The Maxwell Award is given out to “The Outstanding Collegiate Player of the Year”. Here’s a preview on every Maxwell Watch List candidate from the SEC. A look into who they were last season, and who they can potentially be this season.
QB: AJ McCarron (Junior, Alabama)
With Trent Richardson running the show last season, McCarron was consistently successful in his shadow, proven with his MVP award in the BCS Bowl against LSU. In his sophomore season, McCarron posted a 66.8 completion percentage with 2,634 yards and 16 touchdowns. He was extremely accurate with only five interceptions in arguably the best defensive conference in the nation. As a junior, McCarron is poised to break out in attempt to lead Alabama to another National Championship. He should be very consistent totaling for anywhere from 2,800-3,100 yards and 21 touchdowns.
RB: Eddie Lacy (Junior, Alabama)
Standing at 6-1 220 pounds, Lacy is taking over for Trent Richardson. Last season he took the backseat, but this season the spotlight is on the hard-running Lacy. In just 95 rushing attempts, the big back had 674 yards and seven touchdowns. He should at least double his stats as a starter and end up with 1,400 yards and 18 touchdowns.
QB: Tyler Wilson (Senior, Arkansas)
Wilson will lead one of the scariest offenses in the nation this season. Last year, Wilson was stellar with 3,638 yards, 24 touchdowns, and only six interceptions in his 438 attempts. Their only losses came to LSU, Alabama, and Auburn, and I’m sure Wilson & Co. will be looking for revenge. Wilson will easily get 30 touchdowns this year as he competes for the title as the best quarterback in the SEC.
RB: Knile Davis (Junior, Arkanasas)
Davis is a strong back at 6-1 226 pounds, and coming off a very strong 2010 season. His 1,322 yards (6.5 avg) and 13 rushing touchdowns stats are simply remarkable considering he did not start to get a lot of carries until mid-October. He finished his last five games with 110+ yards and two games of 180+. 1,500 yards and 15 touchdowns would be fathomable in this Arkansas offense.
WR: Cobi Hamilton (Senior, Arkansas)
Behind every great quarterback there tends to be a wide receiver who reaps the benefits. With Jarius Wright and Joe Adams gone to the NFL, the 6-3 Hamilton is the qualified replacement. Last season, Hamilton was the third-option and still had 34 receptions for 542 yards and four touchdowns. This upcoming season he could double his stats if he is Wilson’s favorite target.
RB: Onterio McCalebb (Senior, Auburn)
Onterio is a very dangerous smaller back at 5-10 170 pounds, and will be a huge threat this season as he takes over for Michael Dyer. Although we didn’t see McCalebb get a lot of carries (season high 15), we did see him as an active receiver out of the backfield. He finished with 112 carries for 641 rushing yards and 32 receptions for 344 receiving yards. Next season he is going to get twice as many touches and will be very exciting to watch. He can up rack up to 1,000+ rushing yards and 50 receptions.
QB: Aaron Murray (Junior, Georgia)
For two straight years now, Murray has been quite productive, throwing for 3,000 yards each season. As a sophomore, he matured into a legitimate threat throwing for a total of 35 touchdowns and finishing seventh in passing touchdowns at the end of the regular season. With improvements from Malcolm Mitchell and Tavarres King, Murray is bound to breakout. Although the quarterback is a bit undersized at 6-1, and threw too many interceptions with 14, Murray has the potential to put up 3,500 yards, 35 touchdowns.
QB: James Franklin (Junior, Missouri)
James Franklin is not your typical Missouri quarterback like a Blaine Gabbert or Chase Daniel, but he can gain the same winning results. Last season Franklin displayed his throwing and legwork skills with 21 passing touchdowns and 15 rushing touchdowns. With the maturing of 6-5 target Marcus Lucas, it is not out of the question for Franklin to throw for over 3,000 yards, rush for around 1,000, and have 40 total touchdowns next season (assuming he appropriately recovers from his shoulder surgery). Franklin will be tested in the SEC, but with his above-average 63.3 completion percentage, he should hold his own. However, the Tiger needs to work on his decision-making (11 interceptions), especially against these big-time SEC corners and safeties.
RB: Marcus Lattimore (Junior, South Carolina)
Lattimore got off to one of the hottest starts in college football last season with 534 yards and seven touchdowns in his first three games. Unfortunately, his knee injury took him out in the just the seventh game of the season, before he could surpass 1,000 yards. If Lattimore bounces back and is the same jaw-dropping halfback as before, he can get 1,500 yards and 20 touchdowns or more.
WR: Da’Rick Rogers (Junior, Tennessee)
A lot of scouts are keeping their eyes on Justin Hunter, but it’s the other Tennessee wide receiver, Da’Rick Rogers, who deserves the attention. After a season of 67 receptions, 1,040 yards, and nine touchdowns, the 6-3 WR looks to be Tyler Bray’s favorite target. Da’Rick should break the century mark again with potentially 80 receptions and at least ten touchdowns.
QB: Tyler Bray (Junior, Tennessee)
Bray is projected to be one of the best quarterbacks of 2012, and some NFL draft experts project the 6-6 Volunteer going in the top ten of next year’s draft. Bray followed his freshman campaign with a fantastic sophomore season when he was healthy. Bray ended up missing five games due to injury, which could not have come at a worse time. During the five-game span, the Vols played against LSU, Alabama, South Carolina, and Arkansas, where he could have proved himself as a top SEC quarterback. This season will be his redemption year to blow everybody away. Last year in his seven games he finished with 1,983 yards, 17 touchdowns, and six interceptions. It does not hurt that Bray has some serious weapons in receivers Da’rick Rodgers and Justin Hunter. With everybody healthy and Bray throwing the ball 35 times a game, there is no reason why he should not throw for 3,800 yards and 34 touchdowns.
RB: Christine Michael (Senior, Texas A&M)
In A&M’s inaugural season, Michael will be in the spotlight for the Aggies. With Michael healthy and now getting the majority of the carries with the graduation of Cyrus Gray, Michael will exceed 1,000 yards, improving his last season total of 899. On top of that he should effortlessly get over ten touchdowns, as they will frequently hand him the ball in red zone situations.
RB: Zac Stacy (Senior, Vanderbilt)
Thanks to a scrappy defense and an offense led by Stacy, Vanderbilt was able to make a bowl game and verify that they’re improving. Stacy had three games of 3 touchdowns and finished with 14 touchdowns on the year. Stacy proved he could run against the SEC, gaining over 100 yards against Ole Miss, Arkansas, and Kentucky. He should be able to get 15 touchdowns again this season as he attempts to lead the Commodores to another bowl game.
http://www.takingbadschotz.com/?p=8106 - Mountain West
http://www.takingbadschotz.com/?p=8013 - Mid-American
http://www.takingbadschotz.com/?p=7991 - Independent
http://www.takingbadschotz.com/?p=7962 - C-USA
http://www.takingbadschotz.com/?p=7925 -Big 12
http://www.takingbadschotz.com/?p=7842 -Big 10
http://www.takingbadschotz.com/?p=7824 - Big East
http://www.takingbadschotz.com/?p=7812 - ACC
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