WR Andre DeBose*-5’11, 186 lbs.
Andre DeBose was tabbed at the next Percy Harvin before he ever stepped foot on campus in Gainesville, Florida. Since then it’s been an up and down career full of inconsistency, struggles, and the occasional flash of talent. This has to be the year that DeBose emerges though if Florida coach Will Muschamp and Florida QB’s Jeff Diskell and Jacoby Briskett are to keep their jobs. DeBose is the biggest potential playmaker the Gators have and he has to step up.
TE Jordan Reed*-63, 239 lbs.
Jordan Reed is the converted QB, turned FB, turned TE, who hopefully is finally done moving positions. He is an athletic prospect with great size and potential. He’s still extremely raw as a route runner but is still developing and could be a huge threat running the seam route and down in the red zone. The Gators hope his light clicks on this year after the loss of TE AC Leonard to transfer.
DT Omar Hunter-6’1, 314 lbs.
An often overlooked prospect on Florida’s deep DL, Omar Hunter does not have the big play ability of fellow lineman Shariff Floyd and Dominique Easley but what he does know how to do is take up space and plug holes. With Easley moving outside to DE Hunter should be made into a starter and will be vital to helping the LB’s stay clean of traffic and make plays in run defense.
DE/OLB Cornelius Washington-6’4, 269 lbs.
Washington is a now converted DE, who will spend the first two games of the season on the outside as OLB due to the pending suspension of UGA OLB Chase Vasser. Washington is as physical as they come and will be one of the strongest OLB’s in the country this year. He has been bulking up to play the 3-4 DE position and when you give a player with his size and strength a two to three step head start you better watch out. We think Washington is one of the most exciting and versatile prospects in this conference.
DE Abry Jones-6’3, 306 lbs.
Abry Jones is a man on a mission this year, as he not only wants to be a part of this UGA defense but he wants to a difference maker for it. Traditionally 34 DE’s are more of the hard hat style players who don’t put up big stats but by doing their job they allow others to put up big numbers. Jones will be looking to get more aggressive in 2012 by beating his man and not just holding up the block. If successful he could see his stock sky rocket.
WR Marlon Brown-6’5, 222 lbs.
Marlon Brown was considered to be a possible crown jewel of his recruiting class when UGA took him out from right below Tennessee’s noses. Since then Brown has only seen the field on a limited basis and has struggled to live up to his hype. Brown had a very good spring and the hope if he will finally develop into a stud WR, which is more important now that freshman sensation Malcolm Mitchell is going to spend extended time at CB this season.
WR LaRod King-6’4, 211 lbs.
For LaRod King it may be less about his own skill level this season and more about the skill level of those around him, specifically at QB. King’s the best WR on the team thanks in no small part to his size but he’s struggled to find a QB who can consistently get him the ball. He’s got a long stride that allows him to cover a lot of ground but he’s got to get more explosive off the line and into his routes faster.
WR DL Moore-6’5, 198 lbs.
The expectation on DL Moore this season aren’t all that big, he’s only being asked to replace one of the best playmakers in the country in Alshon Jeffrey. Moore who has a big target radius will be counted on to take a large leap forward this year and give Connor Shaw somebody to throw to. Moore who doesn’t quite have the speed or physical nature of Jeffrey will need to work hard to get open against the quick and strong SEC CB’s he’ll face.
LB Shaq Wilson-5’11, 184 lbs.
South Carolina always seems to find these quick twitch, undersized LB’s who know how to fill holes and make plays. Wilson’s upside in the NFL may be limited but he will consistently make his impact felt on a defense that is loaded with talent. Wilson is listed at sub 6’0 but he plays like he’s 6’2, 250 throwing his body around like a wrecking ball. He’s a coach’s dream with the way he plays the game.
LB/SAF DeVonte Holloman-6’2, 226 lbs.
With star CB Stephon Gilmore now gone to Buffalo the onus of maintaining the pass defense will fall to safeties DJ Swearinger and DeVonte Holloman. Swearinger plays a more classic SAF role while Holloman will play SPUR position which is the hybrid LB/SAF role. Holloman uses his size and physical nature to body up TE’s and is able to flip his hips and run with most WR’s as well. Holloman also does a good job playing in the box and crashing down on run plays.
TE Mychal Rivera-6’3, 254 lbs.
For a while it seemed like every year Tennessee was producing a highly heralded TE prospect for the NFL. It’s been a little while since we’ve seen that but Mychal Rivera will hope to pick up right where those former Vols left off. He has good speed and athletic ability, and does a very good job using his body to position himself between the defender and the ball. His blocking is still a work in progress and he isn’t the most athletic prospect so his development in 2012 is something to watch very closely.
DT Daniel McCullers*-6’6, 380 lbs.
When we say that the SEC is the biggest and best we present DT Daniel McCullers as proof of that. He may not quite be the best but he damn sure is the biggest. At 6’6, 380 we aren’t sure who or what is going to be able to block McCullers but needless to say we are very excited to find out. Coming out JUCO McCullers was able to just impose his will thanks to his physical ability, in the SEC he’ll need to refine his technique and cultivate his skills if he hopes to remain a dominant DT at this level.
DE Brad Madison-6’4, 265 lbs.
Madison reminds us so much of former Arkansas DE Jake Bequette it’s scary. Madison is a good pass rusher who isn’t blessed with the most athletic ability in the league. Madison makes plays by outworking his opponents and using very good fundamentals. He’s one of the most advanced defenders when it comes to knowing how to use his hands and is very keen in picking up on pre-snap clue to tell him what is coming.
WR TJ Moe-6’0, 195 lbs.
TJ Moe stole the show at SEC Media Day when he was asked what he thought about the SEC. His response was; “They say girls are prettier here, air’s fresher & toilet paper is thicker”. Well Moe will continue to steal the show on Saturdays this fall as the SEC learns about just how tough a cover Moe is. Blessed with soft hands and quick feet, Moe runs crisp and precise routes while making acrobatic and near impossible catches all over the field. He’s a true #1 threat and definitely somebody who will elevate their game when going against a higher level of competition.
RB Zac Stacey-5’9, 205 lbs.
With Norman out it was Stacey who emerged last year out of seemingly nowhere. Stacey, whose burst and tackle bouncing style reminded many of a bowling ball, ran for over 1,000 yards last year and really carried the load as Jordan Rodgers struggled at times to get his feet under him. With Norman back you can expect Stacey to remain the feature back but finally have somebody behind him that can give him a break and create some interesting personnel packages should Vandy choose to use them.
RB Warren Norman*-5’10, 202 lbs.
Warren Norman made the All-SEC Freshman team a few years ago when he first go to Vanderbilt but has struggled with injuries ever since and has barely seen the field. This year he’s finally healthy and is ready to take on a share role with Zac Stacey as both look to combine for over 2,000 rushing yard. Norman is also an accomplished return man and should be a welcome weapon on kickoff returns.