Lemming's Impact Players: SEC

April 6, 2006

By Tom Lemming

CSTV Recruiting Editor


Tom is CSTV's college football recruiting analyst, and writes for CSTV.com regularly. E-mail here!


·          QB Matt Stafford, Georgia


Stafford is a mid-term graduate, so he's already working his way into the offense down in Athens. The Texas native exhibited all the tools during an outstanding prep career at Highland Park that would indicate he's ready to make the transition from high school All-American to collegiate All-American. The 6-foot-2, 215-pound signal-caller shows a quick release, strong arm, good decision-making and leadership skills.


With star quarterback D.J. Shockley having graduated, look for Stafford to make an immediate impact for the Bulldogs.


·          WR Percy Harvin, Florida


Chad Jackson's leaving the Gators early opens the door for Harvin -- the high school Reggie Bush of this past season -- to see a lot of action right away. Look for the Virginia Beach Landstown product to make a considerable impact as a true freshman.


The 5-foot-11, 180-pound streak of lightning was one of the nation's top prepsters at either the wide receiver or cornerback seasons throughout last season. Harvin has been blessed with blinding speed, great body control, fluid movements and exceptional timing. A difference-maker on offense with a great burst, Harvin has the ability to develop into a gamebreaking-type talent as a true freshman and could, like Charles Woodson, wind up seeing plenty of action on both offense and defense.


·          OL Andre Smith, Alabama


Rarely would I pick a lineman to make an impact as a first-year player, but the fleet-footed Smith was the premier offensive lineman in the country and is headed to a school that needs help at that position after the Crimson Tide lost entire chunks of their line to graduation.


The 6-foot-5, 315-pound product of Birmingham Huffman has demonstrated extraordinary quickness, balance, strength and a take-no-prisoners attitude against opponents both great and small. It didn't matter, he steamrolled them all. Smith is the best drive blocker I saw during my travels last year, but he also showed the very quick setup, mobility, balance and technique requisite of an exceptional pass blocker. Andre is in a class by himself.


·          ILB Micah Johnson, Kentucky


Johnson is an inside linebacker that could end up on the defensive line immediately for the Wildcats. The Fort Campbell native has emerged a powerhouse who could play defensive end or defensive tackle -- even though he played ILB as a prepster and Kentucky has told him they'll give him a shot at linebacker early on.


When the 6-foot-2, 275-pound Bluegrass State native introduced himself to me at the U.S. Army Combine, I thought he was a collegiate football player. Down in San Antonio, Johnson exhibited remarkable quickness, super strength and great instincts. Look for the first-year defender to turn more than his share of heads in the Southeastern Conference.


·          QB Mitch Mustain, Arkansas


Right away, the Springdale, Ark., native could become an impact player for the Razorbacks. Another mid-term entrant to the program, Mustain is already in their plans to battle for the starting job come August. He's probably the most efficient passer of the group vying for the role -- the kind of guy that might be ready-made for the Arkansas offense. One key there would be that his high-school coach, Gus Malzahn, got a job as the team's offensive coordinator. That can't hurt Mustain's prospects.


The 6-foot-3, 198-pound signal-caller throws a wonderful deep ball and fires with a great velocity. His ability to run and scramble, to find secondary receivers and buy time while waiting for his wideouts to get open, has led me to think of him as a Tom Brady who can run.



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