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College Football Analysis: 5 SEC Players to Watch

Tyler Wilson QB, Arkansas

I don't think I'm going too far out on a limb with this one. Wilson will take over an offense that ranked 4th in the NCAA last year in passing yardage per game. Did I mention that the Razorbacks return 6 players that caught over 10 passes last year (and 4 that caught over 30). Arkansas has the best WR corps in the Nation and a coach that's almost as good drawing up offensive plays as he is at sneaking out of Atlanta in the dark of the night. Don't read too much into spring stats when you see them but when Wilson puts up 442 yards in a spring scrimmage it kind of catches your eye. Arkansas has a chance to be a Top 10 team this year and Tyler Wilson's success is the key.

Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama

Most people will tell you that this is Trent Richardson's year. I'm not going to argue with them because I think Trent is a fine talent who will have a really solid season but by the end of this year people will know the name Eddie Lacy. He red-shirted in 2009 and then got stuck behind a Heisman Trophy winning RB in Mark Ingram and his side-kick Richardson. As a third-stringer last year Lacy totted the rock 56 times for 406 yards which equated to an eye-popping 7.25 yards per carry. Sure, most of that was in mop up duty but Lacy is picking up where he left off this spring and I look for him to make a name for himself starting this year in the SEC.

Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee

Tennessee had two pretty good senior receivers last year in Denarius Moore and Gerald Jones. Despite being behind those two quality guys, Hunter managed to place second on the team with 7 TD receptions. That is an astounding number when you consider that he only caught 16 passes all year. He also posted a huge 25.9 yards per reception. He had three big games last year (Ole Miss, Georgia and Florida) and I look for him to really up his production this year as he will be the number one target (along with fellow soph Da'Rick Rogers) of Tyler Bray.

Barkevious Mingo, DE, LSU

As a freshman last year Barkevious (name of the year candidate?) played in all 13 games compiling 35 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks and forced 2 fumbles. During LSU's spring game Mingo showed that he has improved in defending the run. Les MIles has already mentioned Mingo as a guy that the rest of the team can look at as a defensive leader next year. He might not be ready to be on the field for every snap but I can guarantee you that he will make a huge impact when he is on the field.

Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia

At one point it looked like his career might have ended short when he injured his neck as a freshman while playing for USC. Two years later Jones is slated to start for Georgia and be a pivotal part of their defense. He's not technically taking over for Justin Houston (Jones will play strong-side OLB while Houston played weak-side OLB last year) but he will be re-placing him in a lot of statistical categories. Jones will provide Georgia with something they didn't have on defense last year, a playmaker. He's a well-rounded linebacker who will use his speed and burst to be a difference maker for Georgia this year.


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