Friday, August 24, 2012
Instant impact: Eastern Division
By Edward Aschoff
As the season gets closer we're continuing to look at some of the SEC's newcomers in 2012.
This time, we're taking it a little further by involving all of the new faces that could see the field this fall.
Today, we're looking at true freshmen, redshirt freshmen, transfers and junior college transfers who could help teams right away. So we don't get too cluttered, we're picking three players from each team.
I'll take a look at the candidates in the Eastern Division, while Chris will pick his Western Division players later today.
Let's see who could strut his respective stuff in the East this fall:
- Dante Fowler Jr., DE, Fr.: Will Muschamp wants as many pass-rushers as he can get, and Fowler has been very impressive this fall. He should be used at the Buck position to rush in third-down situations.
- Damien Jacobs, DT, JC: He has been impressive since arriving this spring and should be in Florida's line rotation. He's made the biggest impact in practice stopping the run.
- Latroy Pittman, WR, Fr.: He isn't the fastest receiver out there, but Pittman was one of Florida's most consistent players this spring and should have every opportunity to get solid playing time this fall.
- Todd Gurley, RB, Fr.: He didn't arrive until the fall, but he's been a practice favorite for coaches and teammates. Ken Malcome might have been named the starter, but Gurley should still push for that spot.
- Marshall Morgan, K, Fr.: Georgia's kicking game was hard to watch last year, but Marshall was signed to ease that pain. He's the favorite to land Georgia's place-kicking job this fall.
- John Theus, OT, Fr.: He has already made his presence known on Georgia's line by taking the right tackle spot. All indications are that he isn't giving it up either.
- Daryl Collins, WR, RFr.: He made an impression on the coaches since coming back from a knee injury this spring and is hoping to be used similar to how Randall Cobb was used for the Wildcats.
- Landon Foster, P, Fr.: Kentucky must replace one of the league's best punters in Ryan Tydlacka, and Foster stepped right in this fall and became the favorite to do just that.
- Zach West, OG, RFr.: He was a top recruit for Kentucky in 2011, has very good size and will start for the Wildcats at left guard to start the year.
- Evan Boehm, OG, Fr.: Injuries at left guard, including projected starter Travis Ruth, have given Boehm a lot more practice reps. He's been impressive enough to earn time and already has good size up front.
- Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Fr.: He was the nation's best recruit in the 2012 class and has been extremely impressive in fall camp, lining up both inside and out. Mizzou won't keep him off the field this fall.
- Mike Scherer, LB, Fr.: He already looks like a college linebacker with his size and has been getting reps with both the first-team and second-team defenses during fall camp.
- Jerell Adams, TE, Fr.: The staff loves his potential and he's been an absolute beast during fall camp this year. South Carolina isn't afraid to use multiple tight ends in its offense.
- Shaq Roland, WR, Fr.: South Carolina needs another consistent receiving target and Roland, who was the Gamecocks' top signee, has shown a ton of natural playmaking ability in camp.
- Brandon Shell, OT, RFr.: He sat out last year, but his coaches didn't hesitate to make him the starting left tackle. With that year off, he became an even better pass-blocker.
- Daniel McCullers, NG, JC: He arrived this summer, but has been extremely solid up front. He'll enter the first game as the starting noseguard.
- Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, JC: Now that Da'Rick Rogers is out, Patterson becomes even more important. He has all the talent to be a legit deep threat in this league.
- Darrington Sentimore, DE, JC: Tennessee needed more help up front and plucked a pretty good one in Sentimore from the juco ranks. He's set to start opening day.
- Josh Grady, WR, RFr.: He moved from quarterback to receiver because of his athleticism and he'll have a chance to make plays catching the ball and as a Wildcat quarterback.
- Kris Kentera, TE, RFr.: Another former quarterback, Kentera is being used as an H-back, but has the ability to line up at different positions on the field as well.
- Brian Kimbrow, RB, Fr.: He's one of the few true freshmen James Franklin guaranteed playing time to and he'll get to show his stuff at running back, in the passing game and as a punt returner.