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 all the impact newcomers at the bottom.
No. 28 – Nate Brown, Missouri
HOMETOWN: Suwanee (Ga.)
RANK: Four-star prospect; No. 302 overall player in America.
THE SKINNY: Amazingly, Brown was somewhat overlooked prior to his commitment to Mizzou during the fall–even with his stellar frame for the position. The Georgia native immediately started getting noticed after his commitment to an SEC school, and several teams–namely Georgia and South Carolina–tried to steal him away from the Tigers, but he didn’t waver and his letter of intent was the first one in on national signing day. He caught 61 passes for 1,041 yards and 21 touchdowns as a prep senior.
WHERE HE’LL MAKE AN IMPACT: With starting receivers Marcus Lucas and L’Damian Washington (108 combined receptions last year) gone to graduation, Brown is in a position to earn some early playing time. He’s talented enough to be a deep-ball threat or go over the middle, so that versatility will fit Mizzou’s offense well.
BROWN TELLS SATURDAY DOWN SOUTH: “I personally don’t try to pay too much attention to that star system and the websites and all that, I try to focus on the game and getting myself better. I feel like I’ve been underrated all along. Last year (2012). I had an injury that set me back but I played through it, and that may have affected my ranking some. I worked my tail off in the offseason. I just hope it brings more attention to more recruits that are on board with Mizzou. I’ve watched film of the other (Mizzou) guys, and at the end of the day, they’re just as good. The stars and stuff don’t matter.”
COACH SAYS: “If you look at our receiving corps, we were losing some high level players (this year) and some more players next year.” — Mizzou head coach Gary Pinkel
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