Todd Gurley, Sammie Coates, Robert Nkemdiche and Mike Davis.

Those are just a few of the SEC’s best players who are smack dab in the middle of every opposing team’s scouting report.

Here’s a few guys who might not have the accolades yet, but have the dynamic ability to be difference makers by season’s end.



Pharoh Cooper, WR, South Carolina: A contributor in the return game and on offense as a true freshman in 2013, Cooper is one of the SEC’s potential breakout stars this fall on an offense that plays to his strengths. He’s had a terrific fall and will challenge projected No. 1 wideout Shaq Roland for the team lead in catches, yards and touchdowns this season. Keep an eye out for him in the Wildcat package too.

Andre Debose, ATH, Florida: The time is now for Debose, the SEC’s career leader in kickoff return touchdowns. When he’s healthy, Debose is electric with the football and could be in for a spectacular season as an all-purpose standout in Florida’s new-look offense under Kurt Roper. Utilized in a Percy Harvin-type role, Debose needs a crease before he’s off to the races.

Braylon Webb, S, Mizzou: Mr. Everything for the Tigers, this multi-year starter at the back end also holds kicks on special teams and has showcased his athletic ability during his career every time the ball has been in his hands. Webb was Mizzou’s second-leading tackler last fall with 89 stops and is fearless when approaching opposing wideouts at breakneck speeds.

Josh Malone, WR, Tennessee: A true freshman with every quality you’d look for in an instant impact player, Malone runs effortlessly and has shown flashes of Peerless Price in practice with sure hands and crisp routes. With Marquez North garnering much of the preseason focus, Malone could emerge with a statistically-worthy season in his first campaign.

Jerron Seymour, RB, Vanderbilt: This guy IS the Commodores’ offense this season. A virtually unknown stud, Seymour’s a hair under 5-foot-7 and doesn’t weigh 200 pounds, but delivers an incredible punch between the tackles with a nose for the end zone. He tied Zac Stacy’s school record last season with 14 rushing touchdowns, tops in the SEC with T.J. Yeldon. Seymour’s capable of 1,000 yards and 15 scores if he stays healthy.

Za’Darius Smith, DE, Kentucky: The lesser-known beast up front for the Wildcats, Smith hasn’t received as much preseason love as fellow pass-rusher Bud Dupree, but is equally as talented despite not playing his first competitive football game until his senior year of high school. Smith blossomed into a star in the JUCO ranks and had several SEC offers. At Kentucky last season, he tallied 59 tackles and six sacks.

Marshall Morgan, K, Georgia: Believe it or not, Gurley won’t be the Bulldogs’ leader in scoring this season. Morgan, a junior kicker with a powerful leg, led all SEC kickers in scoring (10.3 ppg) and field goals made (22). He went 22-of-24 on field goal tries overall, an SEC accuracy record at 91 percent with a minimum of 20 makes. He’s developed into one of the nation’s best and should be an all-conference lock at season’s end.


Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama: The crimson Tide lost a bevy of production at the inside linebacker spot losing C.J. Mosley, but Foster’s shown defensive coordinator Kirby Smart he’s ready to assume a leadership role at the second level alongside Trey DePriest and Reggie Ragland. With enough reps, Foster has the upside to be a All-SEC performer and is excellent against the run.

Corey Grant, RB, Auburn: Competing for carries for Cameron Artis-Payne last season behind prolific ballcarrier Tre Mason, Grant was rarely touched once he got to the edge and averaged a jaw-dropping 9.8 yards per carry in Gus Malzahn’s relentless attack. He’ll have a chance to be the featured option this fall if he can separate himself in the backfield once things start rolling in a few weeks.

Brandon Allen, QB, Arkansas: Oft-criticized for his lackluster performance during his first year as a starter last fall, Allen’s emergence into a reliable option under center for the Razorbacks will help Arkansas return to relevance this season. His overall production and confidence level has a far greater impact on his team’s success than the numbers posted by all-league candidates Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams in the same backfield. On third down, games are won or lost in the SEC and Allen needs to be efficient.

Kwon Alexander, LB, LSU: Likely the Tigers’ most versatile player on defense, Alexander has the speed of a wide receiver and has the ability to play any of the three linebacker positions on John Chavis’ defense in Baton Rouge. A sideline-to-sideline monster, Alexander made nine starts as a sophomore with 65 tackles and four pass break-ups. He could reach the 90-tackle mark as a junior with a boost in confidence as a spotlight player in the middle.

Speedy Noil, ATH, Texas A&M: It won’t take long for the college football world to be introduced to this five-star lightning bolt in College Station. Noil has held his own during fall practice and been on the same level with several expected starters at the position including veteran Malcome Kennedy and Ricky Seals-Jones. A playmaker in the return game as well, Noil is a soon-to-be SEC star if he gets the touches.

Vince Sanders, WR, Ole Miss: With defenses focused on top receiver Laquon Treadwell this season, Sanders has a chance to flourish in single coverage as a player who is quite knowledgeable of Hugh Freeze’s offense. The 6-foot-1, 185-pound senior needs 61 yards to pass the 1,000-yard mark career and hopes to return to the big play form he showed as a sophomore in 2012.

Jamerson Love, CB, Mississippi St.: An underrated ballhawk for the Bulldogs, Love teamed up with Taveze Calhoun last season and filled the gap at the back end left by Darius Slay and Thorpe Award winner Johnthan Banks. Love picked off three passes and made the biggest play of the year when he recovered Bo Wallace’s fumble in the end zone to seal the Egg Bowl, but often was the second player mentioned in a talented secondary. Excellent in coverage, Love will be one of the league’s best corners.