SEC Network's Cole Cubelic names his offensive breakout players for the 2020 season
Who will be the next generation of stars to play in the SEC?
SEC Network sideline reporter Cole Cubelic recently shared his take on the SEC’s five biggest breakout players on the offensive side of the ball. This list from Cubelic comes a day after he ranked his top five biggest breakout players on the defensive side of the ball.
Here are the players that made Cubelic’s rankings, along with some information we have to share on each player:
#1 Tight end Arik Gilbert, LSU
LSU’s five-star true freshman caught 105 passes for 1,860 yards and 15 touchdowns last season for Marietta High School, helping his team win its first Georgia state title since 1968. Gilbert was just named 2020 Gatorade Male High School Athlete of the Year, becoming the first tight end to win the award. With Thad Moss now in the NFL, Gilbert’s path to the starting lineup is clear entering his first season in Baton Rouge.
#2 Receiver Treylon Burks, Arkansas
Burks started nine games during his true freshman season and had 29 catches for 475 yards (which led the team) and finished second on the team with 866 total offensive yards from scrimmage. While his numbers may not blow you away, you have to keep in mind the Razorbacks never had consistent quarterback play last season, which hurt Burks’ production during his first collegiate season. Burks was rated as the No. 1 overall prospect from the state of Arkansas in the 2019 recruiting cycle.
#3 Running back Chris Rodriguez, Kentucky
The offense in Lexington lost Kentucky’s all-time leading rusher heading into last season as Benny Snell left early for the NFL but the team found a capable power back in redshirt freshman Rodriguez. In his first full season of action, Rodriguez had 533 yards and six touchdowns on just 71 carries (an average of 7.5 yards per rush). Now with Lynn Bowden off to the NFL, Rodriguez is expected to garner more touches in the Kentucky offense heading into his redshirt sophomore season in Lexington.
#4 Running back Eric Gray, Tennessee
A big play waiting to happen, the sophomore running back showed flashes early last fall but saved his best football for late in the season as he registering 120 yards of total offense, recovered an onside kick and scored the game-winning touchdown on his way to earning MVP honors of the Gator Bowl in Tennessee’s win over Indiana. Prior to his big bowl performance, Gray put up 246 rushing yards against Vanderbilt, which is the most by a true freshman in the history of Tennessee’s football program. Prior to his arrival at Tennessee, Gray is the only player to be named Mr. Football in the state of Tennessee three times.
#5 Offensive lineman Darrian Dalcourt, Alabama
The sophomore made seven appearances for the Crimson Tide last season in a reserve role. Dalcourt was ranked as a four-star prospect in the 2019 recruiting class.