College Football Rankings: Top 10 Playmakers in the SEC Right Now
Playmakers are what make college football exciting.
For the Southeastern Conference, every team features multiple playmakers. Many are on offense, while some are on defense.
One thing is for sure: Any time two SEC teams get together, outstanding plays are going to be made. It's almost expected.
Here's a look at the top 10 playmakers from the SEC.
Note: Preseason All-SEC players listed come from the SEC Digital Network.
10. Ryan Swope, Texas A&M
Ryan Swope and his Texas A&M teammates are in their first year in the SEC.
Last year, Swope set school records with 89 receptions for 1,207 yards, along with 11 touchdowns.
He also had six 100-yard receiving games and had a school-record four touchdown receptions on 11 catches for 206 yards against Baylor. He earned second-team All-Big 12 honors at the end of the year for his accomplishments and has been named to the 2012 preseason All-SEC team.
This year, the defenses will be tougher for Swope, but he shouldn't see much of a reduction in his stats.
We'll get to see how good the Aggies can be in the SEC early this season, as they will face Florida on Sept. 8.
9. Zac Stacy, Vanderbilt
The reason Zac Stacy doesn't get any respect is because he plays at Vanderbilt.
If he played anywhere else in the SEC, we'd be hearing his name a lot more. Still, he's a major talent in Nashville.
Last year, Stacy was the third-leading rusher in the SEC and broke Vandy's single-season rushing record with 1,193 yards. That record stood for 20 years before Stacy broke it. He also set the single-season record with 14 rushing touchdowns.
For his efforts, Stacy was named a second-team All-SEC running back.
This year, Stacy made the preseason All-SEC second team as well, hoping to earn first-team honors by the end of the year.
8. Da'Rick Rogers, Tennessee
Da'Rick Rogers will be an NFL talent by the end of his career at Tennessee.
For now, Tennessee fans will continue to enjoy the junior doing what he does best—catching footballs.
Last year, Rogers was named second-team All-SEC after having 67 catches for 1,040 yards and nine touchdowns.
This year, Rogers is on the preseason All-SEC first team and is the best receiver in the conference.
Now, if only the rest of the Tennessee team can fall in line with him. If so, the Volunteers will be a dangerous team this year.
7. Eddie Lacy, Alabama
Eddie Lacy finally gets to be the feature back at Alabama.
With Trent Richardson now gone, Lacy will try to follow in his and Mark Ingram's footsteps.
Last year, Lacy had 95 rushes for 674 yards, averaging 7.1 yards per rush. This year, he's aiming to be a 1,000-yard rusher and is a preseason second-team All-SEC member.
If Alabama is going to make it to the national title game again, Lacy is going to have to play a huge role.
6. Knile Davis, Arkansas
Arkansas running back Knile Davis was out all of last year with a broken ankle.
However, he still comes into 2012 as a preseason first-team All-SEC selection.
After seeing what he did in 2010, it's easy to understand why there are such high expectations.
In his sophomore season, Davis rushed for 1,322 yards and 13 touchdowns. He was placed on preseason watch lists for the Doak Walker Award, Maxwell Award and Walter Camp Award.
This year, Arkansas fans expect him to help lead the Razorbacks to the SEC championship game.
5. Aaron Murray, UGA
A big reason for that is the return of quarterback Aaron Murray.
In 2011, Murray completed 238 passes for 3,149 yards and 35 touchdowns. He was named second-team All-SEC. This year, Murray and the Bulldogs expect a return to the SEC championship game.
For that to happen, Murray is going to have to cut down on his interception total from last year (14). Forty touchdown passes is not out of the question either.
4. Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina
Jadeveon Clowney is simply a beast on the South Carolina defensive line.
As a freshman last year, Clowney was named the SEC Defensive Freshman of the Year and was named second-team All-SEC. He recorded 36 total tackles, eight sacks, 12 tackles for loss and five forced fumbles.
Coming out of high school, Clowney was the No. 1-rated prospect by rivals.com.
He showed exactly why he was the top prospect in his freshman year at South Carolina.
Clowney should again be dominant on the defensive line this year and will be considered for multiple conference honors.
The defensive end has also been named a preseason first-team All-American and first-team All-SEC member.
3. Jarvis Jones, Georgia
Jarvis Jones was a pleasant surprise in his first year at UGA.
After transferring from Southern California, Jones sat out in 2010 before debuting for the Bulldogs in 2011. Jones had 70 total tackles, 19.5 tackles for loss, 13.5 sacks and two forced fumbles.
For his efforts, Jones was a first-team All-American and first-team All-SEC honoree and was named a finalist for the Butkus Award (top linebacker).
Jones has a knack for getting after the ball and will do so again this year. He's been named a preseason first-team All-American and first-team All-SEC member.
2. Marcus Lattimore, South Carolina
Marcus Lattimore is one of the more exciting running backs in the country.
A preseason first-team All-American and first-team All-SEC selection, Lattimore is looking to rebound from an ACL tear last year.
Lattimore rushed for 818 yards before the injury last year and was well on his way to rushing for 1,000 yards.
He's been Steve Spurrier's workhorse since he came onto campus, and this year will be no different.
1. Tyler Wilson, Arkansas
Tyler Wilson is the top returning playmaker in the SEC.
As many Arkansas fans so explicitly stated to me on another article, Arkansas players never get respect from anyone.
Well, here's the respect.
Wilson is a preseason first-team All-SEC selection and was named to the 2011 All-SEC first team. He finished with 3,638 yards passing and 24 touchdowns.
This year he's on the Heisman watch list, as are three other SEC players.
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