The SEC's best 25 players: No. 2

Our next member missed half of last season with an ACL injury, but word on the street is that he might be even better this fall:

No. 2: Marcus Lattimore, RB, Jr., South Carolina

2011 summary: Before his season-ending ACL injury against Mississippi State on October 15, Lattimore carried the ball 163 times for 818 yards and 10 touchdowns. He also caught 19 passes for 182 yards and another score.

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

Making the case for Lattimore: At 100 percent, Lattimore is one of the nation's best players, regardless of position. We still need to see him during a game to see what his football legs look like after all that time off. But Lattimore has gone through contact, and coach Steve Spurrier has been very impressed with what he saw during fall camp. When he was healthy, the thing that made Lattimore stand out was how powerful he was. He resembled a bulldozer on the field, forcing teams to use multiple players to bring him down. He also added very good speed, making him tough to stop in the open field. The scary thing is that after Lattimore's more than successful rehab, his coaches think he might be even better this fall. Remember, Lattimore was the National Freshman of the Year after ranking second among SEC running backs in rushing yards (1,197) and rushing touchdowns (17). And before his injury last season, he was the SEC's top rusher. He has also proven that he can be extremely effective in the passing game, catching 48 career passes for 594 and three touchdowns. He's also the ultimate workhorse. In his 20 career games, Lattimore has carried the ball 412 times. That's 20.6 carries per game. He's carried the ball 37 times in a game twice, and carried the ball 40 times against Florida in 2010. Lattimore might not be used as much as he's been used in the past, but if his coaches are correct about his health, he should have another big season in Columbia.

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.

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

  • No. 3: Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas, Jr.