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August 3, 2012
The SEC lately has dominated the recruiting rankings almost as thoroughly as it has ruled the national title chase.
Eight SEC schools ranked among the nation's top 19 teams in the 2012 recruiting rankings: No. 1 Alabama, No. 3 Florida, No. 10 Auburn, No. 12 Georgia, No. 15 Texas A&M, No. 17 Tennessee, No. 18 LSU and No. 19 South Carolina. Ole Miss and Kentucky were the only SEC teams to rank outside the top 35.
So it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that the SEC has plenty of true freshmen and junior-college transfers ready to make instant contributions this fall. Heck, even defending national champion Alabama has two junior-college transfers challenging for featured roles in the secondary.
Perhaps no freshmen could mean more to the SEC race than Georgia's Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall. Georgia heads into the season as the East Division favorite, but the Bulldogs won't get to Atlanta unless they find a consistent running back. Of all the candidates in Georgia's backfield, Gurley and Marshall offer the most potential.
SEC newcomers likely will make the biggest impact at wide receiver. Of course, it starts with Missouri's Dorial Green-Beckham, the nation's No. 1 overall prospect. But even though Tennessee's Cordarrelle Patterson, South Carolina's Shaq Roland and Florida's Latroy Pittman didn't quite make our list, they all could have productive seasons.
DE Denico Autry
CB Deion Belue
WR Dorial Green-Beckham
RBs Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall
QB Bo Wallace