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First year players most likely to make a splash

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#1
Skinny

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SEC football: The first-year players most likely to make a splash


Quote

Rare is the incoming freshman who seeks a redshirt season to become acquainted with his new school, learn the playbook and take a year to develop.


In this age of instant gratification, the buzz phrases are “early playing time” and “immediate impact.”


Every year a number of freshmen or junior-college transfers make a splash in the SEC. Some are expected to contribute — and do, such as South Carolina cornerback Stephon Gilmore, who started every game last season.


Others step up when pressed into action, as was the case in 2009 with Florida offensive tackle Xavier Nixon, who did not yield a sack or commit a penalty in a 24-14 win at USC in his first career start.


A look at the five newcomers most likely to make a loud entrance:



5.JAKAR HAMILTON


DEFENSIVE BACK, GEORGIA


The former Strom Thurmond High star made the best of his two-year stint at Georgia Military College after failing to qualify out of high school. Hamilton racked up 88 tackles and six interceptions in two seasons and was a finalist for defensive player of the year among junior-college players.


Hamilton drew plenty of scholarship offers before picking Georgia, where he figures to be a factor in the secondary under first-year coordinator Todd Grantham.



4.WAYNE DORSEY


DEFENSIVE END, MISSISSIPPI


Like Hamilton, Dorsey is a highly touted defender from the JUCO ranks. The 6-foot-6, 265-pound Baltimore native was ranked the nation’s top JUCO prospect by Scout.com after averaging nearly a sack a game at Mississippi Gulf Coast.


Dorsey finished with 30 tackles and five sacks despite playing in only six games. He participated in spring practice after enrolling at Ole Miss in January. With his size and pass-rush ability, Dorsey could be the rush end Tyrone Nix is looking for to replace Greg Hardy.



3. RONALD POWELL


DEFENSIVE END, FLORIDA


Dorsey is not the only defensive end expected to become a pass-rushing force. Powell is considered by some to be a more athletic version of Carlos Dunlap, the North Charleston native who left the Gators for the NFL after his junior season.


Powell, a native of Moreno Valley, Calif., snubbed Southern Cal and a host of other schools. He showed a glimpse of his athleticism by catching a touchdown pass as a tight end in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.


But the Gators did not sign Powell as tight end; they expect him to be their next “Freak.”



2. MARCUS LATTIMORE


RUNNING BACK, USC


Lattimore is the highest-rated recruit signed by Steve Spurrier and USC, and — the Gamecocks hope — the answer to their sputtering rushing attack. Lattimore rushed for 1,898 yards and 31 touchdowns his final season at Byrnes High and was rated the nation’s top tailback by Rivals.com.


The Parade All-American, who picked USC over Auburn, is not shying from the expectations: Shortly after Signing Day, Lattimore said he hoped to rush for 1,000 yards as a freshman.


Given the state of their ground game the past three years, the Gamecocks gladly would take it.



1. CAMERON NEWTON


QUARTERBACK, AUBURN


As Alabama was preparing for the BCS title game last January, its Iron Bowl rival received a boost when Newton chose the Tigers over Mississippi State.


No one on the Plains is expecting Newton to get Auburn in the national championship hunt, although he won the junior-college title last year at Blinn in Texas. Fans will be happy if the 6-6, 247-pounder can jump-start a passing attack that ranked 10th in the SEC last year.



Most believe Newton has the physical tools to be successful. But he has to prove he has matured since leaving Florida, where he was Tim Tebow’s backup, after legal problems sidetracked his career.


View PostHobnailedBoots, on 21 October 2013 - 10:01 AM, said:

Go cocks

#2
HFS

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YouTube - Cameron "Cam" Newton Highlights {Auburn Commit}

Can't argue with the tape, but I'd like to see a little less celebrating on the touchdowns.
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#3
Bamamoss

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I hope Bama's punter and kicker make a big splash!
"May the Tide Be with You"

#4
Red Blackman

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Alec Ogletree - UGA. True freshman that will be the next great over sized safety at the University of Georgia. He has the talent and strength coming in to contribute early and often on special teams and against the run. Not a starter, but he will make an impact and get his name out there.

#5
Robzilla

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Bamamoss said:

I hope Bama's punter and kicker make a big splash!

Yes, above everything else, this concerns me more about Bama than anything else.  The secondary will be young, but super talented and great coaches to develop them.

The kicking game really concerns me.  Early on last year special teams was a real issue for us.  Tiffin was on fire all year, but everywhere else we struggled it seemed.  Now we have 2 new kickers/punters on board both true freshmen.  There is bound to be a game or two in which we will rely heavily on our kicking game and this is what worries me the most.

#6
rwspear

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Bamamoss said:

I hope Bama's punter and kicker make a big splash!

dang it Bama, stop being greedy. our punter averaged 30 yards per last year. we need a punter more than you do, can we have your recruit?

#7
razorhead

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I'm not sold on Cam Newton.  Mitch Mustain had all the tools but turned out to be a spoiled brat douchebag that couldn't wait his turn.  Look where he is now.  Of course, Auburn doesn't have another QB that would be better than Newton, and since I have now decided to hate them even worse than LSU I hope he falls on his face.

Wayne Dorsey is a JUCO defensive end.  When is the last time a JUCO player came in and made a difference anywhere?

I think the RB who signed with South Carolina will be the star freshmen in the SEC.

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#8
Robzilla

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razorhead said:

  When is the last time a JUCO player came in and made a difference anywhere?



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Just sayin'

#9
razorhead

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I didn't realize he was a JUCO.  I mean, I thought he was probably dumb but never knew the full story.

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#10
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razorhead said:


When is the last time a JUCO player came in and made a difference anywhere?


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2000 SEC Offensive player of the year. Was kind of a big deal for us.
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#11
Robzilla

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razorhead said:

I didn't realize he was a JUCO.  I mean, I thought he was probably dumb but never knew the full story.

He had 2 things going against him.  Academically he couldn't qualify out of high school and his weight was a major issue.  He spent 2 years in JUCO and worked on his weight.  Saban rolled the dice on him to anchor that 3-4 defense and it worked.

#12
bulldawg28

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Wayne Dorsey is a JUCO defensive end. When is the last time a JUCO player came in and made a difference anywhere?

Pernell McPhee....James Johnson.... Fred Smoot...etc

#13
Zee

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Jasper Brinkley was a JUCO.
I'll just regress, because I feel I've made myself perfectly redundant.

#14
razorhead

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Alright, enough already.  Let me restate it differently...when was the last time a JUCO transfer made a difference for Nutt?

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#15
bulldawg28

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The SEC is loaded with Juco's. Maybe Arkansas should try some.