The 2015 college football season finally kicks off Thursday night and not a moment too soon!

Every SEC team is in action and only one is playing a true road game: Mississippi State visits Southern Miss, although I doubt the Bulldogs have much problem beating Brett Favre’s alma mater.

South Carolina, Auburn, Tennessee, Texas A&M and Alabama all play at neutral sites, although they are hardly going to be neutral for the Vols (Nashville) and Aggies (Houston).

Here are a few players I believe could burst onto the scene in flying colors in Week 1 (in no particular order). I’m generally sticking with guys who have barely played FBS ball in their careers or are freshmen.

Connor Mitch, QB, South Carolina: Mitch, a sophomore, backed up Dylan Thompson for the Gamecocks last season but attempted only six passes in mop-up duty. Mitch, the highest-rated quarterback recruit that Steve Spurrier has signed at South Carolina, beat out junior Perry Orth and freshmen Michael Scarnecchia and Lorenzo Nunez for the starting job. You might see Nunez play in some Wildcat formations against North Carolina on Thursday night in Charlotte. Mitch could light up a Tar Heels defense that was 117th in total defense in 2014. The Heels gave up at least 34 points nine times.

Alvin Kamara, RB, Tennessee: Kamara is the “lightning” of the Vols backfield with starter Jalen Hurd, who brings the “thunder.” Kamara was a five-star recruit in the class of 2013 who signed with Alabama but didn’t play — partly due to some off-field issues — and transferred to a Kansas Community College. He was terrific there and has been getting rave reviews at UT’s camp. Tennessee knows largely what it has in Hurd so it might give Kamara plenty of work Saturday against MAC school Bowling Green ahead of a Week 2 home showdown against Oklahoma.

Will Grier, QB, Florida: Grier was the centerpiece of Florida’s 2014 recruiting class but redshirted last season. By most accounts he was ahead of sophomore incumbent Treon Harris in the battle for Florida’s starting quarterback job. But coach Jim McElwain said he will play both Saturday against New Mexico State in what is a glorified scrimmage against one of the nation’s worst programs. I expect Grier to win this job and put up nice numbers vs. the Aggies.

ArDarius Stewart, WR, Alabama: The Tide have to replace their top three receivers from last season in Heisman Trophy finalist Amari Cooper, DeAndrew White and Christion Jones. So someone new has to step up. I’m going with Stewart, a junior, over the likes of sophomore Robert Foster, junior Chris Black and freshman Calvin Ridley. When running back Kenyan Drake was lost for the 2014 season due to injury against Ole Miss, offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin turned to Stewart as the Tide’s long-ball threat opposite Cooper. Stewart finished with only 12 catches for 149 yards, however. During the A-Day game this spring, Stewart led all receivers with eight receptions, which resulted in 118 yards and two touchdowns. The Tide have perhaps the toughest test of any SEC team this weekend, facing No. 20 Wisconsin at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.

Byron Cowart, DE, Auburn: The Tigers had one of the worst defensive seasons in school history last year. I guarantee that won’t happen again under new coordinator and former Florida head coach Will Muschamp. Cowart is from the Tampa area and was considered by some recruiting services as the No. 1 overall recruit in the class of 2015. He was a Florida lean until Muschamp was canned and latched on with Auburn. The Tigers face a good Louisville team on Saturday in Atlanta.

Nate Brown, WR, Missouri: The Tigers are in much the same boat Alabama is in overhauling their receiving group as Missouri’s top four pass-catchers from 2014 are gone. Brown, a sophomore, has the size to be Maty Mauk’s go-to guy at 6-foot-3, 205 pounds. He had five catches for 45 yards in 2014, which qualifies him as the Tigers’ leading returning wideout. Mizzou opens at home Saturday against Southeast Missouri State.

Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M: The Aggies already have three very good receivers in Josh Reynolds, Ricky Seals-Jones and Speedy Noil, but Kirk was a touted recruit in this year’s class — the No. 1 receiver by some services — and A&M generally goes four wide outside the tackles.

Marquavius Lewis, DE, South Carolina: The Gamecocks’ defense was pitiful at times last season and managed only 12 combined sacks and 44 tackles for loss. Last year at Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College, Lewis had 63 tackles in 12 games, including 20.5 tackles for loss and 11 sacks, 21 quarterback hurries, forced two fumbles and recovered one. He was named the Jayhawk Conference defensive player of the year and chose South Carolina over Auburn. Lewis earned the Enright Defensive Player of the Spring honor at USC.