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. 15 – Kyle Allen, Texas A&M, QB
HOMETOWN: Scottsdale (Ariz.)
RANK: Five-star prospect; No. 10 overall prospect in America.
THE SKINNY: Allen, rated the No. 1 quarterback in the nation this past season, threw for 2,535 yards and 29 touchdowns as a senior, and finished with more than 8,000 passing yards and 86 TDs in a three year career at Desert Mountain High School in Arizona. He impressed at the U.S. Army All-American Game, clearly one of the best postseason performances by a quarterback in games that rarely make QBs look good. He is on campus already.
WHERE HE’LL MAKE AN IMPACT: Somebody has to replace Johnny Manziel, and this might be the guy who does it–though he’s locked in a spring football battle with Matt Joeckel to get the starting position. That’s why we put Allen in the middle of the pack, because with QBs you never know. He could redshirt, but he could also start and be a freshman all-american … it all rides on who does what in the preseason. But if Allen gets a chance to play early, expect fireworks.
ALLEN SAYS: “I ended up with Texas A&M by far. It met the criteria of what I wanted. I was really excited about it.”
COACH SAYS: “This is a class that I think addresses our needs across the board. We have a plan of how we want to do things and we lost some very talented players offensively this year and we’ve replaced those.” — Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin
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