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. 20 – Fahn Cooper, Ole Miss, OL
HOMETOWN: Crystal Lake (Ill.)
RANK: Three-star prospect; No. 28 JUCO prospect in America.
THE SKINNY: Cooper began his college career at Bowling Green but told Saturday Down South that he wondered if he could accomplish more after playing extensively against Oklahoma in a game as a true freshman–and he held his own. That planted the seed that maybe he might want to explore the next level, so he went the JUCO route for a year and here he is in the SEC.
WHERE HE’LL MAKE AN IMPACT: There’s a very good chance he could be starting this fall, but time will tell. One thing for sure, this athletic lineman will be in contention for a starting spot.
COOPER TELLS SDS: “The first thing that impressed me was that all the guys on the team are tight with each other. It’s one thing to hear it, but I could see it. We were all down there for just one weekend, and the next day or night we felt we’d all come in together already. They could relate to me. Especially with Robert Nkemdiche, who also has a Nigerian background. I liked being around those guys.”
COACH SAYS: “We need someone to replace Pierece Burton at right tackle who has some maturity and some experience on this level. We believe Fahn can come in and compete for that spot immediately. He and I are disappointed he won’t be here in spring, but we will welcome his length, athleticism and the attitude he plays with when he gets here in the summer..” — Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze
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