SEC's All-Spring Game Team for 2017
In addition to the NFL Draft this past weekend, we were also witness to the 14th and final spring game in the SEC.
That being said, to call what we saw Saturday in Fayetteville a “spring game” is generous. It was a glorified practice for the Razorbacks at best. We were one stop short of coach Bret Bielema having us watch his offensive line run stadium steps.
Nevertheless, with spring football now officially in the rearview mirror, we’re a little closer to answering some major questions for the best conference in America. Is Alabama’s talent still vastly superior to the rest of the league? Will LSU ever evolve offensively? Unlike Tennessee last season, can Georgia live up to the hype this year?
Perhaps most exciting of all, a lot of early-enrollee freshmen strutted their stuff over the course of the previous few weeks. Several of them appear to be skilled enough already to make a big impact straight out of high school.
So without further ado, here is Saturday Down South’s position-by-position All-Spring Game Team for the SEC in 2017.
Shea Patterson, Ole Miss
With Chad Kelly now off to the pros, Patterson sure looks to be in complete control of the Rebels. The rising sophomore completed 21-of-30 passes for 341 yards with 2 touchdowns and 0 interceptions, and that’s with a new offensive coordinator in Phil Longo. Clearly, pulling the redshirt off Patterson a year ago was the right choice.
Honorable mention: Jarrett Stidham, Auburn
Sihiem King, Kentucky
Stanley “Boom” Williams left early for the NFL, so the Wildcats are on the prowl for another tailback to pair with Benny Snell. King certainly stated his case, carrying the ball 19 times for 107 yards and 2 TDs. He also caught one pass out of the backfield for an additional 17 yards. There are plenty of touches in Eddie Gran’s offense, too.
Honorable mention: Nick Gibson, Mississippi State
Nate Craig-Myers, Auburn
A bit of a disappointment as a freshman in 2016, Craig-Myers may be ready to explode as a sophomore with Stidham as his new signal caller. Craig-Myers reeled in 5 passes for 154 yards, highlighted by a 50-yarder on the Blue team’s primary drive. The Tigers haven’t been able to stretch the field in recent years, but that could soon change.
Honorable mention: Jerry Jeudy, Alabama
Kiel Pollard, South Carolina
The Gamecocks already have a tight end in Columbia capable of being an All-SEC performer in Hayden Hurst. While Hurst didn’t catch a pass in the spring game — coach Will Muschamp knows what he has there — Pollard managed to grab 8 balls for 91 yards to lead the Garnet squad. Employing both of them could present some matchup problems.
Honorable mention: Ethan and Eli Wolf, Tennessee
Trey Smith, Tennessee
No question about it, the Volunteers weren’t strong enough in the trenches a season ago to make a run at it in the East. That’s why offensive tackle Trey Smith, a 5-star recruit for 2017, might be the most important signee ever for coach Butch Jones. Lining up initially at the right guard spot, Smith proved right away that he belonged.
Honorable mention: Bradley Bozeman, Alabama
Deion Pope, Mississippi State
A JUCO transfer, Pope made an immediate impact up front for the Bulldogs with 4 tackles, a sack and an additional tackle for loss. Even more impressive, he came up with one of the 5 INTs recorded by the D on the afternoon. At 6-foot-4 and 304 pounds, Pope alongside Jeffery Simmons could be quite a force for new coordinator Todd Grantham.
Honorable mention: Adrian Middleton, Kentucky
Jonathan Wynn, Vanderbilt
Linebacker Zach Cunningham did just about everything for the Commodores defensively in 2016. Coach Derek Mason needs new stars to shine, and he could have one in Wynn. He had 5 total tackles and was also responsible for 2.0 sacks in the spring game. Vandy only had 15.0 as a team last year, so the pass rush could use a serious boost.
Honorable mention: Jarrett Johnson, Texas A&M
Terrell Hall, Alabama
Ben Davis, Mack Wilson and Dylan Moses are 5-star linebackers who signed with coach Nick Saban the last two recruiting classes, although it was the 4-star Hall jumping off the field in Tuscaloosa. Shortly before the end of the first half, he made a leaping interception of a Tua Tagovailoa pass and returned it 60 yards for a score.
Honorable mention: Jamar “Boogie” Watson, Kentucky
Kevin Toliver II, LSU
The Tigers lost safety Jamal Adams and corner Tre’Davious White to Round 1 of the draft, so “DBU” has to pass the baton to new secondary studs. While quarterback Danny Etling started off hot in the spring game, he cooled off in a hurry. Toliver was a big reason why, throwing a blanket on receivers in coverage and coming up with an interception.
Honorable mention: Cameron Dantzler, Mississippi State
Richard LeCounte III, Georgia
A 5-star addition and early-enrollee freshman, LeCounte didn’t disappoint making his first appearance between the hedges. With 9 total tackles on G-Day, no Bulldog recorded more. Additionally, he was credited with a pass breakup in coverage. There’s every reason to think that he’ll be in the starting lineup from Day 1 for coach Kirby Smart.
Honorable mention: Grant Delpit, LSU
Daniel Carlson, Auburn
Arguably the premier kicker in America already, Carlson was simply sensational in the spring game. He lined up for five field-goal attempts and comfortably split the uprights each time, including one from 55 yards. Once Stidham and Co. cross the midfield stripe this year, they’re essentially in Carlson’s range at this point.
Honorable mention: Johnny Townsend, Florida