The SEC West's 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 big name offensive players within the conference.
The SEC has always been known for its top notch defenses and 2010 should be no different.
Chris Marve, Patrick Peterson, Mark Barron and Jerell Powe are among the star defensive players returning to wreck havoc on opposing offenses.
I have created a four part series of the five most unknown offensive/defensive weapons in each division of the SEC.
It's time for the SEC West's offense.
Joe Adams, Arkansas
Junior receiver Joe Adams returns to Arkansas following a breakout sophomore season, where he was named second team All-SEC.
As a freshman in 2008, Adams made a instant impact for the Razorbacks, catching 31 passes for 377 yards from then QB Casey Dick.
But that was Casey Dick.
Transfer Ryan Mallet's arrival lead to Adams having an even more productive season as a sophomore.
Although Adams' reception numbers dropped from 31 to 29, he collected 568 yards and increased his touchdown total from one to seven.
Expect Ryan Mallet to feel more comfortable against SEC defenses, which should result in many more opportunities for Joe Adams in 2010.
Chad Bumphis, Mississippi State
Second on the list is Mississippi State receiver Chad Bumphis. Bumphis is expected to become the Bulldogs go-to receiver in his sophomore season.
Bumphis decision to stay in-state, with Mississippi State and new coach Dan Mullen, surprised many recruiting websites in 2009. In the process, Bumphis turned down offers from perennial powerhouses Alabama, Florida, Oklahoma and Tennessee.
As a freshman, Bumphis quickly became the Bulldogs best option at receiver. He caught 32 passes for 375 yards and four touchdowns, leading MSU receivers in all three categories. Chad also had six carries, for 73 yards and a touchdown, on the season.
There should be less confusion at the quarterback position in year two of the Mullen offense. The increased stability should result in more opportunities for the electric receiver.
Onterio McCalebb, Auburn
Sophomore running back Onterio McCalebb, after an injury-plagued freshman season, is expected to start for the Tigers in 2010.
McCalebb began his freshman season with a bang, rushing for over 100 yards in his first two games against Louisiana Tech and Mississippi State. But McCalebb injured his ankle late in the fourth quarter of a blow out win against Ball State. The speedster never got over the injury.
McCalebb finished the season with over 500 yards rushing and four touchdowns.
McCalebb will fight for playing time with fellow running back Mario Fannin. McCalebb gained 10 pounds over the offseason, which will help his durability throughout the season.
Kevin Norwood, Alabama
There are few unknown weapons in Albama's offense, so the emergence of receiver Kevin Norwood is more of a guess.
Standing at 6'3" and 187 pounds, Norwood possesses prototypical size and surprising elusiveness after the catch. In the spring game, Norwood caught three passes for 33 yards and is believed to have greatly impressed coaches this spring.
Aside from Julio Jones and Marquis Maze, Alabama has yet to find another consistent option at receiver. If Norwood can find his way on the field, he has all the tools to make a big impact in 2010.
Stevan Ridley, LSU
LSU running back Stevan Ridley will enter the fall as the Tigers expected starter at Running Back. Although Ridley lacks experience,he has all the tools to become a big-time back in the SEC.
Last year, Ridley started the season at fullback, but due to injuries was moved to running back. He eventually started in the Capital One Bowl against Penn State.
Ridley finished the season with 180 yards on 45 carries. His best game came in a win over Tulane, where Ridley rushed for 73 yards and a touchdown.
At 6'1" 226 pounds, Ridley has the size, speed and vision to take the pressure off quarterback Jordan Jefferson, who has proven to be inconsistent throughout his career.
Markeith Summers, Ole Miss
With star receiver Shay Hodge graduating, it's Markeith Summers' time to shine as the Rebels go-to-guy in 2010. While some believe Summers will be limited with Jevan Snead gone, that should not be case.
Summers will have to deal with first-year quarterback Nathan Stanley.
Stanley strengthened his hold on the starting job with a great performance in Ole Miss' spring game, but will have to prove his play during the season.
In 2009, Summers caught 17 passes for 394 yards and accounted for four touchdowns as a secondary option.
In 2010 look for Summers to take over for Hodge as the Rebels next big receiver.