After a nice weekend chilling in Atlanta, I’m back with the final position and the top 5 players from the SEC:
5) Tyler Wilson, Arkansas
He had a great performance in a big game last year filling in for a star QB. So did Garret Gilbert of Texas in the 2010 BCS Championship Game. How did that translate to the next season? Not well. I’m not at all saying that will happen to Wilson; just that one good performance doesn’t mean jack. Let’s see him do it again, with everybody keying in on him, with all the hype he earned last year. He does have the skill set and the receivers around him to help out. But let’s wait until he actually does well as a starter against good teams before we rain praise on him.
4) Stephen Garcia, South Carolina
Look up the word enigma in the dictionary. If there’s no “Stephen Garcia” in the synonyms, sue the dictionary. This guy is as unpredictable as George Steinbrenner on a bad day. Sure, he can sling it. Sure, he can buy some time with his feet. Sure, he can fit the ball in a tight window. But how he and his QB coach Gus Mangus act off the field will determine how well he does. Having guys like Alshon Jeffrey and Marcus Lattimore is a big plus, and if he stays out of trouble, he should have a great year. But that IF is bigger than Mars.
3) John Brantley, Florida
Laugh. But when in a system that fits him, he does pretty good. Actually, he does National Player of the Year good. KC Joyner of ESPN was right. He can be elite in 2011. He’s got the arm strength, the accuracy, the footwork and the intelligence. The fifth and missing piece to Brantley’s success is confidence. How quickly Charlie Weis can restore it in him remains to be seen. That’s all that stands in the way between Brantley and his name being called in the top 10 in the NFL Draft. 10 picks vs. 9 TD’s a year ago is misleading when you remember who called the plays. that was then, this is now.
2) Tyler Bray, Tennessee
Once the Vols dumped the albino chiclet Matt Sims and turned to Bray, the Vols went 4-2 with a close loss to SEC East champions South Carolina, and a controversial Music City Bowl loss to North Carolina. Carolinas aside, Bray was undefeated against some of the lower SEC teams. Now the big tests come. Let’s see how he does against Florida, Alabama and LSU as a starter. But he looked very impressive a year ago. He’s also working with Justin Hunter, a highly underrated wide receiver.
1) Aaron Murray, Georgia
This hurts. But until somebody proves otherwise, Murray is the cream of the crop in the SEC and maybe the nation. Don’t worry Gator fans. Murray was awesome last year and Georgia sucked- with star receiver AJ Green. Now Green is gone, Georgia has only one running back, and one receiver (Isaiah Crowell and Orson Charles, respectively). Without Green, Murray’s numbers should take a small dip, but not much. In all honesty, I really do feel bad for Murray. He will waste a great career with a bad team. He is to some extent a dual threat QB, and he is not afraid to buy time with his feet, or even take off. Maybe he’ll wake up and take off from Georgia and join a real school, like North Alabama. Hey, they have Janoris Jenkins.