Tennessee Vols wide receiver Cedric Tillman got hit with the biggest disrespect of the offseason this week.
The All-SEC teams, which are voted on by the media, were released this week.
And somehow, Tillman wasn’t an All-SEC team first selection.
Preseason all sec teams pic.twitter.com/9hdC7xOHcL— Richard🇬🇾Johnson (@RJ_Writes) July 22, 2022
Tillman was one of the best wide receivers in the SEC last season, catching 64 passes for 1,081 yards and 12 touchdowns. He’s the leading returning wide receiver in the SEC this season.
Instead, the media went with LSU wide receiver Kayshon Boutte and Georgia wide receiver Jermaine Burton.
I can understand Boutte landing on the All-SEC first team. He only played in six games as a sophomore in 2021, but he’s probably the most talented wide receiver in the SEC. He was electric as a true freshman in 2020, catching 45 passes for 735 yards and five touchdowns in 10 games. He caught 38 passes for 509 yards and nine touchdowns last season.
Putting Burton ahead of Tillman, however, makes zero sense.
Jermaine Burton getting first-team love over Cedric Tillman is laughable.— Connor O'Gara (@cjogara) July 22, 2022
Burton’s a great player — no one will dispute that. But his numbers last year were not impressive compared to Tillman’s. Burton caught 26 passes for 497 yards and five touchdowns in 14 games. He was the Bulldogs’ leading wide receiver last season (tight end Brock Bowers led Georgia in receiving in 2021).
Georgia isn’t a team that throws the ball a lot, which means it’s unlikely Burton has gaudy numbers in 2022.
The only reason that Burton is on the first team is because he plays at Georgia. There’s a clear bias at play. If Tillman played at Alabama or Georgia, the hype for him this preseason would be out of this world.
Tennessee needs players getting hype. It helps more than folks realize when it comes to recruiting. But for whatever reason, most of the media seems to absolutely hate giving the Vols any love.
Maybe that’ll change if Tennessee has another big year under Josh Heupel.
Featured image via Calvin Mattheis/News Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK