10 SEC impact freshmen for 2014


Predicting an instant-impact freshman is a tough and oftentimes monumental task. Prospects enter schools with much hype, but sometimes things never seem to click when the lights come on, especially as first-year players.

Related: 90 three-star recruits who had major SEC impacts

Nothing is ever certain in recruiting, but here is SDS’ best guess at 10 players who will have a chance to make an impact for their team in 2014.

Kyle Allen, QB, Texas A&M (6-3, 200): Allen was the best QB prospect in the entire country in 2014, and he has the tools make an instant impact, especially with Johnny Manziel now gone. Allen will battle for playing time with Kenny Hill.

Related: 2014 All-SEC recruiting team

Drew Barker, QB, Kentucky (6-4, 210): The Cats need a quarterback, and Drew Barker arrives just in time. There will be some growing pains, but Barker should play immediately, especially knowing he’s an early enrollee who will go through spring practice.

Tony Brown, CB, Alabama (6-0, 188): Brown is an all-world athlete who’s currently running track for the Tide, and as an early enrollee, he gets a head start on fellow five-star Marlon Humphrey for one of the starting corner slots.

Malachi Dupre, WR, LSU (6-3, 187): With receivers Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham gone, Malachi Dupre will get every opportunity to start immediately. Coming from a run-first offense in high school, Dupre is still scratching the surface on his potential.

Related: SEC’s top 5 current 2015 commits

Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU (6-1, 226): With Jeremy Hill and Alfred Blue both leaving for the draft, the depth chart is ready for Leonard Fournette to make plays alongside Terrance Magee and Kenny Hilliard. Many say Fournette is the next Adrian Peterson.

Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M (6-4, 240): The Aggies need help defensively, and Myles Garrett is a beast waiting to make plays. He could instantly become the defense’s best lineman.

Jalen Hurd, RB, Tennessee (6-3, 230): Rajion Neal had a fabulous year, but the Vols are still looking for Travis Henry and Jamal Lewis. Jalen Hurd could be the next great Tennessee running back, and he’ll play in year one.

Dante Sawyer, DE, South Carolina (6-3, 262): With Jadeveon Clowney gone, Dante Sawyer should play immediately. He was a huge pickup for the Gamecocks in the signing class.

Jalen Tabor, CB, Florida (6-1, 182): Florida has a knack for having great freshmen corners, and early enrollee Jalen Tabor will compete to start opposite Vernon Hargreaves game one. He’s the type of corner Will Muschamp loves.

Rod Taylor, OG, Ole Miss (6-4, 305): Don’t tell Ole Miss you can’t play freshmen O-linemen, as Laremy Tunsil had a brilliant first year. Now, Rod Taylor, the country’s top-ranked offensive guard, gets his chance. He’s a road grader.

Photo Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports



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  • I haven’t heard much talk about Jalen Hurd’s injury this past season. I believe he missed nearly every game. Is there any reason to think he may not be fully healed? Am I just being paranoid?

  • Don’t be surprised to see Arkansas 4* QB signee Rafe Peavey win the starting job for the Hogs. Peavey is an outstanding talent, and will have a head start since he is an early enrollee. Junior to-be Brandon Allen will have his hands full trying to keep his job, fending off Peavey, as well as his little brother Austin Allen, and fellow redshirt freshman Damon Mitchell. All of them could win the job.
    I think with added talent at receiver, Alex Collins and Jonathon Willaims toting the rock at RB, and three returning starters on what will be a HUGE O-Line, B. Allen might be able to show he is a better QB than what people think. But don’t over look Peavey. He’s a QB stud!

    • Sounds like beliema is headed in the right direction. And that QB competition will be great for y’all. Without a doubt will make all of the quarterbacks that much better.

      • I agree West10jones. Having some actual receiving threats other than TE Hunter Henry will really help too.

        One other freshman that I should absolutely mention, is DT Bijhon Jackson! Jackson is likely to start for the Hogs. This 4* US Army All-American has the size (6’2″ 330), strength (bench presses around 450 lbs), and motor to really cause some havoc in opposing backfields.
        My guess is that he will make the SEC All-Freshman Team, and will be and All-SEC player before he leaves Fayetteville.

  • I’m hoping Andy Bauer turns out to be another Evan Boehm, cause he was certainly an impact freshman, being the only o lineman to start every game his freshman year

  • #1 pass rusher and DE in the state of Georgia should make an impact. Especially with UGA’s defensive line.

    • Lorenzo Carter should make an impact, but I also think Jordan Jenkins and Leonard Floyd are due for big years. Carter has a big future, but I just don’t see him getting enough PT to make him a major contributor.

    • From the looks of things y’all are going to have a nasty d this year. 10 starters returning and then the hire of Pruitt? Yikes

      • We’ll see? Our 2011 #1 recruiting team in the country. The ‘dream team’ needs to show-up this year. I agree about Pruitt. Granthams D just never could stop people when they REALLY needed a stop. Could have beaten Ala in the SECC with a critical stop here or there. Just couldn’t get it done. Glad he’s gone. Still think Carter is gonna see some time. As a UGA fan the motto is don’t get too high. That way the fall doesn’t hurt som much.

  • Speedy Noil, ATH, A&M will be a difference maker. He is regarded as the top ATH/WR by several recruiting websites and he will be one member of one of the most elite WR corps ever assembled in college football.

  • Hey Jon,
    Curious as to why DaShawn Hand didn’t make your cut, particularly given the departure of Pagan & Stinson……..thoughts ???

    • Hand is certainly physically ready enough, but freshmen usually don’t make an impact on Alabama’s defense. I also think Hand is athletic enough to play some linebacker, too, kinda like a bigger Dont’a Hightower.

  • Rod Taylor IS NOT an early enrollee at Ole Miss. Their only early enrollees from high school were CJ Hampton and Kendrick Doss.

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