At different points over the next few weeks, the freshmen who didn’t enroll early around the SEC will start showing up on campuses to begin preparations for the 2010 season.
We all want to know who’s going to play early and who might redshirt.
So many variables go into those decisions that it’s exceedingly difficult to predict who among the true freshmen will make the biggest impact, especially when you haven’t seen these guys on a college practice field.
Nonetheless, we’re going to try.
Here are 10 incoming true freshmen (excluding those who enrolled early and went through spring practice) who are most likely to play early next season and make a significant impact:
1. Ronald Powell, DE, Florida: He’s athletic enough to play just about anywhere he wants. But the Gators need pass-rushers off the edge, and Powell looks like a natural. You'll hear his name a lot next fall.
2. Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida: Watch his tape, and Floyd looks like and plays like a man on every snap. Florida needs some more muscle on its defensive line, and Floyd will provide that.
3. Marcus Lattimore, RB, South Carolina: Typically, running back is one of the easiest positions for a true freshman to come in and play right away. The Gamecocks are hopeful Lattimore can help revive their running game with his big-play ability.
4. Michael Dyer, RB, Auburn: Senior Mario Fannin had a solid spring for the Tigers, but Dyer is one of those backs who’s ready to play right now physically. Auburn could have one sweet running back rotation in 2010 when you also throw in Onterio McCalebb.
5. Da’Rick Rogers, WR, Tennessee: The Vols will have a first-year starter at quarterback and five new starters on the offensive line. The 6-3, 215-pound Rogers is the kind of receiver that makes everybody around him look better.
6. Alec Ogletree, S, Georgia: Junior college newcomer Jakar Hamilton made an immediate impact in the Bulldogs’ secondary this spring. Don’t be surprised if Ogletree does the same once he arrives.
7. Dominique Easley, DT, Florida: Notice a trend here? The Gators needed defensive linemen and brought in some of the finest in the country. Like Powell and Floyd, Easley will get every chance to play early.
8. J.R. Ferguson, DE, LSU: The Hargrave (Va.) Military Academy product could end up playing inside or outside for the Tigers. He has the frame (6-3, 272 pounds) to bulk up and plays with great intensity.
9. Chris Smith, DE, Arkansas: He wasn’t the biggest recruiting name, but had everybody talking after his performance in the Carolinas Shrine Bowl all-star game. Exceptionally strong, Smith may be the pass-rusher the Hogs are looking for.
10. Trovon Reed, WR, Auburn: Offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn is already drawing up different plays for the versatile Reed, who will be perfect as a slot receiver in Malzahn’s spread offense.