SEC’s top 25 players of 2013: No. 13 Alabama’s Adrian Hubbard

SDS is continually counting down the top 25 players in the SEC for 2013, and we’re not stopping until we get to No. 1. I know you’ll agree with every single one…

No. 13: Adrian Hubbard, OLB, Alabama (JR)

2012 stats: 41 tackles, 11 TFL, 7 sacks
2013 Projected stats: 50 tackles, 17 TFL, 12 sacks

Why he’s worthy: Another top 15 Alabama defensive player? The Tide are hoarding defensive talent unlike any team in recent memory.

Alabama’s 6-6, 260-pound defensive freak returns for another epic season in the SEC. Like Georgia’s Jordan Jenkins, outside linebacker Adrian Hubbard could make the biggest jump in the league. Talk about a nasty linebacking corps – Alabama features three as good or better than any in the SEC. Hubbard combines with CJ Mosley and Trey Depriest to make a nasty, hit-you-in-the-mouth trio ready to rock for a three-peat.

Seven sacks and 11 tackles for loss is a strong year, but Hubbard has so much more in the tank. He completely flew under the radar in 2012, with many questioning why – as a draft eligible sophomore – NFL teams would even be interested. After all, those aren’t Jarvis Jones-type numbers, but Hubbard is more physically gifted and could have a higher ceiling than a player like Jones.

Specifically speaking about Hubbard’s NFL prospects, Jadeveon Clowney will be the top pass rusher and the No. 1 overall prospect on the board. But Hubbard could emerge as that next pass rusher selected in the first round. He’s that good.

He’s a tweener-type player for Saban. He can play with his hand up or down, but he’s much more potent and explosive with his hand down.

Hubbard isn’t a finished product yet. Far from it. But if he continues to develop at the rate he’s going, along with developing on the mental side and approach, he could become the complete linebacker in 2013.

The Countdown:

1.  Biggest freak in college football
2.  Johnny what’s his name?
3.  Best running back in college football
4.  The biggest winner in the rankings
5.  College football’s No. 2 overall running back
6.  A record-setting QB
7.  The Tide’s defensive glue
8.  The best offensive tackle in college football?
9.  Alabama’s O-line anchor
10. Texas A&M’s versatile left tackle
11. The biggest deep threat in the country?
12. Florida’s dancing defender
13. One LB who should explode in 2013
14. Jarvis Jones who?
15. The SEC East’s top receiver
16. Florida’s Honey Badger
17. A receiver who doesn’t drop passes…ever
18. LSU’s freak
19. A Rebel who knows he’s good
20. Funny name; not a funny game
21. Arkansas’ O-line anchor
22. A receiving freak
23. An underrated Tennessee head smasher
24. LSU’s defensive quarterback
25. An unheralded Hog

Photo Credit: Nelson Chenault-US PRESSWIRE