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. 8 – Bijhon Jackson, Arkansas, DT
HOMETOWN: El Dorado (Ark.)
RANK: Four-star prospect; No. 81 overall prospect in America.
THE SKINNY: The best player in Arkansas–period–this ultra quick tackle was coveted by all of the powers that be in the SEC West, but he stayed close to home and Bret Bielema couldn’t be happier. He can plug up a hole in a heartbeat and keep anything from getting past him.
WHERE HE’LL MAKE AN IMPACT: With a huge frame and his reputation for being one of the most destructive players coming out of Arkansas this year, one can bet he will see early playing time. Bank on it. He would have played early anywhere.
JACKSON SAYS: “Coach (Bret) Bielema is a defensive coach. He played defensive lineman and I think I can learn a lot from him.”
COACH SAYS: “He’s the first player that I offered when I came to Arkansas … He’s very big and very powerful, but he’s also very fast, very sudden. You see him make a play in the A-gap and makes the running back know that he’s there. That’s 330 pounds of love coming down on top of him … The best thing about Bijhon is he probably helped me understand Arkansas more than anybody else.” — Arkansas coach Bret Bielema
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