Published March 11, 2013 - 8:35am
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Now with National Signing Day in the books, let’s look at the top newcomers in the SEC for 2013. Predicting the top newcomers is often very tough, and these aren’t just merely rankings of the top players. We’re going to look at what type of impact they’ll make and where they’ll make it..
No. 10 – Alex Collins, RB, Arkansas
From: Fort Lauderdale, FL (South Plantation)
Size: 5-11, 204 pounds, 4.45 40
The Skinny: It took Arkansas an extra day to land talented running back Alex Collins, but the Hogs finally closed the deal after Collins’ mother stole the show in a bad way and ran off with his LOI before he could sign it. On what was supposed to be her son’s dream day, it turned into a nightmare. But through all the smoke, one thing was inherently clear: Collins wanted to be an Arkansas Razorback. Bret Bielema nabbed his first signature signee just a few weeks on the job, and Collins is more than just a top incoming running back – he will be the cornerstone to Bielema’s tenure in Fayetteville. Likewise, signing Collins from a program standpoint is huge, but the fact that Bielema dipped into Miami’s backyard is both remarkable and encouraging. And furthermore, landing Collins should have answered any questions anyone had about whether or not Bielema could recruit in the south.
What Arkansas is getting: Have you seen Collins’ highlight tape? He’ll remind you of a smaller Trent Richardson/Todd Gurley hybrid. Certainly the dreadlocks will remind you of Richardson alone, but this cat has speed to burn and packs a punch upon impact. Collins is a 4.40 40 burner, and he’s nearly the perfect combination of size, speed and acceleration. He can get the tough yards between the tackles, but he can also house one anytime he touches it. Not only is Collins a star in the making on the field, but also the way he handled the drama surrounding his mother was even more impressive. Collins will play right away, and combined with Jonathan Williams, Arkansas should have one of the best young running back combos in the country for 2013.
Other impact newcomers:
- No. 11 Chris Jones, Miss State
- No. 12 Za’Darius Smith, Kentucky
- No. 13 OJ Howard, Alabama
- No. 14 Marquez North, Tennessee
- No. 15 Ricky Seals-Jones, Texas A&M
- No. 16 Leon Brown, Alabama
- No. 17 Fred Ross, Mississippi State
- No. 18 Tray Matthews, Georgia
- No. 19 Jonathan Allen, Alabama
- No. 20 Ben Bradley, Auburn
- No. 21 Alex Anzalone, Florida
- No. 22 Carl Lawson, Auburn
- No. 23 Frank Herron, LSU
- No. 24 Larenz Bryant, South Carolina
- No. 25 Ryan Timmons, Kentucky
Photo Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports