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 the SEC countdown of impact newcomers at the bottom.
No. 17 – Aeris Williams, Mississippi State, RB
HOMETOWN: West Point (Miss.)
RANK: Four-star prospect; No. 254 overall prospect in America.
THE SKINNY: Williams was crowned Mr. Football in Mississippi, not too shabby for a talent-rich state. Last fall, he continually produced 250-yard nights for his high school team and finished his senior season with 2,209 yards and 30 TDs and his career saw nearly 5,000 total yards and more than 70 touchdowns. This kid can move the ball and he was easily one of the Bulldogs’ best gets.
WHERE HE’LL MAKE AN IMPACT: He’s a big, powerful, speedy back so you have to think he’ll get some early playing time for the Bulldogs. He also has proven in high school that he can catch the ball out of the backfield, which is key here.
WILLIAMS SAYS: “I just feel at home when I go there. They have everything that I am looking for. I am excited about going there and my family is really happy that I am going there. That’s one of the best things about it. My family is real excited about everything.”
COACH SAYS: “He carried the load for his team. At 6-foot-1, 200 pounds, he’s a load at running back. He’ll put on some size and strength when he gets here. With the speed, athleticism and game-breaking ability that he has, I think he’s going to be a pretty special player.” — Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen
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