Thursday, January 10, 2013
Five SEC West offensive players to watch
By Edward Aschoff
We've already taken a look at five offensive and defensive players to keep an eye from the SEC Eastern Division who could really breakout in 2013, now it's time to take a look at five players on offense to watch out for from the West (in alphabetical order, of course):
Note: LSU running back Jeremy Hill didn't make this list because he technically already broke out in 2012. We'll also take a look at the five defensive players from the West to keep an eye on tomorrow.
Arkansas QB Brandon Allen threw for 186 yards and one touchdown in his freshman season.
Brandon Allen, QB, Arkansas: We got to see just a little of what Allen could do when Tyler Wilson missed time because of his concussion, but he has the talent to be a fine player in this league. Now that he'll be counted on as being the guy in Fayetteville, he'll have time to develop some good chemistry with his receivers. And having offensive coordinator Jim Chaney helping him out shouldn't hurt either. Tyler Bray threw for 3,619 yards and 34 touchdowns under the guidance of Chaney in 2012.
Chris Black, WR, Alabama: He was supposed to be Alabama's top deep threat in 2012, but a shoulder injury sidelined him for the season, leaving fellow frosh Amari Cooper to become one of the SEC's top receivers. But Black should be fully healthy for the 2013 season, and while Cooper will continue to command most of the attention in the passing game, Black won't be ignored and he could have quite the season, as he helps take some of the attention away from Cooper. Another dynamic duo for Alabama? Goodness.
Malcolm Johnson, TE, Mississippi State: As a freshman, Johnson was a member of the All-SEC Freshman team, but a pectoral injury slowed him in 2012. With four senior receivers departing, quarterback Tyler Russell will have to start from scratch when it comes to finding a reliable receiving weapon, and he should heavily rely on Johnson this fall. That's not a bad thing because Johnson is a very athletic tight end, who will create mismatches over the middle because he has to speed to beat linebackers and the size to out-muscle defensive backs.
Trai Turner, OG, LSU: While the redshirt freshman didn't have a great outing against Clemson in the Chick-fil-A Bowl, LSU's coaches have high hopes for Turner, who started the last seven games of the season after Josh Williford suffered a concussion in the loss to Florida. Turner played very well down the stretch for the Tigers and could be primed for a true breakout year in 2013. He'll only get better with more reps and more development this spring.
Brandon Williams, RB, Texas A&M: After sitting out the 2012 season because of transfer rules, the former Oklahoma Sooner could make a big splash in the Aggies' backfield. He rushed for 219 yards on 46 carries as a freshman in 2011, and many feel he could be a very special player in this league. Having Johnny Football there should make his job easier. Now, Ben Malena and Trey Williams are still around, but Williams might be the most complete back the Aggies have, and Kevin Sumlin has shown that he isn't afraid to throw multiple guys out there at the running back position.