OKLAHOMA, Sporting Alert – Looking ahead of the start of the 2015-16 NCAA college football season, the SEC Networks’ Joe Tessitore selects his “Pick 6” for a breakout campaign.
Tessitore said the names on his list to watch for in the powerhouse conference are players no one is talking about too much at the moment, but he believes they are the up-and-coming stars in the SEC.
Opening the list is Arkansas linebacker Brooks Ellis, a junior from Fayetteville, who started 11 games last season – only missing the battles against Georgia and UAB because of an injury.
Ellis, who finished last term with 72 tackles, second among his teammates, is well set to take over from Martrell Spaight in leading the defensive line and he’s being backed as the “sleeper” to head the SEC in tackles this season.
Next on the list of players to watch out for in the conference is Kentucky’s wide receiver Dorian Baker, a sophomore from Cleveland Heights, who featured in 10 games last season.
During his freshman year in 2014, Baker collected 19 catches for 199 yards and had one touchdown, which came against the Ohio Bobcats, and Tessitore is backing the 6-3 and 208 lbs second-year man to not only be instrumental for the Wildcats, but to also be a major offensive threat in the Southeastern Conference.
Third up on the list is Georgia’s Keith Marshall, who is back from injuries and Tessitore thinks he will be an x-factor.
The running back who has tallied 1029 career yards on 185 carries and nine touchdowns thus far, has been bothered by injuries and only played in three games last season in which he had 24 yards rushing on 12 carries.
Marshall was impressive in his first term in 2012 when he rushed 117 times for 759 yards and eight touchdowns.
This is proof that he will be difficult to a handle for any defense and now that he is healthy again, the senior is projected to have a very good campaign.
Tessitore thinks Nick Chubb will also benefit with the return of Marshall on offense for Georgia.
Tessitore’s top six list also includes two freshmen he is expecting big things from.
Tennessee defensive tackle Kahlil McKenzie was the 26th overall recruit in 2015 ESPN 300.
The rookie has been impressive in preseason training and should play a vital part in protecting the line.
Completing the list of SEC players to watch are LSU’s new man Kevin Toliver, who was the 10th overall recruit in 2015 ESPN 300 and Alabama’s Calvin Ridley, the top wide receiver selected and the 23rd overall recruit in 2015 ESPN 300.
Ridley, who got offers from defending national champion Ohio State, Auburn, Florida State, Florida and LSU, is considered one of the best talents heading into the season.