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Top SEC Sleepers For 2010

Fans most often focus on the four- and five-star prospects in recruiting.

That makes sense. They help with recruiting rankings and truthfully give teams the best chance to win.

Still, the depth of the class is found in the players who receive less talk but turn out to be key players in college.

We looked through each SEC team’s signing class for 2010 to find the most likely sleepers.

Alabama – Harrison Jones – Alabama hopes this tight end from Memphis, Tenn., can follow in the footsteps of his older brother, offensive lineman Barrett Jones, who started as a sophomore for the Crimson Tide in 2009. Harrison Jones arrives at Alabama with good size (6-4, 225), and he plays an important position in Nick Saban’s offense. Jones’ father, Rex, played basketball for Alabama. Success with the Crimson Tide runs in the family.

Arkansas – Maudrecus Humphrey – He could turn into an offensive playmaker for the Razorbacks. Humphrey signed with Arkansas out of Hoover, Ala. His size (6-2, 185) should allow him to be a big target in Bobby Petrino’s offense. Humphrey’s father, Bobby Humphrey, played running back at Alabama. Maudrecus knows the SEC and comes from a program at Hoover High School that has successfully developed players for the college level. Humphrey should thrive in the SEC.

Auburn – Ed Christian – This offensive lineman probably doesn’t sound like a sleeper to Auburn fans, but Christian isn’t ranked as highly as many of his fellow Tiger signees for 2010. Christian comes from a solid program at Lowndes High School in Valdosta, Ga., and he will be key in Gene Chizik’s attempt to return Auburn to a high level. Plenty of programs tried to sway Christian from Auburn before signing day. That’s because they know Auburn found a good one.

Florida – Trey Burton – It’s difficult to find a “sleeper” for Florida’s class, but Burton might just be that guy. He’s a quarterback who should find playing time immediately in 2010. John Brantley is the clear starter for the Gators, but coach Urban Meyer has said he would like to use a second quarterback in short yardage situations. Burton (6-3, 205) has the size to help in those spots. He enrolled at Florida for spring practice and should be ready to play this fall.

Georgia – Brandon Burrows – He might need more time to develop as he returns from a knee injury, but this defensive end should thrive in Todd Grantham’s defense in Athens. Burrows (6-3, 240) enters college with good size and the ability to add weight to his frame. He wasn’t a highly-rated player in recruiting, but he had enough ability to draw interest from schools like Alabama, Florida, Oklahoma and Clemson. He should be a valuable in-state get for Mark Richt’s Bulldogs.

Kentucky – Dale Trimble – This cornerback from Gadsden, Ala., could help Kentucky as it looks to revamp its defense, which has to replace departed senior Trevard Lindley. Trimble had the opportunity to play alongside cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick at Gadsden High School. Kirkpatrick, the nation’s No. 1 cornerback in the 2009 class, will be a sophomore at Alabama this fall. Trimble has shown the ability to make plays on the ball while also being able to cover the deep pass. Tremble should be able to match up well against SEC receivers once he develops in Kentucky’s weight program.

LSU – Elliott Porter – He starred as a defensive lineman in high school but projects as an offensive guard at LSU. Porter is an in-state player that several schools tried to lure away late in the recruiting process. LSU will look to improve its offensive line, and Porter should help do that as he develops with the Tigers. It will take time for Porter to be ready to play, but in a few years he will likely stand out in a class that includes several high school All-Americans.

Mississippi State – Jay Hughes – He’s a fine athlete who likely will play running back for the Bulldogs. Mississippi State needs someone who can carry the football while also catching the ball out of the backfield. Hughes is that guy. Hughes, whose father Tony Hughes is an assistant coach at Mississippi State, has a good understanding of the game and should pickup the Bulldogs’ offense quickly. He’s still recovering from a torn knee ligament, but Hughes says he’s fine and ready to go this fall.

Ole Miss – Clarence Jackson – A good athlete at the linebacker position, Jackson should be a versatile player for the Rebels. He will have a chance to play running back, but many believe his future is on defense. Ole Miss is just happy to have him after several programs, including Mississippi State and Tennessee, tried to convince him to switch his commitment from Ole Miss.

South Carolina – Brandon Golson – He would probably be ranked higher if he had started playing football before his junior year. Golson participated in the Shrine Bowl after he recorded 30 sacks and 113 tackles as a senior at Calhoun County High School in St. Matthews, S.C. He’ll have former high school teammate Alshon Jeffery to show him around in Columbia. Once Golson learns more about the game, he’ll be seen plenty around the SEC.

Tennessee- Marcques Dixon – He’s a talented defensive back who will have a chance to play early at UT. Dixon had to miss his junior season at Southwest DeKalb High School because of academics. Otherwise, he would have received more attention and interest from major college programs. Still, UT and Miami were impressed enough to battle it out for Dixon. He could also help UT’s special teams, which have struggled to find big-play threats in recent years.

Vanderbilt – Kenneth Ladler – He should be a solid defensive back for the Commodores. Ladler, who projects to play safety, is a solid pass and run defender. He has good size (6-2, 190) to be able to hold up to the physical demands of the SEC. He comes from a program at Stephenson High School in Stone Mountain, Ga., that is known for producing college talent. Linebacker Perry Riley from LSU and defensive end Jermaine Cunningham from Florida are two former Stephenson players who were drafted in the NFL last week.

 


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  2. [...] SEC top sleepers in the 2010 class: Georgia – Brandon Burrows – He might need more time to develop as he returns from a knee injury, but this defensive end should thrive in Todd Grantham's defense in Athens. Burrows (6-3, 240) enters college with good size and the ability to add weight to his frame. He wasn't a highly-rated player in recruiting, but he had enough ability to draw interest from schools like Alabama, Florida, Oklahoma and Clemson. He should be a valuable in-state get for Mark Richt's Bulldogs. [...]

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