Steven Scheu was second among Southeastern Conference tight ends in receiving yards in 2014. He had more receiving touchdowns than any other tight end in the league last year. And while he's primed for a monster senior season under new offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig, the SEC's coaches don't think he belongs anywhere near the all-conference team.
Scheu was Vanderbilt's biggest snub when the league announced their preseason All-SEC teams on Tuesday. He found himself on the outside looking in for one of the three tight end spots on the league's all-star roster.
Vandy only placed two players on the conference's honored squad - and both were banished to the third-team. Caleb Azubike was slotted in on the defensive line. Darrius Sims wound up as the third-team kick returner. By the coaches' logic, the guy who provided 12 percent of the Commodores' touchdowns last season despite touching the ball only four times on offense is barely dangerous enough to fill out the bench on their all-star roster.
Scheu wasn't the only Commodore to be snubbed by the league. Stephen Weatherly led the team with 12.5 tackles for loss last season and should have another big year now that Derek Mason has taken over this team's defense. He's not on the list. Neither is Nigel Bowden, a hard-nosed inside linebacker who made 78 tackles in 11 games last year, or Ralph Webb, who gained 907 rushing yards as a freshman on a team with few offensive options to lighten his load.
While there was stiff competition for spots on the All-SEC roster, it's clear that Vanderbilt's terrible 2014 has followed them into 2015. We've seen how little the national media thinks about Mason's team, and that sentiment appears to be shared by the league's coaches. Fortunately, these preseason rankings and honors are meaningless compared to the year-end awards. The 2015 preseason All-SEC teams should be prime motivation for every player in the Commodore locker room - even Azubike and Sims.
Here are the full all-conference honors, courtesy of SECSports.com: