Published January 5, 2012 - 8:00am
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Well, all the non-BCS SEC bowl games are pretty much over except for Arkansas’ game against Kansas State.
Here is who we are looking at so far as the top SEC studs:
Emory Blake, WR: Blake was the go-to receiver for the different quarterbacks for the Tigers in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. Blake caught six passes for 108 yards, and he made Virginia’s secondary look down-right foolish at times in Auburn’s win.
Onterrio McCalebb, RB: When Gene Chizik announced that Michael Dyer was suspended from the bowl game, McCalebb took it upon himself to prove himself and show everyone the Tigers would not drop off without Dyer. McCalebb was right, and he rushed for 109 yards, caught two passes for 53 yards and scored one touchdown. He was out to make a statement, and he did just that.
Jon Bostic, LB: Bostic was a beast against Ohio State in the Gator Bowl. He was flying around all over the field, and it was his best game he has played as a Gator. Bostic recorded eight tackles, with four coming for a loss.
Chris Rainey, RB/ST: Rainey has been Florida’s do-it-all player this season. He’s returned punts, he’s been the running back, and he’s blocked punts his whole career. He got another one against Ohio State that was returned for a touchdown, and he added 71 rushing yards and 31 receiving yards to end his career in style.
Brandon Boykin, DB/PR: Boykin was dynamite for Georgia against Michigan State. He had a forced safety, a punt return for a touchdown and caught a 13-yard touchdown. Boykin was the MVP for the Bulldogs, but they could not pull out the win in OT.
Tavarres King, WR: King has been frowned upon somewhat this season for his lack of big plays and dropped passes; however, King forgot all of that against the Spartans. He caught six passes for 205 yards and a touchdown. He had a heck of a day.
Vick Ballard, RB: Ballard tore up Wake Forest in their win in the Music City Bowl. Ballard closed out his career in style, as he ran for a career-high 180 yards and two touchdowns on just 14 carries. He mauled that pitiful ACC defense.
Fletcher Cox, DT: Cox is leaving early for the NFL Draft, but he closed out his college career very nicely. Cox had seven tackles, two for loss, and blocked a field goal. State will miss his presence along the defensive line next year.
Alshon Jeffery, WR: Jeffery had a huge game in the first half, and he was ejected for his “fighting” with a Cornhusker. However, he did all the damage he needed to in the first half, as he caught four passes for 148 yards and one touchdown.
Connor Shaw, QB: Even though Jeffery won the MVP, Shaw was the man that made all that happen for the Gamecocks. He really came on strong as he got more and more comfortable in the offense. Shaw threw for 230 yards and two touchdowns, and he also ran for 42 yards and another touchdown.
Archibald Barnes, LB: Much was made about senior Chris Marve’s return back to Memphis to close out his career; however, Marve wasn’t the one who impressed. Barnes was all over the field for the Commodores against Cincinnati. Barnes led all tacklers with 10 and blocked a field goal in the fourth quarter.
Casey Hayward, DB: Hayward has been a stud all year, and he will have a great career at the next level. He sure impressed once again in the Liberty Bowl. Hayward recorded eight tackles and two interceptions. With his two interceptions, he tied the record for career interceptions at Vanderbilt. What a great career.