National Signing Day is just a week away and the SEC is cleaning up on the countrys top recruits. This is a key component to success on the field and the ability to build depth when players get injured or leave school for the NFL. Alabama has the program that can say next maybe as well as anyone in the country. However even the Crimson Tide have to re-stock with young talent. The idea is to bring in young players that can contribute but not be counted on to carry the program. This helps you build depth and sustain success longer. Last year freshman like TJ Yeldon at Alabama, Matt Jones at Florida, John Theus for Georgia and Mike Evans with Texas A&M all played key roles for their team.
Here are some guys that will be missed in the SEC this year with their likely replacement and their future replacement.
Eddie Lacy, Alabama. He rushed for 1,322 yards and 17 touchdowns. He is will be followed by TJ Yeldon who also rushed for 1,000 yards and played very well as a freshman. The signing day heir apparent could be Derrick Henry out of Yulee, Florida. He rushed for 4,261 yards and 55 touchdowns as a senior. He is 63 235lbs and built like a truck.
Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M. He could be the number one pick in Aprils NFL Draft. He was a nice building block in year one for Kevin Sumlin and Heisman winner Johnny Manziel. Nathan Gutenkunst is a freshman who should get the shot to win the job at 66290lbs they want to add some size this off season. Jeremiah Stuckey is a midyear junior college player from City College of San Francisco that could come in and win the job. This would allow the freshman another year to develop.Todd Grantham will have to replace Jarvis Jones at Georgia.
Jarvis Jones, Georgia. What else can you say about his numbers other than the fact he single handedly won the Missouri and Florida games? He is impossible to replace, but Todd Grantham would at least like to put a dominant pass rusher in his spot to start with. Grantham has had to play without him before and generally gets the best players on the field. Jordan Jenkins could slide over there full time but the spring will be a time for experimenting with the 3-4 personnel. Jenkins had five sacks as a freshman. Leonard Floyd who is 64 220 pound weak side end from Hargrave that could be the future at that spot.
Matt Elam, Florida. He was the heart and soul of Floridas secondary. He could play in the box, behind the line of scrimmage and cover on the back end. Valdez Showers will likely get the shot to fill his shoes in the spring. Will Muschamp believes in getting the best five defensive backs on the field, which means a healthy Cody Riggs or Jaylen Watkins could move back. Freshman Marcell Harris from Orlando is 61207 pound head hunter who is the future at safety. The Gators could have a true freshman play at corner in Vernon Hargreaves which could also move one of the other guys to safety.
This and that...
Jameill Showers looks like he will transfer from Texas A&M after Johnny Football lit it up in 2012. I like many of you thought Kevin Sumlin would give the reigns to Showers to begin last season. As a matter of fact, I think the job was his as late as July before Manziel emerged in camp. Give credit to Kliff Kingsbury for convincing Sumlin that Manziel was their best option. Showers could be on track to graduate early which will help his transfer cause.Phillip Ely at Alabama may transfer as well from the Tide program. Ely who played at Florida powerhouse Tampa Plant was regarded in high school as the best prospect that school had produced. Aaron Murray at Georgia and Robert Marve (MiamiPurdue) both played their before him. If this is the case this will be three top high school prospects that have left SEC schools because they did not win the job or get playing time at quarterback. Jacoby Brissett left Florida for North Carolina State. I really dont believe these kids should be penalized and have to sit out a year. As long as they dont go inside the conference and have good grades, I wish the NCAA would allow a transfer without penalty.