In yet another reminder of how stacked the SEC was at receiver last season, the No. 6 guy on our countdown set a number of records at Alabama:
No. 6: Julio Jones, WR, Jr., Alabama
2010 numbers/honors: Second in the SEC with 1,133 receiving yards, which was an Alabama single-season record. Jones’ 78 receptions were also a school record. He caught seven touchdown passes and averaged 14.5 yards per catch. A second-team All-America selection by the Associated Press and a consensus first-team All-SEC selection.
Preseason ranking: Ranked No. 6 on the 2010 preseason countdown.
Making the case for Jones: One of the few knocks against Jones was that he couldn’t stay healthy, and it’s true that he endured his share of injuries at Alabama. But you’re also talking about a guy who missed very few games. His tolerance for pain is off the charts. He broke his hand against South Carolina last season, and not only did he not miss a single game, but he played some of his best football the rest of the way. Two weeks after surgery to insert screws and a plate into his hand, Jones exploded for 12 catches and 221 receiving yards in a 41-10 win against Tennessee. The only player in the league to catch more passes against SEC defenses last season was Randall Cobb, and Jones finished second to Alshon Jeffery with 750 receiving yards against SEC competition. At 6-4 and 220 pounds, Jones is one of those rare athletes who has the strength to shed would-be tacklers and the speed to run by them. When’s the last time you saw anybody catch him from behind? In a season that saw Alabama’s running game sputter at times, Jones was the constant for the Crimson Tide in that offense.
No. 7: Kentucky WR Randall Cobb
No. 9: Georgia OLB Justin Houston
No. 10: Arkansas RB Knile Davis
No. 11: Georgia WR A.J. Green
No. 12: LSU DT Drake Nevis
No. 13: Auburn OT Lee Ziemba
No. 14: LSU LB Kelvin Sheppard
No. 15: South Carolina DE Devin Taylor
No. 16: Florida S Ahmad Black
No. 17: Arkansas TE D.J. Williams
No. 18: Alabama S Mark Barron
No. 19: Florida CB Janoris Jenkins
No. 20: Mississippi State LB Chris White
No. 21: LSU RB Stevan Ridley
No. 23: Alabama DE Marcell Dareus
No. 24: Kentucky LB Danny Trevathan
No. 25: Alabama LB Courtney Upshaw