SDS talent evaluators Jon Cooper and Brad Crawford spent several months breaking down last year’s highlights, incoming talent and projected 2014 impact following spring practice to compile a list of the SEC’s Top 100 players heading into fall. Athletes were selected by position then ranked overall counting down to No. 1.
Stick with SDS throughout summer and get in on the action using the hashtag #SDSTop100 as we unveil a new player daily leading up to opening night on Aug. 28.
57. Dylan Thompson, Sr., QB, South Carolina
The SEC’s most experienced quarterback who hasn’t yet been a full-time starter, Thompson enters his final season at South Carolina as an outspoken veteran on offense despite just now taking over its controls, a player Steve Spurrier trusts as his team’s leader.
Thompson’s off-the-field impact rivals that of Tim Tebow as a devout Christian visionary and like the Gator great, Thompson’s unselfish demeanor motivates teammates. More vocal than his predecessor, Thompson counters SEC defenses with a wealth of knowledge through in-game experience highlighted by Capital One Bowl heroics and a 300-yard performance at 11th-ranked Clemson and is capable of leading the Gamecocks to their second East division title in school history.
Kudos to a player who has patiently waited his turn as a career backup behind the winningest quarterback in school history. Instead of transferring for playing time elsewhere, Thompson’s waited for this moment in the relative shadows since 2011 and it’s his time to shine.
Somewhere, G.A. Mangus is glowing with extreme confidence in his quarterback.
2013 statistics: Played fewer snaps during Shaw’s final season, throwing for 783 yards and 4 TDs.
2014 projection: 201-323, 2,850 yards, 24 TD, 8 INT
Photo Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports