The Best Positional Units In The SEC

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In college football’s most dominating conference, perfection is the standard and phenomenal talent runs rampant. Individual greatness is easy to identify but with the next season persistently lingering just over the horizon, the question remains, which teams possess the best positional units entering next season? After all, this is the ultimate team sport.

QUARTERBACK – MISSISSIPPI STATE

Slightly contradictory here, but let’s face it, the quarterback position is a one man show. He can make those spectacular game winning plays that we will remember forever or he can send the whole season down the drain with a flick of the wrist. No other position in sports requires the aptitude and acumen like the quarterback position. In college football’s best conference, Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott stands above the rest.

Prescott led the Bulldogs to their third 10-win season in school history in 2014 and did so in impressive fashion. Prescott threw for 3,449 yards and 27 touchdowns, good for third and second in the conference respectively, and added another 986 yards and 14 touchdowns on the ground. With the departure of South Carolina’s Dylan Thompson and Alabama’s Blake Sims among others, look for Dak Prescott to be the top of the class of SEC quarterbacks in 2015.

RUNNING BACK – ARKANSAS

While Georgia’s Nick Chubb and LSU’s Leonard Fournette may be the most individually talented backs in the conference, there might be no better running back duo in all of college football than Arkansas’ Jonathan Williams and Alex Collins.

The duo were fourth and fifth in the conference respectively in rushing yards in 2014 and combined for 2,290 yards and 24 touchdowns while splitting carries nearly equally. Add in the fact that the Razorbacks return four of their offensive linemen from a year ago and you have the recipe for what could be a spectacular ground attack in 2015.

WIDE RECEIVER/TIGHT END – TEXAS A&M

If you want prolific offense and a five-wide high flying style of play, you don’t need to look any further than the Texas A&M Aggies. In 2014, Texas A&M led the conference with 3,971 passing yards and 39 touchdowns. You don’t come by those kinds of numbers without some great receivers, and you can’t play five-wide without some excellent depth at the position.

The Aggies will return five out of their top six receivers from last season led by junior Josh Reynolds, who was second only to Alabama’s Amari Cooper in touchdown receptions last season with 13.  Sophomores Speedy Noil and Ricky Seals-Jones will look to be an even bigger part of the offense this year and five-star freshman wide-out Christian Kirk will also join the arsenal in 2015. With none of the quarterback controversy that permeated throughout much of last season, look for the Aggies to put up points early and often through the air this season.

OFFENSIVE LINE – ARKANSAS

It’s no secret that the Razorbacks favor the ground game. A key component of any rushing attack is a powerful offensive line that can push opponents off of the ball and create lanes for their running backs.

Arkansas had the largest line in all of football last season, including the NFL, and will return four of the five starters from a unit that paved the way for nearly 2,300 rushing yards and led the conference in sacks allowed with only 14. With this kind of continuity and experience up front, look for coach Bret Bielema and staff to continue their ground and pound style into 2015.

FRONT SEVEN – ALABAMA

When it comes to recruiting, no team in the country does it as consistently well as Alabama has under head coach Nick Saban. Alabama recently locked up its fourth consecutive number one overall recruiting class. Let that sink in for a minute. This team isn’t looking to replace their departed key players, they are simply reloading the magazine. And when it comes to dominant defensive players up front, Alabama makes it look easy.

In 2014 the Crimson Tide allowed 102.4 yards per game rushing and only five touchdowns all season. That’s an extremely impressive statistic considering the quality of teams they play every week. They were also fifth in the conference in sacks with 31 and will return five of their seven starters up front from last year. Alabama will add in five-star defensive tackle Daron Payne to the mix and pick up right where they left off last season.

SECONDARY – LSU

The case could be made for Florida or Georgia to have this spot but top to bottom no team in the SEC can match LSU’s depth and talent in the secondary. Much like Alabama dominates the line of scrimmage on defense, LSU consistently dominates opponents receivers with their corners and safeties.

LSU allowed only 10 touchdowns through the air last season and just 164.2 yards per game passing, ranking them first in the SEC and third nationally. The early departure of corner Jalen Collins to the NFL will sting slightly but LSU will simply reload with holstered talent and a plethora of incoming freshmen, led by five-star cornerback Kevin Tolliver II.

SPECIAL TEAMS – TEXAS A&M

The Aggies will have no worries on special teams during the 2015 season. They will return the SEC’s most accurate kicker from last season, Josh Lambo, who completed 86.7 percent of his attempts, and senior punter Drew Kaser, who had the fifth best average in the SEC. But despite their impressive arsenal of kickers, the Aggies best threat may be returner Speedy Noil, who was second in the conference in kick return yards last season and sixth in punt return yards. Look for Noil to find the endzone a few times for the Aggies this season on special teams.