The trend of snapping long droughts carried over into the award season for Vanderbilt.
For the first time since 1984, five Commodores were named to the Associated Press All-Southeastern Conference teams that were released on Monday.
Wide receiver Jordan Matthews led the way and became the first Vanderbilt player to be named to the first team since cornerback D.J. Moore in 2008. Running back Zac Stacy, cornerback Andre Hal and kicker Carey Spear each received second-team honors. Left tackle Wesley Johnson earned honorable mention.
Matthews was an easy choice for voters after he broke the school record with 1,262 receiving yards. The junior from Madison is second in the SEC behind fellow first-team pick Arkansas' Cobi Hamilton, a unanimous choice, in both receiving yards and receptions. Matthews’ 87 catches ranks second in school history behind Keith Edwards’ 97 in 1983.
Stacy, a senior from Centreville, Ala., became the first Vanderbilt player to earn all-SEC honors in consecutive years. He also was an all-conference second-team selection in 2011. The school’s all-time leading rusher finished the regular season with 1,034 rushing yards and nine touchdowns.
Hal, a junior from Port Allen, La., shared the SEC lead with 13 passes defended and had two interceptions. Spear, a junior out of Mayfield Village, Ohio, set school records with 19 field goals and 81 points scored. Johnson, a product of Montgomery Bell Academy, has started all 37 games in three years and started at both tackle positions this year.
Tennessee also placed five players on the teams — all on the offensive side. Junior college transfer and wide receiver/kick returner Cordarrelle Patterson headlined the group by being named first-team all-purpose.
On the second team were receiver Justin Hunter, tight end Mychal Rivera, left guard Dallas Thomas and left tackle Antonio “Tiny” Richardson — a product of Pearl-Cohn.
Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel was a unanimous choice for offensive player of the year, in addition to being tabbed as the freshman of the year. Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones was tabbed the defensive player of the year. Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin was named the coach of the year.