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. 11 –Marlon Humphrey, Alabama, DB
HOMETOWN: Birmingham (Ala.)
RANK: Five-star prospect; No. 12 overall prospect in America.
THE SKINNY: Humphrey is the son of accomplished Alabama running back Bobby Humphrey, who rushed for more than 3,000 yards and 33 TDs for the Crimson Tide in the mid 1980s and then went on to the NFL. The younger Humphrey has elite-level speed and has good height at the cornerback position. There was little doubt he’d end up with the ‘Tide, as he resides in state and has the blood lines.
WHERE HE’LL MAKE AN IMPACT: There were times when the Alabama secondary struggled (think Texas A&M) and that alone should give Humphrey and fellow speedster Tony Brown a chance to edge in for some serious playing time at cornerback. These were two of the best available in the nation.
HUMPHREY SAYS: “(Alabama is) a place where I can enjoy life, play football, get a good education, be around good people that can make me a better guy and not just a better football player. All of those things.”
COACH SAYS: “We’re anxious to help them (Humphrey and Tony Brown) develop. .. both guys will be assets.” — Alabama coach Nick Saban
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