SEC Football: New Star Power Will Be on Display at SEC Media Days

Barrett Sallee@BarrettSalleeSEC Football Lead WriterJuly 8, 2015

AP Images

The unofficial kickoff to the college football season will take place next week at the Hyatt Regency Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover, Alabama, where SEC head coaches and players will make the rounds at the annual circus known as SEC media days.

When they do, it will be an introduction, of sorts.

The conference announced the full list of player representatives on Wednesday, and it includes a nice blend of the present and the future.

2015 SEC Media Days Player Representatives
AlabamaReggie RaglandKenyan DrakeRyan Kelly
ArkansasJonathan WilliamsBrandon AllenKeon Hatcher
AuburnJeremy JohnsonJonathan JonesKris Frost
FloridaJonathan BullardBrandon PowellVernon Hargreaves III
GeorgiaMalcolm MitchellJohn TheusJordan Jenkins
KentuckyMelvin LewisJordan SwindleA.J. Stamps
LSULeonard FournetteVadal AlexanderKendell Beckwith
MississippiEvan EngramMike HiltonC.J. Johnson
Mississippi StateDak PrescottTaveze CalhounRyan Brown
MissouriKenya DennisMaty MaukEvan Boehm
South CarolinaElliott FryPharoh CooperSkai Moore
TennesseeJoshua DobbsCurt MaggittCameron Sutton
Texas A&MMike MatthewsGermain IfediJulien Obioha
VanderbiltRalph WebbNigel BowdenSpencer Pulley

Sure, established studs like Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott, LSU running back Leonard Fournette, Arkansas running back Jonathan Williams and Florida cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III will be there. Joining them will be a solid crew of lesser-known stars who will help increase the star power in the SEC in 2015 and possibly beyond.

Joshua Dobbs has played in a pinch each of the last two seasons and will benefit from a full offseason as the unquestioned No. 1 starter for the first time in his Tennessee career. The true junior was awesome down the stretch last year with 1,206 passing yards, 469 rushing yards and 17 total touchdowns in six games, and has two years of eligibility left.

Apparently he has been impressing the masses as a counselor at The Opening this week in Beaverton, Oregon.

Jeremy Crabtree KMBC @jeremycrabtree

Could make good argument #Vols have two best QBs at #Elite11. Current QB Joshua Dobbs looks great & pledge Jarrett Guarantano spinning it.

Joining Dobbs with the Tennessee contingent will be cornerback Cam Sutton. The junior picked off three passes last year and established himself as one of the best cornerbacks in the country despite others like Hargreaves getting the majority of the publicity.

Auburn will bring another junior with two years of eligibility left, 6'5", 240-pound quarterback Jeremy Johnson. The Montgomery, Alabama, native has seen spot duty over the last two seasons and earned the confidence of head coach Gus Malzahn long before he was named the starter after spring practice.

"This spring, he just raised his level," Malzahn said in May. "Not only on the field but off of it. He established himself as our team leader. He’s been in our offense for a while—this will be his third year, so he’s set up in a really good spot."

Auburn QB Jeremy Johnson
Auburn QB Jeremy JohnsonBrynn Anderson/Associated Press

South Carolina wide receiver Pharoh Cooper is the leading returning receiver in the SEC but doesn't get the credit he deserves for being a bona fide stud not only as a receiver but also as a pure football player. He had 1,136 yards and nine receiving touchdowns last year, but he also rushed for 200 yards and two scores, completed five of eight passes and threw two touchdowns. 

With two years left on the eligibility clock, Cooper is another candidate to become the face of the SEC for the next couple of years.

Joining Cooper is "Mike" linebacker Skai Moore—South Carolina's leading tackler in each of the last two seasons. While the Gamecocks defense was the punchline to a bad joke last year, Moore flew under the radar and quietly put together a stellar season with 93 tackles.

Digging even deeper, keep an eye on Florida wide receiver Brandon Powell. It was sort of an out-of-the-blue pick for first-year head coach Jim McElwain to bring in the sophomore, who converted from running back in the offseason and missed part of spring practice with a foot injury. 

The 5'9", 181-pound speedster could be a big part of the Gators offense not only this year but also in years to come. He's a perfect fit in the slot alongside established wideout DeMarcus Robinson, can be used to mix things up in the running game behind a patchwork offensive line and has the big-play ability that will make plenty of highlight reels.

Don't be fooled by the "lack of star power" narrative that will inevitably pop up regarding this year's SEC media days. That narrative will only be exaggerated by Georgia's decision—which was predictable since it typically goes senior-heavy—to leave star sophomore running back Nick Chubb in Athens.

There will be plenty of stars—both current and future—making the rounds at the Wynfrey next week.

That's a recipe for media days success.

Quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. All stats are courtesy of CFBStats.com unless otherwise noted, and all recruiting information is courtesy of 247Sports' composite rankings.

Barrett Sallee is the lead SEC college football writer and college football video analyst for Bleacher Report as well as a host on Bleacher Report Radio on Sirius 93, XM 208.

Follow Barrett on Twitter @BarrettSallee.


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