The SEC top players, coaches, surprises and disappointments at the midseason, along with three bold predictions for the second half.
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10 Best SEC Players at the Midseason
1. QB Tua Tagovailoa, Soph. Alabama
The entire top ten list could be made up of Alabama players, but Tagovailoa has been the one who has taken the always-great team from great to jaw-dropping unstoppable. Cranking up the offense to a whole other level, he’s completing 75% of his passes for 1,495 yards and 18 touchdowns with no picks. He’s getting help from the amazing talent around him, but he’s the conductor of the unquestioned No. 1 team.
2. RB Benny Snell, Sr. Kentucky
The stats don’t matter. He has three 100-yard games – and a 99-yarder against South Carolina – but it’s the attitude, the focal point, and the workhorse ability that carried the Cats through their shocking first half. If it’s possible to vote for a true Most Valuable Player of the first half, Snell would be right there in the hunt.
3. LB Devin White, Jr. LSU
Already a great pro prospect coming into the season after a 133-tackles season, the 6-1, 240-pounder is showing off even more of the range and flash – he’s moving up the draft charts in a hurry. He might not be a top pass rusher, but he’s been the leader of the LSU D, and he’s getting in on everything against the run, ranking second in the conference in tackles.
4. LB Josh Allen, Sr. Kentucky
There’s talent on the UK defense, but what Benny Snell has been for the O, that’s what Allen has been for the other side. The 6-5, 260-pounder has done his best Khalil Mack impersonation so far – especially against South Carolina – with 37 tackles, six sacks, 10.5 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, and a whole slew of tone-setting moments throughout the first half.
5. CB Deandre Baker, Sr. Georgia
Call this placement the representative of the great Georgia D. He’s the best corner in college football, and yet teams still don’t avoid him at all costs. The expectations were through the roof coming into the season, and he’s meeting them, doing a nice job against the run, breaking up six passes, and coming up with two picks, taking over the South Carolina right away with an interception – even if there was a slight problem at the end.
6. OT Jonah Williams, Jr. Alabama
Someone has to be paving the way for the unstoppable attack. He’s been hurt for a bit, but he has yet to allow a sack – he’s keeping Mr. Tagovailoa upright – and he’s been every bit the killer for the ground game he was supposed to be. The Outland Trophy National Player of the Month for September is destroying people, playing like the top five overall pick he’s expected to be.
7. RB Trayveon Williams, Jr. Texas A&M
The SEC’s leader in rushing yards and yards from scrimmage, he’s cranking up 142 yards per game – almost 18 yards more per game than Benny Snell, and with no one else averaging more than 116. Okay, so a bulk of the yards came in the opener against Northwestern State, but he ripped up Arkansas and came up massive against Kentucky with 138 rushing yards, 72 receiving, and a game-winning score.
8. QB Jake Fromm, Soph. Georgia
He’s getting overshadowed by Tua Tagovailoa, the passing yards from Jordan Ta’amu at Ole Miss, and even the emergence of Kellen Mond at Texas A&M, but he’s been nothing short of brilliant so far with 12 touchdowns passes, just two picks, and completing 73% of his passes. How good has he been? Is Justin Fields starting yet?
9. CB Greedy Williams, Soph. LSU
There’s some debate about who the best defensive back in the SEC might be – Florida and Alabama have their share of talents, and Georgia’s Deandre Baker is special – but the thin, lightning-fast, tall Williams is coming through with as good a season as any of them. The superstar pro prospect isn’t getting tested, but he still has two picks – getting a key one against Auburn – and continues to be great at keeping everything in front of him.
10. DE Montez Sweat, Sr. MIssissippi State
Take your pick between Sweat or defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons from the Mississippi State defensive front – they’ve both been fantastic. Sweat took over the Auburn game with three sacks, has been strong throughout the year against the run, and has been a regular in the backfield.