A trio of Auburn football players go into the 2020 season with high expectations after receiving preseason All-American honors.
Last season, Auburn football had one All-American. That was superstar defensive tackle Derrick Brown who was a unanimous selection.
Well, according to CBS Sports, the Tigers could have three times as many All-Americans in 2020. In their preseason All-American teams, a collection of CBS Sports and 247Sports writers pegged three Auburn players as likely candidates.
All three of Auburn’s selection come on the defensive side of the ball with senior linebacker K.J. Britt, and senior D-lineman Big Kat Bryant while cornerback Christian Tutt also made the cut but as a punt returner. All three Tigers are on the second-team All-American list.
As a junior in 2019, Britt enjoyed a spectacular breakout season that saw the 6-foot, 243-pound linebacker earn first-team All-SEC honors in his first year as a starter. On the year, Britt recorded 68 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks and two forced fumbles.
Britt returns as a senior in 2020 as the likely leader of Auburn’s defense. The Oxford, Alabama native has also been named to preseason watch lists for the Bednarik, Nagurski and Butkus Awards.
As for Bryant, the former four-star recruit was a first-year starter at the Buck position for Auburn in 2019. With the departures of Derrick Brown and Marlon Davidson, the rising senior is expected to be the leader of Auburn’s D-line and is expected to have a big breakout season.
Last year, the 6-foot-5, 250-pound pass-rusher totaled 16 tackles, two tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, one interception and one fumble recovery. Earlier in the year, Bryant joined Britt on the preseason Nagurski Award watch list which is given annually to the most outstanding defensive player in all of college football.
Lastly, Christian Tutt, Auburn’s emerging star at cornerback also earned preseason All-American honors. Tutt started for the Tigers last season at the nickel position and as a sophomore, the 5-foot-11, 192-pound DB recorded 31 total tackles, three tackles for loss, two passes defended, two interceptions, one sack and one fumble recovery.
With Auburn losing cornerbacks Noah Igbinoghene and Javaris Davis as well as both of their starting safeties, Tutt is expected to enter the 2020 season as the Tigers’ No. 1 cornerback. In a conference full of elite wide receivers, the junior will certainly have his hands full.
However, it’s not at cornerback where Tutt is expected to put together an All-American campaign. CBS Sports has the Auburn DB as the second-team punt returner.
The honor isn’t much of a surprise as Tutt ranked fifth nationally last season with 13.6 yards per punt return. Tutt was Auburn’s only punt returner last season and returned 23 punts for a total of 313 yards.
Although he was unable to bring one back for a TD last season, Tutt is a threat to do so on every return and should be one of Auburn’s most valuable weapons in 2020. Last season Tutt was named to the All-SEC second team as a returner so a jump to All-American status isn’t a stretch by any means.
Auburn’s three All-American selections from CBS Sports are a part of 25 selections from the SEC which are the most by any conference. However, many of the selections on both the first and second teams belong to universities that have already decided to opt-out of a college football season this fall.