SEC’s top 25 players of 2013: No. 5 Alabama’s TJ Yeldon

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. 5 TJ Yeldon, RB, Alabama (SO)

2012 stats: 175 carries for 1,108 yards and 12 TDs
2013 projected: 220 carries for 1,415 yards and 16 TDs

Why he’s worthy: TJ Yeldon is the second best running back in college football, behind only Georgia’s Todd Gurley. And his 2013 production largely depends on who the Tide’s backup running back will be and just how good he becomes.

But, no doubt, Yeldon will be the man toting the rock the most in ‘13.

The rather lanky and ultra-talented Yeldon is the total package at running back. Six-foot two, 225 pounds, Yeldon is taller than predecessors Mark Ingram, Trent Richardson and Eddie Lacy. And he has more talent than all of them.

Yeldon burst onto the scene for the Tide, becoming arguably their biggest player down the stretch, along with fellow freshman Amari Cooper. He recorded five 100-yard rushing games against Michigan, Missouri, Tennessee, Georgia and Notre Dame, becoming the fifth-highest rushing yard recorder in the SEC as a freshman.

But now with Eddie Lacy gone, Yeldon steps to the forefront of the Tide’s depth chart and will prove he’s capable of carrying the load for the Tide’s stacked house roster.

The only thing slowing down Yeldon’s production would be a talented and worthy backup who Nick Saban feels confident enough to share carries with Yeldon.

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: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports