The first-team All-SEC running back may be the best player you've never heard of. He led Kentucky in rushing (1,045 yards, nine touchdowns) and receiving (46 catches for 449 yards) and led the SEC in punt-return average (16.9 yards). He also ranked fifth in the nation in all-purpose yards (180.2 yards per game). SEC fans refer to him as a poor man's Reggie Bush.
2 of 10Al Tielemans/SI
JaMarcus Russell, QB
The 6-6, 252-pound signal-caller incorporates a fearless, unrestrained playing style. He boasts a howitzer arm and impressive mobility. Russell has performed well in the offseason, even with rumors running rampant that Matt Flynn and Ryan Perrilloux are vying for the starting QB job.
3 of 10Scott A. Miller/US Presswire
Brandon Siler, LB
On a stout Gators defense that returns eight starters, Siler is the centerpiece. The 6-2, 242-pound playmaker is a vicious pass rusher and a proven ball hawk (he led the SEC with seven fumble recoveries last season). He's also very comfortable dropping back in coverage.
4 of 10Bill Frakes/SI
Darren McFadden, RB
After a breakout true freshman year in which he rushed for 1,113 yards and 11 touchdowns, the 6-2, 210-pound beast looked primed for a monster sophomore year. But in late July McFadden got into a fight outside a Little Rock night club and dislocated his toe. Currently recovering from surgery, McFadden is expected to miss at least the opener against USC.
5 of 10Bob Rosato/SI
LaRon Landry, S
With hard-hitting ability and a nose for the ball, he easily could have turned pro after last season. But the free safety, who led LSU in tackles in two of his first three seasons (he tied for third with 69 last year), decided to return and headline Bo Pelini's defense once more.
6 of 10Bob Rosato/SI
Chris Leak, QB
Although some fans are already clamoring for super recruit Tim Tebow, the QB job still belongs to Leak, and for good reason. In his first season in Urban Meyer's spread offense, Leak threw for 2,639 yards and 20 touchdowns to just six interceptions. Leak has high expectations for his senior season, publicly stating his goal to throw 50 TD passes.
7 of 10AP
Sidney Rice, WR
Only a redshirt sophomore, the 6-foot-4 Rice already has Steve Spurrier calling him one of the best receivers he's ever coached. A consensus first-team All-SEC selection, Rice hauled in 70 catches and set single-season school records with 1,143 yards and 13 touchdowns last year.
8 of 10Bill Frakes/SI
Kenny Irons, RB
After the Tigers lost Ronnie Brown and Cadillac Williams in the first round of the NFL draft, the South Carolina transfer filled in admirably, leading the SEC in rushing with 1,293 yards. He rushed for a season-high 218 yards and a touchdown in a 20-17 OT loss to LSU.
9 of 10AP
Patrick Willis, LB
Last season the speedy middle linebacker had 128 tackles, including an NCAA-leading 90 solo. He truly punishes ballcarriers with his big hits. Although he missed spring practice because of foot surgery, Willis is expected to be fully recovered for this season.
10 of 10Bob Rosato/SI
Quentin Moses, DE
He helped Georgia fans get over the loss of David Pollack very quickly by compiling 11.5 sacks and 20.5 tackles for loss in his first season as a starter. The first-team All-SEC selection boasts enviable quickness off the edge. He and Charles Johnson should be the most dominant book-end combo in the conference.
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