December 9, 2009 10:39:00 AM
Danny P Smith -
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State offensive coordinator Les Koenning realizes how important junior offensive tackle Derek Sherrod is for the Bulldogs.
Other coaches from around the Southeastern Conference have learned how valuable Sherrod is to the Bulldogs as they picked him on the All-SEC second-team on a list released Tuesday.
"I''m very proud of him," Koenning said. "It''s a great honor for him and this football team. It was a reward and a good deal for him. I know he''s proud of it and he''s well deserving."
Sherrod, of Caledonia, led the team in blocking grades nine times this season, including a 97 percent grade in the 41-27 victory against Ole Miss.
He helped MSU''s running game to a ninth-place standing nationally with 227.58 yards per game.
With Sherrod as an anchor, the Bulldog offensive line only allowed 20 sacks for the season, which was down 36 from 2008.
"He''s been a staple up front for us playing the left tackle position," Koenning said. "He usually gets the best pass rushers and he''s done a really good job for us. Protecting that quarterback''s back is important for him."
Senior tailback Anthony Dixon also benefited from Sherrod''s blocking by rushing for a school-record 1,391 yards for the season. Dixon was chosen first-team All-SEC by the coaches like he was by The Associated Press on Monday.
Also recognized on both All-SEC teams was MSU junior defensive end Pernell McPhee. McPhee made the second-team on both lists after getting 56 tackles and a team-leading 12 tackles for loss.
SEC champion Alabama and SEC Eastern Champion Florida each had a league-high nine representatives on the All-SEC team.
Alabama had eight members on the first team, while Florida had seven.
Eleven of the 12 SEC schools had a member on the first-team All-SEC squad. Georgia had three players on the first team, with Ole Miss claiming two.
Georgia had seven total representatives on the annual list. Georgia, Tennessee and Vanderbilt had a league-high four players on the second unit followed by Arkansas, Kentucky and LSU with three each.
Every SEC squad had at least two players represented on the first and second teams.
There were only three unanimous selections to this year''s All-SEC squad -- Florida quarterback Tim Tebow, Alabama running back Mark Ingram and Alabama linebacker Rolando McClain.
Alabama senior Javier Arenas made the first team twice -- as a return specialist and defensive back.
From Ole Miss, wide receiver Shay Hodge and offensive lineman John Jerry made first team, and running back Dexter McCluster made second team.