Published August 27, 2013 - 5:30pmNEW: Follow on facebook -
Superstars will be well represented in the SEC for 2013, and with those superstars come sidekicks who help them become dominant. Let’s highlight the best dynamic duos for the SEC in 2013.
RB Todd Gurley and RB Keith Marshall, Georgia: UGA’s thunder/lightning combo is about to turn all thunder/thunder on us now that Marshall is up to 225. The duo combined for 2,144 yards and 25 touchdowns. Together they are college football’s best one-two running back combo.
Related: Ranking the SEC’s running back corps
QB Johnny Manziel and WR Mike Evans, Texas A&M: As both redshirt freshmen, Mike Evans became Johnny Manziel’s go-to receiver in ‘12. We know all about how electric Manziel will be – he combined for 5,116 yards and 47 touchdowns – but Evans may be the best receiver in the conference. He totaled 82 catches for 1,105 yards and five touchdowns. Look for big seasons from both, as each of their games have evolved.
Related: The SEC’s top QB-WR combos
QB AJ McCarron and WR Amari Cooper, Alabama: How do you pick a duo between Bama’s three bigs on offense, AJ McCarron, Amari Cooper and TJ Yeldon? The McCarron-Cooper connection could become the SEC’s biggest downfield threat. McCarron is looking to become Alabama’s first ever 3,000-yard passer in a season, while Cooper is looking to follow up his electrifying 1,000-yard freshman season.
OT Antonio Richardson and OT Ja’Wuan James, Tennessee: Arguably the best tackle combo in the country, Tiny Richardson and Ja’Wuan James will have to take their game to the next level. The Vols’ ground game and pass protection should be ample enough for whichever quarterback ends up starting the most. Combined they’re 645 pounds of aggressive and physical bookend tackles.
Related: Ranking the SEC’s offensive lines
QB Connor Shaw and QB Dylan Thompson, South Carolina: Think Ric Flair and Greg Valentine, former tag team champions, working together for the good of the team. Everyone wants to make a QB controversy, and neither will have anything to say about it. Shaw is the starter, and Thompson is the reliever. Combined they won 11 games and threw for 2,983 yards and 27 touchdowns. Both will play for the benefit of the team in 2013.
Related: Ranking the SEC’s quarterbacks
WR Jarvis Landry and WR Odell Beckham, LSU: Now that Vandy’s Chris Boyd is suspended, Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham stand to jump to the No. 1 receiving tandem. Landry and Beckham combined for 1,286 yards and seven touchdowns last season, but with a new offense, philosophy and improved QB play, Landry and Beckham should become explosive.
Related: Ranking the SEC WR corps
CB Loucheiz Purifoy and CB Marcus Roberson, Florida: Quite possibly the top cover corner combo in the country, Loucheiz Purifoy and Marcus Roberson have everything desired by Will Muschamp. They have length, size, speed and fluid hips, helping Florida have arguably the best secondary in the country. Both are potential first-round picks.
Related: Ranking the SEC secondaries
DE Jadeveon Clowney and DT Kelcy Quarles, South Carolina: It’s good to be Lorenzo Ward at Carolina, coaching the best player in the country, as well as a top three SEC DT in Kelcy Quarles. Don’t forget about DE Chaz Sutton either, as he’s due for a breakout year. We know how dominant Clowney is, but Quarles racked up eight tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks last season.
Related: Ranking the SEC’s defensive lines
LB CJ Mosley and LB Adrian Hubbard, Alabama: Nick Saban’s 3-4 defense needs two big-time inside linebackers, another outside linebacker and Jack linebacker who lives in opponents’ backfields. CJ Mosley could be the best linebacker in the country, while Adrian Hubbard could be the most physically gifted linebacker on the team. Together they combined for 148 tackles, 19 tackles for loss and 11 sacks in 2012.
Related: Ranking the SEC’s linebacking corps
DE Chris Smith and DE Trey Flowers, Arkansas: On paper, Arkansas enters with the best defensive end tandem in the SEC. Will they finish that way? It remains to be seen. Smith and Flowers combined for 26 tackles for loss and 14.5 sacks. The Hogs boast a strong front four, which should lead to a better-than-advertised defense in 2013.
Photo Credit: Thomas Campbell