Missouri’s defense struggled mightily this season compared to 2015, but two individuals were honored Tuesday on the All-Southeastern Conference coaches’ football team.
Senior cornerback Aarion Penton was a first-team selection, and junior defensive end Charles Harris, who declared for the 2017 NFL Draft last week, repeated as a second-team pick.
Penton led the SEC with five interceptions in the regular season, a mark that Alabama’s Minkah Fitzpatrick tied with a pick in the SEC Championship Game.
With 12 pass breakups, Penton also led the SEC with 17 total passes defended, which is tied for seventh in the Football Bowl Subdivision.
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Penton’s five interceptions were the most for a Mizzou player since William Moore snagged a single-season record eight in 2007 and give him 10 in his career, which is tied for seventh in program history with Roger Wehrli, Kevin McIntosh and Harold Piersey.
Penton, who was ninth on the Tigers with 43 tackles, including a half-tackle for a loss, had his first career interception return for a touchdown Nov. 12 against Vanderbilt.
Harris led Mizzou with a career-high nine sacks, 10 quarterback hurries and 12 tackles for a loss.
He also finished second on the team with a career-high 61 tackles, adding two forced fumbles with a fumble recovery and two pass breakups.
Harris, who tied for third in the SEC in sacks, ranks seventh in Mizzou history with 18 career sacks and 12th with 34 1/2 tackles for a loss.
He’s set to graduate in May with a bachelor’s degree in health science and a minor in sociology, becoming the first college graduate in his family.
Harris, a Lincoln Prep graduate, is widely considered a first-round pick as one of the top pass-rushers in the 2017 draft class.
The Tigers led the SEC in total offense at 500.5 yards per game, a single-season program record, but no players from that side of the ball received All-SEC recognition.
Missouri junior wide receiver J’Mon Moore leads the SEC with 1,012 receiving yards, finishing fifth with 62 receptions and tying for fifth with eight touchdowns. Moore’s 700 yards in SEC games also led the conference, but he didn’t receive any recognition.
The Tigers allowed only 36 tackles for a loss, which is the fewest in the Football Bowl Subdivision since at least 2008, and ranked 15th in the country with only 14 sacks allowed, but no offensive lineman merited selection by the coaches.
SEC champion Alabama led the way with 11 players scattered among the first- and second-team selections, including freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts. LSU was represented by nine players, and three schools — Auburn, Florida and Texas A&M — each had six All-SEC picks.
Auburn junior right guard Braden Smith, an Olathe South graduate, was an All-SEC second-team selection.
Tennessee’s Evan Berry, brother of Chiefs safety Eric Berry, was a second-team selection at returner.
Mississippi State placed one player, second-team wide receiver Fred Ross, on the list, while Georgia and South Carolina didn’t have any All-SEC picks.
The SEC will announce the coaches’ individual award winners Wednesday and the all-freshman team Thursday.
2016 All-SEC football team
Selected by the league’s 14 coaches, who could not vote for their own players
Tight end — Evan Engram, Mississippi
Linemen — Cam Robinson, Alabama; Dan Skipper, Arkansas; Avery Gennesy, Texas A&M; Will Clapp, LSU;
Center — Ethan Pocic, LSU
Wide recievers — Christian Kirk, Texas A&M; ArDarius Stewart, Alabama
Quarterback — Jalen Hurts, Alabama
Running backs — Kamryn Pettway, Auburn; Derrius Guice, LSU
All-purpose — Christian Kirk, Texas A&M
Linemen — Jonathan Allen, Alabama; Derek Barnett, Tennessee; Carl Lawson, Auburn; Myles Garrett, Texas A&M
Linebackers — Zach Cunningham, Vanderbilt; Reuben Foster, Alabama; Kendell Beckwith, LSU
Backs — Jalen Tabor, Florida; Tre’Davious White, LSU; Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama; Aarion Penton, Missouri
Place kicker — Daniel Carlson, Auburn
Punter — JK Scott, Alabama
Returner — Christian Kirk, Texas A&M
Tight end — O.J. Howard, Alabama
Linemen — Braden Smith, Auburn; Will Holden, Vanderbilt; Martez Ivey, Florida; Alex Kozan, Auburn
Center — Jon Toth, Kentucky
Wide receivers — Calvin Ridley, Alabama; Fred Ross, Mississippi State
Quarterback — Chad Kelly, Mississippi (tie); Joshua Dobbs, Tennessee (tie)
Running backs — Rawleigh Williams III, Arkansas; Ralph Webb, Vanderbilt (tie); Leonard Fournette, LSU (tie)
All-purpose — Derrius Guice, LSU
Linemen — Arden Key, LSU; Montravius Adams, Auburn; Charles Harris, Missouri; Caleb Brantley, Florida
Linebackers — Tim Williams, Alabama; Jarrad Davis, Florida; Jordan Jones, Kentucky
Backs — Jamal Adams, LSU; Eddie Jackson, Alabama; Quincy Wilson, Florida; Justin Evans, Texas A&M
Place kicker — Gary Wunderlich, Mississippi
Punter — Johnny Townsend, Florida
Returner — Evan Berry, Tennessee