SEC Speed: Don't blink or you'll miss the league's fastest players of 2014
You can’t coach speed.
And without it, winning in the SEC becomes increasingly difficult.
Here are a few of the league’s fastest players heading into the 2014 season:
Marlon Humphrey, DB, Alabama (4.48 laser-timed at Under Armour All America Game Combine, Jan 2013): Another young five-star speedster in the Crimson Tide secondary, Humphrey set a new state record in the Class 6A 60-meter hurdles at the AHSAA Indoor Track and Field Championships at Hoover High. He’ll join Alabama’s track team in 2015.
Speedy Noil, ATH, Texas A&M (4.46 laser-timed at Nike’s The Opening SPARQ National Championship, July 2013): Family knows him as Devante Lorenzo Noil, but we call him Speedy for obvious reasons. Kevin Sumlin’s dynamic five-star freshman runs consistent low to mid 4.4s and has Devin Hester-like quickness in the return game.
Kailo Moore, DB, Ole Miss: (4.40 laser-timed, Jan. 2013): Moore advanced to the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the 4×100-meter relay last season and helped the Rebels set a school-record time of 39.34 running the anchor leg. Moore signed with the Rebels as a four-star running back but in search for playing time, moved to the secondary in the spring and could be a factor on special teams this fall.
Tony Brown, DB, Alabama: (4.35 laser-timed at Under Armour All America Game Combine, Jan 2014): A multi-talented true freshman corner wanted by nearly every major college football program, Brown looks to make a rookie splash in the secondary for the Crimson Tide. Brown has great lateral quickness and acceleration. His sister runs track at LSU.
Korliss Marshall, RB, Arkansas (4.34 laser-timed at MEARS Ratings All-American Bowl, 2013): This converted safety is the Razorbacks’ fastest player in a star-studded backfield featuring standouts tailbacks Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams. In limited action as a true freshman, Marshall averaged an impressive 8.6 yards per carry.
Corey Grant, RB, Auburn: (4.34 laser-timed average of three recent times, April 2014): There’s a reason this Auburn senior goes by Tail Lights on Twitter. During the spring, Grant was clocked unofficially by hand at 4.11 — blazing fast. He averaged 9.8 yards per carry last season and scored six touchdowns as a key member of the nation’s top rushing offense.
Damiere Byrd, WR, South Carolina: (4.26 laser-timed at Nike Philly Combine, 2011; 4.30 hand-timed, July 2014): The Gamecocks’ senior speed demon has been timed at 6.66 in the 60-meter dash and as low as 4.26 by coaches in the 40. More than half of his total touchdown receptions at South Carolina have spanned at least 50 yards and his career average of 19.9 yards per catch is second only to Auburn’s Sammie Coates (21.2 YPC) for returning players with at least 45 catches.