Spring ball isn't the end-all and be-all for teams, players or coaches, but it does help everyone get a better grip on exactly where they stand. That can be both positive and negative for all parties involved, but hey, at least you know how good -- or bad -- you are before things count.
Spring is a time for guys to simply get better. Not everyone can be a superstar from the jump. With 15 spring practices, players have a chance to improve.
The most improved award is usually loathed, but it doesn't always mean that a player started off bad. He just got better over time.
After looking at the most improved SEC East players on Wednesday, here are seven SEC West players who got substantially better this spring:
Alabama: WR Robert Foster
After reportedly considering a transfer from Alabama shortly after the Crimson Tide's loss to Clemson in the College Football Playoff National Championship, it appears that Foster is starting to show more flashes of the potential everyone was excited to see when he first arrived. The redshirt senior has just 21 catches for 205 yards and two touchdowns in three seasons with Alabama. He was the team's No. 1 option in 2015 before a shoulder injury ended his season in the third game, and after this spring it looks like he's finding his footing again. He caught two passes for 115 yards in Alabama's spring game, including a 65-yard touchdown.
Arkansas: OG Hjalte Froholdt
OK, so Froholdt started all 13 games at left guard last year, but the word out of Fayetteville is that he's even better now than he was last year. This was a very good spring for Froholdt, who is still learning how to play left guard. In fact, he's still learning how to play on the offensive line. The 2017 season will mark only his second year as an offensive lineman after he moved from defensive line last spring. He has come a long way from where he was last spring, and he has come a long way from where he was at the end of last season.
Auburn: CB Javaris Davis
Davis played in all 13 of Auburn's games last year, starting five contests. He was one of the team's most explosive players and recorded 37 tackles, with six tackles for losses. He also defended nine passes and grabbed two interceptions. This spring, coach Gus Malzahn & Co. saw even more from the redshirt sophomore. He spent the entire spring with the first-team defense, and it appears he has a starting spot to himself. Some people think he is one of the fastest players in the SEC.
LSU: CB Kevin Toliver II
Toliver arrived at LSU as a five-star stud, but we've yet to fully see what the junior is capable of. Injury cut his 2016 season short, but this spring he was the healthiest he has been since his freshman year, and the coaches were excited by what they saw. He appears to be the Tigers' No. 1 corner, considering that the plan is to move Donte Jackson inside when LSU plays a nickel defense. Coach Ed Orgeron sang Toliver's praises for having such a productive spring.
Mississippi State: LB Gerri Green
Green has played in 24 career games but started only one. That came way back in his freshman season. This spring, the redshirt junior probably pushed himself into being a full-time starter as a linebacker and edge-rusher for a Bulldogs team that lost a lot of experience at linebacker. Green has been waiting patiently with all the talent in front of him, and he took full advantage of his opportunities this spring. He won't just take a starting role because of his age, he's earning it with his play.
Ole Miss: LB Detric Bing-Dukes
With such a big need at linebacker for the Rebels this spring, Bing-Dukes took it upon himself to make sure he helped this unit as much as possible. His coaches praised him for his improvement, and the redshirt junior has gotten much more comfortable in Wesley McGriff's new defensive scheme, which will allow him to play more in the box instead of having to cover as much as he did last year. Bing-Dukes showed better footwork, attacked his blocks better, and developed into more of a vocal leader this spring. He started three games last year, but with Rommel Mageo gone, the middle spot is now Dukes' to lose.
Texas A&M: DT Justin Madubuike
Texas A&M's top recruit in 2016, Madubuike redshirted last year. He was recruited as a defensive end but grew into the defensive tackle spot. It seems that he'll be a prominent figure in the Aggies' rotation up front this fall after having a solid spring. With the losses along that defensive line, Madubuike will have to step up.