Simply loaded in the SEC

May, 28, 2009
5/28/09
9:15
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low

You don't have to look very hard or very long in the SEC to find some teams loaded in certain areas.

Here's a closer look at where the depth and talent will be bursting at the seams in 2009:

Florida secondary -- It's not out of the realm to think that the Gators' second-team secondary would be one of the better ones in the SEC next season. Safety Dorian Munroe is back after tearing up his knee during the preseason a year ago. He was probably going to start had he not gotten hurt. Will Hill is another terrific safety prospect itching to get a shot. All four starters from last season return, including lock-down cornerbacks Joe Haden and Janoris Jenkins. Junior safety Ahmad Black tied for the league lead with seven interceptions, while the Gators' other starting safety, Major Wright, is one of the fiercest hitters in the league. Senior cornerbacks Markihe Anderson and Wondy Pierre-Louis and redshirt freshman cornerback Adrian Bushell are also lurking, providing the kind of depth most teams can only dream about.

Ole Miss defensive line -- Former Ole Miss coach Ed Orgeron obviously knew a thing or two about recruiting and developing defensive linemen. The Rebels will go about eight deep across the defensive front in 2009, and that's after losing first-round draft pick Peria Jerry. Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt says pass-rushing extraordinaire Greg Hardy is dialed in mentally like he hasn't seen him, and tackle Jerrell Powe lost weight and is coming off a stellar spring. Ends Marcus Tillman and Kentrell Lockett combined for 17.5 tackles for loss last season, and both are dynamic leaders. Ted Laurent, Lawon Scott and Justin Smith make for an imposing trio on the inside.

Alabama defensive line -- Senior nose guard Terrence Cody was a first-team All-American last season, but sit back and watch other guys on the Alabama defensive line become household names in 2009. Sophomore Marcell Dareus is a star in the making, and the same goes for freshman Kerry Murphy. Senior end Brandon Deaderick returns after racking up four sacks a year ago, and sophomore linebacker Dont'a Hightower will be used like a defensive end in the jack linebacker/pass-rushing role. Senior Lorenzo Washington and sophomore Josh Chapman have also played a lot of quality minutes for the Crimson Tide.

LSU secondary -- The Tigers were deep enough in the secondary that first-year defensive coordinator John Chavis was able to move Harry Coleman from safety to outside linebacker this spring. One of the reasons Chavis could do that was Ron Brooks' development at safety. The former cornerback was everywhere the ball was this spring. Chavis is anxious to see his safety tandem of Chad Jones and Brooks in action. Sophomore cornerback Patrick Peterson appears poised to take that step toward All-SEC status, and Chris Hawkins and Jai Eugene are two more cornerbacks who could start for a lot of teams.

Georgia offensive line -- The misery that the Bulldogs went through last season should pay dividends in 2009. The glut of injuries up front forced them to shuffle the deck and move people around. A year later, they're as deep and versatile in the offensive line as anybody in the league. Junior Clint Boling can play both guard and tackle. He ended last season at left tackle, but Trinton Sturdivant will be back after tearing up his knee in the preseason a year ago. Cordy Glenn was a Freshman All-American at guard last season, while Justin Anderson earned Freshman All-America honors at tackle and Ben Jones Freshman All-America honors at center. When you throw in junior tackles Vince Vance and Josh Davis, it all adds up to what should be one of the strongest offensive lines in the SEC.

Arkansas receivers -- Bobby Petrino found some wideouts in the spring who can make it happen after the catch, namely Joe Adams and Jarius Wright. Greg Childs is another sophomore who put up big numbers. Senior London Crawford is a seasoned receiver who complements those three guys well, and the Hogs are also hopeful that senior Lucas Miller can return to full strength after tearing a ligament in his knee against LSU in the season finale a year ago. And while he's listed as a tight end, junior D.J. Williams is a force in the passing game and the kind of matchup that causes nightmares for opposing defenses. Ryan Mallett is going to have fun throwing to this bunch in the fall.

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