Finding next-level talent in the Southeastern Conference is as easy as spotting the sun on a clear day. The league is simply that good and has produced some incredible NFL players in recent years. But who is up next? Which rookies are about to take the conference, and country, by storm in 2018? Here are the top true freshmen in the SEC.
What a list it is, too. Don’t be surprised to see many, if not all, of these former top prospects on the SEC All-Freshman Team during the regular season, make program history during their careers, and have the star power to play in the NFL.
1. PATRICK SURTAIN JR. (DB/Alabama)
Arguably the best corner in the entire 2018 class, Surtain can easily make one of the biggest splashes of any player in the NCAA as a true freshman. The U.S. Army All-American incredible size and speed at 6-foot-1, 200 pounds, and is versatile in a variety of different coverages. This was a big-time commitment for the Crimson Tide to land the former NFL All-Pro’s son, and that will be evident as early as the season opener against Louisville. He is perhaps the early frontrunner to be the SEC Freshman of the Year.
2. EMORY JONES (QB/Florida)
Flipping this 6-foot-3 dual-threat signal caller from Ohio State to Florida was already a big deal, and getting Jones as an early enrollee was equally huge for new head coach Dan Mullen. It’s also no secret the quarterback situation in Gainsville was a little bit of a mess in 2017. The job likely belongs to redshirt sophomore Feleipe Franks, who played in all 11 games with eight starts for the Gators last season, but don’t be surprised to see Jones in the mix throughout the season.
3. JAMES COOK/ZAMIR WHITE (RB/GEORGIA)
No Nick Chubb and Sony Michel? No problem for Georgia in 2018. The Bulldogs have D’Andre Swift back after his strong rookie campaign and they bring in two studs in Cook and White to create a young three-headed monster of a running game with carries to go around.
At 6-foot and 200 pounds, White was the more coveted and highly ranked back of the two, but Cook (the brother of Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook) has very similar size and is college ready as well. There’s every reason to believe both will get plenty of totes in the SEC this fall.
4. TERRACE MARSHALL (WR/LSU)
With 4.5 speed to be a deep threat and the size to go up and get the ball, Marshall is a special talent who will give SEC defensive backs fits for the years to come. If healthy, the highly touted 6-foot-3 prospect can live up to the hype and be a major target in 2018.
5. JUSTIN FIELDS (QB/GEORGIA)
The Bulldogs just had Jake Fromm take them to the national championship game as a freshman, and still fully expect him to be even more lethal as a sophomore. Yet, when you sign one of the top quarterbacks in the country, the buzz is still going to be crazy. That’s how good Fields is, too. A 6-foot-3 dual threat who can be deadly accurate, Fromm better rise up and play at a similar level this fall or Fields could challenge for those snaps. An All-SEC future is on the horizon.