The SEC loads up on top talent every year on the recruiting trail with 2013 being no different. America’s top conference has nine teams that are currently in the 247Sports Composite Team Rankings Top 25.
While it is fun to gaze at the stars, there are a number of recruits that will rise from the bottom of the class and become the country’s next top stars. Fans love watching stars reach potential, but class sleepers are the most fun to watch develop.
Sleepers are always embedded in recruiting classes, and these are the 10 players that you need to keep your eye on the next four years.
Jonathan Cook is one of the lesser known names in the Alabama class for 2013, but he is one to watch if you are a Tide fan.
Cook has the prototypical size—6’0”, 183 lbs.—that Nick Saban likes to employ at corner, and is a very aggressive player. He plays fast and closes on the ball extremely well.
He struggles in some fundamentals, but Alabama has a great reputation of teaching up players and focusing on the details. Cook will be a very good player for Alabama, and may see time as a freshman.
Cook is rated as the No. 37 cornerback and the No. 524 overall player in the country according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings.
Brandon King is not one of the highly regarded recruits in the 2013 class, and some Auburn fans may not be familiar with his name just yet. After next season they will be.
Auburn was looking for a number of JUCO players to come into this class and fill immediate needs on the depth chart. One of those needs was a third safety for the “star” position in the Ellis Johnson defense.
Lucky for Auburn, King has played that position for two years at the JUCO level. As a sophomore he tallied 118 tackles from the position. King should step in and play from day one as Auburn’s new hybrid defender.
King is rated as the No. 14 safety and the No. 176 overall JUCO player in the country according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings.
Nigel Bowden is a bruiser from the linebacker position. He is not the most highly rated linebacker in this class, but he hits as hard as anyone. He will remind Commodores fans of Chris Marve.
He is a great gap-filler against the run and has good field vision. He is strong in pursuit against the run, but struggles against the pass. He has the frame to play early, and could contribute for the Commodores on special teams as a freshman.
Vanderbilt needs a solid leader on defense and this year they lacked a strong player to anchor it. Bowden can be that guy once he settles into the scheme and the college game.
Bowden is rated as the No. 25 inside linebacker and the No. 412 overall player in the country according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings.
De’Runnya Wilson is the most intriguing receiver prospect committed to an SEC school this year. His unique size and athleticism make him a physical specimen, but his lack of football knowledge make him a bit of a liability.
His skills will place him on the field early, but if he plays two sports—he is expected to play basketball for the Bulldogs—he will not reach full potential.
He is a tossup future star because of his lack of attention to his football development, but in a college system that may draw him into just football this guy will excel.
I like his measurables and natural skill set. He will be a major player for the Bulldogs in the future.
Wilson is rated as the No. 176 receiver in the country according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings.
Korliss Marshall is a speedy back that is a solid prospect for the Bret Bielema offense. He committed to Arkansas on February 3, and is one of the solid sleepers in the class.
Marshall is fast through the hole and is a handful in space. He isn’t a power back, but he has the ability to make room on inside runs.
His 6’0” frame is built to add bulk in the future, and he could become a 210 pounder before his career is done. He is a tough runner that will be a solid contributor for the Hogs early.
Marshall is rated as the No. 68 running back in the country according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings.
Eddie Printz is an ideal quarterback for the Missouri offense. He is a tall prospect with a quick release and is very efficient with the football.
He doesn’t possess elite arm strength, but in the Missouri offense he should be able to make all the throws asked of him. When needed he can buy time in the pocket. Printz is a solid student of the game, and will be a great game-manager for the Tigers offense.
Printz has great touch on all of his throws and will be a solid leader for the Tigers in the future.
According to the 247Sports Composite Rankings, Printz is the No. 29 pro-style quarterback and the No. 601 overall player in the country.
Regie Meant is a sizable defender that is one of the more dynamic defensive linemen in this class.
He has the body type to play on the inside or outside of the line, and could develop into a really nasty interior lineman for Kentucky down the road.
The Wildcats are looking for a new identity on defense, and Meant can help provide that for this team. He should be able to contribute immediately for Kentucky on the outside, but will eventually work into the interior by the end of his Wildcats career.
Meant is rated as the No. 62 defensive end in the country according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings.
Jonathan Wiggins is a big time safety prospect for the Aggies.
Wiggins is a strong downhill attacker that will fill-in a strong safety role nicely for Texas A&M. He has strong closing speed and is a very good perimeter player.
He is not the best man-to-man defender, but that could come with time and proper footwork instruction. The Aggies need a head-hunter in this class and Wiggins fits the profile. Look for him to provide special teams relief early, and work into the safety position quickly.
According to 247Sports Composite Rankings, Wiggins is the No. 64 safety and the No. 929 overall player in the country.
As a defensive end prospect, Covington has everything you are looking for in a pass rushing end.
He has the frame to add a lot of bulk and should finish his career in the 240-pound range. He is very physical and explosive, and he plays with explosive hands at the point of attack.
Covington rarely gets lost in a block, and shows the ability to break through double teams. He will grow into his frame after a redshirt year and become one of the best defenders in the conference.
Covington is rated as the No. 27 defensive end and the No. 672 overall player in the country according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings.
DeAndre Johnson is a solid nose tackle prospect for the Bulldogs in this class. He is built to walk in and play from day one and is aggressive enough to help fill out the depth chart along the line.
Johnson has a frame that can add a good bit of bulk, putting him in a solid 330-pound playing range before his career finishes.
He is a solid gap filler, and plays aggressively against the pass. He has good quickness, but needs to work on his hand placement at the next level.
According to the 247Sports Composite Rankings, Johnson is the No. 40 defensive tackle and the No. 572 overall player in the country.