With such great success form my recent article—The SEC West's five best players in '09: From top to bottom!—I have decided to rate the five best in the East. I hope you enjoy.
The SEC is among the elite conferences in the college football world and the same applies to it's players. The SEC has some of the most talented football players in the world and a great majority are drafted into the NFL after their senior season.
The SEC is split into the East and West and the East teams are: The Florida Gators, Georgia Bulldogs, Tennessee Volunteers, Vanderbilt Commodores, South Carolina Game Cocks and the Kentucky Wildcats.
To say the very least, all these teams have a great football history. To play in the SEC you have to be some of the best athletes in the NCAA and I think these guys I'm about to list are just a few of the most dominate players that are going to be in the SEC East in the '09 season.
5. Joe Haden, Florida
Joe Haden is one of the best defensive backs in the SEC—if not the best. In '07 Haden was privileged to be the first true freshman to start at cornerback on opening day in Florida Gator history.
Haden has started 26 games in his collegiate career with Florida. Haden has collected 140 tackles, forced one fumble and has four interceptions as a Gator.
In '08 Haden had 87 tackles (tied for second on the team) and led the secondary in tackles. Haden was first among Gator defenders in the SEC championship collecting eight tackles (six solo), one interception, and two pass break-ups. Haden also led the Florida defense in the BCS championship game with 10 tackles and two pass break-ups.
4. A.J. Green, Georgia
I debated over this spot for several moments before giving into A.J. Green's amazing stats! If you thought Alabama freshman sensation Julio Jones was good, then this guy was great.
The 6'4'', 200 pound wide-out can cause many problems and often draws double coverage as does Jones. In '08 Green was named SEC Freshman of the Year and that's just a start to what else he accomplished.
Green set a freshman reception record with 56 receptions and Stafford and Green torched the Arizona Sun Devils with Green going for 159 yards. There is no doubt in my mind or anyone else that A.J. Green is going to be in the Heisman race within the next few years if not in '09.
3. Brandon Spikes, Florida
Brandon Spikes has appeared in 35 games with 27 starts as a Florida Gator. In Spikes first season with Florida he accounted for 25 tackles for a loss, and had 3.5 sacks. His sacks stat are better than most linebackers do in their senior season.
Spikes has a career total 239 tackles (142 being solo) and he also has four interceptions which he returned for 93 yards and two touchdowns. In Spikes sophomore season, he started in all 13 games and led the team in tackles in 10 of 13 games and was a first-team All-SEC defensive player.
In Spikes junior season, he recorded 93 tackles (52 solo) and was one of the best players on the talented Florida Gators team in '08. This guy deserves this spot.
2. Eric Berry, Tennessee
In Berry's freshman year he replaced fifth-year senior Jarod Parish after the second game of the Vols season. He's never looked back. He finished his freshman year with five interceptions for 222 yards and one touchdown.
Berry was named SEC Defensive Freshman of the Year by Sporting News in '07. Berry also was SEC Freshman of the Week twice in the final three weeks of the '07 season.
In '08 Berry broke the record for interception return yards with 487 yards on 12 interceptions and three touchdowns. Berry accounted for 72 tackles, six pass break-ups, three sacks and two touchdowns on defense in '08. He is regarded by many fans and sport analysts as the best defensive player in Tennessee history.
1. Tim Tebow
Tim Tebow is the best quarterback in the SEC and could be the best of all-time. He has many impressive stats on his resume, the most impressive being the first sophomore to win the Heisman Trophy.
Some of his other awards are: Sullivan Award, Davey O' Brien Awards, and the Maxwell Award as well. Tebow has won the Maxwell in back-to-back seasons in 2007 and 2008. Tebow is also the first sophomore in Florida Gator history to be named an All-American.
Tim Tebow is without a doubt one of the smartest quarterbacks on the field when gametime comes around, but Tebow has also proved to have the smarts in the classroom as well. Tebow was the first named first-team Academic All-American and first-team All-American team in over a decade! Tebow is the only player in college football history to rush and pass for at least 20 touchdowns in a season. I think without a doubt Tim Tebow will go down in history as one of the best all-time college football players.
Did I get it right? Let me know what you think.