BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WVLT/SUBMITTED)-- Alabama running back Trent Richardson, LSU defensive back Morris Claiborne and Arkansas return specialist/wide receiver Joe Adams were voted as the Southeastern Conference’s top offensive player, top defensive player and top special teams player, respectively, in a vote of the league’s coaches, it was announced on Wednesday.
The league’s coaches also selected Barrett Jones of Alabama as the league’s scholar-athlete of the year and winner of the Jacobs Blocking Trophy, with South Carolina defensive lineman Jadeveon Clowney as the top freshman performer.
LSU’s Les Miles was voted by his peers as the SEC Coach of the Year.
In 12 games this season, Richardson has 263 rushing attempts for 1,583 yards and 20 touchdowns. He leads the SEC and ranks fifth nationally with 131.9 rushing yards per game. He also averages 6.0 yards per carry and ranks second in school and SEC history with 23 total touchdowns.
Claiborne finished second in the SEC in interceptions with six this season, and his 11 career interceptions ranks sixth in LSU history, tying him with Greg Jackson (1985-88), Tony James (1992-95) and Craig Steltz (2004-07).
Clowney was ninth in the SEC with six sacks in 2011, while his 10 tackles for loss ranks him 16th in the conference. In addition, he was credited with six quarterback hurries, five forced fumbles and one pass break up. This is the second consecutive year for a Gamecock to win SEC Freshman of the Year honors.
Jones, an accounting major who graduated in August with a 4.0 GPA, is now working towards a masters in accounting. The All-SEC lineman is extremely active in the community as well. Jones has made two mission trips to Haiti to help people struggling with daily life and to help build a school and orphanage. He has actively participated in tornado cleanup in Tuscaloosa and worked with countless other community organizations in his time at Alabama.
In his seventh season at LSU, Miles led the Tigers to a 13-0 record for the first time in school history. The Tigers have amassed 41 conference wins since Miles' first season in 2005, which is more than any other SEC school. LSU's current 8-0 record in league play was recently capped with a decisive 42-10 victory over Georgia, clinching Miles second SEC Championship with the Tigers. Of LSU's 13 wins this year, eight have come against ranked opponents and seven of those eight have been double-digit wins. The 2011 team has ten 20-point wins this season, is the only unbeaten team in the FBS and the defense has allowed an average of only 10.5 points per game (second fewest in FBS). On Monday, Jan. 9, LSU will bring the nation's longest winning streak - 14 straight - into the Allstate National BCS Championship game versus No. 2 Alabama. Should they win, LSU will be the first team to beat nine Associated Press top 25 teams in one season.
2011 SEC FOOTBALL INDIVIDUAL AWARDS
Scholar-Athlete of the Year
Barrett Jones, Alabama
Offensive Player of the Year
Trent Richardson, Alabama
Defensive Player of the Year
Morris Claiborne, LSU
Special Teams Player of the Year
Joe Adams, Arkansas
Freshman of the Year
Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina
Jacobs Blocking Trophy
Barrett Jones, Alabama
Coach of the Year
Les Miles, LSU