The SEC's 25 best players: No. 18

There’s no truth to the rumor that the No. 18 player on our countdown of the SEC’s 25 best players only uses full service gas stations.

No. 18: Alshon Jeffery, WR, So., South Carolina

2009 numbers: Led the Gamecocks with 46 catches for 763 yards and was second on the team with six touchdown receptions. Averaged 16.6 yards per catch.

Most recent ranking: Not ranked in preseason or postseason countdown for 2009.

Making the case for Jeffery: A consensus Freshman All-American, Jeffery established himself as one of the most explosive receivers in the league a year ago. As his knowledge of how to go against SEC cornerbacks and how to run routes grew, so did his game. He only had five catches through his first five games, but erupted for 41 over his final eight games. Look out in 2010. He had five of his touchdown catches against SEC teams, including three against Kentucky. They’re still talking about his one-handed grab against the Wildcats in Columbia. The 6-foot-4, 237-pound Jeffery has athletic ability that’s off the charts. He has the hands, body control and leaping ability to make the acrobatic catches and the strength and power to muscle his way past smaller defenders. He’s not a burner, but he’s plenty fast enough. He had an 80-yard touchdown catch against Arkansas last season. One of the most impressive things about Jeffery from his debut season was that he did most of his damage against SEC defenses. Only Greg Childs and Shay Hodge had more receiving yards in SEC games last season than Jeffery, who has NFL receiver written all over him if he keeps developing.

The rundown

No. 19: D.J. Williams, TE, Sr., Arkansas

No. 20: Cliff Matthews, DE, Sr., South Carolina

No. 21: Clint Boling, OT, Sr., Georgia

No. 22: Greg Childs, WR, Jr., Arkansas

No. 23: Washaun Ealey, RB, So., Georgia

No. 24: Chris Marve, LB, Jr., Vanderbilt

No. 25: Luke Stocker, TE, Sr., Tennessee