Preseason Breakout All-SEC Team
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Preseason Breakout All-SEC Team

Who is going to be the Nick Chubb of 2015?

Preseason Breakout All-SEC Team

With football season right around the corner, all eyes turned this past week to Hoover, Ala. for the 2015 SEC Media Days. Possibly one of the biggest weeks in the college football season, certain players and coaches took the podium to discuss the off-season and plans for the season. Of course, favorites such as Les Miles made an appearance and future stars like LSU's Leonard Fournette made appearances, giving hope to fans of The Mason-Dixon line teams that their school would be victorious.

Recently, released their 2015 Preseason All-SEC football team list. Of course, names like Georgia's Nick Chubb and Ole Miss' Robert Nkemdiche highlighted the first team ranks, but do we as fans really care about who the stars are? Personally, I would rather see the dark horses step up and be the future studs in the game. While we already see players who are already household names, we fans should also be able to see the unsung hero get his shot.

This is my preseason Breakout All-SEC Team list for 2015. Who is going to be the Nick Chubb of 2015? Who is going to give Vernon Hargraves a run for the money in interceptions? These are just a few players whose stats from previous seasons make them favorites to become the dark horse contender for the All-SEC Team come December. Oh, and to save people some time, here is a list of players who will not be on this list.

Alabama: RB Derrick Henry, DL A'Shawn Robinson, LB Reggie Ragland, OL Cam Robinson.

Arkansas: RB Jonathan Williams, OL Dan Skipper, QB Brandon Allen.

Auburn: QB Jeremy Johnson, WR Duke Williams, DL Carl Lawson, DB Jonathon Jones.

Florida: DB Vernon Hargreaves III.

Georgia: RB Nick Chubb, OL John Theus, LB Jordan Jenkins.

Kentucky: None.

LSU: RB Leonard Fournette, OL Vadal Alexander, DB Jalen Mills.

Mississippi St.: QB Dak Prescott, WR De'Runnya Wilson.

Missouri: QB Maty Mauk.

Ole Miss: DL Robert Knemdiche, WR Laquon Tredwell, OL Laremy Tunsil.

South Carolina: WR Pharaoh Cooper.

Tennessee: DL Derrick Barnett, LB Curt Maggitt, RB Jalen Hurd.

Texas A&M: OL Germain Ifedi, C Mike Matthews, DL Myles Garrett.

Vanderbilt: None.

Quarterback: Joshua Dobbs, Tennessee.

This was basically a toss-up of heads or tails between Dobbs or Texas A&M's Kyle Allen. The fact of the matter is Dobbs has played a little bit more, which makes him an actual break-out star.

Josh Dobbs was called into the game to replace Justin Woorley against rival Alabama. While Dobbs did take the loss, that was one of just two losses on his record the rest of the season. Like the rest of the team, the Vols have high expectations this year and Dobbs might be the reason their hopes to dominate in the SEC East might come true.

Dobbs has a solid throwing arm, finishing last season with nine touchdowns over 1200 passing yards. Not only that, but Dobbs is what one would call your prototypical dual-threat quarterback. Worst case scenario if no one is open, Dobbs tucks and runs the ball for a seven-yard pickup. Last season Dobbs rushed for almost 400 yards in just five games, so with a full season under his belt, Dobbs just might be the missing piece to bring Tennessee back from former glory.

Running back: Russell Hansbrourgh, Missouri.

With players like Leonard Fournette, Nick Chubb and Derrick Henry in your division, it is hard to get the respect from other teams. However if there was one player who could break through the barrier, Russell Hansbrough seems like the perfect candidate to fill the role. After two seasons of being an under-the-radar back, last year Hansbrough broke 1,000 yards for the first time in his career.

The reason he is a breakout candidate is due to the issues head coach Gary Pinkel might have with quarterback Maty Mauk. Mauk is a decent quarterback with some speed, but needs help with his passing. In steps Hansbrough to get more carries and gain more yards for the Tigers struggling offense. In a division with premier running backs, Russell Hansbrough isn't elite, but can be the difference maker in a win or loss against SEC East teams.

Wide receiver: Speedy Noil, Texas A&M.

While other wide receivers might be on the rise, Texas A&M had a handful of receivers that could have made this list. For a guy who found most of his touchdowns in a short-slanting game, Speedy Noil will be Texas A&M's golden boy for many years to come. Sure he had over 500 receiving yards last season, but expect Amari Cooper-like numbers this season from the Big Easy prospect.

Known as a return man for the Aggies, Noil will find his path by using his short frame for running quick slant routes and gaining yards up the field. A perfect Slot Receiver Noil will be a great team paired up with Kyle Allen and the deadly passing attack down in College Station. Josh Reynolds broke up for Kenny Hill last season, Now, it is time to see the talent "Speedy" can bring to the field.

Wide receiver: Malcolm Mitchell, Georgia.

With a new offensive scheme being brought in with Brian Schotenhiemer, whoever ends up being the Starting quarterback for the Bulldogs will have a special player in Malcolm Mitchell. The senior was very overlooked last year due to the duo of Hudson Mason and Chris Conely, but now Mitchell will show off what he has to offer.

At 6'1", Mitchell is your prototypical Z receiver who can make players miss by using his speed to get up the field. While Mitchell won't be a deep threat like Conely, he will be able to get the consistent first downs and YAC. Don't look for Mitchell to be leading the team in touchdowns, but receiving yards in the SEC East isn't that far out of reach.

Flex: Kenyan Drake, Alabama.

This position is based on the player who can play multiple positions and be the spark plug to an offense. Kenyan Drake may be a well known name after SEC Media Days, but he really shouldn't have been on the list this season.

After starting the season strong with six total touchdowns, Drake's season was cut short due to a broken leg he suffered against Ole Miss. With Derrick Henry now as the lead back for the Crimson Tide, Kenyan Drake is pretty much the odd man out right? Wrong. Drake has the speed of a running back, but the size and strength of a number two receiver. Not only that, but Alabama fans saw how well he was able to not only run the ball, but catch the deep ball and use his speed to out run anyone in his path. Drake isn't just a surprise breakout candidate for the SEC, but he should be a surprise to be in the hunt for every major category college football has to offer.

Tight end: OJ Howard, Alabama.

Okay, so maybe OJ Howard isn’t a breakout player like someone like Josh Dobbs, but think about it -- he is finally getting a shot. Last season, the tight end position at Alabama last season was much under used and when it was, now Chicago Bears tight end Brian Vogler got those catches. Now, as the solid number one tight end, Howard will be used not only in blocking, but in passing. Howard’s size makes him a huge target in the red-zone, but also in a third down situation. While he may be a favorite to be the top tight end in the 2016 draft class, Howard must have a solid junior year campaign to make that wish a reality. After a long offseason, Howard is ready to show the SEC what he was asked to do when coming from Prattville.

Tackle: Martez Ivey, Florida; Avery Young, Auburn.

Last year, the breakout freshman on the offensive line was Alabama’s Cam Robinson, so it is only fair that another freshman projected gets a chance. Let’s go with big boy for the Gators, Martez Ivy. Toped ranked tackle out of Apopka, Florida, Ivey has every reason to be on this list. Standing at 6'6", Ivey is your prototypical left tackle who will be able to protect the quarterback’s blindside against a three technique. Ivey is already projected to be the starting left, and if he can prevent less than 10 sacks from his side, he definitely has broken out from the high school level.

While he may have started last year, Avery Young will have to play big for the Tigers under new quarterback, Jeremy Johnson. Auburn's offensive coaches have said Young "could play all five positions on the offensive line.” This will play big in his favor just in case someone falls injured. At 6’6" and 330 pounds, Young will have to use his size on the right side of the center to keep the ends from coming around and getting to speedster Johnson in the backfield.

Guard: Sebastian Tretola, Arkansas; Mitch Hall, Missouri.

Remember last year when that guard from Arkansas threw that touchdown against UAB? Well, now remember the name Sebastian Tretola who will be another breakout tackle in the SEC. Tretola is a big, mean Razorback. Standing at 6’5" and weighing over 330 pounds,Tretola has the size to play either tackle or guard for his team. While he will start at right guard, he will be used in multiple plays as a puller to get to the outside linebacker and let Alex Collins or Jonathan Williams find their way into the end zone. Who knows? If things go well, he might even catch a touchdown this year.

Mitch Hall might be the most interesting player on this offensive line. While Hall did start in four games last year, he also is a transfer student from Ole Miss. In the past, transfer students in the SEC never seem to pan out. While usually those position players, Hall’s size makes him a solid favorite to become another great name in the history of the Mizzou offensive line. His 6’5, 320 frame makes him perfect for pass protection in case Maty Mauk decides to throw the ball this year. Mitch Hall should be able to help Mizzou fight for their third consecutive SEC East title.

Center: John Toth, Kentucky.

Look, just because Kentucky isn’t a solid football program, doesn’t mean the Wildcats never produce breakout players. While last year’s Bud Dupree broke out of the gate, center Jon Toth should be this year’s breakout guy from Lexington. Standing at 6’5" and 310 pounds, with the right tactics, Toth could be a solid offensive lineman in the NFL. Only a junior and already on the Rimmington trophy list for 2015 season, Toth should be looking for a big season to bring home some hardware.

Defensive line: Jonathan Allen, Alabama.

While he may have started last season, Jonathan Allen only showed part of what his raw potential could do on the field. A weak-side defensive end, Allen slowly established himself as an elusive pass rusher with a dozen tackles for losses and six sacks. This year he will return to the field and be as explosive as his sophomore year campaign. If he can continue to find his way into the backfield and stop running backs such as Leonard Fournette and Nick Chubb, don’t be shocked to hear his name called in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft.

Defensive line: Chris Jones, Mississippi State.

While Preston Smith was one of the two stars for the Bulldog’s defense last season, Chris Jones quietly put up some defensive numbers himself. With three sacks and four tackles for losses, Jones as a sophomore put average numbers as one could guess. Now as a full time starter, Jones will have to be the big Bulldog on campus if he wants to be considered a great like Benardrick McKinney or Jonathan Banks. Still, with his 6’6" frame, Jones should have no issue taking over as a three or five technique.

Defensive line: Montravius Adams, Auburn.

With Carl Lawson retuning this season, he will have a partner in crime on the defensive front. Former five-star recruit Montravius Adams will not only become a full time starter for the Tigers, but a monster from the front line. With over 30 tackles last season, and the first fumble recovery and interception in the same since Nick Fairley, Adams should give the Tigers a blast from the past with glimpses of Fairley. Adams is a big solid defensive tackle and should be able to break through guards and find his way into the backfield at least two dozen times this season. He wears number one for the Tigers, now time for him to prove he is number one.

Outside linebacker: Stephen Weatherly, Vanderbilt.

With very little to look forward to this upcoming season at Vanderbilt, Derrick Mason should be thankful he has a player like Stephen Weatherly. A red shirt junior, Weatherly collected 55 total tackles last season as well as 30 solo hits himself. His 6’5" frame will allow him to play strong off the edge, but also his wingspan will allow him to deflect passed balls as well as possibly a few interceptions. Weatherly may not be on the best team in the SEC, but he could be the best thing fans see in Nashville this season.

Inside linebacker: Kendell Beckwith, LSU.

While you could argue between Miami, LSU and Florida who is the true DBU, LSU has managed to send some pretty solid linebackers to the NFL as well. Former players such as Barkevious Mingo, Sam Montgomery, Kwon Alexander and Kevin Minter have made names for themselves in the NFL, and now Kendell Beckwith could possibly hear his name called in the future. After starting in seven games last season, with 88 career tackles in two seasons, Beckwith will try to double that number his junior season. His size alone makes him an asset to read between the A & B gaps and find his way up field to make huge tackle for losses. Beckwith was key for the Tigers defense last year, now he will be the voice of the Tigers defense, and possibly why LSU will be the team to beat in the SEC West.

Inside linebacker: Antonion Morrison, Florida.

Last season, a guy by the name of Dante Fowler Jr. was the king of the swamp. Little do fans known, he did have help coming from the middle to help him become a stud for the Gators last season. One of those players was inside linebacker, Antonio Morrison. Morrison, who opted to stay for his senior season, will be the voice of the Gators' defense under new head coach, Jim McElwain. Morrison has over 100 career tackles as well as 30 solo tackles. Morrison is solid player when breaking through the middle of the defenses and finding a way into the backfield. In a heavy running SEC East, Morrison will have his work cut out for him in 2015.

Outside linebacker: Donavin Newsom, Missouri.

It seems for the last several seasons during Missouri’s great run in the SEC East, at least one player shined from the line or linebacker group. First, it was Kony Ealy and Michael Sam, and then it was Shane Ray and Markus Golden. Now, it is the outside linebackers, Kentrell Brothers and Donavin Newsom. Newsom saw very little action in 2015, but he did manage to walk away with 25 tackles on the season. Now, in his first full year as a starter, Newsom should be in for a treat as the Sam backer in a 4-3 defense. His 6’2" frame may not make him a monster when attacking quarterbacks, but getting one to rush a throw shouldn’t be that big of an issue for Newsom. One thing is for certain, on a team that is expected to compete for a third straight season, Newsom will be a major contributor.

Cornerback: Jalen Tabor, Florida.

Look, everyone knows about Vernon Haregraves III and how well he will be during the 2015 season, but there’s another Gator to look out for in the Swamp. Last year, Jalen Tabor went from former five-star surprise signee to solid-nickel cornerback. Now moving to the outside, Tabor will have to not only be a solid-cover corner, but also a down-hill tackler against the big SEC East running backs. Last year, Tabor had 31 tackles and one interception, but also had two sacks from the Nickel-Dime formation. Expect him to double those numbers this season.

Safety: Jamal Adams, LSU.

When talking about the DBU academies, it would be a shame not to mention at least one LSU Tiger. Jamal Adams is what most would consider a stereotypical strong safety. Standing at 6’ and a little over 200 pounds, Adams is a monster running down field and can knock the wind out of any receiver cutting across his path. In starting only two games, Adams had three double-eight tackle games along with at least one sack. Adams will be put to the test early against receivers like LaQuon Treadwell and DeRunnya Wilson, but if he succeeds, there will be fear in the eyes of anyone who walks into Death Valley this season.

Safety: CJ Hampton, Ole Miss.

While there is no guarantee that he will be a starter for the LandShark’s Defense, CJ Hampton is a player to watch out for this season. With the loss of Cody Prewitt to the NFL, the Rebels will look to Hampton to step in his sophomore season and contribute. This past spring, Hampton was named by the team as Most Improved Defensive Player, which might indicate a starting role in the near future. Last season, Hampton excelled on special teams, collecting 10 solo tackles. While Strong Saftey Tony Connor will command the Land Shark backfield, don’t be surprised to see the Free Saftey from Meridian make some key plays for the Rebels this season.

Cornerback: Will Redmond, Mississippi State.

The one thing Mississippi State was always known for before their breakout season last year was producing NFL Corners. First, there was Jonathan Banks to the Bucs, then Darius Slay to the Lions. Now it is Will Redmond’s turn to make a name for himself. Serving the last two seasons as a nickel corner, Redmond will move to the outside for the first time in his career. An elite coverage corner, Redmond is known for his ability to read the cornerbacks eyes, and deflect passes from Suprub quarterbacks. If he can play the run as well as the pass, Redmond might go as high as a late first-round pick. After collecting 51 tackles from the nickel position last year, expect Redmond to make the same amount of tackles, but tack on at least several interceptions.

Head coach: Gary Pinkel, Missouri.

Now hold up, how can someone ask “How is Gary Pinkel underrated?” Well for starters, no one has given the Tigers a fighting chance to win the SEC East, even though they are two-time reigning champions. Next, the past several seasons, analysts have poked and clawed at the flaws in Pinkel’s offense. Finally, he has brought Mizzou the SEC Championship two of his three seasons in the SEC. If that’s not underrated I have no idea what is. In the end, Pinkel will be the reason Mizzou goes either 4-8 or 10-2 and back to Atlanta. He will either be Coach of the Year in the SEC, or halfway out the door.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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