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July 21, 2008

Eight selected to preseason All-SEC teams

Eight Auburn football players have been named to the Coaches Preseason All-SEC teams, it was announced Monday. Junior defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks and sophomore punter Ryan Shoemaker highlighted the lists by being selected to the first team, while five others were named to the second team and one to the third team.

The second-team selections included senior offensive guard Tyronne Green, junior linebacker Tray Blackmon, junior cornerback Jerraud Powers, junior running back Ben Tate and sophomore offensive tackle Lee Ziemba. Junior defensive end Antonio Coleman was named to the third team.

Marks enters his junior season having started 26 consecutive games on the defensive line. He has collected 82 career tackles including 20 for losses and 5.5 sacks. He has been named to the Outland and Nagurski Trophy watch lists for this season and was a Playboy Preseason All-American.

Shoemaker earned second-team All-SEC honors by the Associated Press as a freshman after ranking second in the conference and 16th nationally with an average of 42.4 yards per punt. He placed 16 of his 49 punts inside the 20-yard line and had at least one punt of 50 yards in nine of his 12 games played.

Green started all 13 games at guard last season and was named the SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week after Auburn's victory over Vanderbilt. He received Auburn's Ken Rice Award following the season as the team's best blocking lineman.

Blackmon started the last seven games in 2007, and ended the year with 45 tackles (26 solo, 19 assists) in just nine games played. He was named the SEC Defensive Player of the Week following Auburn's victory at Arkansas after collecting a career-high nine tackles, which he later matched in a win over Ole Miss.

Powers started all 13 games at cornerback in 2007 and was fourth on the team with 63 tackles (47 solo, 16 assists). He shared the team lead with four interceptions and added eight pass break-ups, and was named SEC Defensive Player of the Week after recording seven tackles during a victory at Florida. Following the season he was awarded Auburn's Zeke Smith Award as the team's Defensive Player of the Year.

Tate led Auburn in rushing yards (903), attempts (202), all-purpose yardage (83.3 yards per game) and rushing touchdowns (eight) in 2007 while becoming the 33rd player in Auburn history to amass 1,000 career rushing yards. He has three career 100-yard rushing games and currently ranks 27th on the Tigers' career rushing list with 1,295 yards.

Ziemba was named to numerous freshman All-America teams following the 2007 season after starting all 13 games at tackle. He became the first true freshman to start on the offensive line in a season opener during the Tommy Tuberville era.

Coleman ranked fourth in the SEC in tackles for loss (18.5) and tied for fifth in sacks (8.5) last year despite making just eight starts. He finished with 38 total tackles and was named the SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week following Auburn's victory over Ole Miss after collecting three tackles for loss including a pair of quarterback sacks.


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