The best 2015 signee for every SEC team
So, after a full season, which Class of 2015 signees should be considered “the best” for each Southeastern Conference football program?
Here’s one man’s take.
Minkah Fitzpatrick, CB
Why: While a strong argument could be made for receiver Calvin Ridley, Fitzpatrick made a big impact on a loaded defense and on special teams and is the next great cornerback for the Tide.
Carlton Davis, CB
Why: Davis was a starter at cornerback as a true freshman and his size and ball skills give him a bright future. The Miami product has high NFL Draft pick written all over him.
Dre Greenlaw, LB
Why: Greenlaw was a freshman All-American, started 10 of the Razorbacks’ 12 games at linebacker and finished with 93 tackles and two forced fumbles.
Antonio Calloway, WR/PR
Why: Callaway was the hero of the Gators’ 28-27 win against Tennessee and led all freshman nationally in punt return yards. He was a great evaluation by the Florida staff and filled an immediate need.
Terry Godwin, WR
Why: Godwin finished the 2015 season with bang, catching eight passes in a win at Georgia Tech and making all sorts of plays in the Bulldogs TaxSlayer Bowl win against Penn State. He’s a future star in Athens.
C.J. Conrad, TE
Why: Conrad, an Ohio product, is one of the more promising tight ends in the SEC. He had 15 receptions for 149 yards last season and those numbers will only grow.
Arden Key, DE
Why: Key played a significant amount for the Tigers as a true freshman and was arguably the team’s best pure pass rusher. Look for this future SEC star to turn into a first-round NFL Draft pick under the guidance of Ed Orgeron in Baton Rouge.
Chad Kelly, QB
Why: What more can you say here? Kelly won the starting quarterback job after arriving from junior college and proceeded to throw for 4,042 yards and 31 touchdowns and had a 4.7 yards-per carry rushing average (500 yards) in leading the Rebels to a Sugar Bowl-winning season.
Jamal Peters, S
Why: The state of Mississippi’s No. 1 overall prospect in the 2015 cycle, Peters did not disappoint during his freshman campaign, totaling 25 tackles. The 6-foot-2, 206-pounder has a big, big future ahead of him at this position at State and beyond.
Terry Beckner Jr., DT
Why: Before getting hurt, Beckner was on his way to a monster true freshman season. He finished with three sacks and 27 tackles and will be among the best interior defensive linemen in the SEC in the coming years.
Lorenzo Nunez, QB
Why: Though Nunez suffered through an injury-plagued middle of the season, he finished as the Gamecocks’ second-leading rusher with 375 yards (he had 376 passing) in just eight games. He will compete for the starting quarterback job this spring, but the 6-foot-3 athlete could have an NFL future as a wide receiver/all-purpose threat.
Alvin Kamara, RB
Why: Kamara arrived from the junior college ranks and averaged 6.5 yards per carry rushing (698 and seven touchdowns) and also had 291 receiving yards and three touchdowns. He’s a key part to the Vols’ SEC title bid next season. You could also make an argument here for offensive tackle Chance Hall, who earned a starting job midway through the season, just when the Vols’ offense was starting to flow.
Christian Kirk, WR
Why: Kirk set the Aggies single-season all-purpose record for freshmen with 1,659 yards. He also led one of the most talented receiving corps in the country with 70 receptions and is an elite punt returner. The Arizona product will be one of the best in the SEC for as long as he is in College Station.
Josh Smith, LB
Why: Smith didn’t put up overwhelming numbers (seven tackles), but he played in every game as a true freshman for the Commodores. The 6-foot-3, 236-pounder from the Nashville area has the opportunity to be among the best at his position in the league in the coming years.