Tuesday, August 7, 2012
The SEC's best 25 players: No. 19
By Edward Aschoff
This certainly isn't a down year for quarterbacks in the SEC, and our first one makes the list at No. 19:
No. 19: Tyler Bray, QB, Tennessee, Jr.
2011 summary: Bray was limited to just seven games last season because of a broken thumb suffered against Georgia. In the seven games he did play, he passed for 1,983 yards -- completing 59.5 percent of his passes -- and threw 17 touchdowns to six interceptions. Fourteen of those touchdowns came in the first four games of the season, and four of his interceptions came in the last two games.
Most recent ranking: Not ranked in the 2011 postseason countdown.
Making the case for Bray: Bray has only played in 16 career games, but has put up solid numbers in only a short amount of time. In barely two seasons of work Bray has passed for 3,832 yards and 35 touchdowns to 16 interceptions. He's displayed one of the league's strongest arms, and isn't afraid the tough passes. He puts just the right zip on his passes and has the ability squeeze them into tight spaces to find receivers. Sometimes he does rely on his arm too much, causing him to get lazy with his mechanics, but this spring was devoted to working on his technique, and more importantly, his footwork in order to give himself more time and more options. Making Bray much more imposing against defenses is the fact that he has a few quality receiving weapons to work with. Da'Rick Rogers was second the SEC in receiving yards last year and Justin Hunter is back from his ACL injury. When Hunter is healthy he's one of the SEC's top deep threats. Bray will also have junior college transfer Cordarrelle Patterson, who the coaches think will be another weapon to spread the field. There's no question Bray has the talent to be a top passer in this league, but his immaturity can get in the way sometimes. He has to work on being more of a true leader, and his recent off-the-field transgression showed he isn't there yet.
- No. 25: Matt Elam, S, Florida, Jr.
- No. 24: Da'Rick Rogers, WR, Tennessee, Jr.
- No. 23: Sean Porter, LB, Texas A&M, Sr.
- No. 22: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama, Jr.
- No. 21: Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia, Jr.
- No. 20: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M, Jr.