Will these 5 Florida Gators be All-SEC at the end of the 2021 season?
A handful of Florida Gators earned All-SEC honors in 2020, with five selections from the Associated Press and four players on the All-SEC coaches' team.
Tight end Kyle Pitts and Kadarius Toney (all-purpose) were consensus first-team picks and both went in the first round of the 2021 NFL draft.
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Here are five Florida players who could receive All-SEC honors in 2021:
Kaiir Elam, cornerback, junior
Elam is the only returner who was a consensus All-SEC selection last year. He made the coaches’ first team and was named to the AP second team after starting all 12 games as a sophomore. Elam posted 39 tackles (28 solo), two interceptions and 11 pass breakups, including eight PBUs through the first four games. He had a career-high eight tackles against South Carolina and made the first interception of the season by a UF defensive back in the win over Georgia. Elam is projected as a first-round pick in more than a dozen 2022 mock drafts.
Brenton Cox Jr., outside linebacker, redshirt junior
Cox received second-team All-SEC honors last season from AP voters, but was not included on the coaches’ team. The former five-star recruit and UGA transfer finished his first year at Florida with 41 tackles (21 solo), four sacks and 9.5 tackles-for-loss, tied for sixth-best in the SEC. Cox recorded a season-high eight tackles, a sack and a pass breakup in his UF debut at Ole Miss. He also had a strong game against Missouri with five stops, a 15-yard tackle-for-loss, a sack and a fumble recovery. Four early mock drafts have Cox pegged as a first-round pick in 2022.
Ventrell Miller, inside linebacker, redshirt senior
Miller wasn’t named to an All-SEC team in 2020, but earned SEC Defensive Player of the Week honors twice after the Ole Miss and Tennessee games. He registered 15 tackles against the Rebels and 12 vs. the Vols. Miller’s season highlights also included his career-high 16 tackles against LSU, his third-and-goal stop at Vandy and his fourth-down pass breakup against Arkansas. He led the Gators last year with 88 tackles in 11 games, which was tied for eighth among SEC linebackers. This fall, Miller could become just the fourth Florida linebacker since 2007 to record 100 tackles in a season.
Zachary Carter, defensive end, redshirt senior
Carter was named SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week twice last season. The first recognition came after Carter collected season highs in tackles (eight) and sacks (1.5) against South Carolina. He then received POW honors for his performance vs. Arkansas. Carter had three tackles, a sack and a 35-yard touchdown on a fumble recovery, Florida’s top defensive play of the year. He finished 2020 with 36 tackles and led the team in tackles-for-loss (9.5) and sacks (5.0). His TFL and sack numbers ranked first and sixth, respectively, among SEC defensive linemen.
Jacob Copeland, wide receiver, redshirt junior
The last five All-SEC teams have included at least one UF offensive player, and Copeland could continue that trend this fall with his big-play ability. He started 11 games last season in Florida's loaded receiving corps and ranked third in the conference in yards per catch (18.9), which led the Gators. Despite not ranking in the top 50 for receptions (23) in the SEC, Copeland ranked No. 22 among league receivers with 435 yards. He had a breakout game against LSU (123 yards) and caught four touchdowns in 2020, including a 33-yarder against Arkansas and the game-sealing score at Tennessee.