By Joe Trinacria
While Les Miles and his No. 23 LSU Tigers have been hard at work preparing for their Dec. 30 Music City Bowl matchup against Notre Dame in Nashville, Tennessee, several members of the team have been selected for All-SEC honors by the Associated Press.
Senior left tackle La’el Collins was named to the All-SEC first team, while both junior linebacker Kwon Alexander and senior safety Ronald Martin Jr. made All-SEC second team.
Rounding out the list of honorees for the Tigers was junior offensive guard Vadal Alexander, who was recognized as an honorable mention.
Collins, who was named to the coach’s second team All-SEC last season, stepped up his game in 2014 and anchored the LSU line in the trenches.
Collins was one of the Tigers’ iron men on offense, starting all 12 games and paving the way for LSU to rush for a total of 2,634 yards this year.
Alexander was one of the most feared Tigers on the defensive side of the ball, and rightly so given his excellent playmaking ability. He led the team with 79 tackles, posting highs in both solo (32) and assisted (47) categories. Alexander also possessed a strong nose for the ball, contributing two forced fumbles.
Martin is a graduating player that Tiger fans are surely going to miss. He was one of three LSU players tied with two interceptions this season, none more memorable than when he picked off Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace in the closing seconds to preserve the 10-7 upset win over the Rebels.
When he wasn’t causing turnovers (he also had two forced fumbles to go with his interceptions), Martin was laying punishing hits that made opposing receivers think twice about going over the middle.
The loss of Collins on the offensive line will be tough for LSU, however Alexander is ready to follow in his footsteps and take over as leader.
Alexander has the experience as a veteran player, and already was a key cog on the Tiger line this past season. The one game that Alexander missed for LSU was against Arkansas, which also happened to be the worst rushing performance the Tigers had all season.