The SEC has a big share of the top talent in college football, even when broken down by class.
NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein named his top 15 true sophomores in the nation Monday morning, and six of the players on the list play in the SEC.
Alabama WR Calvin Ridley had the highest ranking of any SEC player. Zierlein ranked him as the second-best true sophomore in the country, behind only UCLA QB Josh Rosen.
“Ridley is older than most true sophomores, but he’s also more talented than most,” Zierlein said. “With blazing speed that will have safeties in an early backpedal, Ridley has the ability to take the top off of a defense or shake cornerbacks underneath to create separation.”
Ridley led the Crimson Tide in receptions (89), receiving yards (1,045) and receiving touchdowns (seven) as a true freshman. He was one of two Alabama players on the list. DT Daron Payne (No. 10) also made Zierlein’s top 15.
LSU also had two players on the list: OLB Arden Key (No. 4) and RB Derrius Guice (No. 8).
“Key’s speed also allows him to chase running backs and quarterbacks wide,” Zierlein said. “It’s scary to think about what he could do standing up as an outside linebacker.”
Florida OG Martez Ivey (No. 15) and Texas A&M WR Christian Kirk (No. 9) also made the cut.
Here’s the full list:
1. Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
2. Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
3. Derwin James, S, Florida State
4. Arden Key, OLB/DE, LSU
5. Iman Marshall, CB, USC
6. Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
7. Connor Williams, OT/OG, Texas
8. Derrius Guice, RB, LSU
9. Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M
10. Daron Payne, DT, Alabama
11. Jake Browning, QB, Washington
12. Malik Jefferson, LB, Texas
13. Tarvarus McFadden, CB, Florida State
14. Deon Cain, WR, Clemson
15. Martez Ivey, OG, Florida