SEC Football: Ranking Marcus Lattimore And the 10 Best Playmakers
With the college football season fast approaching, the powerhouse SEC is getting its final breakdown.
In a conference filled with the nations top talent, ten players stand out as the top play-makers.
Whether it be interceptions, huge hits, sacks, breakout runs, huge catches, or unbelievable throws, the SEC has it all.
10. Tyler Wilson (QB Arkansas)
Coming into the 2011 season, Arkansas Razorback QB Tyler Wilson may have the best receiving core in the SEC.
With the departure of Ryan Mallett to the NFL, Wilson is poised for a big year.
In limited time as Mallett's backup in 2010, Wilson threw for 453 yards and 4 TDs.
Despite low numbers, Tyler Wilson should be a big improvement on Mallett, and is very accurate.
Wilson's accuracy benefits him in allowing him to make passes that are seemingly impossible.
He may not have Mallett's arm strength, but he makes up for it in his accuracy and football IQ.
Wilson will make several big plays in 2011 and give his team a dark-horse shot at the SEC Title.
9. Tyrann Mathieu (CB LSU)
Much of Tyrann Mathieu's season in 2010 was overshadowed by the play of CB partner, and defensive player of the year Patrick Peterson, but it was a very good one at that.
Tyrann Mathieu is a beast. He put up 4.5 sacks, 2 interceptions, and 2 forced fumbles (3 recoveries) to go along with 59 tackles.
In 2011, Mathieu will be set for an even bigger year and will make several game changing plays.
He is especially hard to play against in the nickel as quarterbacks don't know if he will be rushing or sitting back waiting for the pick.
Mathieu will be an exciting player to watch in 2011.
8. Michael Dyer (RB Auburn)
Auburn is coming off their national title without star quarterback Cam Newton who is now with the Carolina Panthers in the NFL, but they do have returning running back Michael Dyer.
Dyer put up over 1,000 yards on the ground in 2010, and will be getting his number called even more in 2011.
If you were take anything from Dyer's 2010 season it would be his lack of TDs, but that will all change in 2011 and expect Dyer to become Auburn's number one weapon on offense.
Michael Dyer will surely break for big gains in 2011, and could be the player that keeps Auburn from dropping off following their title win.
7. Mark Barron (SS Alabama)
Mark Barron could be the best and most exciting safety in the SEC.
The Alabama strong safety suffered a torn pectoral muscle that cut his 2010 campaign short.
Prior to the injury Barron managed 77 tackles, two sacks and three picks. Had the injury not occurred, Barron would probably be in the NFL rather than back with 'Bama for the 2011 season.
Barron helped Alabama to the the nations third best defense in 2010 and will help them remain in the tops of the nation in 2011.
He is a force to be reckoned with and doesn't back down from any challenges. Barron and the 'Bama secondary are going to be very scary for the opposition in 2011.
6. Greg Childs (WR Arkansas)
One half of the most dangerous receiving duo in the SEC, the better of the two receivers on the Arkansas Razorbacks is Greg Childs.
Childs is coming off a injury shortened season where he put up 659 yards with six TDs in just eight games.
One of the biggest attributes Childs possesses is the ability to catch any ball thrown at him.
Whether he has to dive or jump for the ball, he will get there.
With an even more accurate quarterback in Tyler Wilson calling Childs' number this year expect an amazing year out of Childs in 2011.
5. Aaron Murray (QB Georgia)
Aaron Murray of the Georgia Bulldogs could be the teams lone bright spot in 2011.
The sophomore quarterback is coming off a monster freshman year. Murray could easily be the top quarterback in the SEC in 2011.
In his freshman year, Murray threw for over 3,000 yards, 24 TDs and just eight interceptions.
With another subpar year for Georgia expected, Murray will be throwing the ball a whole lot more, and will definitely have improved his decision making resulting in even less turnovers.
Look out for some huge numbers coming from number 11 again in 2011.
4. Dont'a Hightower (LB Alabama)
Dont'a Hightower is a scary, scary young man.
The junior Alabama linebacker is probably one of the best at his position in the country.
When he lays a lick on an opposing player, Hightower makes sure it counts.
In 2010, Hightower put up 70 tackles with 3.5 coming for a loss.
After missing an entire season due to a torn ACL, Dont'a came back with vengeance in 2010, and undoubtedly will continue playing with a chip on his shoulder in 2011.
Opposing quarterbacks and o-linemen will not be looking forward to the menacing play of Hightower this season.
One hit can change a game, a season, and a career.
3. Trent Richardson (RB Alabama)
After backing up Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram for two seasons, it is time for Trent Richardson to step in and shine for Alabama.
With his thick size, speed and play recognizing, the powerful running back will be ready to take over the Rolling Tide's offense.
Richardson put up 1,451 yards and 14 TDs on just 257 touches from scrimmage in his two seasons backing up Ingram.
He should be able to pound out over 1,000 more yards in his first full season as starter.
Richardson's ability to blast through tackles and run over defensive players puts him high up on the list.
He has the ability to take over a game with his ability and should do so in several games for Alabama in 2011.
2. Alshon Jeffery (WR South Carolina)
Judging by the next two on the list, South Carolina's offense is going to be awesome this season.
It was a close race, but coming second is WR Alshon Jeffery. Jeffery is coming off a huge year. With just 88 catches Jeffery put up over 1,500 yards.
That is a very rare feat. Jeffery's season helped the Gamecocks to their first SEC Division title ever.
Jeffery brings size, speed, an amazing vertical, and hands to the game and can catch any ball thrown in his vicinity and can take it for a long run downfield.
Jeffery isn't done yet, and will be an exceptional specimen to watch in 2011.
1. Marcus Lattimore (RB South Carolina)
You guessed it folks, coming in at number one is South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore.
As a true freshman in the SEC in 2010, Lattimore put up huge numbers.
He finished the year with 1,197 yards and 17 TDs.
It isn't very often when an 18-year-old comes into college football and gets away with those kind of numbers.
On the depth chart, Lattimore is listed as a fullback and for good reason.
He uses his stout stature and incredibly powerful legs to blow by and run over defenders. His quick feet allow for jukes and cuts in the smallest of spaces.
If Lattimore's numbers in 2010 were not impressive enough, they will only get better in 2011.
Realistically it is a toss up between Jeffery and Lattimore for most impressive playmaker in the SEC, but either are deserving of the title.