Phil Steele Names Five Dores All-SEC

Wesley Schelling (first team) and Anfernee Orji (second team) lead the Commodore quintet

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Vanderbilt football placed five members on Phil Steele’s Postseason All-SEC Team. Wesley Schelling, Anfernee Orji, Will Sheppard, Jayden McGowan and Ray Davis were all selected for their 2022 performances.

Schelling was named first team long snapper, matching his honor from the league’s coaches. The junior was Vanderbilt’s first first team All-SEC selection since 2016 after executing all 108 long snaps on the year. The Nashville native also recovered a fumbled punt for a touchdown in Vandy’s victory over Florida, earning SEC Special Teams Player of the Week honors.

Orji was named a second team linebacker after he led the SEC with 108 tackles during his senior season, making him the first Commodore to lead the team in tackles three consecutive seasons since 2005. The Rockwall, Texas, native was one of seven players in the SEC to force at least three fumbles this season and one of 10 players in the league with multiple fumble recoveries. He reached double-digit tackles in six games this season with a career-best 13 tackles in three games.

Steele named Sheppard a third team wide receiver, giving the junior a pair of All-SEC honors after The Associated Press slotted him second team all-conference. The Mandeville, Louisiana, native played in all 12 games and led Vandy with 60 catches for 776 yards and nine touchdowns.

His nine receiving touchdowns were second in the SEC and 11th in FBS. Sheppard caught a touchdown pass from Mike Wright with 32 seconds left to give the Commodores the victory at Kentucky, the team’s first SEC win since 2019.

McGowan was named third team kick returner by Steele. The freshman returned 16 kickoffs for 384 yards on the season. His 24 yards per return slotted him third in the SEC and 20th in FBS. In addition, McGowan caught 44 passes for 453 yards and three touchdowns during his rookie season.

Davis collected fourth team running back honors after producing the 10th 1,000-yard rushing season in school history. He capped the year with 1,042 yards on 232 carries, playing in all 12 games. He went over the 100-yard mark in five games, including three straight in SEC play against South Carolina, Kentucky and Florida.

The San Francisco native finished the season fourth in the SEC and 32nd nationally in rushing yards. He was named a semifinalist for Comeback Player of the Year, rebounding in 2022 after he suffered a season-ending injury in the third week of 2021.