Published February 27, 2013 - 2:50pm
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SDS has already looked at the top 25 players for 2012, and 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. 19 – Jonathan Allen, OLB, Alabama
From: Ashburn, VA (Stone Bridge)
Size: 6-3, 250 pounds
The Skinny: If there was ever a match made in heaven for Nick Saban and his perfect Jack linebacker, he may have signed him in Jonathan Allen. It’s seemingly hard for me to rank Allen just inside the top 20 because he possesses more upside than any linebacker currently on Bama’s roster, but to think he’ll make a major impact in his first season is a little presumptuous. Allen used to live in Alabama and still has family in the state, and that allowed the Tide to ultimately help land his talents. Life is good for Saban when he can essentially cherry-pick Virginia’s top player and bring him on down to Tuscaloosa where the roster is already four-deep with impact players.
What Alabama is getting: Saban and Kirby Smart are notorious for signing bigger-bodied defensive athletes and moving them into different positions. For example, Quinton Dial signed with Alabama as a 308-pound tackle who was one of the stars at defensive end on Bama’s championship teams. And Allen fits that type of player and role perfectly. He’s an uber-talented massive 18-year-old who can run like hell after any quarterback. That’s everything Saban is looking for in his coveted linebacker position.
Where he’ll make an impact: Right now at 250 pounds, Allen is nearly the perfect size for an outside linebacker. However, he could eventually grow into a defensive end if he jumps to 280 or more. Even at 280 pounds, Allen could be athletic enough to still play some linebacker. Remember, Dont’a Hightower flourished as a 270-pound inside linebacker. But Allen will start at the Jack, and he enters Alabama already more athletic than Adrian Hubbard, Ryan Anderson and Xzavier Dickson. Allen could jump into the rotation as Hubbard’s backup starting fall camp. He’ll make an impact in 2013. He’s just too good not to.
Other impact newcomers:
- 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: John David Mercer-US PRESSWIRE