Missouri's Ray named AP SEC Defensive Player of the Year
ATLANTA (AP) - Missouri defensive end Shane Ray has been selected as the Southeastern Conference defensive player of the year by the Associated Press, while Alabama receiver Amari Cooper claimed the award as the best offensive player.
The coach of the year went to Mississippi State's Dan Mullen. Georgia running back Nick Chubb was voted the top freshman.
The awards were announced Monday with the AP's All-SEC team.
Cooper led the No. 1-ranked Crimson Tide (12-1) to the SEC championship and college football's first playoff. He leads the nation with 115 catches and 1,656 yards, and ranks second with 14 touchdowns.
Ray tops the SEC with 14 sacks, though his season was marred by an ejection in the SEC championship game. He follows Michael Sam as the Missouri's second straight winner of the defensive award.
In addition to Shane Ray, Missouri running back Marcus Murphy and wide receiver Bud Sasser also were named to the AP SEC First Team. Linebacker Kentrell Brothers and safety Braylon Webb were named to the AP SEC Second Team while defensive tackle Harold Brantley and defensive end Markus Golden were named Honorable Mention.
[Editor's Note: This story was edited to include information on all Missouri players who received AP SEC awards for this season.]