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|Florida quarterback Tim Tebow and Georgia running back Knowshon Moreno top a list of talented SEC offensive players.|
Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low
I'll be taking the rest of this week off to gear up for the unofficial start of the SEC season next week. The SEC Media Days are scheduled for July 23-25 in Birmingham, and I'll be there with wall-to-wall coverage all three days.
But to get us through the rest of this week, I've put together a package on the "Best of the SEC," which I'm sure won't create any debate, second-guessing or lively conversation.
We'll start today by ranking the 10 best offensive players in the SEC. Check back on Tuesday for the 10 best defensive players. We'll rank the 10 most underrated players on Wednesday, the 10 most likely breakout players on Thursday and the 10 best impact newcomers on Friday.
Let me hear who we've left off, who's ranked too high or too low and who's ranked about where they should be.
In a conference as talented as the SEC, it's almost impossible to pick just 10 players for each of these lists. But here goes:
1. Tim Tebow, QB, Florida: The first sophomore in history to win the Heisman Trophy and the only player in NCAA history to rush for and pass for 20 touchdowns in the same season. And, no, he doesn't wear a cape.
2. Knowshon Moreno, RB, Georgia: Joined exclusive company last season with 1,334 rushing yards. The only SEC freshmen to rush for more were Herschel Walker, Emmitt Smith and Jamal Lewis.
3. Percy Harvin: WR, Florida: Keep an eye on him, because he might line up anywhere. The SEC's most versatile weapon, Harvin has averaged nearly 10 yards per carry and 15 yards per reception.
4. Andre Smith, OT, Alabama: A starter from the day he stepped foot on campus, Smith is the prototypical left tackle and the most devastating blocker in a league ripe with great blockers.
5. Michael Oher, OT, Ole Miss: Took a long look at turning pro following his junior season. The 6-foot-5, 320-pound Oher has gained upper-body strength and will be even better in 2008.
6. Jonathan Luigs, C, Arkansas: One of the most complete offensive linemen in the country, Luigs won the Remington Trophy last season as the most outstanding center in college football.
7. Matthew Stafford, QB, Georgia: He doesn't wow you over with eye-popping statistics, but the big Texan can make all of the throws and has the kind of physical tools you can't teach.
8. Kenny McKinley, WR, South Carolina: If Harvin's the SEC's best receiver, McKinley's not too far behind. He led the league in receptions (77) and receiving yards per game (80.7) last season.
9. Arian Foster, RB, Tennessee: His total of 1,650 all-purpose yards last season was the second best mark in school history. Has the size, vision and pass-catching skills to hurt teams a variety of different ways.
10. Cornelius Ingram, TE, Florida: Came to Florida as a quarterback. Ingram caught seven touchdown passes a year ago. If this physical specimen takes his blocking to another level, look out.
In closing: I could have easily picked a few more offensive linemen for this list. The SEC is stacked with NFL-caliber offensive linemen for 2008. And if Harvin is 100 percent healthy after coming back from heel surgery, he gets my nod as the best playmaker in the league.