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The SEC's best 25 players: No. 4

He might have missed a year of football, but this next guy has all the tools to be great again:

No. 4: Knile Davis, RB, Arkansas, Jr.

2011 summary: He didn't play last year because of a broken ankle he suffered in preseason camp.

Most recent ranking: Not ranked in the 2011 postseason countdown.

Making the case for Davis: OK, so Davis didn't play last year. Had he, we might be watching him go through the NFL preseason right now. Davis suffered a nasty ankle injury that cost him all of his 2011 season, but that doesn't mean that he shouldn't be on this list -- or this high. When Davis was healthy in 2010, he was the SEC's top statistical running back. And if he had played more to start the year, he would have generated more yards and received a ton more publicity nationally. Davis finally grabbed double-digit carries by the fifth game of the season and rushed for 1,201 yards and 12 touchdowns in the Razorbacks' last nine games. During that span he rushed for 100 or more yards six times, averaging 157.7 yards in each of those games. Davis is a home-run threat with his blazing speed, can shake his way past defenders and knows how to grind out the tough yards with his strength. He's not just one of the most complete backs in the SEC, he's one of the most complete backs in the country. He finally took his first contact in more than a year last week, and coach John L. Smith said he looked good. He has the makings of being a legit Heisman candidate, and if his football legs look like they did in 2010, he might run right up to New York.

The Rundown

  • No. 25: Matt Elam, S, Florida, Jr.

  • No. 24: Da'Rick Rogers, WR, Tennessee, Jr.

  • No. 23: Sean Porter, LB, Texas A&M, Sr.

  • No. 22: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama, Jr.

  • No. 21: Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia, Jr.

  • No. 20: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M, Jr.

  • No. 19: Tyler Bray, QB, Tennessee, Jr.

  • No. 18: Jesse Williams, NG, Alabama, Sr.

  • No. 17: Bennie Logan, DT, LSU, Jr.

  • No. 16: Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee, Jr.

  • No. 15: Cobi Hamilton, WR, Arkansas, Sr.

  • No. 14: Chris Faulk, OT, LSU, Jr.

  • No. 13: Corey Lemonier, DE, Auburn, Jr.

  • No. 12: Eric Reid, S, LSU, Jr.

  • No. 11: Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State, Sr.

  • No. 10: Aaron Murray, QB, Georgia, Jr.

  • No. 9: Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama, Sr.

  • No. 8: Barkevious Mingo, DE, LSU, Jr.

  • No. 7: Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina, So.

  • No. 6: Sam Montgomery, DE, LSU, Jr.

  • No. 5: Barrett Jones, C, Alabama, Sr.