Tigers dominate awards

Newton, Fairley earn top honors

ATLANTA --- Cam Newton got an early start on awards week.

The quarterback was a unanimous choice Monday for offensive player of the year on The Associated Press All-Southeastern Conference team, leading top-ranked Auburn's domination of the individual awards.

Teammate Nick Fairley was chosen as defensive player of the year, while Gene Chizik was the pick as top coach after guiding the Tigers to a 13-0 season, the SEC title and a spot in the national championship game.

Preventing an Auburn sweep was South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore, selected unanimously as the freshman of the year.

In addition to Newton, Fairley and Lattimore, five other players were named to the first team on every ballot. Auburn offensive lineman Lee Ziemba and Arkansas tight end D.J. Williams were joined by three Louisiana State players: defensive tackle Drake Nevis, cornerback Patrick Peterson and kicker Josh Jasper.

Newton led the conference in rushing with 1,409 yards and scored 20 touchdowns. He was no slouch when he dropped back to throw, leading the SEC in passing efficiency with 67 percent completions, 28 touchdowns and just six interceptions.

This will likely be the first of many rewards for Newton. In addition to the Heisman, which is considered a foregone conclusion, he is a finalist for the Davey O'Brien, Maxwell, Manning and Walter Camp awards.

Fairley had an astonishing 21 tackles behind the line of scrimmage this season, including 10.5 sacks. He also made two fumble recoveries, caused a fumble and came up with an interception.

Lattimore helped lead South Carolina to the first division title in school history, ranking second in the SEC behind Newton with 1,198 yards rushing and scoring 19 touchdowns. He was joined on the first team by teammates Alshon Jeffrey, a sophomore receiver, and end Devon Taylor on the defensive team.

The rest of the first-team offense included running back Knile Davis of Arkansas; receiver Julio Jones of Alabama; linemen Derek Sherrod of Mississippi State, Barrett Jones of Alabama and DeMarcus Love of Arkansas; center Ryan Pugh of Auburn; and all-purpose player Randall Cobb of Kentucky.

On defense, the remaining first-teamers were linebacker-end hybrid Justin Houston of Georgia; linebackers Kelvin Sheppard of LSU, Chris White of Mississippi State, and Danny Trevathan of Kentucky; safeties Ahmad Black of Florida and Mark Barron of Alabama; and cornerback Janoris Jenkins of Florida.

The Gators also had the first-team punter, Chas Henry.

Three first-teamers from last year slipped to the second team: Georgia receiver A.J. Green, Florida center Mike Pouncey and Alabama running back Mark Ingram, the 2009 Heisman winner.

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