You know the saying: “Respect your elders.”

It seems like every year, underclassmen are becoming more and more prominent in the college game. In recent years, we’ve seen the younger crowd take home prestigious awards that had always been held down by juniors and seniors.

Here at Saturday Down South, we don’t overlook the old men of the college game. Let’s run down five of the best seniors from this past week.

Dylan Thompson, South Carolina

The first-year starter played the biggest game of his life and he delivered for the Gamecocks. His fourth quarter pick nearly cost Carolina the win, but he was near flawless throwing the ball other than that. He showed phenomenal touch on passes downfield and dropped balls in between Georgia defenders all night. Thompson finished 21-of-30 with 271 yards, 3 TDs and an interception.

Austin Shepherd, Alabama

Shepherd was one of the best big uglies on the field as Alabama piled up more than 300 yards on the ground against Southern Mississippi. The Tide’s right guard earned the highest offensive line grade on the team and picked up 5 pancake blocks, also tops on the team. Shepherd wasn’t flagged for any penalties, nor did he give up a sack. It’s going to be hard to slow down the Crimson Tide’s running game with performances like that.

Preston Smith, Mississippi State

Smith as been a monster all season for the Bulldogs, already winning the first three SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week awards. He took that award home yet again after his week 3 performance, where he bullied the South Alabama Jaguars. Both of his tackles were for losses, and he picked up a strip sack and blocked a kick. Smith will be needed this week to help stifle LSU’s potent running game.

A.J. Johnson, Tennessee

The Volunteers do-everything middle linebacker was just that against Oklahoma, flying all over the field as the Vols tried to stick with the Sooners. Johnson posted a season-best 11 tackles, including 2 tackles for loss. He helped hold Oklahoma 50 yards below their rushing yardage average for the season.

Bo Wallace, Mississippi

One of the few senior signal callers in the SEC has been on fire to start the season. He has the top passing efficiency in the conference, he’s thrown for more than 300 yards in all three of Ole Miss’ games and is completing better than 75 percent of his passes on the year. In the Rebels’ easy win over Louisiana-Lafayette, he tossed 4 TDs against 1 interception and completed 23-of-28 passes for 316 yards.