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. 13 – Jalen Hurd, Tennessee, RB/ATH
HOMETOWN: Hendersonville (Tenn.)
RANK: Five-star prospect; No. 40 overall prospect in America.
THE SKINNY: Hurd missed his senior season due to injury, but as a junior he was one of the top rushers in the nation with 3,347 yards and 43 touchdowns–with 1,384 yards and 17 TDs of it coming in the postseason. He is one of the prized recruits of this 2014 signing class.
WHERE HE’LL MAKE AN IMPACT: Hurd is one of the 14 players who enrolled early in Knoxville, so he’s obviously already on the field for spring drills. Just last week, he garnered MVP honors for one of the days of practice.
HURD SAYS: “I really wanted to go to UT. (In 2012) they weren’t in such a good position for me to go there, but with Coach Jones and the new staff, I think it’s the best place for me to go”.
COACH SAYS: “He is working himself back into football shape and there is a difference. He hasn’t played football in a year with recovering from the surgery so each day of practice I see him getting better and better. I see the improvement coming but I also see the confidence getting in him as well. He understands what he needs to work on.” — Tennessee coach Butch Jones
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