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. 2 – Lavon Hooks, DT, Ole Miss
From: Booneville, MS (Northeast Mississippi CC)
Size: 6-4, 295 pounds
The Skinny: There isn’t a more versatile defensive linemen in the entire 2013 recruiting class than Lavon Hooks. Listed as a defensive tackle at 6-4, 295 pounds, Hooks is anything but just a tackle. In fact, he’s got playmaker written all over him. The Booneville, Mississippi native was originally in the 2011 recruiting cycle but went Northeast Mississippi CC before finally hitting the D1 ranks. And Hooks was the highest rated JUCO player in the country this year, let alone on the defensive line. He has excellent strength, crazy athleticism and a knack for getting in opponents’ backfields. Hooks’ commitment was so big that Hugh Freeze cried tears of joy on the phone with the big fella. Hooks originally seemed destined for Auburn, but they wouldn’t accept one of his credits, and he was forced to rule them out. And Ole Miss became the biggest winner for the prized recruit.
What Ole Miss is getting: The Rebels inked a future star who can play with his hand up or his hand down; he can play on the interior or exterior of the defense line of scrimmage. Hell, he even looks athletic enough to play a Jack linebacker at 295 pounds. So, not only is Ole Miss adding Robert Nkemdiche and Lavon Hooks, but they also return three potent linemen with superior ceilings in Channing Ward, CJ Johnson and Isaac Gross. And to win in the SEC, teams have to be strong from the point of attack. Ole Miss added two prominent players who can get after quarterbacks, and with Hooks already enrolled, he’ll make a push for a starting spot day one.
With two years of JUCO opponents under his belt, Hooks is ready to make an instant splash in a conference full of NFL players.
Other impact newcomers:
- No. 3 JaQuay Williams, Texas A&M
- No. 4 Laquon Treadwell, Ole Miss
- No. 5 Robert Nkemdiche, Ole Miss
- No. 6 Kelvin Taylor, Florida
- No. 7 Cameron Artis-Payne, Auburn
- No. 8 Derrick Henry, Alabama
- No. 9 Tre’Davious White, LSU
- No. 10 Alex Collins, Arkansas
- 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: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports