Cooper Bateman, Alabama
With seven consecutive national titles coming from the SEC, it is no surprise that the top recruits in the country continue to pour into the conference with each passing recruiting cycle.
The SEC reloaded on top talent in 2013 with 11 teams finishing inside the 247Sports Composite Team Rankings Top 25. A lot of those talented players are bound for redshirts.
Some players will redshirt out of necessity. It may be that they can’t grasp the playbook quick enough, or that their body needs more growth and bulk. Others redshirt because the depth chart determines they should.
Whatever the reason, here are the 10 that won’t see the field in 2013.
Altee Tenpenny is a talented and shifty back that will join a host of others in the backfield at Alabama this summer. The Tide are loaded with running backs, and out of this class Tenpenny is the likely redshirt.
Tenpenny is a solid back, but his style of running is already on the field in Kenyon Drake and starter T.J. Yeldon. The depth will force a redshirt.
Jeremy Johnson is a very talented signal-caller in the 2013 class. He has an explosive arm and is very selective with his throws.
Johnson has the legs to make plays when a passing play breaks down, but he is a past first quarterback. He will make time in the pocket and create plays by buying time.
All of that talent and skill is big and makes him the future for Auburn at quarterback, but he won’t start his career this year. Auburn has no clear answer at the position, but there are two experienced players on campus in Kiehl Frazier and Jonathan Wallace that have starts.
There is also JUCO transfer Nick Marshall.
Johnson will get a solid look, but if he starts for Auburn as a freshman it will be another long and grueling season for the Tigers.
Ricky Seals-Jones is a huge receiver that has the body to play in the NFL right now.
He is a talented receiver that is very athletic for his 6’5”, 230 pound frame. He may stay at receiver or tight end for the Aggies, or he could shift to defense because of his quickness off the ball and size.
Either way he redshirts. The Aggies are stacked with talent at receiver and won’t have an immediate need there—especially with the addition of early enrollee JaQuay Williams.
This is an aggressive player that fights for the football and will make plays no matter what his position ends up being in college.
Seals-Jones will be a showstopper before he leaves Texas A&M, but it won’t happen in 2013.
Georgia needs help at linebacker next year and having a lot of early enrollees at the position helps. Ryne Rankin is one of those guys that showed up this spring, but he will still be sidelined this fall.
He is a sizable player at 6’1”, 230 pounds and fits the mold of a solid inside man for the Georgia linebacker corps.
He is a rangy linebacker that is decent in coverage and sheds blocks really well. He will be an impact player before he leaves Athens, but it isn’t happening this fall.
Connor Mitch is a very talented pro-style quarterback that joined the Gamecocks this spring.
He has a live arm and fits the mold of the pocket-passer that used to run the Steve Spurrier pass heavy offensive system. Mitch is the shift back to that style of play and he will be a name to follow in the SEC over the next few years.
While he is talented enough to hit the field tomorrow, the Gamecocks are already stacked with talent at the position. Connor Shaw and Dylan Thompson both played very well last year and return this season.
Mitch is the future for South Carolina, but a redshirt is in order for him in 2013.
Alvin Bailey is a shifty receiver that is dangerous in open space. He will be a very talented slot type player for Florida in the future, and should also get a handful of carries each season.
Bailey is one of the best at his position in this class, but the Gators are very talented already at receiver.
This is a future pickup for the Gators, not an immediate need. Bailey has the talent to be a memorable Gator over the next few years, but it won’t start in 2013.
A redshirt year will help him add some bulk to his 175 pound frame and will get him time to adjust to SEC level hits.
Jabo Lee is an elusive and explosive runner. Lee was a great pickup for the Volunteers in this cycle and should become a solid back in the Butch Jones offense.
This year Lee needs a redshirt to get bigger. He is listed at 5’9”, 172 pounds. He has a wider frame so added bulk won’t be an issue and shouldn’t steal speed.
After a year in a college weight program Lee will be a force for the Vols. A redshirt year is in order for Lee, but this will be a name that Vols fans know well in over the next few seasons.
The Razorbacks have a huge need at linebacker heading into the 2013 season, but Brooks Ellis is not a game-day ready body.
Ellis is a local guy—he is from Fayetteville—and will be a prideful player for the Hogs. He is a hard hitter that fills gaps well and plays good enough against the pass to survive.
The problem is his size.
He is a 6’2”, 215 pound player right now. He needs another 20 pounds to become an effective inside player in the SEC.
One year as a redshirt should add that bulk and create a great player for the Hogs at the linebacker position.
Fred Ross is a rangy receiver that attacks the football like a defender. He will reach out and snag a football at the highest point and out muscle any defender that plays tight in man.
The Bulldogs are losing some talent at the receiver position heading into 2013, but Ross is too raw to make an impact early.
This is a developmental player for the Bulldogs. He has all the intangibles to be dangerous and will be before his career finishes, but he needs a redshirt to develop his game.
Ross is a sleeper for the Bulldogs in this class.
Cooper Bateman is an early enrollee for the Tide at quarterback. He is stepping into a loaded position group for Alabama, but he is the apparent future at the position.
With AJ McCarron firmly entrenched as the starter, Bateman stands no chance at seeing playing time this season no matter how talented he is. Nick Saban and his staff could pull the redshirt to get him experience in blowout games this fall, but saving eligibility makes more sense.
Between Philip Ely and Blake Sims the Tide have serviceable options at quarterback to serve as McCarron’s backup in 2013.
Bateman is the future for Alabama, but he will take a redshirt and wait patiently for his turn this season.