2014 SEC Top 100 Countdown: No. 38 Marquez North, Tennessee
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.
Stick with SDS throughout summer and get in on the action using the hashtag #SDSTop100 as we unveil a new player daily leading up to opening night on Aug. 28.
38. Marquez North, Soph., WR, Tennessee
Waiting to emerge as one of nation’s best wideouts is this athletic sophomore, a three-sport athlete out of North Carolina who was an instant impact player for coach Butch Jones and the Vols last season. One of the SEC’s strongest pass-catchers with a sizable frame, North hauls in everything thrown his way and is especially lethal at coming down with 50-50 balls in tight coverage.
He’s not as loud and boisterous as most high-profile cohorts, but North plays with a similar chip on his shoulder and a physical presence Tennessee has been lacking on offense during recent years of struggle. Tennessee’s counting on its projected No. 1 to deliver with rising junior Pig Howard’s future uncertain. The pair produced 82 catches in 2013 — 39 more than the next three closest receivers combined.
It’s difficult to label North as one of the league’s most underrated after he was named to the freshman All-American squad, but his name’s not often mentioned in the same breath as other top SEC wideouts Sammie Coates, Laquon Treadwell and Amari Cooper. It should be and his production as a sophomore no matter who wins the quarterback job for the Vols will prove it.
2013 statistics: 38 catches, 496 yards, TD
2014 projection: 59 catches, 772 yards, 5 TD