It doesn’t come as a big surprise that some of the best talent in the country plays in the SEC. Whether 5-star or 3-star, in order to play in this conference you first must possess the talent to compete against the best in the country.

That’s no more evident than the long list of SEC players who have outperformed their recruiting ranking. Here are 10 such SEC players from the 2013 recruiting class, as ranked by, who have done just that and created a bar for the 2017 class to clear.

1. DE Charles Harris, Missouri, 2-star: The junior has opted to enter the 2017 NFL Draft and is being projected as a first-round pick. The Tigers plucked a diamond in the rough, recruiting Harris out of Lincoln College Prep in Kansas City, Mo. Considered undersized at 6-4, 220, Harris has proven his critics wrong.

2. WR Pharoh Cooper, South Carolina, 3-star: A receiver for the Los Angeles Rams, Cooper was not highly touted coming out of high school in North Carolina. But the 5-11, 208-pounder quickly worked his way into the spotlight at South Carolina and in his final two seasons with the Gamecocks (2014-14) was the second-leading receiver in the SEC in average yards per game during both seasons.

3. RB Peyton Barber, Auburn, 3-star: Now with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Barber proved that a 5-11, 225-pound running back could make it in the NFL. Barber rushed for 1,016 yards and 13 touchdowns for the Tigers in 2015, his final season at Auburn. He was the No. 30 running back in his class.

4. QB Nick Marshall, Auburn, 3-star: The JUCO transfer took the Auburn program by storm. In two seasons with the Tigers, Marshall threw for 4,508 yards and 34 touchdowns while rushing for another 1,866 yards and 23 touchdowns. He led the Tigers to the 2013 National Championship Game and is currently with the NFL New York Jets; playing cornerback, a position he played at Georgia in 2011 before transferring to junior college.

5. RB Cameron Artis-Payne, Auburn, 3-star: Now with the Carolina Panthers, Artis-Payne transferred to Auburn and led the SEC in rushing for 2013, with 1,608 yards; averaging a conference-best 123.69 yards per game. He scored 13 rushing touchdowns for the Tigers before taking his talents to the professional level.

6. ILB Jarrad Davis, Florida, 3-star: Although a badly sprained ankle kept him out of a few games this season and prevented the 6-2, 240-pounder from racking up big numbers, Davis played well enough to draw the attention of NFL scouts. The senior is projected to be one of three Florida players selected in the first round of this year’s draft. He was the No. 494-ranked player overall in the 2013 class.

Oct 15, 2016; Gainesville, FL, USA; Florida Gators linebacker Jarrad Davis (40) against the Missouri Tigers during the first quarter at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

7. K Daniel Carlson, Auburn, 3-star: After leading the SEC in scoring this past season, with 134 points, and a league-best 28 successful field goal attempts, Carlson was projected as the top kicker in the nation. But the 6-3, 218-pound junior opted to remain at Auburn for his senior season and will be among the Tigers’ key weapons for the 2017 campaign.

8. CB Cameron Sutton, Tennessee, 3-star: Though he did get offers from six SEC schools, Sutton still was ranked No. 577 overall coming out of high school. But the undersized 5-11, 186-pounder worked into a starting role as a freshman with the Vols and now, having completed his four years with the program, awaits this year’s NFL Draft in which he is projected as a second-round pick.

9. TE Evan Engram, Ole Miss, 3-star: Stepping into the spotlight this season, the senior ranked second in the SEC averaging 84.2 yards per game as the Rebels’ go-to receiver. In 11 games he piled up 926 receiving yards and eight touchdowns on 65 pass receptions. In a class of some very talented tight ends, Engram is among them and is projected to be a third-round pick in this year’s NFL Draft. It’s a remarkable rise for the No. 888 player in the 2013 class.

10. RB Ralph Webb, Vanderbilt, 3-star: An integral part of Vanderbilt’s steady improvement, Webb has had an impact since arriving. A 1,000-yard rusher in his last two seasons, Webb returns to the Commodores for his senior year having already accumulated a school-record 3,342 yards rushing and 22 touchdowns. He was the No. 1,226 player and No. 77 running back in the 2013 class.

Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports