Time to look at play makers in the SEC. The conference has been littered with running backs and dual threat quarterbacks in recent years.There has also been a top flight receiver which maybe didn't put up Heisman numbers like the others, but there game has translated well to the NFL. (Percy Harvin, AJ Green and Julio Jones), I do see quarterback play on an uptick and ranked the returners last week on this blog. Offensive skilled positions are the quickest way for a freshman to make an impact in college football. For the Southeastern Conference don't be surprised if new faces like Dorial Green-Beckham, Keith Marshall,Chris Black or Matt Jones aren't household names by the end of the season. But for this week I will rank the top returning play makers in the SEC.1-Oneterio McCalebb, RB-Auburn- The Chick-fil-A Bowl MVP has the backfield to himself and has a remarkable average per carry in his career with over 6.5 per carry. He has 18 rushing touchdowns, 3 receiving touchdowns and last season averaged over 30 yards per kickoff return. He can score against any defense in the league anytime he touches the ball.Look for new offensive coordinator to use him more in the passing game in 2012.2-Cobi Hamilton, Wr-Arkansas-Hamilton had a huge spring becoming the lead guy in the high powered Razorback attack. Last season as the third option he had 34 receptions for nearly 16 yards per catch. He was second to Jarius Wright in yards per catch and fifth inside the SEC. He has big playability and will be the benefactor of Heisman candidate Tyler Wilson playing quarterback for the Hogs. 3-Isaiah Crowell,RB-Georgia. Had a great spring and was freshman of the year in the conference.He was chided for his toughness but he did have 34 runs for over 10 yards last season. He averaged 4.6 yards per carry and plays in a pro-style offense for a very good team.4-Russell Shepard, Wr-Lsu. With all the controversy in Baton Rouge the fact this kid came back should account for something. Shepard has something you cannot coach-speed.He has been underutilized during his career and hopefully they told him he would get the ball more in 2012. Zach Mettenberger will get him the ball down the field and I think LSU will copycat the Alabama offense and use him total as a receiver (aka Marquis Maize). He is too talented to not have a big year, as long as Lsu will use him!5-DaRick Rogers, Wr Tennessee. He has the numbers to be number one having finished 2nd in the league with 67 receptions in2011. He averaged 15.5 yards per catch and had nine touchdowns. He should be extra tough to defend with Hunter back in the lineup. The three game they played together last year, Rogers had 20 catches and 4 touchdowns. However Hunter is feared more by SEC defensive coordinators than Rogers.The rest of the pack-Justin Hunter, WR-Tennessee. I know what you're thinking;hes coming off an injury playing for a 5-7 team. But think about these numbers. He has nine touchdowns in sixteen games and averages 22.5 yards per reception. If he is healthy and Bray is healthy look out. Zac Stacy, RB-Vanderbilt- Yeah that's right the Commodores have a weapon on offense.. Stacy started slowly in 2012 but finished like a champion averaging nearly six yards per carry and scoring 14 touchdowns. The second half of the season he had 4 100 yard games including 184 at Wake Forest which made Vandy bowl eligible.Eddie Lacy, RB-Alabama- This guys finished 9th in the league in rushing as Trent Richardson's back up and averaged over seven yards per carry. As a matter of fact he is over seven yards a carry both seasons in Tuscaloosa. He wont be there this year but as the feature back for the Tide he is an explosive and powerful weapon in the conference.Malcolm Mitchell, WR-Georgia. I am not happy that hes on defense early in the season because he is fun to watch on offense. This shows what a team player this guy is and why Georgia is the favorite in the East.Mitchell as freshman had 45 receptions with over half 28 going for first downs.He is the guy Aaron Murray looks for on third down, making him one of the best weapons in the SEC.Marcus Lattimore, RB-South Carolina. The workhorse is coming off an injury and will be the difference in whether the Gamecocks can win the East or not. He has 27 touchdowns in two seasons in just 20 games of action. Everyone knows hes going get the ball and he still averages five yards per carry.He has 60 runs of over 10 yards in his career. If hes healthy the Gamecocks could be a sleeper in the National Title race.Knile Davis, RB-Arkansas. SECs 2nd leading rusher in 2011 had 13 touchdowns and averaged 6.5 per carry. He is coming back from injury and will be playing in an offense that will be very difficult to stop.Odell Beckham Jr., Wr-Lsu. Quietly had a very impressive freshman campaign with 41 receptions. His yards per catch were 11.5 and I think that number could go up at least by two yard in 2012.
Ranking the playmakers in the SEC
May 7, 2012, 1:15 am