SEC football teams recruit at the highest level year in and year out. 2012 was no exception. As good as the talent returning in the conference is, a few freshman, by choice or by force, will be needed by their team to make an immediate impact. Let’s take a look at five SEC freshman that are ready to make a first game impact.
1. Shaq Roland, WR, South Carolina: The Gamecocks lost All SEC receiver Alshon Jeffery to the NFL in April, and with it, his 3,042 receiving yards which ranks second all time in the SEC. Roland should get immediate action, as the depth chart at receiver for the Gamecocks is good but not great. Roland was the prize recruit in a 2012 recruiting class as he led Lexington High in South Carolina with nearly 2,000 yards and 24 touchdowns.
2. John Theus, OT, Georgia: With the suspension of Colton Houston by the NCAA, Theus moved to first team tackle quickly. As we are just a few days from game day, it looks as if Theus has asserted himself at the starting right tackle position.
3. Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama: Cooper has drawn praise from Head Coach Nick Saban about his performance since stepping on campus in January. Cooper has the size and 6’1″ and the speed to be a factor in the Tide’s passing game in 2012. Alabama is looking for someone to separate and be the leader at wideout, Cooper could be that guy.
4. DeVante Harris, CB, Texas A&M: Harris broke hearts in Norman as he decommitted from the Sooners and chose instead, to play his college football in College Station. The Aggies are very thin and inexperienced in the secondary which will allow for Harris to make an immediate impace.
5. Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia: Gurley has drawn praise from teammates and was even compared to Trent Richardson by senior safety Shawn Williams. While it will be tough to live up to that kind of hype, Gurley is ready to go. He will not start but expect him to be on the field early and often when the Bulldogs open up play versus Buffalo.
These five freshman are ready to take the SEC by storm and are poised to make an immediate impact.
Freddie Vickers covers the SEC for Rant Sports
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