Published March 15, 2013 - 8:40am
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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. 6 – Kelvin Taylor, RB, Florida
From: Belle Glade, FL (Glades Day School)
Size: 5-10, 220 pounds
The Skinny: Kelvin Taylor may not be the ‘best’ overall running back in the 2013 class, but he’s certainly the most polished, thanks in part to his dad, Fred Taylor, who taught him the ropes. And not only is Taylor mature as a running back, but he’s also physically ready at 220 pounds to take SEC pounding. We’ve see freshmen enter the SEC in pro-style offenses like TJ Yeldon, Trent Richardson and Todd Gurley and look all-world; Kelvin Taylor has that type of ability. Now, Taylor isn’t a burner like Keith Marshall, but he’s a between-the-tackles-type bruising back who can tote the rock 20-plus times per game and not think twice about his durability. Taylor will get his fair share of carries, too, as the depth chart is very favorable, and he gets a head start as an early enrollee this spring. In five years as a varsity player – dating back to 8th grade, Taylor rushed for 12,121 yards and 191 touchdowns in his career.
What Florida is getting: With Mike Gillislee’s exit and Mack Brown’s still unproven ability, Kelvin Taylor will battle returner Matt Jones for the starting gig in the fall. Taylor’s speed is very adequate, but his vision, balance, instincts and quick feet show he’s polished beyond his years. Taylor is built low to the ground and has enough lower body strength to break tackles as a freshman. The one knock against Taylor has nothing to do with his ability or Florida – but the mileage he’s accrued through his high school career may come back to haunt him later. That remains to be seen, as does his impact his freshman season. However, due to depth issues, Florida will need Taylor to step up immediately. I think Taylor has a big freshman season.
Other impact newcomers:
- 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: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports