HOOVER, Ala. — Players from the Tampa Bay area most likely will play an integral role in whatever success Florida has this season.
Of the four Gators selected to the preseason All-SEC team chosen by the league's media on Thursday, three are from the bay area: sophomore DB Vernon Hargreaves (Wharton) and junior DB Dante Fowler (Lakewood) first-team defense and senior OL Chaz Green (Tampa Catholic) third-team offense. Green missed all of last season with a shoulder injury. Kick returner Andre Debose, who also missed all of last season with an injury, was named to the second team as a specialist.
The Gators were picked to finish third in the SEC East, and didn't get a single vote to win the SEC championship. Alabama is heavily favored to win the SEC, followed by Auburn, South Carolina and Georgia. If it's any consolation to Florida fans, the media have only correctly picked the eventual champion four times in the past 22 years.
To get a glimpse of where the media believe the power lies in the conference, check this: There are only six players from the East among the 26 first-team All-SEC selections.
THE MURRAYS AND THE BACHELORETTE: Former Plant High and Georgia QB Aaron Murray and his brother Josh were among the topics, but not just for football. It was more about the reality show The Bachelorette, on which Josh has been a contestant. "It was funny seeing Aaron and Josh on there," Georgia senior WR Chris Conley said. "I don't know if I completely condone that, but I love those guys and they're doing a great job. Josh is a little smoother than I thought he was. I hope that everything goes well for him."