Carnell Williams, Ronnie Brown and Carlos Rogers all received the honor from the coaches based on their play during the 2001 season. The annual Knoxville News-Sentinel team included Williams and Brown along with linebacker Mayo Sowell.
Coming in with more hype than any offensive player in recent memory, Williams didn’t disappoint fans and critics alike by finishing the season as the leading rusher for the Tigers, gaining 614 yards on 120 carries while scoring six touchdowns. His 167 yards against Georgia came on a school-record 41 carries and his 177 yards against Arkansas were the most by a freshman in the SEC this year.
The former Etowah High star also finished fifth on the team in receptions with 13 for 140 yards. He suffered a broken clavicle in the Alabama game and is likely out for the postseason.
"Hopefully, I can play in the bowl game," Williams says. "I am going to do everything possible to get ready in time to play."
Brown, a redshirt freshman from Cartersville, Ga., started five games and played in 10 for the Tigers this season and finished third on the team in rushing with 330 yards while scoring two touchdowns with a 3.9 average per carry. Splitting time between tailback and fullback for part of the season while nursing several minor injuries, Brown also caught seven passes for 109 yards, a 15.6 average per catch.
Rogers started five games and saw action in all 11 this season for the Tigers at cornerback, one of the toughest of all positions for a true freshman to play well. Finishing fourth on the team in tackles with 58, the Augusta, Ga., native also had a team-high 12 pass breakups, a quarterback hurry and recovered one fumble.
Sowell was credited with 15 solo tackles, 14 assists. He also intercepted a pass.
The remainder of the offensive team was made up by quarterback David Greene from Georgia, wide receivers Kelly Washington of Tennessee and Fred Gibson of Georgia, offensive linemen Ben Wilkerson of LSU, Shawn Andrews of Arkansas, Wesley Britt and Justin Smiley of Alabama and Justin Geisinger of Vanderbilt. The kicker was Jonathan Nichols from Ole Miss.
Defensively, the team consists of linemen Ronald Fields of Mississippi State, Ellery Moore of Kentucky and David Pollack of Georgia. The linebackers are Pat Brunner of Vanderbilt, Jeb Huckeba of Arkansas plus Brian Lester and Rob Robertson of Ole Miss. Joining Rogers in the secondary are Ahmad "Batman" Carroll from Arkansas, Lorenzo Parker of Vanderbilt and Eric Oliver of Ole Miss. The punter is Dustin Colquitt from Tennessee.
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