9 SEC players included in Sporting News’ Top 25 players of 2013


Sporting News released its preseason top 25 players for 2013.

Nine SEC players made the top 25. Five players were ranked in the top 10. It’s reload or get out of the way.

You can view the full rankings here, but below are the SEC players added with a snippet:

1. Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M

Skinny: Johnny Football is the most electric offensive player in the league, but, ironically, even I doubt he’s the best quarterback in the league. Nonetheless, Manziel owning the No. 1 player overall isn’t all that surprising. Still, some say he’s due for a letdown.

3. Todd Gurley, Georgia

Skinny: Todd Gurley bullies teams, and no one in college football runs between the tackles as well as Gurley, much less notch yards after contact. Gurley is known for his physical beast mode, but don’t underestimate this guy’s speed.

4. Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina

Skinny: The most surprising pick on the entire top 25 is Jadeveon Clowney at No. 4. Not only do I think he’s the best player in college football, he could be the best pure, raw and explosive player with God-given talent who I see in my lifetime. How is he at No. 4 again?

9. AJ McCarron, Alabama

Skinny: AJ McCarron will go down as one of the most underrated quarterbacks of his era, even if he wins three in a row. Most are quick to discredit him, saying his team is the reason for his success. Breaking: it does take an entire to win a championship, but it takes a championship-level leader to orchestrate it.

10. TJ Yeldon, Alabama

Skinny: Gurley and TJ Yeldon are the two best running backs in college football, bar none. Yeldon is the total package and looks more fluid running the ball than Gurley, but I’d still have Gurley ranked ahead. Yeldon is absolutely a top 10-caliber player.

15. Jake Matthews, Texas A&M

Skinny: Jake Matthews is a boss at tackle, and the Aggies’ O-line will once again get under-inked because of the hyped Manziel. Matthews could give the Aggies back-to-back Outland Trophy winners at left tackle.

17. Aaron Murray, Georgia

Skinny: I have no problem ranking Aaron Murray lower than AJ McCarron. Murray’s 10,901 passing yards and 95 touchdowns are impressive, but they take a back seat to championships. Still, you can rank Johnny Manziel, AJ McCarron and Murray in whatever order you want and justify it.

19. Loucheiz Purifoy, Florida

Skinny: Sporting News’ blip about Loucheiz Purifoy says he’s the best pure cover corner. I’m not sure he’s even the best pure cover corner on the Gators’ defense, but he’s the most explosive athlete Florida has. He’ll play corner, receiver and special teams throughout 2013. He’s a very worthy player to include on the list.

21. CJ Mosley, Alabama

Skinny: CJ Mosley is the best linebacker in the country, but he’s not even the best linebacker on their countdown. What makes Mosley so good is his ability to cover receivers and tight ends in the open field. He’s made five INTs and returned three of them for touchdowns in his three-year career.

Photo Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE



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  • That list was horrible. I think they just made it to get page hits and controversy.

  • I agree Clowney has to be #1…I’m not sure there’s a player in the nation who has more of an impact on the game.
    Shocker: Find it hard to follow you that McCarron is “underrated” when he is constantly listed above the only SEC QB to ever throw for 3k yard in each of his first 3 seasons and is a virtual lock to own every passing record after this season. but I will say AJ did an awesome job handing the ball off for the entire half in the SECCG. Props!

    • I agree about Clowney, JP. And yes, the stats would favor Murray over McCarron. And I’ll leave it that. It’s hard to remember another QB at Bama that has been as comfortable throwing the deep ball as McCarron though. And that could be attributed to a number of things – O-line, better WR’s, etc. But Alabama has had some very average QBs in my lifetime, even though some were great leaders. Croyle had a very strong arm, but maybe didn’t have the same level of athletic receivers. But other than that, we’ve had QBs that struggled throwing down field – Watts, Kitchens, Barker, Zow, McElroy, Phillips, Pennigton (brother of Chad, who had the awful Music City Bowl against Minnesota in the Barber III/Maroney days). McCarron might be the best QB Bama has had since the Bryant days – Stabler, Namath, Rutledge, and before them, Bart Starr. This is in no way an argument over Murray or AJ. But it’s been nice to finally have a reliable and confident leader under center.

      • Yeah there’s no doubt that McCarron can hold his own…just not so sure that makes him “underrated” as the article states. for them to say he’s the 9th best player in the entire country is overrating him if anything. In fact, I would say that there are at least 5-6 players on Alabama’s team that are better and will undoubtedly be drafted in front of him. I just don’t think there’s a single D Coordinator that says ” first priority is stopping McCarron”