Gators Picked Second in SEC East, Four Named to Preseason All-SEC Team

SEC media recently voted for teams and players that will be on the rise this season, including four Florida Gators players who made preseason All-SEC teams.
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The Florida Gators have been voted second in SEC East rankings for this upcoming season, voted by SEC media during this week's SEC Media day. Four players were also given All-SEC honors, including two named to the first team.

In conference rankings, Florida is behind Georgia in the eastern conference with 784 points, including seven first-place votes. Georgia came in at 923 points with 124 first-place votes. Kentucky would come in fourth with 624 points and two first-place votes. The only other team to receive first-place votes in the SEC East was South Carolina (1).

Last season, Florida would win the SEC East ahead of Georgia after defeating the team at TIAA Bank Field 44-28, the team would record an 8-2 record in conference play while earning a trip to the SEC Championship game against Alabama. Florida would go on to lose the game 52-46.

Florida received 1 vote to win the SEC outright, with Alabama coming in first with 84 votes. Georgia would come in second with 45 votes. No other teams in the SEC received more than 1 vote to win it all.

As for the All-SEC team, the Gators didn't receive any first or second-team offensive players but were able to secure a spot for one third-team player on offense while two defenders were named to the first team, one to the second team.

The players named were receiver Jacob Copeland (third team), defensive lineman Zachary Carter (first team), cornerback Kaiir Elam (first team) and linebacker Ventrell Miller (second team).

The Gators enter this season with high expectations, but with a lot of roster turnover as well. They're losing a starting quarterback in Kyle Trask who would go on to become a Heisman Trophy finalist last season, along with two would-be first-round weapons in tight end Kyle Pitts and receiver Kadarius Toney.

Carter is expected to take a major leap, and now is receiving preseason honors in back-to-back seasons. He was ranked as a second-team player last season. After playing in all 12 games last year, Carter led the Gators in sacks (5.0) and tackles-for-loss (9.5). He would win SEC Defensive Lineman of the week once last season as well. 

Elam, thought to be one of the best defensive backs in the country, is also rising up the scale after being named to the second team last season, now with the first team.

He was named a Jim Thrope Award semifinalist last season, given to the best defensive back in the country, along with being named to the Coaches All-SEC First Team and the AP second team.

For Miller, he led the Gators in tackles with 88, playing in 11 games last season. He was also named SEC Defensive Player of the Week after posting 15 tackles, two tackles-for-loss and a sack against Ole Miss in Week 1.

Finally, this will be Copeland's first time being named a preseason all-conference team. Last season, the redshirt junior hauled in 23 receptions for 435 yards and three touchdowns.  

This season will be one to decide the future of the Florida football program. With high expectations, they'll need to match their impact from last season in an effort to make it back to the SEC title game. With matchups against Alabama and Georgia early on the docket, we will find out very quickly what sort of year it will be.