The SEC recruits and produces more than its share of the nation’s best college football players. In the past five years, we’ve seen banner seasons from players such as Tre Mason, Michael Sam and Tyrann Mathieu.

Some have risen even higher, producing the most memorable individual seasons in the past five years.


Key stats: 2,219 rushing yards, 28 rushing TDs

Honors: Heisman Trophy, Maxwell Award, Walter Camp Award, Doak Walker, first-team All-SEC, consensus All-American.

Why: In his first season as the Crimson Tide’s full-time starter, Henry set SEC records for rushing yards and touchdowns as he passed Herschel Walker’s yardage total and the TD mark of Tim Tebow and Mason. He also led the SEC and country in rushing attempts (395) and plays from scrimmage (406).


Key stats: 38.3 yards kick return average with three TDs.

Honors: Consensus All-American, SEC coaches Special Teams Player of the Year.

Why: Tennessee’s first All-American since his older brother, Eric, was honored in 2009. His kick return average was nearly 5 yards better than the next closest player, and he did it on 21 returns. Berry could play himself into a starting role at safety in 2016.


Key stats: 108 tackles, 9 for loss, two interceptions.

Honors: Dick Butkus Award, SEC c0-Defensive Player of the Year, consensus All-American.

Why: Mosley was the third player in Alabama history to win the Butkus Award after he was his coaching staff’s Defensive Player of the Week honors 11 times that season. He finished third in career tackles (319) at Alabama and also returned three interceptions for touchdowns, tied for most ever.


Key stats: 13.0 sacks, 23.5 tackles for loss, three forced fumbles, 54 total tackles.

Honors: First-team All-SEC, consensus first-team All-American, Hendricks Award.

Why: Everyone remembers The Hit on Michigan running back Vincent Smith.

Before that, he set school records for sacks and tackles for a loss, and had some wondering if he should sit out a season before the NFL Draft. Clowney finished sixth in Heisman voting. For Gamecock fans, he may be most remembered for the 4.5 sacks of Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd.


Key stats: 14.5 sacks, 24.5 tackles for loss, seven forced fumbles, 85 total tackles.

Honors: SEC Defensive Player of the Year, first-team All-SEC, consensus first-team All-American, Jack Lambert Trophy.

Why: The pass-rushing linebacker was the most feared defender for the SEC East champion Bulldogs. Jones missed two games, and still edged Clowney to lead the conference in sacks and tackles for loss. He came up huge in some of Georgia’s biggest games that year: 3.0 sacks against No. 9 Florida, 2.0 sacks in a narrow SEC Championship loss to Alabama.

His best game, though, was the SEC-opening tilt at Missouri when he had two sacks, two forced fumbles and his first career interception.


Key stats: 3,706 pass yards, 26 pass TD, 1,410 rush yards, 21 rush TD.

Honors: Heisman Trophy, AP Player of the Year, Davey O’Brien Award, SEC Offensive Player of the Year, first-team All-SEC, consensus first-team All-American, SEC Freshman of the Year.

Why: An unheralded redshirt freshman, Manziel piled up 5,116 total yards of offense and 47 touchdowns in his Heisman campaign. He continued a recent trend of younger players winning the trophy as he did it just days after his 20th birthday. Manziel broke Archie Manning’s single-game total offense record early in the season, then broke it again a few weeks later. Manziel’s storybook season saw its highlight at Alabama when he used his scrambling running ability to upset the eventual national champion. Manziel passed for 253 yards, rushed for 92 yards in the 29-24 victory.


Key stats: 124 receptions, 1,727 receiving yards, 16 receiving TDs.

Honors: Biletnikoff Award, Heisman Trophy finalist, consensus first-team All-American, first-team All-SEC.

Why: The junior set every receiving mark in school history. Part of his dominance was on display against Missouri in the SEC Championship when his 10th catch of the first half broke Vanderbilt WR Jordan Matthew’s record.

He had three 200-plus yard games, setting and then tying Alabama’s single-game mark with 224 yards, five games with 10 or more catches and five multi-touchdown games.

He was second nationally with a 127.4 yard average among receivers. Perhaps fittingly, he broke Alabama’s career receiving record with a 21-yard pass at LSU. Cooper was the first receiver to be invited to the Heisman ceremony since Larry Fitzgerald in 2003.