Projecting the SEC’s top 25 newcomers for 2013


Over the last month, SDS has been projecting the top 25 newcomers for 2013, and we didn’t just merely rank the players based on Rivals, Scout, ESPN or 247Sports; rather, we looked at the top incoming talent and compared them to immediate needs for each team. And SDS didn’t rank the players based on future projections past the 2013 season, either. These are immediate impact players this season.

Projecting newcomers is always tough, because no one has the slightest idea of who will respond in game situations. A player could hold all the potential in the world, but if he can’t make plays in the game, it takes a while to get to that level. It’s all about players showing up when the lights come on, not just merely passing the eye test in spring, summer and fall camp. But you can sift through the top players who can make a difference based on team needs.

We’ve seen time and time again offensive skill position players – running back and wide receiver – make the biggest immediate splashes, while first-year offensive linemen and quarterbacks usually don’t. Likewise, freshmen defensive linemen sometimes struggle to adjust going against veteran linemen three years older, while some linebackers – usually outside backers – corners and safeties make more immediate impacts.

SDS’ top newcomer was Florida corner Vernon Hargreaves. You could make the argument he was the top overall player in the 2013 recruiting class, but Ole Miss standout Robert Nkemdiche was the unanimous overall player, according to the recruiting networks. Hargreaves was ranked third overall, according to 247Sports’ composite recruiting rankings, and he’ll have a chance to start right away regardless of Florida’s depth at corner. He’s that good.

Nkemdiche will make an immediate impact and help upgrade the Rebels’ defensive line, but JUCO transfer Lavon Hooks projects better because he has two years of collegiate playing experience, and his talent is underrated.

Here are the newcomers broken down by position:

  • 5 DEs (1 JUCO)
  • 5 WRs
  • 4 RBs
  • 3 LBs
  • 2 CBs
  • 2 DTs (2 JUCOs)
  • 1 ATH
  • 1 OL
  • 1 TE
  • 1 S

Here are the top 25 newcomers for 2013:

Photo Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports



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