Discussion

The SEC's most explosive playmakers

Updated: September 28, 2012, 3:20 PM ET
By Ryan McGee

When college football programs sell T-shirts and merchandise, whose face and number gets printed on everything? The biggest star on the team.

When Heisman voters get out their ballots, who gets first dibs on having their name jotted down? The guys with the best numbers.

So, naturally, those are the same guys who keep opposing coaches up at night, right? The guys who dominate late-night film sessions -- leaving the men scheming to beat them drooling on their laptops -- would have to be the team captains, the faces of their programs, correct?

"No," said College Football Hall of Famer Johnny Majors, former head coach at Iowa State, Pitt and his alma mater, Tennessee. "You think about the players I was fortunate enough to coach, from Tony Dorsett to Curtis Martin. But the guy that other coaches would come up to me and say, 'We don't know what to do with this guy,' was Willie Gault."

Majors recalled that the world-class sprinter didn't catch a flood of passes as a wide receiver and was best known as a kick returner. But even though his stats weren't huge, Gault dominated the conversation because you always had to know where he was on the field.

"He might lie there in waiting for a couple of games and then boom, he was so explosive he could suddenly take over a game, and there wasn't much your opponent could do about it," Majors said. "Years later I remember thinking the same about [Rocket] Ismail with Notre Dame. Those are the kinds of players that can change a game in just a few seconds."

The SEC is packed with those kinds of players. And already there are whispers that if someone is going to knock off Alabama, it won't do it with 22 players. It will do it with one.

For this week's top-five list, I asked coaches and others around the game one question: Which SEC offensive player, non-quarterback, can change the game in an instant?

Here's our list of the five most explosive offensive threats in the SEC.

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