1 senior we'll miss from every SEC team
Some of these upperclassmen were key cogs in their recruiting class — what remains of it in some cases — while others became the all-time best player at their position for their program. What they all have in common is their coaches, teammates and fans won’t soon forget their contributions.
Here is a senior each SEC will miss when he leaves after bowl season:
Alabama: Despite the season-ending leg injury against Texas A&M, Eddie Jackson was arguably the top safety in the country, one of the top punt returners in the country and one of Alabama’s team leaders. Jackson finished last year tied for seventh in the nation with six interceptions, including two returned for touchdowns. A third-team All-American last year, he gave up an early exit to the NFL to have another great season. In Week 3, he took over as the Tide’s main punt returner and soon led the country in punt return average and had two punt return touchdowns.
Arkansas: The Razorbacks’ leading receiver the last two seasons, Drew Morgan had 61 catches this season for 664 yards and three touchdowns. Morgan was consistent, catching at least five passes in seven games this year.
Auburn: Montravius Adams not only took some attention away from Carl Lawson on the defensive line, he had flashes that showed first-round talent as he looks to be an underrated talent entering the NFL Draft. Against LSU, Arkansas and Georgia he had at least two tackles for a loss and totaled 4.5 sacks.
Florida: If he didn’t miss three games, linebacker Jarrad Davis could have approached 100 tackles. Before the Butkus Award finalist suffered an ankle injury, he was Florida’s leading tackler with 56 tackles, six tackles for a loss, two sacks, four pass breakups and five quarterback hurries.
Georgia: For all the preseason questions about the juggling of the offensive line, center Brandon Kublanow was among the most settled aspects of a unit that drew praise by season’s end. In particular, the line rose to the occasion in the second half of the Auburn win, creating lanes for the running backs and not allowing a sack.
Kentucky: Safety Marcus McWilson was one of the core players early in the Mark Stoops era to help build a foundation for the new coach. His interception return for a touchdown against Mississippi State this season was instrumental in the narrow victory. He was also sixth on the team with 59 tackles.
LSU: Linebacker Kendell Beckwith has been among the top two tacklers for the Tigers the last two seasons, and he’s a Butkus Award finalist this season. Though he won’t play in the Citrus Bowl and missed most of the Florida game and all of the Texas A&M game, he racked up 91 tackles highlighted by 16 against Alabama.
Mississippi State: Fred Ross led the team with with 68 receptions, nearly twice as many as his closest teammate, and led the SEC with 12 touchdowns catches. He was held without a score in only three games. He also racked up several school records, including all-time receptions, receiving yards and 100-yard games.
Missouri: Cornerback Aarion Penton led the Tigers with five interceptions, including one for a touchdown. He also had 12 pass breakups and one quarterback hurry, on a blitz against Arkansas, that led to an interception and triggered a comeback.
Ole Miss: Tight end Evan Engram quickly became one of the best receivers in the SEC regardless of position as he led the Rebels with 65 catches for 926 yards and eight touchdowns. He had four games of at least 102 receiving yards and two more with 95.
South Carolina: Linebacker T.J. Holloman was tied for the team lead with three interceptions and third in tackles with 64. He kept the defense together through the loss of top returning tackler Skai Moore and injuries and ejections in the secondary. By late in the year, the Gamecocks among the best in the nation in red-zone defense.
Tennessee: Quarterback Joshua Dobbs became as synonymous with a program as any player could be, almost as much for his major (aerospace engineering) and off-the-field activities as his dual threat talent. He finished fourth in the SEC in passing, and led the league with 26 TDs. Six times this season, he had at least three TDs in a game.
Texas A&M: Given the offseason drama at quarterback, Trevor Knight calmed the waves and finished in the top five in passing in the SEC. Knight finished the season with a 52 percent completion rate, 2,122 passing yards, 16 TDs and six interceptions.
Vanderbilt: Defensive lineman Adam Butler was the Commodores’ best pass rusher along the line with a team-high four sacks along with 7.5 tackles for a loss. Butler played tackle and end, and all of his sacks and six of his tackles for loss came against SEC competition. He had two sacks against Florida and 1.5 against Tennessee.