Published July 26, 2011 - 12:00pm
NEW: Discuss this topic in the Google+ community for SEC fans.
Some SEC freshmen make an impact, but most do not. There are always some big-time prospects entering the SEC each and every year hoping to make a splash as a freshman.
Obviously a freshman has to step into a great situation where playing time is available.
Here are five freshmen from the SEC West to look out for in 2011:
Nickolas Brassell, WR, Ole Miss
Nickolas Brassell enters into a very vacated position for the Ole Miss Rebels. There will be no one on the roster who will have more athleticism at the receiver position. Brassell caught 52 passes for 875 yards and 13 touchdowns last year as a high school senior. He hopes to duplicate some of those numbers in 2011 in the SEC. Brassell certainly will be a great player for the Rebels in the future, and he is one to look out for in 2011 as well.
Brey Cook, OL, Arkansas
Brey Cook enters Arkansas his freshman year, and he figures to be a big factor in their offensive line this coming season. Arkansas loses DeMarcus Love to the NFL, and Cook figures to step in and replace him. He has great size and is pretty agile for his 6-7, 314 lb frame. Cook will not be a good one moving forward – he will be a great one. His potential is through the roof, and he is definitely a freshman to watch out for this year.
Kiehl Frazier, QB, Auburn
The uncertainty surrounding Auburn’s quarterback position makes me think Kiehl Frazier will get his shot in 2011. Frazier could be the quarterback that Gus Malzahn needs to run his high-octane offense. Frazier has all the athletic ability, but the mental advantage of knowing the playbook could be a hindrance of Frazier playing this year. Nonetheless, Frazier is certainly a freshman to look out for with all the uncertainty surrounding this quarterback position for the Auburn Tigers.
CJ Johnson, LB, Ole Miss
CJ Johnson is expected to set foot on campus in Oxford and be an immediate-impact type of player. He has all the physical attributes of a freshman who can play in the SEC year one. Ole Miss’ top linebacker DT Shackelford went down this past spring with a knee injury that will keep him out all of 2011, and that just further validates Johnson stepping into a position where he can compete for playing time immediately.
Christian Westerman, OL, Auburn
Christian Westerman is a mauler at offensive line for the Auburn Tigers, and he hails from the great state of Arizona. Westerman was a long-time Texas commit but chose to play in the best conference in America for the defending national champion Auburn Tigers. Now, he steps into a great situation at Auburn because the offensive line will be totally different in 2011. Westerman will be a dominant run-blocker with his athletic frame in the future, but he figures to have an impact year one for the Tigers.