Top 2017 freshman summer arrivals to watch in the SEC West

It might be almost summertime, but that doesn't mean you can't talk a little recruiting. This is the time when the majority of recruits start to make an impact with their respective schools.

Early enrollees get that crucial leg up in the spring, but you can't forget about the bulk of the class that arrives in the summer months. Today, we'll continue to look at a few summer names in the SEC that you should be aware of before fall camp hits.

Here are seven names to keep an eye on in the SEC West:


DL LaBryan Ray: After losing a wealth of talent from the front seven, Alabama is somewhat rebuilding up front after the departures of stars like Jonathan Allen to the NFL. Or is Nick Saban, who isn't afraid to put freshmen on the field, reloading again? Ray was the No. 2 defensive tackle prospect in the 2017 class, and he's versatile enough to play inside and outside -- kind of like that Allen guy. Ray might not grab a starting spot, but he has the ability to crack Alabama's rotation this fall.


CB Chevin Calloway: It's no secret that Arkansas' defense struggled mightily last season, but the pass defense held its own for most of the year. However, when you look at depth at cornerback, the Hogs could use some help. That's where Calloway comes in. He has a shot at cracking the rotation, and not just because of the lack of depth. He has the talent to push his way on the field in some capacity immediately. The ESPN 300 member has ball-hawk tendencies and can help out against the run.


OT Calvin Ashley: It can be tough for offensive linemen to make an immediate impact, but Ashley will arrive on the Plains as the Tigers' top prospect in 2017. Auburn's right tackle was manned by veteran Braden Smith, but if Ashley, who is actually more natural at left tackle, proves himself, he could push for time on the right side and send Smith inside. You can never have too many offensive linemen, and at 310 pounds, Ashley has the size and polish to make the Tigers' rotation this fall.


QB Myles Brennan: Ed Orgeron has said the quarterback position isn't set. Danny Etling spent his time with the first-string offense this spring, but was competing with Lowell Narcisse. Now, Brennan, who might fit Matt Canada's offense the best, will push both. Brennan was one of the top pro-style passers in the 2017 class, and he will get every chance to win the starting spot. This passing game needs a big boost, so the more competition, the better.

Mississippi State

LB Willie Gay: The Bulldogs are rebuilding at linebacker, and Gay is someone everyone is excited about in Starkville. New defensive coordinator Todd Grantham won't be afraid to throw the talented freshman out there if he thinks Gay is ready, and people are pretty sure he will be this fall. Gay is a supreme talent who should certainly get into the rotation, and no one would be shocked if he snagged a starting spot.

Ole Miss

WR D.D. Bowie: The Rebels are loaded at wide receiver, but when your offense will likely have to carry your team again, you can't have too many options -- especially with a young quarterback. Remember, the Rebels are still looking for a consistent running game, so expect Shea Patterson to sling it around as much as possible. Bowie was the Rebels' top-rated signee, and has the talent to get on the field this fall. It's a crowded -- and talented -- group of receivers, but when you have someone like Bowie on your team, you make room.

Texas A&M

DE Tyree Johnson: The departures of Myles Garrett and Daeshon Hall left the Aggies needing help at defensive end. Texas A&M will welcome juco transfer Michael Clemons this summer, and Johnson will come in with the expectation of helping in some way. Johnson wasn't considered an elite recruit, but when you're looking for bodies at such an important position, its pretty much all hands on deck. Johnson is quick and could still add some mass, but consistency will be key.