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.
73. Jordan Jenkins, Jr., LB, Georgia
The first of three Bulldog linebackers in our Top 100 was a second-team All-SEC selection as a starter last fall, no longer in the shadow of Jarvis Jones. Playing behind the sackmaster in 2012, Jenkins learned the art of slipping through blocks and anticipating snap counts that his SEC defensive player of the year teammate did so well.
Paired in the 3-4 at outside linebacker with sophomore stud Leonard Floyd, Jenkins strengthens a unit determined to shake off last season’s struggles as a whole under new defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt. Georgia ranked 5th in the East and 10th overall in the conference in scoring defense allowing 29 points per game. Only two teams — Ole Miss and Kentucky — gave up more touchdowns on the ground in 2013, a statistic Jenkins and the Bulldogs must trim to remain in this year’s division championship race by late October.
Jenkins, a former No. 1 prospect in the state Georgia, has met expectations during his time in Athens but this is the year he exceeds them. With a goal of at least 10 sacks as a junior, Jenkins has an all-conference first team selection in mind and should flourish within a personnel group welcoming back all four starters — tops in the SEC.
2013 statistics: 45 tackles, 12 TFL, 5 sacks
2014 projection: 52 tackles, 12.5 TFL, 8.5 sacks
Photo Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports