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3 Florida Gators make All-SEC preseason team

Florida quarterback Jeff Driskel hands off to running back Matt Jones last season. Jones, a former Armwood standout, is on the  preseason watch list for the Doak Walker Award, given to the nation’s top RB.

Associated Press

Florida quarterback Jeff Driskel hands off to running back Matt Jones last season. Jones, a former Armwood standout, is on the preseason watch list for the Doak Walker Award, given to the nation’s top RB.

HOOVER, Ala. — Florida placed eight players in nine spots on the media's preseason All-SEC teams, including three first-team selections, on Thursday.

The Gators had two first-team selections on defense: DB Loucheiz Purifoy and DL Dominique Easley. P Kyle Christy was also a first-team selection.

OL Jon Halapio, a St. Petersburg Catholic alumnus, and CB Marcus Roberson were second-team selections for Florida.

OL Jonotthan Harrison, LB Ronald Powell and former Armwood RB Matt Jones were third-team selections. Jones, a sophomore, also was named to the preseason Doak Walker watch list, an award given to the nation's top running back (Doak semifinalists will be named Nov. 14). Purifoy was also a third-team selection as a specialist.

The Gators were picked to finish third in the SEC East behind Georgia and runnerup South Carolina. Alabama was picked to win the West.

ACTIONS SPEAK: While Heisman winner Johnny Manziel was in Los Angeles on Wednesday night at the ESPY Awards, Alabama QB AJ McCarron was in Tuscaloosa participating in his second set of team workouts. It was clear from his words and demeanor during Thursday's final day of SEC media days that McCarron doesn't want any comparisons to the Texas A&M sophomore QB.

"I've never been one to ask for the spotlight or to want to be in any type of spotlight," said McCarron, who has led Alabama to back-to-back national titles. "I'm just trying to never bring any type of bad light on my last name or the university in any type of way. So I'm just trying to do everything the right way and leave the University of Alabama where all they can say is he won and did everything he was supposed to do."

The fifth-year senior said he could be in the spotlight if he wanted, but he chooses not to, turning down "unlimited amounts" of invitations.

As for an alleged rift between McCarron and Manziel? McCarron wouldn't comment. They were roommates at the Manning Passing Academy when Manziel was abruptly dismissed last week. He said he overslept. McCarron didn't oversleep.

"I can't answer on Johnny Manziel's part. My name's AJ. He's his own man," McCarron said when asked about Manziel's conduct. "I'm not going to speak on another man's business. That's how I was raised. If it don't have nothing to do with you, don't speak of it."

YEAH, ABOUT THAT: On Tuesday, South Carolina All-America DE Jadeveon Clowney said he believes some players are afraid to play against him, including Georgia QB Aaron Murray. On Thursday, Murray and UGA coach Mark Richt said neither was offended. "I don't know about those guys in particular, but I would think some guys are scared of him," Richt jokingly said. "I'd be scared of him if I was in the game, this guy was coming after me. … I'm sure he said it, you know, while he was smiling and grinning."

3 Florida Gators make All-SEC preseason team 07/18/13 [Last modified: Friday, July 19, 2013 12:07am]
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