The SEC’s top returning sackers

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In the coming series, SDS will take a look at the SEC’s most productive returners over the next few weeks broken down by position. Next up are the sack masters.

All positions:

The SEC’s leading returning sacker is the freak himself – Jadeveon Clowney. Clowney looks to impose his harsh will on anyone who gets into his way this fall. He returns as the SEC’s only double-digit sacker in 2012. He’s followed by Arkansas’ Chris Smith and Alabama’s Adrian Hubbard.

This is not a ranking, and it’s based on sack numbers:

1. Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina
2012 stats: 14.5 sacks, 23.5 TFL

2. Chris Smith, DE, Arkansas
2012 stats: 9.5 sacks, 13 TFL

3. Adrian Hubbard, OLB, Alabama
2012 stats: 7 sacks, 11 TFL

4. Alvin “Bud” Dupree, OLB/DE, Kentucky
2012 stats: 6.5 sacks, 12.5 TFL

5. Chase Garnham, LB, Vanderbilt
2012 stats: 6.5 sacks, 12.5 TFL

6. CJ Johnson, DE, Ole Miss
2012 stats: 6.5 sacks, 8 TFL

7. Trey Flowers, DE, Arkansas
2012 stats: 6 sacks, 13 TFL

8. Dee Ford, DE, Auburn
2012 stats: 6 sacks, 6.5 TFL

All stats based on CFBStats.com

South Carolina led the SEC last season with 43 sacks. Jadeveon Clowney is obviously the best of the returners, but don’t sleep on senior Chaz Sutton. Clowney and Sutton are a strong duo, but watch out for Arkansas’ bookends Chris Smith and Trey Flowers, who are the strongest defensive end tandems returning in the SEC on paper.

Ole Miss will have several young talented players in CJ Johnson, Channing Ward, Lavon Hooks and Robert Nkemdiche trying to cause havoc for opposing offenses.

Georgia could possess the SEC’s best outside linebacker (again!) in Jordan Jenkins. He racked up five sacks as a true freshman, and with Jarvis Jones now gone, Jenkins should emerge as the star.

Florida’s Dante Fowler and Ronald Powell should also put together some sacks this season as Will Muschamp’s Buck linebacker.

A few other players who could make a big jump in 2013 are LSU’s Jermauria Rasco and Danielle Hunter, MSU’s Denico Autry and Mizzou’s Kony Ealy.

Photo Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

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