The SEC has some of the best players in the country in late-game situations, according to NFL.com.
On Friday, NFL.com’s Chad Reuter ranked the 10 best college football players with the game on the line. Four SEC players made the cut. LSU RB Leonard Fournette was the top-ranked SEC player at No. 3. Texas A&M DE Myles Garrett (No. 4), Vanderbilt LB Zach Cunningham (No. 8) and Auburn K Daniel Carlson (No. 10) also made the list.
Fournette was the highest-ranked running back on the list. He only ranked behind Louisville QB Lamar Jackson and Clemson QB Deshaun Watson.
“Forget about last weekend’s game against Alabama, when the Tide shut down Fournette–I want the LSU RB carrying the ball in the fourth quarter with the game on the line,” Reuter said. “His toughness helps his team eat up the clock and his explosiveness with the ball in his hand can turn any carry or reception into six points.”
Garrett is what NFL scouts call a “war daddy,” according to Reuter, and teams covet players with his rare combination of athleticism and work ethic.
Those factors make him a great performer late in games as well.
“Despite being severely banged up, Garrett gave it everything he could in the fourth quarter last week in the team’s loss to Mississippi State,” Reuter said. “When healthy, he’ll come for the ball all day long, whether attacking the quarterback or ball carriers that run to his side of the field.”
Cunningham has come up big with the game on the line this season. He made a late fourth-down stop against Georgia to seal a victory. He also blocked a fourth quarter field goal against Auburn last week to keep the Commodores in the game.
Carlson was on the other side of that block, but his kicks in that game and against LSU earlier this season are the difference between seven wins and five for the Tigers.
Here’s the full ranking:
10. K Daniel Carlson, Auburn
9. WR James Washington, Oklahoma State
8. LB Zach Cunningham, Vanderbilt
7. RB Dalvin Cook, Florida State
6. WR Dede Westbrook, Oklahoma
5. S/LB Jabrill Peppers, Michigan
4. DE Myles Garrett, Texas A&M
3. RB Leonard Fournette, LSU
2. QB Deshaun Watson, Clemson
1. QB Lamar Jackson, Louisville