New to SDS this season is the Bo Jackson Award. Throughout the season we will track the performance of the top players in the SEC, free of bias against age or position. Simply put, we’re looking for the best player in the best conference in college football.
A reminder, this award is in no way affiliated with Bo Jackson himself, the name is a tribute to one of the greatest athletes in American history.
Jadeveon Clowney – DE, South Carolina
Have you noticed how there are suddenly a bunch of young players and recruits named Shaq? Prediction: Around 2030 we’ll start to see an influx of Jadeveon’s. His athleticism will inspire people to name their spawn after him. I’m considering changing my name to Jadeveon after the Georgia game. Clowney hasn’t nearly reached the level of greatness he’s capable of achieving, so he’ll just have to settle for being just as great as anyone else currently in college football (and probably a lot of the NFL).
Johnny Manziel – QB, Texas A&M
It took three quarters, but Johnny Football eventually showed up against Ole Miss. His 129 yards rushing and a touchdown, along with 191 yards passing and a touchdown, almost seem pedestrian by the standards he’s setting this season. On the year Manziel is fourth in the SEC in passing yards and passing touchdowns. He’s fifth in rushing yards and tied for third in rushing touchdowns. He’s doing everything for Texas A&M. Johnny Football is probably the most valuable player to his team in the SEC. Who knows where they would be without him (cough, Missouri, cough)?
Matt Elam – S, Florida
Matt Elam was the standout defensive player in a game where LSU LB Kevin Minter had 20 tackles. That’s how impressive Elam’s game was. His forced fumble late in the fourth quarter was the most important play of the game. On top of that he had seven brutal solo tackles, with one for a loss. Most importantly, he looks really cool with his mid-90’s inspired bare midriff jersey. It reminds me of somebody…
Mike Gillislee – RB, Florida
The biggest reason Florida has been able to control games in the fourth quarter is Mike Gillislee’s endurance and consistency. Gillislee wore down the vaunted LSU defense with his 34 carries, finishing with 146 yards and two second half touchdowns. Through five games Gillislee has rushed for 548 yards and seven touchdowns. He might be Florida’s only offensive weapon, and he still is getting 5.3 yards-per-carry. Gillislee’s presence is allowing Jeff Driskel to grow up in a luxurious bubble where he can manage games more than he has to win them.
In the Discussion
Marcus Lattimore – RB, South Carolina, Jarvis Jones – LB, Georgia, AJ McCarron – QB, Alabama, Tyler Russell – QB, Mississippi State, Todd Gurley – RB, Georgia, Jeff Driskel – QB, Florida, Jonathan Banks – CB, Mississippi State, Kevin Minter – LB, LSU