The SEC got a good look at its future during the final weekend of the regular season.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard the names Dylan Moses or Albert Okwuegbunam, and we’re willing to bet it won’t be the last.
The Alabama linebacker and Missouri tight end have become regulars among the conference’s best freshmen. And they’re not alone.
Keytaon Thompson’s performance also should put Mississippi State fans (somewhat) at ease that the Bulldogs have a quarterback in waiting after the Nick Fitzgerald era (which could be sooner rather than later).
We examine five of the top freshman performances from Week 13.
5. DE Nick Coe, Auburn
Nick Coe helped Auburn terrorize Alabama throughout the Tigers’ Iron Bowl victory over the top-ranked Crimson Tide. Coe made 5 tackles, 1 shy of matching is career best. He also earned the first full sack of his career, giving him 2 sacks and 4.5 tackles-for-loss during his debut campaign in the SEC.
4. WR Jordan Jones, Arkansas
Jordan Jones made the most of his 2 catches during Arkansas’ 48-45 loss to Missouri in the Hogs’ season finale. Jones registered his first 100-yard effort with 122 receiving yards. One of those catches went 57 yards for a touchdown to put the Razorbacks up 14-7 in the first quarter. Jones closes out his first season in the SEC with 401 yards and 3 touchdowns. Expect him to be a focal point of the Arkansas receiving corps in 2018.
3. LB Dylan Moses, Alabama
Dylan Moses is becoming a vital cog in Alabama’s defense. While the No. 1 Crimson Tide were upset by No. 6 Auburn, the Iron Bowl loss can’t be pinned on the Baton Rouge native. Moses’ 10 tackles were enough to lead Alabama for the second straight week. He closes out the regular season with 21 of his 30 tackles coming in the Tide’s last two games.
2. TE Albert Okwuegbunam, Missouri
Albert Okwuegbunam is a big reason for Missouri’s late-season resurgence. The tight end hauled in a pair of touchdowns and dragged Arkansas defenders for 63 yards in the Tigers’ thrilling 48-45 win over the Razorbacks. It’s the second consecutive week that Okwuegbunam has caught 2 touchdowns. His 11 scoring grabs on the year lead the nation among tight ends.
1. QB Keytaon Thompson, Mississippi State
Keytaon Thompson was thrust into action after the gruesome dislocated ankle sustained by Mississippi State quarterback Nick Fitzgerald against Ole Miss. Thompson responded with 195 passing yards and a touchdown, while adding an additional 121 rushing yards and a score on the ground. The New Orleans native, however, threw an interception and couldn’t prevent the rival Rebels from walking out of Starkville with the upset win. He’ll finish his debut campaign with his first career start in the Bulldogs’ yet-to-be-decided bowl game.