Five SEC Players Worth Stealing

The Gators enter the 2009 football season the clear favorite to repeat as SEC Champs and a strong contender to return to the BCS Title Game and with good reason. When you return Tim Tebow, a slew of offensive talent and the entire two-deep defense you ought to be good --- really good.

Still the Gators are not a team without questions and concerns, which got me thinking about SEC players who could take Florida to an even higher level. Obviously, there are a ton of high quality players throughout the conference, who could make the Gators an even better team, but I've narrowed it down to the five who could make the biggest impact – just for the heck of it – and I'm listing them in order.

Ciron Black, OT, LSU ----- Florida lost both starting tackles off the offense and Black is not only the top returning tackle in the conference; he's probably the best returning lineman in the country. You plant Black at one tackle and Marcus Gilbert at the other and you can leave Carl Johnson inside where he finally found a home last season.

Julio Jones, WR, Alabama ----- As talented as Florida is offensively they do not yet have a receiver who scares people the way Percy Harvin did. Julio Jones scares people. The 6-4 freshman caught 58 passes as a rookie for more than 900 yards and four TD and that's with a fairly ordinary QB.

A.J. Green, WR, Georgia ----- If you can't steal one tall, sophomore WR from a traditional power then take the other one. Green is just one notch below Jones because while the numbers are similar (56-963) and he caught just four TD passes he had the advantage of playing with Matthew Stafford and Knowshon Moreno.

Greg Hardy, DE, Ole Miss ----- The Gators are certainly very good at defensive end, but would be downright scary with Hardy rushing from one end and Carlos Dunlap from the other. Hardy was a likely first rounder, but chose to stay in school to see if he could get in the top 10-15 in 2010 and chance are he will. He had 8.5 sacks a year ago despite missing four games and was a third team All-American.

Rolando McClain, LB, Alabama ----- This was a tough call because Florida is very good at LB, but McClain at the SLB could be downright scary. The 6-4, 249-pounder was in on 95 tackles last year with 12 of them for losses. He was a force in the SEC Title Game with nine tackles.

I left a bunch of really good players out, but I limited myself to five guys worth stealing. Generally those players were great talents at positions where Florida is already loaded. That list includes but is not limited to the following:

Jevan Snead QB Ole Miss
Eric Berry FS Tennessee
Trevard Lindley CB Kentucky
Terrence Cody DT Alabama
Charles Scott RB LSU
Antonio Coleman DE/LB Auburn

Is it time for practice to start yet?

Fightin Gators Top Stories