SDS will rank the SEC’s potential instant impact freshmen–using the month of March–by ranking them No. 31 down to No. 1. This gives our readers an idea of which 2014 signees we believe will step up in the fall and possibly contribute in a big way. Junior college prospects are always players to keep an eye on, obviously, as they’ve already played college ball … and high school prospects at certain positions sometimes flourish early.
Here’s a look at who we think has the ability to step into a good situation and be in for key snaps, and be sure and check out all the impact newcomers at the bottom.
No. 29 – Abu Lamin, South Carolina
HOMETOWN: Fayetteville (N.C.)
RANK: Four-star prospect; No. 16 overall JUCO player in America.
THE SKINNY: Lamin played his high school football in North Carolina, but actually signed with the Gamecocks out of Fort Scott Community College in Kansas. He inked in December so he could be on campus by January, so he’ll be a part of the spring drills starting this week. In one season with Fort Scott, he had 34 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss.
WHERE HE’LL MAKE AN IMPACT: With Kelcy Quarles gone, Lamin may step in immediately at defensive tackle. He also has three years of eligibility left because he actually redshirted his first year of junior college, so that is also an advantage. Look for him to battle for a starting position.
LAMIN TELLS SATURDAY DOWN SOUTH: “They (South Carolina) have just got players for every position and they look like pretty talented guys and what I noticed about South Carolina the past couple of years is they have just been competing. They been up in the rankings I haven’t ever seen South Carolina this high up on a pedestal.”
COACH SAYS: ““We lost three starting defensive linemen — Jadeveon Clowney, Chaz Sutton, Kelcy Quarles. We’ve signed seven defensive linemen. … We needed to replace those players.” — South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier
Editor’s note: Saturday Down South’s references to ratings follow the 247Sports.com composite rankings for high school prospects.
Other impact newcomers:
- No. 1 Leonard Fournette, LSU
- No. 2 Myles Garrett, Texas A&M
- No. 3 Dontavius Blair, Tennessee
- No. 4 D’Haquille Williams, Auburn
- No. 5 Speedy Noil, Texas A&M
- No. 6 Jalen Tabor, Florida
- No. 7 Malachi Dupre, LSU
- No. 8 Bijhon Jackson, Arkansas
- No. 9 C.J. Hampton, Ole Miss
- No. 10 Tony Brown, Alabama
- No. 11 Marlon Humphrey, Alabama
- No. 12 Lorenzo Carter, Georgia
- No. 13 Jalen Hurd, Tennessee
- No. 14 DaVonte Lambert, Auburn
- No. 15 Kyle Allen, Texas A&M
- No. 16 Roc Thomas, Auburn
- No. 17 Aeris Williams, Mississippi State
- No. 18 Avery Gennessy, Texas A&M
- No. 19 Thaddeus Snodgrass, Kentucky
- No. 20 Fahn Cooper, Ole Miss
- No. 21 Nifae Lealao, Vandy
- No. 22 Rod Taylor, Ole Miss
- No. 23 Drew Barker, Kentucky
- No. 24 Da’Shawn Hand, Alabama
- No. 25 Jermaine Eluemunor, Texas A&M
- No. 26 Cory Johnson, Kentucky
- No. 27 JoJo Robinson, Arkansas
- No. 28 Nate Brown, Mizzou
- No. 29 Abu Lamin, South Carolina
- No. 30 Trey Quinn, LSU
- No. 31 Xavier Dampeer, Auburn