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Seven Rebels Earn All-SEC Honors

Photo by Joshua McCoy with Ole Miss Athletics
Photo by Joshua McCoy with Ole Miss Athletics

With a 2015 regular season that included nine wins, a second-place finish in the Southeastern Conference’s Western division, historic victories and numerous school records broken, the Ole Miss football team landed seven Rebels on All-SEC teams, as voted on by the league’s 14 head coaches.

Senior Trae Elston and junior Laquon Treadwell earned first team All-SEC honors, while five Rebels found a spot on the All-SEC second team: Evan EngramMarquis HaynesMike HiltonChad Kelly and Robert Nkemdiche.

The seven All-SEC selections are tied for the most by an Ole Miss football team since the league coaches started handing out postseason awards in 1984. The SEC coaches also voted seven Ole Miss players onto the 1992 All-SEC teams. Ole Miss has seen an increased presence on the coaches’ All-SEC teams in recent years, adding three to its total each season since Cody Prewitt was the lone honoree in 2013.

After the coaches predicted Elston to be an All-SEC third teamer prior to the season, the senior defensive back overachieved to earn first-team accolades. The Oxford, Alabama, native recorded four interceptions this season and returned two of them for touchdowns. Elston’s 16 passes defended rank second among all SEC players, while his four interceptions rank fifth. Elston is the third Ole Miss defensive back to be named first team All-SEC over the past two seasons, joining 2014 Rebels Senquez Golson and Prewitt.

Treadwell, a Biletnikoff Award finalist, has had a record-breaking 2015 season. The Crete, Illinois, native has bounced back after his 2014 campaign was cut four games short due to a gruesome leg injury. Through 12 games, Treadwell has hauled in 76 catches for 1,082 yards and eight touchdowns, all team highs. Treadwell leads all SEC receivers with 90.2 yards per outing and ranks second with 6.3 catches per game, ranking 21st and 22nd in the nation, respectively. He ranks third in the Southeastern Conference in receiving touchdowns and caught a touchdown pass in a program-record six straight games. Treadwell tallied more than 100 yards receiving in six games this year, including five straight, which are both school records. With 196 catches, he needs three receptions in the Sugar Bowl to become the program’s all-time leader (Chris Collins, 198). He’s only the second receiver in school history to record 1,000 receiving yards in a season and is on pace to break Shay Hodge’s school record for yards in a season (1,135 in 2009) and Collins’ record for catches in a season (77 in 2003).

The Ole Miss record holder in career receiving yards by a tight end (1,298), Engram is an All-SEC performer for the third time in as many seasons. The Powder Springs, Georgia, native has hauled in 32 catches for 368 yards and two touchdowns this season. The junior also ranks second among tight ends in school history with seven career touchdown receptions and 91 total receptions. Engram is also a member of the SEC Community Service Team for his volunteer work off the field.

An SEC All-Freshman defensive lineman a season ago, Haynes claimed a spot on the all-conference second team. The sophomore leads the Landshark defense with 14.0 tackles for loss, 9.5 sacks and three forced fumbles. His sack total is the second-most in the SEC, while his tackles for loss are ranked fifth among the SEC’s elite. This isn’t the first time Haynes has been recognized by the SEC this season; he collected SEC weekly honors three times throughout the year for his impressive display of defense. In just two seasons as a Rebel, Haynes has already chalked up 17.0 sacks to rank tied for fifth in program laurels.

Hilton has been a leader on the Landshark defense all year long in his final season as a Rebel. Playing nearly every position in the secondary at one point during the 2015 campaign, the Chucky Mullins Courage Award recipient ranks third in the Southeastern Conference with 13 passes defended. Hilton also has two interceptions to his credit, picking off passes against New Mexico State and Memphis. He has swarmed to the ball by recording 65 tackles, including a team-high 46 unassisted. A semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, Hilton earned all-conference honors for the first time in his career after leading all SEC DBs with 11.0 tackles for loss this season.

A finalist for the Manning Award, Kelly has shattered multiple records leading the Ole Miss offense. The junior college transfer from Buffalo, New York, is the Southeastern Conference leader in passing (311.7 yards per game), total offense (347.3 yards per game) and points responsible for (222), ranking top 10 in the nation in all three. He has already broken school records for total offense (4,167), passing yards (3,740), touchdowns responsible for (37) and 300-yard passing games (7), all of them formerly held by Archie and/or Eli Manning; Kelly’s team-high 10 rushing touchdowns are the most by an Ole Miss quarterback since Archie had 14 in 1969. The gunslinger is on pace to break as many as 10 more Ole Miss individual single-season marks. The sixth SEC player to accumulate 4,000 total yards in a season, Kelly is the first Ole Miss signal-caller to ever lead the Rebels to wins over Alabama, Auburn and LSU in the same season.

Rounding out the list of All-SEC Rebels selected by the coaches, Nkemdiche has been a physical force on the defensive line. Constantly battling against double teams, the junior has recorded 29 tackles, including 7.0 tackles for loss and 3.0 sacks. Nkemdiche has had seven QB hurries this season, providing constant pressure on the quarterback. He made a statement in some of the biggest games of the season as Ole Miss claimed road victories over No. 2 Alabama and rival Mississippi State; following his performances in both of those games, Nkemdiche earned weekly honors from the SEC. A Hornung Award finalist for the nation’s most versatile player, Nkemdiche also has three offensive touchdowns and one blocked field goal to his credit.

Follow Ole Miss Football on Twitter (@OleMissFB) and Facebook (Facebook.com/OleMissFootball), in addition to www.OleMissSports.com.

All-SEC FIRST TEAM 

OFFENSE

TE –  Hunter Henry, Arkansas

OL –  Sebastian Tretola, Arkansas

Vadal Alexander, LSU

Cam Robinson, Alabama

John Theus, Georgia

C –    Ryan Kelly, Alabama

WR – Laquon Treadwell, Ole Miss

Fred Ross, Mississippi State

Pharoh Cooper, Alabama

QB – Dak Prescott, Mississippi State

RB – Derrick Henry, Alabama

Leonard Fournette, LSU

AP –  Pharoh Cooper, South Carolina

 

DEFENSE

DL – Myles Garrett, Texas A&M

Jonathan Allen, Alabama

Jonathan Bullard, Florida

A’Shawn Robinson, Alabama

LB – Kentrell Brothers, Missouri

Reggie Ragland, Alabama

Zach Cunningham, Vanderbilt

DB – Vernon Hargreaves III, Florida

Eddie Jackson, Alabama

Jalen Tabor, Florida

      Trae Elston, Ole Miss

 

SPECIAL TEAMS

PK –  Daniel Carlson, Auburn

P –  Drew Kaser, Texas A&M

RS –  Evan Berry, Tennessee

 

ALL-SEC SECOND TEAM

OFFENSE

TE –  Evan Engram, Ole Miss

OL –  Dominick Jackson, Alabama

Shon Coleman, Auburn

Dan Skipper, Arkansas

Germain Ifedi, Texas A&M

C –   Ethan Pocic, LSU

WR – Calvin Ridley, Alabama

Christian Kirk, Texas A&M

De’Runnya Wilson, Mississippi State

QB – Chad Kelly, Ole Miss

RB – Alex Collins, Arkansas

Jalen Hurd, Tennessee

AP –  Christian Kirk, Texas A&M

 

DEFENSE

DL – Robert Nkemdiche, Ole Miss

       Marquis Haynes, Ole Miss

Charles Harris, Missouri

Derek Barnett, Tennessee

LB – Leonard Floyd, Georgia

Antonio Morrison, Florida

Skai Moore, South Carolina

DB –  Mike Hilton, Ole Miss

Dominick Sanders, Georgia

Tre’Davious White, LSU

Jamal Adams, LSU

SPECIAL TEAMS

PK –  Taylor Bertolet, Texas A&M

Adam Griffith, Alabama

P –   Johnny Townsend, Florida

RS –  Christian Kirk, Texas A&M


Courtesy of Ole Miss Athletics

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Adam Brown
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