SDS will rank the SEC’s potential instant impact newcomers–using the month of March–by ranking them No. 31 down to No. 1. Today we look at Tennessee’s Dontavius Blair. 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. 3 – Dontavius Blair, Tennessee, OL
HOMETOWN: Anniston (Ala.)
RANK: Four-star prospect; No. 8 overall JUCO prospect in America.
THE SKINNY: Blair didn’t attract a ton of top-level college interest coming out of high school in Anniston (Ala.), but he certainly made a name for himself at Garden City Community College in Kansas. He had Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Auburn, Florida State–you name it, he had them drooling over his potential at left tackle.
WHERE HE’LL MAKE AN IMPACT: Blair graduated early and was on Tennessee’s campus by early January. He seems primed to slide right into the all-important starting left tackle spot, and it seems like if he develops as planned, he has a nice NFL career ahead of him.
BLAIR TELLS SATURDAY DOWN SOUTH: “Putting in the time with someone you really want is always the case in recruiting, and that’s something coach (Butch) Jones is really good at. I’m thanking the man upstairs for all the blessings he gave and is stilling giving me. And to all the schools that gave me a chance, I just want to thank you all for the opportunity.”
TEAMMATE SAYS: “(Blair) is a big, athletic guy. He has been doing pretty good job on the field mentally. He still has a lot of work to do. He is pretty raw. But he is a great worker, he brings it every day and he is all in for us. Depending on how bad he wants it, he will be a great asset for us.” — Tennessee center Mack Crowder
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