Published February 20, 2013 - 9:40am
NEW: Discuss this topic in the Google+ community for SEC fans.
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. 23 – Frank Herron, DE, LSU
From: Memphis, TN (Memphis Central)
Size: 6-5, 260-pounds, 4.70 40
The Skinny: Signing five-star defensive end Frank Herron made the losses of bookends Sam Montgomery and Barkevious Mingo, along with a very productive backup in Lavar Edwards, easier to swallow. The mass exodus of underclassmen left holes in one of the SEC’s premier defenses over the last couple of years, and it’s surely going to have to be filled with younger, inexperienced players in 2013. Herron almost made LSU fans croak when he took a last-second visit to Texas, in what he called a ‘moment of weakness’, only to eventually stick with his LSU commitment and sign with the Tigers. Herron is extremely athletic for his 6-5, 260-pound frame, but he’s very raw, as most freshmen are entering college both in technique and in the way they mentally approach the game. But the two biggest non-coachable assets are size and speed, and Herron has both in his back pocket, with a lightning-quick first step.
Putting on 40 to 45 pounds will be nothing for Herron, and he could eventually grow into a defensive tackle in the future. He’s quick enough now to split a double team while possessing the power to push around offensive tackles. Just think what 40 pounds of muscle would do for him.
Where he’ll make an impact: LSU’s loss of impact ends Montgomery and Mingo are already tough to cope with, but add in the fact that tackle Bennie Logan is also gone, along senior Lavar Edwards. That’s four impact linemen, 34 tackles for loss and 19 sacks gone. John Chavis certainly has his work cut out for him, but the great news is that he has one of the most talented prospects in Frank Herron to work with. LSU won’t need Herron to start immediately, but there’s even better news: he may be good enough to. Upperclassmen Jemauria Rasco and Danielle Hunter will be pushed by Herron and fellow freshman Kendall Beckwith at both defensive end slots come fall. Herron and LSU are a perfect match.
Other impact newcomers:
Photo Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports