SDS talent evaluators Jon Cooper and Brad Crawford spent several months breaking down last year’s highlights, incoming talent and projected 2014 impact following spring practice to compile a list of the SEC’s Top 100 players heading into fall. Athletes were selected by position then ranked overall counting down to No. 1.

We’ve reached the final Top 25 and will unveil a new player daily leading up to opening night on Aug. 28.

22. Trey DePriest, Sr., LB, Alabama

DePriest is back for his senior season at Alabama to finish unfinished business after his team’s Iron Bowl debacle and hoping to improve his draft future from early-round pick to potential first round grade. According to Mel Kiper Jr.’s early position rankings, DePriest is fifth among projected inside linebackers, a few spots behind Georgia’s Ramik Wilson and Tennessee’s A.J. Johnson.

RELATED: Projecting 2014 SEC stat leaders — Linebackers

No longer a rotational player on Kirby Smart’s defense, DePriest performed at a high level alongside C.J. Mosley as a junior, accumulating 65 tackles, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. Nick Saban said Sunday that DePriest would miss a few days of fall camp after sustaining a minor injury. Likely a precautionary measure, DePriest is one of the Crimson Tide’s stalwarts defensively and most important players.

2013 statistics: 65 tackles, 7.5 TFL, INT
2014 projection: 72 tackles, 10 TFL, 3 INT