SEC football: Most intriguing spring performers, Part III

SEC football

Spring football wrapped up in April, and now there’s a less than four months until the start of the 2017 season.

But before anyone starts a countdown to the season, let’s take a final look at what happened this spring, specifically the spring games.

Yes, some might say what happens in spring football is irrelevant. Some of the players at the top of the spring stat sheets might not even be starters. Some might not even play this fall. But there are still some takeaways to mull until the preseason camp begins.

Not all of the following are looks at the best SEC football performances from the best SEC football players, but certainly the ones that might spark your interest.  Just call the most intriguing.

Defense

Tennessee defensive end Darrell Taylor: Taylor registered two sacks for minus-8 yards in the spring game. He likely will the hole left by All-SEC Derek Barnett.  Most noteworthy, Taylor was a wide receiver and kickoff returner in high school, but he has transformed his size to fit in nicely as a pass rusher.

Florida defensive lineman Khairi Clark: Khairi Clark led an Orange defense that held the Blue team to 12 yards on 10 rushes. And Blue QB Kyle trask Trask went 4 of 13 for 31 yards. “I felt like Khairi Clark was in my face every play,” said Trask.

Alabama defensive lineman Raekwon Davis: Davis, a mammoth lineman out of Meridian, Miss.,  had a team-leading seven tackles with one quarterback sack to lead the White team’s defense. Furthermore, he earned the Dwight Stephenson Award given to the most valuable lineman of the spring game.

Secondary

Mississippi State defensive back Cameron Dantzler: Dantzler ran a tipped interception back 81 yards in the first quarter in the Bulldogs’ spring game. Later in the game, he got another interception off starting quarterback Nick Fitzgerald. Dan Mullen told The Clarion-Ledger he was encouraged by performance of the 6-foot-3 Dantzler, considering he was “banged up” from practice earlier in the week.

Auburn safety Nick Ruffin: Ruffin made 11 tackles for the White team. As a junior in 2016, he made 32 tackles with three pass breakups in 11 games, even though he was the third safety on defense behind Tray Matthews and Stephen Roberts. Meanwhile, Matthews has been nursing a hamstring injury during the spring, enabling Ruffin to get more reps.

Missouri defensive back Ronnell Perkins:  The sophomore safety had five tackles in the spring game’s first half, including one of three sacks by the defense. Perkins, who had four starts and played in all 12 games for the Tigers, had 43 tackles (28 solo), three pass breakups and one quarterback hurry in 2016.

The SEC ‘What happened?’

Georgia quarterback Jacob Eason: The promising sophomore’s Black team fell to the Red, 25-22, but, more importantly, he made 36 attempts with a 44.4 completion percentage.  Eason did, however, throw for 311 yards and two scores.  Next …

Mississippi State quarterback Nick Fitzgerald: Fitzgerald, whose resurgence in the second half of the 2016 season help the Bulldogs land a bowl bid, threw four interceptions in the spring game. Next …

Arkansas running back Rawleigh Williams: Because of the threat to severe weather, the game was moved inside and closed to public. Williams, one of the top returning running backs in the SEC, apparently was injured and had to be carted off the field. It was said he had a stinger, but it was actually a severe neck injury that led Williams to announce his retirement from football. And finally …

Vanderbilt quarterback Kyle Shurmur: Declared to be the most underrated quarterback in the nation by his coach, Derek Mason, no one got a chance to see Shurmur in a spring game. Vandy canceled the game in February. Shurmur had 2,409 passing yards in 2016, the most by a Vanderbilt sophomore quarterback.

Click here for quarterbacks

Click here for running backs, receivers

Anyone you found intriguing this spring? Let us know in the comments below

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