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.
No. 31 – Xavier Dampeer, Auburn
HOMETOWN: Mendenhall (Miss.)
RANK: Three-star prospect; No. 2 ranked JUCO center in nation
THE SKINNY: Dampeer is originally from Mississippi, and he played his junior college football at Copiah-Lincoln in his home state. He was a NJCAA all-region and all-star player and was named a PrepStar JUCO All-American. He is already enrolled at Auburn. Dampeer is a big old teddy bear of a guy who the Auburn fans are going to instantly love once he gets into the lineup.
WHERE HE’LL MAKE AN IMPACT: No doubt about it, he could be a critical backup at center immediately (behind Reese Dismukes), and he can also play guard. Look for him on special teams, too.
DAMPEER TELLS SATURDAY DOWN SOUTH: “I really feel like I was born to do this. I really can’t focus on anything but education and football. All I do is work hard so I can make sure that my mama is good hopefully by these next two years. I think Auburn is doing a great job. What excites me about Coach Malzahn is his ability to be explosive with his play calling and his great decision making in the heat of the battle.”
COACH SAYS: “He’s going to provide some depth up front, especially at the center position. He’s just a big, strong guy that we feel like can help us.” — Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn
Editor’s note: Saturday Down South’s references to ratings follow the 247Sports.com composite rankings for high school prospects.
- 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