Posted: Dec 9, 2013 5:04 PM by Clayton Conness, KOMU 8 Sports Digital Producer
Updated: Dec 9, 2013 5:27 PM
COLUMBIA - Missouri Football defensive end Michael Sam has been named The Associated Press' 2013 Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Year. AP made the announcement Monday in addition to releasing its All-SEC First and Second Teams.
Sam topped the conference in both sacks (10.5) and tackles for loss (18.0). The senior collected three SEC weekly defensive awards throughout the course of the regular season. Sam was also named to the All-SEC First Team. Three additional Tigers also got the call. Seniors Justin Britt and E.J. Gaines and junior Kony Ealy all represent Missouri on the top squad as well.
Britt was a dominant force all year long on Missouri's offensive line. He received the SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week award on November 3 as a result of his excellent blocking that allowed Missouri to rush for 339 yards.
Gaines finished fourth in the conference in interceptions with four. Last week he was named the SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Week after holding Texas A&M's All-SEC First Team wide receiver Mike Evans to eight receiving yards on four catches. Gaines recorded 68 tackles during the campaign.
Ealy ranked fifth in the SEC in sacks (7.5) and fifth in tackles for loss (12.5). He also forced three fumbles, which tied for second most in the conference.
Mizzou sophomore Dorial Green-Beckham and senior Andrew Wilson were placed on the All-SEC Second Team. Green-Beckham tied for the most touchdown receptions in the conference by grabbing 12. He had 55 catches for 830 yards during the 2013 campaign. Meanwhile, Wilson was sixth in the SEC for tackles, as he posted 98 during the season.
Tigers defensive lineman Markus Golden received an honorable mention.
Mizzou finished the 2013 season with a school record 12 weekly conference honors, topping the previous mark of eight set in 2007.