As the 2016 college football season approaches, here are 10 players who will be big names in the SEC this fall.
March 10, 2016
1 of 10Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Jonathan Allen, Alabama DE
Allen recorded 36 tackles, 12 sacks and two forced fumbles during his first-team All-SEC campaign as a junior. After passing on the NFL draft, he's now poised to step into an even larger role on the Crimson Tide's defensive line, which loses A'Shawn Robinson and Jarran Reed.
2 of 10John Adams/Icon Sportswire
Nick Chubb, Georgia RB
A knee injury ended Chubb's season after just six games in 2015, halting a torrid start in which he gained at least 120 yards in each of the Bulldogs' first five contests. Chubb has looked healthy in fall practices and should be ready when Georgia kicks off the season against North Carolina.
3 of 10Greg McWilliams/Icon Sportswire
Joshua Dobbs, Tennessee QB
Dobbs finished fifth in the SEC in passing yards last fall in his first season as the full-time starter. He threw for 2,291 yards and 15 touchdowns while also rushing for 671 yards and another 11 scores.
4 of 10Marianna Massey for Sports Illustrated
Leonard Fournette, LSU RB
Fournette was a consensus first team All-America last season and he'll be on the short list to win the Heisman Trophy in 2016. He rushed for 1,953 yards and 22 touchdowns in his sophomore campaign.
5 of 10Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire
Myles Garrett, Texas A&M DE
The 6'5" defensive end had 11.5 sacks and 59 tackles as a sophomore, building on a breakout 2014 campaign in which he broke Jadeveon Clowney's SEC record for sacks by a freshman.
6 of 10Wade Payne/AP
Jalen Hurd, Tennessee RB
Hurd started every game for the Volunteers last season as a sophomore and earned second team All-SEC honors. He rushed for 1,285 yards and 12 touchdowns.
7 of 10Pouya Dianat for Sports Illustrated
Chad Kelly, Ole Miss QB
Kelly was one of 10 finalists for the 2015 Manning Award, which is awarded to the nation's top quarterback. He earned second-team All-SEC honors after throwing for 4,042 yards and 31 touchdowns.
8 of 10Tony Gutierrez/AP
Christian Kirk, Texas A&M WR
Kirk made an immediate impact as a true freshman, racking up 1,009 receiving yards with seven touchdowns while also averaging 19.3 yards per kickoff return and 24.4 yards per punt return. He was the lone freshman to be named to the AP's first-team All-SEC last season.
9 of 10Darren Carroll for Sports Illustrated
Calvin Ridley, Alabama WR
Ridley emerged as the Crimson Tide's new primary receiver in only his freshman season, catching 89 passes for 1,045 yards with seven touchdowns. He came up big late in the season, gaining 138 yards with two scores in the playoff semifinal against Michigan State.
10 of 10Chip Litherland for Sports Illustrated
Jalen Tabor, Florida CB
Tabor was one of two Florida cornerbacks (along with Vernon Hargreaves III) to be named to first-team All-SEC in 2015 after he recorded 40 tackles, four interceptions and two touchdowns. He is suspended for the Gators' season opener against UMass but will be back for their start to SEC play against Kentucky in Week 2.
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