Every SEC team has a position of strength. Some, of course, have a multitude of areas in which they have an advantage.

Here are the three position groups that stand out entering 2016:

Georgia’s running backs

In 2012, Alabama rode a pair of 1,100-yard rushers to the national title. That’s a high bar, of course, but Georgia returns two backs who have had a 1,000-yard season.

Nick Chubb ran for 1,547 yards in 2014 and was well on his way toward toppling that total last season before injuring his knee at Tennessee. Sony Michel, who had gotten just 41 carries through five games to that point, took the ball and ran with it. Michel finished with 1,161 yards and 8 TDs.

If Chubb is fully recovered and ready to go, he and Michel will try to become the first Dawg duo to each reach 1,000 yards in the same season.

That’s what Mark Richt envisioned when he signed them both five-star backs and Army All-Americans in the 2014 class.

Texas A&M receivers

Of course Trevor Knight chose Texas A&M. What eligible quarterback wouldn’t want to throw to Christian Kirk and Josh Reynolds, in an offense where runs are considered trick plays. (Well, we can think of two, but let’s move on.)

Yes, Tra Carson got 242 carries last season, but two of the next three Aggies with the most carries were quarterbacks. That wide open, playground attack often leads to confusion and breakdowns on the backend, and that’s where Kirk, Reynolds and Ricky Seals-Jones make  A&M scary.

Kirk finished third in the SEC last season with 1,009 receiving yards. Reynolds was seventh with 907. They combined for 12 TD receptions. Seals-Jones added another 560 yards and four TDs.

Seals-Jones has battled injuries, but he’s still a 6-5, 225-pound former five-star recruit in the Mike Evans mold.

No wonder he tweeted this:


Alabama’s secondary

LSU is “DBU” and Florida returns Jalen Tabor, possibly the top corner in country, but don’t sleep on the Tide’s secondary. New defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt will lean on that young-but-experienced group until his younger and less proven front seven gets up to speed.

Eddie Jackson’s return was the key. Bama moved a lot of pieces in 2015, essentially transitioning corners into safeties, allowing 2015 five-star Minkah Fitzpatrick and 2014 five-star Marlon Humphrey to lock down the edges. The result was a more athletic secondary that led the SEC with 19 interceptions.


Alabama being Alabama, there’s plenty more where they came from too, even if Tony Brown never again gets on Nick Saban’s good side. The Tide added three of the top 13 cornerbacks in the 2016 class, headlined by Nigel Knott.