This past season was a banner year for return men in the SEC. The 11 kickoff return touchdowns across the conference were the most since 2008, and nine punt return scores were a respectable total as well.

The conference was buoyed by a very talented crop of return men. Missouri’s Marcus Murphy goes down as one of the best return men in conference history, Vanderbilt’s Darrius Sims made a name for himself with some impressive moments and a few star running backs, Georgia’s Todd Gurley and LSU’s Leonard Fournette, all wowed with their size and speed coming off the goal line.

Add in punt return specialists Quan Bray of Auburn and Florida’s Andre Debose, who terrorized coverage units for their four years in the SEC, and you can see why the return game was so dangerous in 2014.

Unfortunately for fans of the game-changing special teams play, the majority of the impact return men from 2014 will either be out of college or doing more pressing things like punishing defenses after taking a handoff (hey, Fournette!).

With so many vacancies among punt and kick returners, it’s a bit tough to prognosticate just who many of the deep men around the conference will be for next year, as many of those jobs will be determined in training camp.

We’ll take a crack at it, though, and take a look at which players have a chance to do some special teams damage in 2015.

  • Donte Jackson, LSU — An incoming freshman, the four-star athlete is already drawing comparisons to one of the most frightening returners in recent SEC history, Tyrann Mathieu. Jackson has a reputation for making magic happen any time he gets his hands on the ball. One of the elite athletes in the 2015 class, reportedly clocking in the 4.3-second range in the 40-yard dash, Jackson has the ability to make an immediate impact on special teams.
  • Isaiah McKenzie, Georgia — As a freshman, McKenzie was lightning in a bottle for the Bulldogs. He averaged 12 yards on punt returns and housed two of them and chipped in another touchdown and a 28.1 average on 11 kickoff returns. McKenzie only had 13 offensive touchdowns as a rookie, but Georgia will want to get the ball in the explosive player’s hands as much as possible, hopefully meaning an expanded role in the offense and more chances to return kicks.
  • Speedy Noil, Texas A&M — Noil has a chance to be a top-flight receiver in his sophomore year after a strong freshman campaign, but his ability as a returner will make it tough for Kevin Sumlin and his staff to keep him off the return units no matter his workload on offense. Noil didn’t break any returns for touchdowns as a freshman, but he pressed the coverage every time he took in a kickoff and seemed on the verge of breaking through on countless returns.
  • Darrius Sims, Vanderbilt — Sims was the SEC’s busiest returner in 2014, averaging 2.6 runbacks per game, no surprise given his team’s struggles. While both of his kick return touchdowns came in one game, Sims still averaged nearly 25 yards per return. While Sims’ role on defense should take precedence, he’s dangerous enough that Vanderbilt needs the spark he can provide.