Here was the 2020 college football season going right along, minding it’s own business. Then here comes that big mean SEC to bombard you with an influx of talent. Don’t get me wrong, I’m ecstatic to have any type of sports in the times that we are currently living in. But there is another level of excitement when SEC football comes along. The higher level of talent and coaching just seems to bring out a different level of interest. Today I’ll be strictly highlighting a few SEC players and games you should have on your radar.
Alabama vs. Missouri
There will be alot of talent on the field in this game. The talent to watch most certainly will be Alabama WR Jaylen Waddle. The 5-10 183 receiver is simply electric. It’s not just his straight line speed that is dangerous, it’s his agility and effortless change of direction at the speed in which he moves that is so mind boggling. Waddle lead the nation with and average of 24.4 yards per punt return.
Pull up any highlight tape and you will see Waddle making guys miss in space on a routine basis. Now add that type of running ability and elusiveness to a route runner out of the slot, and you see why Jaylen Waddle is special. Waddle is not the biggest guy, which will lead to catch radius concerns. His routes could also use some refinement. But overall, Jaylen Waddle is one of the best receivers in the country. Below you’ll see a clip that really doesn’t need much explanation. It’s simply Jaylen being a quicker, faster human being than the guy covering him.
On the other side of the football, Missouri has a heat seeking missile by the name of Nick Bolton. The 6’0 232 LB lead the SEC in tackles in 2019 with 107. According to Pro Football Focus Bolton was the top graded Linebacker with a grade of 91.1. Bolton started the season as an outside LB, then injuries forced him into the middle linebacker position. He excelled in both roles. In the run game Bolton is a seek and destroy type of player.
He diagnoses the play quickly and shoots the gap to meet the ball carrier with bad intentions. In pass coverage Bolton uses his speed and instincts to prove himself as a reliable three down player. Bolton isn’t a guy you want taking on alot of blocks and letting offensive lineman lay hands on him. In the clip you’ll see where he’s most effective, free of blockers and using his read/react to blow up plays.
Tennessee vs South Carolina
There is some intriguing talent on that South Carolina offensive line, but today I’m looking at Tennessee offensive lineman Trey Smith. Trey Smith came to Tennessee as a 5 star recruit and played LT during his freshman season. Sadly his 2018 season was lost, as he was forced to sit out with blood clots that threatened his playing career. In 2019 Trey Smith came roaring back, starting 12 games at LG and earning First Team All SEC honors. The 6’6 330 mountain of a man has the ideal size and athletic ability to play any position on the offensive line. What in my opinion is more than ideal is the strength and mean streak Smith plays with. When you see him play, you see that Trey has no problem tossing people aside like a sack of potatoes. Here you’ll see him against 49ers first round pick Javon Kinlaw.
Auburn vs. Kentucky
“I feel like my mindset this year is just to go all out and prove to everyone that I am a wide receiver and there’s nothing left for me to prove……..Show what I’m all about”
Those are the words of Auburn WR Seth Williams. The 6’3 receiver dropped down from 224 to 211 lbs during the offseason and is motivated to solidify himself at the top of the WR class. Williams is looking to improve upon his 2019 numbers of 830 receiving yards and 8 touchdowns. With his size and strong hands it’s easy to see a jump in production on the horizon. Even though blinding speed, quickness and jaw dropping routes don’t seem to be William’s game, he brings a strength and physicality to the game that can’t be denied. Winning on slants, fade routes and contested catches like the one you see below is where Seth Williams will do his damage.