Roundtable: Top-10 Players in the SEC Headlined by LSU Football’s Ja’Marr Chase, Derek Stingley Jr.

Chase, Stingley return as two of the country’s best players

With the equivalent of a split decision, Sports Illustrated's Southeastern Conference publishers voted Alabama a clean sweep of their preseason player awards for the 2020 college football season, but two from LSU topped their rankings of the league's top-10 players overall.

Crimson Tide running back Najee Harris was selected the preseason SEC Offseason Player of the Year.

Linebacker Dylan Moses, who missed last season with a knee injury, topped the voting for the Defensive Player of the Year. It’s more than a little surprising that Stingley wasn’t voted as the Defensive Player of the Year especially considering Moses missed all of the 2019 season.

Stingley proved to be one of if not the best defenders in college football, named a consensus All-American and most recently, voted to the Bednarik Award and Jim Thorpe Award watch lists.

Wide receiver and return specialist Jaylen Waddle was tabbed the Special-Teams Player of the Year.

Perhaps thinking the SEC East might be ripe for a change at the top, Florida's Dan Mullen was the choice for Coach of the Year.

In 11 years as a head coach in the league (nine at Mississippi State), he's never won a division title. However, his teams finished second three times including the last two with the Gators.

Despite the honors, when asked to rank the top-10 players in the league, two from LSU stood out, with six Crimson Tide players helping round out the top finishers:

1. Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU

2. Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU

3. Dylan Moses, LB, Alabama

4. Najee Harris, RB, Alabama

5. Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama

6. DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama

7. Kylin Hill, RB, Mississippi State

8. Alex Leatherwood, T, Alabama

T-10. Kyle Trask, QB, Florida; (tie) Jaylen Waddle, WR/RS Alabama

Also received votes (in alphabetical order): Nick Bolton, LB Missouri; KJ Costello, QB, Mississippi State; Jerrion Ealy, RB, Ole Miss; Richard LeCounte, S, Georgia; Israel Mukuamu, CB, South Carolina; Jamie Newman, QB, Georgia; George Pickens, WR, Georgia; Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida; Tyler Shelvin, DL, LSU; Trey Smith, T, Tennessee; Jacoby Stevens, S, LSU; Seth Williams, WR, Auburn

The group had previously announced its preseason All-SEC teams, and predicted order of finish, both of which were led by the Crimson Tide.