SEC East's Five Most Unknown Offensive Weapons in 2010
As Spring Games have finally come to a close, fans are bragging extensively about their star players that are sure to shine in 2010, and in the SEC there is certainly no shortage of stars.
Mark Ingram, AJ Green, Ryan Mallet, and Julio Jones are all names that come to mind when you think of star players on the offensive side of the ball in the SEC.
The SEC has always been known for its top notch defenses and 2010 should be no difference. Chris Marve, Patrick Peterson, Mark Barron, and Jerell Powe are among the star defensive players that return to wreck havoc upon opposing offenses.
I have taken the task of doing a four part series of the five most unknown offensive/defensive weapons in each division of the SEC.
The journey begins with the offensive weapons in the SEC East.
Orson Charles, Georgia
The 2009 season was a year that most Georgia football fans would probably like to forget, but that was not the case for tight end Orson Charles.
As a freshman, Charles was third on the Bulldogs' in receptions and receiving yards, bringing in 23 receptions for 374 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Charles' best game of the season came in a 34-27 loss to Kentucky in which he caught four passes for a career high 73 yards including a touchdown.
In December, his successful season was rewarded by being named to the SEC All-Freshman Team.
You have to keep in mind that Charles found this success with a mediocre QB in Joe Cox.
Aaron Murray is expected to be the starting QB for Georgia in the fall, and although he will be a first year starter look for him to play a great deal better than Cox and for Charles to become one of the top tight ends in the SEC.
Tori Gurley, South Carolina
Sophomore Tori Gurley is a player that is easy to forget when you look at what his fellow receiver, Alshon Jefferey, did as a freshman, but Gurley was clearly no slouch.
Gurley used his great size, 6'5" 227 pounds, and athleticism to finish third on the team in receptions, hauling in 31 receptions for 440 yards and three touchdowns.
In 2010, Gurley will still have to deal with the fact that Jeffery is the team's number one receiver, but if Stephen Garcia keeps progressing as a quarterback look for Gurley to have a huge 2010 season.
Derrick Locke, Kentucky
Though senior running back Derek Locke may be the biggest name on this list, he could just as easily be the the most underrated player.
As a three year starter at Kentucky, Locke has earned the reputation as one of the best all-purpose backs in the conference, but still continues to go overlooked.
Locke's best season as a Wildcat came last year when he carried the ball 196 times for 908 yards and 6 touchdowns. Locke showed his versatility by catching 31 passes for 284 yards including two touchdowns, and also returned a kickoff for a touchdown against Louisville.
As a senior, Locke will be looked upon to once again be the workhouse, or as much as a 5'9" running back can be, for Kentucky's 2010 offense and should be expected to have another great all around season for the Wildcats.
Denarius Moore, Tennessee
Senior receiver Denarius Moore returns to what could be the receiver rotation in the division with Gerald Jones and Marsalis Teague also coming back to Knoxville.
In 2009, Moore played sparingly in the first three games of the season because of a broken foot, but went on to have a fantastic season.
Even after the injury, Moore was second on the team, behind Gerald Jones, with 40 receptions and 540 receiving yards and lead the Vols with 7 touchdown receptions.
Moore flashes great speed and is a legitimate down field threat for Tennessee. Moore will be a huge help to whoever claims the starting Quarterback job for the Vols.
Warren Norman, Vanderbilt
Sophomore running back Warren Norman returns to Vanderbilt after a great freshman year in which he was named the 2009 SEC Freshman of the Year.
In 2009, Norman put together one of the greatest all-purpose performances in Commodore history becoming only the second Vanderbilt player to claim SEC Freshman of the Year award.
On the ground, Norman carried the ball 145 times for 783 yards, accounting for three touchdowns, but he was most lethal when he was returning kick offs.
Norman returned 40 kickoffs for 1,050 yards and three touchdowns, setting the SEC record for most kickoff return yards in a season.
In 2010, Norman will once again have the weight of the Vanderbilt offense on his shoulders and could be a consistent 1,000 yard rusher if the Commodores can put together any kind of air attack to counter the rushing attack of Norman and Zach Stacy.