The SEC Blog will be counting down the top 150 players in the SEC every day, concluding on Aug. 30, at the start of the college football regular season.
78. Marlin Lane, No. 15, Tennessee Running Back
2011 stats: 75 carries for 280 yards and two touchdowns, 17 catches for 161 yards and two touchdowns, seven kick returns for 143 yards, seven punt returns for 36 yards.
Versatility. Lane showed flashes of brilliance in his freshman campaign on Rocky top, gaining 620 all-purpose yards. He was a 4-star recruit out of high school by most major recruiting services and has the talent to be a star now that he has the opportunity.
We don't know if he can be an every-down back in the SEC, simply because he hasn't had the chance. Lane is battling Rajion Neal and Devrin Young for the starting running back spot. All three have different skills, so Lane's production could be limited.
Lane is ranked here based more on potential than resume, although the versatility he showed during his first season should be a great asset to a Vol rushing attack that never found its identity last season. With Neal and Young back there, carries will be limited for Lane—but he's a weapon in every aspect of the offense and will put together a solid season in 2012.