Published September 26, 2012 - 12:30pm
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There has been much shifting going on since the original preseason watch list, which is to be expected. Don’t let so many Georgia players fool you into thinking I’m a Georgia fan, but their star power with respect to players is really crazy right now:
1. Aaron Murray, QB, Georgia (JR): Murray reeled off another solid performance last weekend against Georgia, throwing for 250 yards and two touchdowns to lead Georgia’s 48-3 rout against Vanderbilt. For the season, Murray has thrown for 1,092 yards and 10 touchdowns, and he’s rushed for three touchdowns as well. Murray is the leader and captain of Georgia’s offense. He will have another statement game this weekend against Tennessee.
2. AJ McCarron, QB, Alabama (JR): McCarron’s stock is rising each week. It’s apparent the running game might not be as good as it was last year with Trent Richardson as the hawse in the backfield, and McCarron has certainly picked up any slack in the passing game. He looks comfortable and poised leading the offense. He threw for three more touchdowns against FAU and totals 819 passing yards and 10 touchdowns with no interceptions. McCarron is the #4 most efficient quarterback in the country through four weeks.
3. Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia (JR): Jones returned to the lineup this weekend because of a sore groin and terrorized Vanderbilt. He made seven total tackles, 3.0 tackles for loss, one sack and two QB hurries. Jones currently sits second in the SEC in tackles for loss with 7.5 and third in sacks with 4.5. It’s very apparent, if it wasn’t already, that he is the best defensive player in the country. If Jones keeps putting up numbers like he has been, he will really be in the talks as the only defensive player considered.
4. Mike Gillislee, RB, Florida (SR): Gillislee has quietly put together a solid year for the Gators so far. He led the SEC in rushing entering last week, but was passed by Todd Gurley. However, Gillislee has rushed for 402 yards and five touchdowns, averaging 100.5 yards per game. He projected a 1,500-yard rushing season before that start of ‘12, and he’ll be hard pressed to make that happen. But he’s playing very well as the featured back in Florida’s pro-style offense.
5. Marcus Lattimore, RB, South Carolina (JR): Okay. Maybe Lattimore isn’t 100 percent. He just doesn’t look the same as he did last season, but he is still a fantastic player who can reel off 150 yards in any game. He’s rushed for 320 yards and is tied for the league-lead in rushing touchdowns with six. The coaching staff isn’t overloading his carries like in previous years in an effort to keep him healthy and keep him fresh for the gauntlet run through the SEC.
Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia (FR): What Todd Gurley is doing as a freshman is a beautiful thing to watch. He leads the SEC in rushing with 406 yards, is tied for the league lead in touchdowns with six and is 11th in the country in all-purpose running, averaging 164.25 yards per game. He’s the total package at running back. Gurley has great vision, power and speed to outrun defenders as a long-strider. We’ll monitor his progress, but he could be the best overall player in this conference.