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. 6 – Jalen Tabor, Florida, DB
HOMETOWN: Washington (D.C.)
RANK: Five-star prospect; No. 14 overall prospect in America.
THE SKINNY: Tabor was one of the big recruiting surprises for the Gators. He announced a “top two” around New Years Day, and Florida wasn’t one of them–it was Arizona and Alabama. He chose Arizona on national television, then one week later he switched over to Florida. He is the best recruit in the Gators’ stacked class.
WHERE HE’LL MAKE AN IMPACT: There is no question Tabor will play this fall, it’s really just a matter of how much–and honestly it looks very good that he’ll start from day one. He’s already on campus battling for the position.
TABOR SAYS: “They really only have one corner coming back. You need two corners to play football so I would have a good opportunity to come in and play. I mean they aren’t giving it to me, I’d have to work for it.”
COACH SAYS: “Jalen Tabor, the 6’1, 190‑pound corner, that’s what they’re supposed to look like. He’s got really good movement skills, and a guy that watching him move around has been exciting.” — Florida coach Will Muschamp
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