Published August 6, 2012 - 1:00pm
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Making an impact in the SEC as a freshman is a very difficult task, but the 11 players below did it in the SEC West. These guys can bust a grape, and they will be centerpieces on their teams for at least two more years.
Here are 11 super sophomores in the SEC West to look out for this year:
Odell Beckham, Jr., WR, LSU: A surefire NFL Draft pick in two years, Odell Beckham had a breakout year as a freshman. He was second on the team in receiving with 41 catches for 475 yards and two touchdowns. Get this kid the football!
Serderius Bryant, MLB, Ole Miss: Bryant returns as last year’s fourth leading tackler. He was overshadowed by fellow freshman CJ Johnson, but he took the middle linebacker position by storm and received loads of playing time. And he took full advantage of his opportunity.
Reese Dismukes, C, Auburn: It’s rare you see a true freshman start right away on the offensive line, but Dismukes did just that. With a combination of the Tigers’ need for offensive linemen and the caliber of Dismukes’ game, he started all 13 games. He will be an anchor on the line this year as a second year player.
Kaleb Eulls, DE, Mississippi State: Eulls played in all 13 games last year as a redshirt freshman, and he returns to help solidify the defensive line. He had 30 total tackles, three tackles-for-loss and one sack. He looks to have a breakout year for MSU.
Trey Flowers, DE, Arkansas: Flowers wasn’t a starter last year playing behind Jake Bequette and Tenarius Wright, but he earned much playing time and showed flashes of the player he will be this year starting full time. He played in all 13 games, making 28 total tackles, 5.5 tackles-for-loss and one sack.
Kenny Hilliard, RB, LSU: Hilliard will remind you of a tank bursting through the line of scrimmage getting to the second level. He got his opportunity when Spencer Ware was suspended, and he earned playing time the rest of the year. He carried 62 times for 336 yards and tied for a team-high eight touchdowns.
Anthony Johnson, DT, LSU: ‘The Freak’ as they call him in Baton Rouge had very high aspirations for his freshman year. He somewhat got caught up in the hype of being an all-heralded freshman but still made his way into the rotation. Look for him to be a boss on the defensive line in 2012.
Cyrus Kouandjio, OL, Alabama: ‘The biggest human being’ comes when talking about Kouandjio. He hurt his knee in week seven and missed the rest of the season, but he will be an integral part of Alabama’s success on the offensive line this season.
Tevin Mitchel, CB, Arkansas: Mitchel became one of the most talked about corners in the SEC last year, earning a starting spot from very early on. He has great size at 6-0, and he made 56 tackles. He will be a lockdown corner before his time is up, and he may get there this year.
Donte Moncrief, WR, Ole Miss: Besides Odell Beckham, there is not another more promising young receiver than Donte Moncrief. He was the Pied Piper of last year’s class, and he lived up to the hype. He was the team’s leading receiver with 31 catches for 454 yards and four touchdowns. He’s the real deal.
Brad Wing, P, LSU: The Aussie just etched his name into SEC football lore when he faked a punt and took it to the house against Florida, only to be called back for taunting. He was second in the SEC in punting, averaging 44.4 yards per punt and set a record in the SEC Championship game with his 67-yarder. This kid flips field position in a hurry.