"The SEC is very proud to honor John-Patrick and Kayla, as they are outstanding examples of what a student-athlete can accomplish, both on and off the field of competition," SEC commissioner Mike Slive said in a news release this week of Smith and Kayla Hoffman, an Alabama gymnast. "Their hard work and dedication to excellence have made them fine representatives of their universities and this conference. We congratulate them and wish them the best in their future endeavors."http://sports.espn.go.com/ncaa/news/story?id=6731420
"The SEC apparently holds [John-Patrick] Smith -- Tennessee's first four-time tennis All-American who finished the Vols' season ranked 10th in the nation -- in higher regard than the NFL's top draft pick, as the conference's athletic directors have made Smith the first Volunteer to win their male-athlete-of-the-year award since Peyton Manning in 1998."
Call me crazy, but it seems like the SEC ADs might think that the whole Cam Newton saga might not be over. That’s one reading of this, at any rate.
The Female Athlete of the Year is our very own Kayla Hoffman.
Congratulations, Ms. Hoffman, and Roll Tide. We are all very proud of you.
Hoffman was born August 13, 1988 to parents Richard and Helen Hoffman in Summit, New Jersey. She has one sister, Emma Lee Hoffman, who also is a competitive gymnast. She began taking gymnastics at the young age of three because her mother took gymnastics when she was younger as well. Hoffman was home schooled through her high school career. Until reaching level 10, Hoffman spent her beginning years at Sunburst Gymnastics. She won the uneven bars title at Level 8 State and in 2000, she qualified for the Level 9 Easterns and finished 4th overall. In 2001, she placed 3rd at Level 10 Regionals and qualified for the JO Nationals. At the end of the year, she decided to make a change and began training at Rebound Gymnastics for Coach Diane Farrell.
In 2007, Hoffman made the decision to retire from elite gymnastics, so she could focus on her first year at the University of Alabama. Hoffman and her Alabama teammates started their season in January 2008 competing against Illinois, where she finished 2nd in the all-around. She helped the team to win nine competitions throughout the season, including the South Central Regional Championship. She won seven vault titles as well as six floor exercise titles. At the NCAA Championships, the Alabama gymnastics team advanced to the Super Six and finished 6th. Hoffman qualified to vault finals, where she placed 5th. After her regular season was over, statistics showed that she was ranked 5th on vault, 33rd on uneven bars, and 18th on floor exercise. She also earned All-American honors and was named to the inaugural SEC All-Freshman team as well as earning second team All-Sec. Her first semester at the University of Alabama, she earned a 4.0 grade point average while still maintaining her gymnastics training. More so impressive was that was her first classroom experience since third grade when she started being home schooled. In 2011, Kayla clinched the Women's Collegiate Gymnastics National Championship Title with a 9.95 score on her floor routine. It was the team's first championship since winning in 2002.
Collegiate Level: NCAA Championships, Super Six – 6th Team NCAA Event Finals: 5th Vault 1st Team All America: Vault South Central Regional Championship: 1st Team, 2nd Vault, 4th Floor Exercise SEC Championship: 2nd Team 2nd Team All SEC: Vault Freshman All SEC Team Scholastic All America Academic All SEC