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.
72. Vadal Alexander, Jr., OL, LSU
There might not be a left tackle-guard combination in the country more dominate than LSU’s La’el Collins and Alexander this season, multi-year starters who will be on the short list both nationally and within the SEC during awards season. Thrust into action as a true freshman in 2012 after an injury at right tackle, Alexander’s yet to relinquish his starting role along the Tigers’ offensive front having trotted on the field for a team-leading 22 straight starts.
In his last outing, Alexander notched a career-best 13 knockdowns in 71 offensive snaps against Iowa in the 2013 Outback Bowl, abusing Hawkeye defensive linemen with his 6-foot-6, 350-pound frame and long arms. The preseason buzz surrounding Georgia and Alabama’s backfields is warranted, but LSU has a chance to lead the SEC in rushing behind its reliable stable of linemen. Alexander leads the charge in that regard, poised for a special campaign.
2013 statistics: Played a team-high 810 snaps and helped LSU manage the second-most rushing touchdowns in the SEC behind league champ Auburn.
2014 projection: Will help LSU to a Top 5 rushing offense in the SEC with the freshman addition of Leonard Fournette
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