National Signing Day is only 15 days away, and let’s take a look at some key positions and needs for each SEC West team.
Offense: Quarterback and Offensive Line
To say that Alabama’s roster is stacked is an understatement. They are deep at arguably every position on the board. However, two positions that quickly stand out are at quarterback and offensive line. With AJ McCarron a rising senior and backup Phillip Ely with virtually no experience, Nick Saban had to get a big quarterback prospect for the future. And he landed one with Cooper Bateman, as well as two other early enrollee quarterbacks in Parker McLeod and Luke Del Rio. Also, with three offensive linemen in Barrett Jones, DJ Fluker and Chance Warmack gone, Saban had to land a few SEC-ready linemen. He has two so far in Leon Brown and Brandon Hill.
Offense: Skill position players
With Tyler Wilson, Knile Davis, Dennis Johnson and Cobi Hamilton all gone, there’s a notable vacancy for Bret Bielema in respect to skill position players. He has some young receivers, but none like Hamilton. He will lean on his experienced offensive line and running game next season, but it’s almost imperative they land a big-time running back and create a nice one-two combination with Jonathan Williams. Blue-chip prospect Alex Collins is on the board.
Defense: Defensive secondary
Arkansas’ worst unit on defense was the secondary. Quarterbacks had success in every game throwing against the Hogs, and Bielema must sign some impact players. He has two already enrolled in Carrol Washington and Tiquention Coleman, who will have an impact next season, as well as incoming freshman Alex Brignoni.
Offense: Wide Receivers
Gus Malzahn needs several impact players on offense, but his biggest vacancy is at wide receiver. With Emory Blake, Travante Stallworth and DeAngelo Benton now gone and a guy like Trovon Reed who has yet to pan out, Auburn needs impact receivers in the worst way. Yeah, I know the passing game has to improve, and it will. There are only two committed receivers thus far in Earnest Robinson and Tony Stevens.
Auburn has a notable vacancy at linebacker now that Darren Bates and Jonathan Evans are gone and Jake Holland is a rising senior. There’s immediate playing time for linebackers at Auburn, and it’s almost imperative that Gus Malzahn lands Reuben Foster down the stretch.
Defense: Front seven
With the NFL mass exodus of underclassmen for LSU, there are several holes to fill. However, the most glaring need is in the front seven on defense. The Tigers lost three defensive lineman and All-American linebacker Kevin Minter. LSU does have some depth, but they must sign several front seven players for depth purposes. Of the 26 current commitments, 14 are defensive players with eight play either at linebacker or defensive line. This group is headlined by DE Frank Herron, DT Greg Gilmore and ATH Kendall Beckwith.
Offense: Wide Receiver
The offense is pretty set for next season, but there are major wide receiver holes to fill. Chad Bumphis, Chris Smith and Arcedo Clark – the three leading receivers – are now gone. Dan Mullen will have Dak Prescott set after Tyler Russell graduates, but he needs to replenish the receiving corps. And MSU had five current wide receiver commits, including JUCO receiver Corey Smith, who should have an immediate impact.
The secondary loses starters Johnthan Banks, Darius Slay and Corey Broomfield, while Nickoe Whitley returns for his final season. Mullen has to rebuild the backend of the defense with key players like Darius Slay from JUCO. He has two currently committed now in Justin Cox and Kivon Coman, and he’s on some of the top corners in the country because he can offer immediate playing time.
Offense: Wide Receivers
The depth on offense is pretty set for 2013 with just losing one starter, and any impact players are just icing on the cake. But with upperclassmen like Donte Moncrief, Vince Sanders and Ja-Mes Logan, there could be a receiver vacancy open for the 2014 season. Hugh Freeze is building for the future with #1 WR already on board in Laquon Treadwell.
Defense: Defensive Line
Ole Miss returns impact players at nearly every position in 2013 on defense, but one area they must improve in is their defensive line. Tackle Isaac Gross is undersized, and they’ve added the #1 JUCO DT Lavon Hooks already. In addition to Hooks, the Rebels also have JUCO DT Jarran Reed in the bag, too. Don’t forget they still have Robert Nkemdiche on the board after already having four defensive linemen committed. Freeze is building some serious depth.
Defense: All positions
The offense for 2013 is set depth-wise, and most of the immediate needs lie on defense. With both defensive ends Spencer Nealy and Damontre Moore gone, as well as linebackers Jonathan Stewart and Sean Porter, the Aggies need impact front seven players. They have three linebackers already enrolled in JUCO Tommy Sanders, Reggie Chevis and Brett Wade. They also have three others committed. Kevin Sumlin also has five defensive linemen committed for immediate help. Sumlin and his staff are building some serious depth.
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