SDS talent evaluators Jon Cooper and Brad Crawford spent several months breaking down last year’s highlights, incoming talent and projected 2014 impact following spring practice to compile a list of the SEC’s Top 100 players heading into fall. Athletes were selected by position then ranked overall counting down to No. 1.

Stick with SDS throughout summer and get in on the action using the hashtag #SDSTop100 as we unveil a new player daily leading up to opening night on Aug. 28.

41. Alex Collins, Soph., RB, Arkansas

The SEC’s reigning Freshman of the Year is the second backfield stud at Bret Bielema’s disposal this season and is a recent nominee on the Maxwell Award watch list along with teammate Jonathan Williams. A highly-decorated tailback out of the Sunshine State who spurned Miami on decision day much to his mother’s chagrin, Collins became the second Razorback freshman since Darren McFadden to rush for 1,000 yards last fall.

RELATED: Collins has big future at Arkansas

Collins was Bielema’s ninth 1,000-yard rusher as a coach, but scored considerably less touchdowns than the likes of Wisconsin’s Montee Ball, P.J. Hill and John Clay due in large part to the Razorbacks’ failures in the red zone. He has tremendous speed and shake, but sharing the workload with Williams should trim carries and overall production.

Rumors of Collins being unhappy in Fayetteville surfaced this spring after a one-week suspension during workouts, but coaches have deflected the notion. If he puts up another 1,000-yard campaign on a nine-loss team however, a transfer could be inevitable once winning moves to the top of Collins’ priority list. He’ll also have to be willing to sit out a season after transferring which could affect a likely decision to enter the 2016 NFL Draft as an early entrant.

2013 statistics: 190 carries, 1,026 yards, 4 TD
2014 projection: 174 carries, 918 yards, 6 TD