5 players worth watching in Saturday's spring games
Whether coaches have labeled them actual spring games or final glorified practices, Saturday’s collection of SEC scrimmages, at least for some teams, is the last real taste of football we’ll get before fall.
Here are five players to keep an eye one this weekend when you’re trying to access SEC Network+ for online live feeds:
5. James White, Texas A&M, RB: Thanks to ongoing renovations at Kyle Field, Aggies fans hoping for a traditional Maroon and White game will be sadly disappointed Saturday afternoon in College Station. Texas A&M will still scrimmage though and like all teams, is hoping to stay injury-free with a relatively light day of work. Coach Kevin Sumlin has promised a more physical approach offensively, starting with his three-headed monster in the backfield at tailback. White, a sophomore, is competing with two seniors (Tra Carson and Brandon Williams) for carries, so you know his competitive juices will be flowing this weekend.
4. Laquon Treadwell, Ole Miss, WR: He’ll be extremely limited, sure, but what a blessing it’ll be to see No. 1 trot back onto the field for the Rebels after a catastrophic ankle injury suffered last season against Auburn sidelined him for the final third of the season. One of the SEC’s top returning targets was sprinting only a few months later and his battle back has been even faster than the coaching staff had hoped. When healthy, Treadwell’s as good — if not better — than any player at his position in college football. Let’s hope Hugh Freeze finds a way to get Treadwell out there with the first-team Saturday and gives him a reception without contact.
3. Lorenzo Carter, Georgia, OLB/DE: Fueled by an extreme motor and athleticism approaching Jadeveon Clowney’s skill set, this budding superstar on the Bulldogs defense added bulk during the offseason, trimmed a tenth of a second off his 40 and appears ready to pounce on opposing quarterbacks as a confident sophomore. He relied on instincts moreso than technique last fall and still managed seven tackles-for-loss and 4.5 sacks. You may not seen him go full speed past the first series in Athens Saturday, but Carter will make something happen while he’s on the field.
2. Connor Mitch, South Carolina, QB: The hot, Carolina sun spotlight will center on this redshirt sophomore Saturday afternoon, a former four-star signee who has every opportunity to win the quarterback job and not let it go for the Gamecocks. Steve Spurrier has played it close to the vest this spring and has gone on record to say he’s not against rotating quarterbacks this fall. That’s only to light a fire under Mitch, motivational fuel to play well perhaps and seize a leadership role. Most believe Mitch’s top competition at the position isn’t on campus yet. (That’s freshman Lorenzo Nunez for those that don’t closely follow South Carolina’s quarterback competition.)
1. Alex Anzalone, Florida, LB: Most eyes will be on the Gators’ wide-open quarterback battle between Will Grier and Treon Harris, but there’s an intriguing storyline line in the middle of Geoff Collins’ defense that is perhaps even more important this fall. Anzalone, whose had a fantastic spring, steps into a new role as the ‘quarterback’ of Florida’s defense alongside linebackers Jarrad Davis and Antonio Morrison once those guys return from injury. A natural leader, Anzalone has shown confidence making calls at the Mike despite not having a single start to his credit during two seasons with the Gators. He has a chance to emerge as one of the SEC’s top newcomers by year’s end.