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. 21 – Alex Anzalone, LB, Florida
From: Reading, PA (Wyomissing)
Size: 6-3, 232 pounds
The Skinny: The recruitment of Alex Anzalone was one of the strangest in recent history. He committed to Ohio State last April when he ventured up to the frozen tundra to catch the spring game, but he decommitted thereafter when a convicted sex offender posted a photo of himself and Anzalone together while on the visit. Anzalone then committed to Notre Dame last July, only to leave the Irish standing at the recruiting altar and bolted to Florida to enroll early after Brian Kelly was “interested” in the Philadelphia Eagles job…or was it the fact that Notre Dame was exposed and pummeled by Alabama? Florida, however, is the beneficiary of one of the finest linebackers in the 2013 recruiting class, and he will make an immediate impact.
What Florida is getting: Anzalone is gifted enough to play tight end, full back, H-back or linebacker, but he will excel manning the second level of the Gators’ future defense. In fact, Florida is getting an even better student, as Anzalone plans to look into majoring in pre-med. He’s a 6-3, 235-pound outside linebacker who will grow into a middle linebacker and runs like a wide receiver. That’s a fact. Look at Florida’s wide receivers, and then watch Anzalone’s film. That’s what Florida is getting.
Where he’ll make an impact: Florida loses two starting linebackers in Jon Bostic and Jelani Jenkins. Although there is some depth at the position, Anzalone will play immediately for the Gators, and he will get his feet wet this spring as an early enrollee. Anzalone will likely step into an outside role first, but he could grow into the starting Mike linebacker at some point during the season. Will Muschamp proved he would play freshmen linebackers, because unheralded three-star nobody Antonio Morrison was crucial to the Gators’ success last year. Anzalone has a big future in Muschamp’s system.
Other impact newcomers:
- No. 22 Carl Lawson, Auburn
- No. 23 Frank Herron, LSU
- No. 24 Larenz Bryant, South Carolina
- No. 25 Ryan Timmons, Kentucky
Photo Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports