5. LSU wide receiver Rueben Randle- It seemed like Brandon LaFell was at LSU for 10 seasons, but he finally graduated and was selected in the third round of the NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers. Terrance Toliver goes into the 2010 season as the top receiver target for the Tigers. However, Randle has the talent to put up equal numbers.
He was a five-star recruit coming out of high school, but Randle only had 173 receiving yards and two touchdowns. With Toliver and LaFell at receiver and Jordan Jefferson struggling at quarterback, the LSU offense struggled. Only two players had more than 200 yards receiving, and it was LaFell (792 yards, 11 TDs) and Toliver (735 yards, 3 TDs).
Randle's role will be expanded in 2010, as he will be on the field for almost every play. And no one has ever doubted his talent.
4. Auburn quarterback Cameron Newton- The ex-Florida quarterback will start in an offense that seems tailor-made for him. Offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn is one of the most creative playcallers in the nation, and he will tailor the Auburn offense around Newton's talent.
His athletic ability has never been questioned. Newton saw the field at Florida during his freshman in blowout games, usually to run the ball, but his talents always shone through. He struggled to throw the short routes of the Florida offense, and that was ultimately what had him behind John Brantley on the depth chart.
Newton will have a solid run game to help him, as Mario Fannin and freshman Michael Dyer should give the Tigers a reliable aspect of their offense to keep the pressure off their new quarterback.
3. Arkansas wide receiver Greg Childs- Most would consider 2009 as the breakout season for Childs, but he didn't get the national recognition he deserved. Childs ended the season with 894 yards and seven touchdowns from Ryan Mallet in the quarterback's first season under offensive guru Bobby Petrino.
Mallet heads into the 2010 season as a potential Heisman Trophy candidate. While his season will be tracked at the national level, Childs could be the beneficiary.
The 6-3, 217-pound receiver has the perfect build for an elite wide receiver. He led the Razorbacks in receiving yards last season. Childs will be the best deep threat for an offense that loves to air it out.
2. Georgia running back Washaun Ealey- Richard Samuel was the starting running back for the Bulldogs heading into 2009. After he disappointed and eventually moved to linebacker, Caleb King and Ealey split the duties for the second half of the season.
Ealey provides the most upside of their choices at running back. He rushed for 639 yards on 112 carries (5.7 yards per carry) as a freshman. Now with a full offseason in the weight program, Ealey will be in position to break out.
The Bulldogs will break in a new quarterback as redshirt freshman Aaron Murray will be under center. Instead of throwing Murray into the fire, they will likely try to ease him in by riding their running game behind a veteran offensive line. Though only a sophomore, Ealey will be the horse of the offense.
1.Florida quarterback John Brantley- Jokes circulated last season that Brantley would be one of the top quarterbacks in the conference if he played for any team not named Florida or Arkansas. It's not that much of a stretch.
With three seasons behind Tim Tebow under his belt, Brantley heads into the 2010 season with the team on his shoulders. The Gators have been hesitant to take Tebow out of close games over the past few seasons, so Brantley's meaningful snaps on the field are at a minimum. There's no doubt he can play, though. His sharp mechanics and arm strength make it easy to believe he will step in as the starter and immediately be effective.
The Gators return four offensive linemen in 2010 and all of their running backs. The pieces are in place where the Gators could slowly bring Brantley's role in the offense along if they felt it was necessary, but don't be surprised to see him start the season chucking the football.
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