Shane: Great athletes abound in the SEC

By Shane from Centerpoint
With his sidekick Dont’a Hightower out with an injury Alabama linebacker Rolando McClain took no prisoners in Kentucky’s Commonwealth Stadium. He devastated the Wildcats with 12 tackles, a momentum shifting interception, and a tipped pass that lead to another pick. The Crimson Tide’s defensive captain also caused a fumble that was returned for a touchdown. At 6’4”and 258 pounds, McClain is a prime example of the elite class of “super-athlete” that can be found throughout the Southeastern Conference.

One of the top tailbacks in the nation also plays for Alabama. Sophomore Mark Ingram (5’10” 215 lbs) has the speed, style, and power of a young Emmitt Smith. He is the top weapon on an Alabama team loaded with offensive talent. Ingram is a complete back who excels in every aspect of the position.

LSU’s Charles Scott is another running-back that will probably play on Sundays next year. He is 240-pound bruiser who is deceptively fast and shifty. Scott has the stamina to wear on a defense and the speed to take it all the way at any time.

The Georgia Bulldogs have one of the best young receivers in the country. A.J. Green stands 6’4”and weighs 210 pounds. He has the ability to get open and excellent focus on the ball after it’s thrown. Green’s hands are huge – if he gets his hands on the ball, he rarely drops it. A.J. has the pro scouts licking their chops.

Georgia has a tackling machine on the other side of the ball. Linebacker Rennie Curan lead the SEC last year and is on pace to do the same this year. At 5’10” and weighing about 220, Curan doesn’t fit the NFL proto-type, but plays superior technique. He puts on a tackling clinic every time he hits the field.

Everybody already knows everything about Florida’s “All-World” Tim Tebow. What else is there to say? He may very well be the greatest football player to ever play the college game. There are some analysts who question whether Tebow’s style will transfer to the NFL, but his opponents in the SEC can attest to his winning capabilities. The truth is that Tim Tebow can beat you a thousand different ways.

The Gators also have one of the top NFL prospects on the defensive side of the field. Brandon Spikes is cut from the mold of all great middle linebackers – he is huge (6’4” 250 lbs) and is the quarterback of the defense – calling all the formations and adjustments. Spikes possesses the unique instinct to always be around the football, making huge plays.

Anthony Dixon, Mississippi State’s big tailback, stands alone as the one Bulldog player who flies under the radar because he is on a very bad team. Dixon goes about 240 and he can easily run over or around would–be tacklers. He will make an excellent short-yardage or “red zone” runner at the next level.

South Carolina’s Erik Norwood is a 6’1”- 250 pound dynamo who can disrupt an offense from the first snap to the last whistle. He is a defensive playmaker – always making a key play when his team needs it the most. Norwood projects to be very successful in the National Football League.

Eric Berry is Tennessee’s version of “thunder and lightning” combined in one player. At 6’1” and 205 pounds, Berry hits like former All-Pro Ronnie Lott, is a “ball hawk”, and has the ability to return an interception all the way every time he makes one. Eric is always around the football. He could potentially be the NFL “rookie of the year” in his first season – he’s that good.

These are ten players – among 100 or more other SEC players on SEC rosters – who will earn big money in the league where they pay them to play. Every player in the above list has a great shot to be selected in the first round, which probably means that one day millions of dollars will line their pockets.

Some of you will be thinking that there are other players who have equal potential to reach the same goals as those mentioned above. Truth is, you’re right! That statement alone says it all about the quality of the talent in the SEC.
—Shane writes a weekly column for the Call News and the Capstone Report.