score against Kansas State, six catches for 108 yards and two touchdowns against Mississippi State, and in his first game back from injury, seven receptions for 121 yards against the Crimson Tide.

    Comparing the best games of the two, Williams averaged 7.5 catches in his four best games (Coates didn’t catch more than five in any game), for 123.3 yards and also scored four TDs. Williams had 39.5 receiving yards per game in the other six he played.

    Overall, both D’haquille Williams and Sammie Coates finished with quality numbers, and both had a handful of great performances against quality competition.

    In the grand scheme of things, the All-SEC team really doesn’t mean much. But, when you look at the numbers, Duke Williams deserved it more than Sammie Coates.

    Next: Outback Bowl Practices Offer Sneak Peek at 2015 Stars

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