Published April 30, 2012 - 11:41am
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Spring is a great time for new players to make a name for themselves and show up due to an injury or recent position vacancy. It’s always nice to see those players make a splash and earn some playing time for fall.
Here are some players who did just that this spring in the SEC West:
Alabama: RB TJ Yeldon, Fr.
Yeldon is an early enrollee from the 2012 recruiting cycle, and boy, did he ever make a name for himself in Alabama’s spring game. He was the highlight of the game, and there has been a buzz about him ever since. You have to think he earned some playing time next fall with his 88 rushing-yard and 91 receiving yard-performance. Yeldon will add to an already crowded backfield with Eddie Lacy, Jalston Fowler and Dee Hart ahead of him on the depth chart. But Alabama will have to find ways to use this kid if he’s going to be a true talent like he showed this spring.
Arkansas: LB Robert Atiga, Jr.
Atiga, a former transfer from Snow College, looks to have shown he can win one of the starting spots among the depleted linebacker corps. Atiga showed throughout the spring he is worthy of major playing time this year, as he capped it off with a game-high 12 tackles in the spring game. At 6’3″, 240lbs, he’s physically ready to help this team next year.
Auburn: QB Kiehl Frazier, So.
For much of the spring, Auburn returning starting QB Clint Moseley was sidelined due to a nagging shoulder injury, and that made way for sophomore Kiehl Frazier. He really took advantage of Moseley’s injury, and he played to win the position throughout the spring. He was used last year primarily as a runner at QB, but he’s honing in his passing game a bit now and has shown major improvement in that category. Frazier finished 7-of-9 passing for 92 yards in the first half of the spring game. He’s a dynamic athlete who’s ready to lead this team right now.
LSU: QB Zach Mettenberger, Jr.
All eyes were on the new LSU QB this spring, and Mett made fans second guess Les Miles’ decision to not play him last year in lieu of Jarrett Lee and Jordan Jefferson. He has a monster arm and looks like a seasoned QB running the offense. QB Coach Steve Kragthorpe will have this kid in top shape come fall. Mett aired it out in the spring game, as he was 14-of-25 for 270 yards and two touchdowns on the day. Could this team be even better next year with Mett at the helm?
Mississippi State: RB Josh Robinson, RS Fr.
Now that Vick Ballard is gone to the NFL, State is looking for depth behind starting RB LaDarius Perkins. Redshirt freshman Josh Robinson provided just that this spring. The Franklinton, Louisiana, native showed he can be a quality back the Bulldogs need and have to have, backing up Perkins. Robinson ripped off an impressive 55-yard touchdown run in the spring game. This kid will be fun to watch.
Ole Miss: WR Vince Sanders, RS So.
If there is one position the Rebels are loaded at, it’s wide receiver. Along with Donte Moncrief, Nick Brassell – who could play corner, and Ja-Mes Logan, the former No. 1 WR in the state of Mississippi, Vincent Sanders, really stood out this spring. The 6’1”, 190lb WR became QB Bo Wallace’s favorite receiver this spring, and he caught five passes for 89 yards in the spring game. He’s a great-looking young player ready to step up for his club.
Texas A&M: QB Jameill Showers, RS So.
With Ryan Tannehill now gone, the Aggies are looking to fill the QB vacancy. Jameill Showers had a break-out spring for the Aggies, and new head coach Kevin Sumlin must have liked what he saw. Showers finished 20-of-31 passing for 203 yards and two touchdowns during the Maroon and White spring game. Even though Showers is the better-looking QB at this point, Texas A&M is not ready to name him the starter, yet.