The preseason awards season is starting early for Alshon Jeffery.
The Gamecocks junior wide receiver was declared the winner Monday of an ESPN.com fan survey that asked readers to choose a player who would have the biggest impact on the Southeastern Conference this season.
Jeffery, Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray, Georgia running back Isaiah Crowell, Arkansas running back Knile Davis and Alabama linebacker Dont’a Hightower were the choices offered.
As of Monday morning, Jeffery had amassed 28 percent of the vote from almost 17,000 responses.
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The St. Matthews native set the school’s single-season records in receiving yards (1,571) and receptions (88) as a sophomore. He is tied with Sidney Rice for the school’s career lead in 100-yard receiving games at 11.
If Jeffery has another season close to that, he will have a chance to skip his senior season and be an early first-round NFL selection, but he told me last week that he’s not thinking about that yet. I spoke to Jeffery for a story that will run later this summer in GoGamecocks magazine.
"I’m not even thinking about it,” he said. “I’m just having fun in college now.”
Jeffery was named an All-American by several media outlets last year and is sure to be on plenty of preseason All-America teams this year.
Those lists should start showing up soon as the first of June generally is when the flood of preseason magazines starts hitting the shelves.