Five SEC players who will be missed the most

 

Some friends and I got into a debate the other day. Here was the question: Every team had some good players in 2008  who are not coming back for this season. Can you name the five SEC players who will be missed the most in 2009?  Here are my picks. Understand that these guys weren’t necessarily the best player on their respective teams. But based on what these teams need this season, I think these five guys will be missed the most:

 

1. Knowshon Moreno, RB, Georgia: How could I pick Moreno instead of QB Matthew Stafford, the No. 1 draft choice? Simple. Right now I think Georgia is more confident about the play of  senior quarterback Joe Cox than it is at the running back position. If Moreno was back to run behind this veteran offensive line, I believe the Bulldogs would be good enough to make a serious run at Florida in the SEC East. Georgia has some good running backs. I just don’t see any GREAT running backs. At least not yet. Moreno was a great running back.

2. Andre Smith, OT, Alabama: Because the Alabama defense is still so good, I couldn’t go with safety Rashad Johnson, who I thought was a really great player. But the Crimson Tide is really going to miss the big fella at left tackle. He allowed Alabama to run the ball whenever it wanted to, even when opponents were putting eight in the box. The Crimson Tide offense could just beat up opposing defenses and wear them down over the course of a game. Alabama’s offense will still be solid, but the Tide won’t be able to impose their will on teams like they could last season with Smith as their anchor.

3. Peria Jerry, DT, Ole Miss:  Here’s what you need to know about Jerry (6-2, 299), who was drafted in the first round by the Falcons. In 2007, when he wasn’t in the Ole Miss lineup, the Rebels finished 101st nationally in rushing defense, giving up 199.08 yards per game, and 88th in total defense (423.42 ypg). Last season Jerry was virtually unblockable and the Rebels were fourth in rushing defense  (85.54 yards per game) and 19th in total defense (2008). Some Ole Miss fans tell me there won’t be a drop off on the defense because DE Greg Hardy is finally healthy. I don’t buy it. I think the Ole Miss defense is going to really miss Jerry. He was that good.

 

4. Percy Harvin, WR, Florida: I’ve changed my thinking on Harvin. For the longest time I felt that Florida would be able to plug another one of its speed guys in Harvin’s position and that the Gators wouldn’t miss a beat. But during the summer a couple of SEC coaches convinced me I was wrong. They said that Harvin was an exceptional talent who, when healthy, was impossible to contain. Granted, Harvin didn’t go for long stretches without getting dinged up and so Florida had to learn how to play without him. But when he was in the game, he completely dictated what the defense did. Consider this: Harvin had 660 yards rushing last season with only 70 carries for an average of 9.4 yards per carry. He averaged 16.1 yards per reception (40 catches for 644 yards). So you’re talking about a player who averaged almost 12 yards (11.85 to be exact) every time he touched the ball last season. The Gators are going to be very good, but I don’t think they will have anybody like that this season.

 

5. Jeremy Jarmon, DE, Kentucky: With the defensive trio of Jarmon, LB Micah Johnson and CB Trevard Lindley (of Hiram) coming back, Kentucky had good reason to be optimistic about its defense and a chance to go to a school-record fourth consecutive bowl game. But in May Jarmon was declared ineligible by the NCAA for testing positive to a banned substance. Jarmon took an over the counter supplement in an effort to get a little leaner. But he didn’t check with his trainers and was caught on a random NCAA drug test because the supplement contained a banned substance. He went in the supplemental draft in July and was taken by the Redskins. With Jarmon returning, Kentucky had a star player at each of the defensive position groups. It’s a big loss for the ‘Cats.

So those are my five players who will be missed the most in the SEC. Who did I leave out?

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180 comments Add your comment

m

August 19th, 2009
6:53 am

No-show Moreno will mainly be missed by TECH. Because he didn’t do much against us.

45-42….glad it hurts so bad…and it is only the beginning!!!

Spike

August 19th, 2009
6:56 am

Mo Mass, baby!!

Tom M

August 19th, 2009
6:58 am

Agreed on Harvin. Can’t be replaced and was BEYOND special. Not going to be nearly as explosive on offense for the Gators- that being said…I don’t think production this year will be hurt nearly as much as some may think. I expect by October we’ll see the Gators offense the nation is expecting.

Mr. G8RH8R

August 19th, 2009
7:35 am

John Parker Wilson. Without a proven commodity at qb the Tide will be even more dependent upon their running game to generate any offense.

“m” stands for moron, correct. When Tech beats UGA more than once in 8 years and the for the first time in 17 without using academically ineligible players (as determined by the NCAA) I think you might want to be a little more humble and circumspect regarding Tech’s chances, not only this year but in future years.

[...] latest blog why Knowshon Moreno, Andre Smith, Peria Jerry, Percy Harvin and Jeremy Jarmon will be the most missed players in the SEC this fall.Gary Shelton of The St. Petersburg Times writes that Monte Kiffin “punked” [...]

J. Paul Gettysburg

August 19th, 2009
7:47 am

Tune in tommorrow for “Five ACC players who will be missed the most and why nobody cares”.

Rusty

August 19th, 2009
7:53 am

Michael Oher tops all of these players on my list. Jevan Snead is going to have a tough time of it without Oher in pass protection.

Corrine Brown (D) FL

August 19th, 2009
8:04 am

No Doubt it be tha Gusty Percy Harvey

GO GATUH!

Joe

August 19th, 2009
8:05 am

I think Andre Smith’s absence in the Sugar Bowl showed just how important he was to that team. I would add in those monster tight ends that Alabama lost as well.

Agree on Peria and think Oher should be on the list as well. Ole Miss will go 8-4 this year. They have never had an OL drafted in the 1st round and have not had 2 first rounders in a long time. Rebs will take a step back to reality.

Dink

August 19th, 2009
8:20 am

Tony:

I’m biased of course but I will miss Mohamed Massaquoi. I always thought he was under-rated & would love to see him paired with Green one more year.

Go Dawgs!

superDawg(R) GA

August 19th, 2009
8:22 am

George Bush at least he did not lie to get his agenda across.

Buck Strickland

August 19th, 2009
8:31 am

I’ve been saying it all summer, we’re going to see a bigger drop off from the RBs than the QBs. Knowshon not only was an exceptional running back but I think we’ll miss his enthusiasm that he brought to the game.

superDawg

August 19th, 2009
8:33 am

Who is Percy Harvey.Percy Harvin will be missed by the gaytors.

GeoffDawg

August 19th, 2009
8:35 am

How about SEC coaches to be missed the most? I think Auburn and UT will soon be nostalgic for the halcyon days of Tuberville and Fulmer/Chavis.

Phiuk Yu

August 19th, 2009
8:42 am

m – Moreno had 170 yards of total offense in the game from ‘08. UGA basically handed you guys the game last year – a fumble inside our own 20, a pick 6, and crappy tackling. If we had been a disciplined football team last year, there’s no way Tech is even in that game. But credit Roddy Jones & J. Dwyer, they looked very good.

Buck Turgeson

August 19th, 2009
8:46 am

Tony,

Any truth to the rumor that Bryce Brown at Tennessee has been ruled inelgible and may never see the field as a Vol?

Helluva Engineer

August 19th, 2009
8:56 am

I think UGAY’s scary blackout jersey’s will be missed the most.

Sanford and Son Stadium is so intimidating. Especially with 90,000 toothless rednecks wearing black.

41-30
45-42

Paul

August 19th, 2009
9:00 am

Regarding Brice Brown – “An NCAA representative is in Knoxville investigating whether the amateur status of Tennessee freshman running back Bryce Brown has been violated, which could potentially make him ineligible.”

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=4408191

CharlotteGator

August 19th, 2009
9:00 am

Totally agree on Knowshon being the player to be missed the most. He was a game changer. I’d probably have Harvin as 1A though. I think both of those guys were the keys to their respective offenses last year and that they certainly had a hand in making their QB’s look as good as they did.

As a UF fan, seeing Caleb King come in was always a good feeling. Not because he was terrible, just that he wasn’t Knowshon. In my opinion, Stafford wasn’t going to beat you by himself and needed KM in their wreaking havoc to be truly devastating. R. Samuel has a little of that KM factor so the drop off may not be as big if he can step up early in the season.

For the UF offense, P. Harvin brought a totally different dynamic to the game that made the offense what it was. When Harvin was out of the game, Tebow had to have a stellar performance for the offense to click the way it should. SECCG was a perfect example. Tebow had to have arguably his best game at UF for the offense to be effective. Clearly, bama had something to do with that, but Tebow had to do everything almost perfectly to eek that win out. Contrast that with the Oklahoma game where Harvin was 80-85% at best and Tebow had a fairly mediocre game (until the final drive) and the offense was still a threat each time on the field. There’s not another Percy at UF (and might not ever be) so while his production from a statistical perspective might be replaced to some degree, his “threat” cannot be replaced, and UF’s offense will suffer/struggle some because of it. Hopefully the coaches and players can adjust and figure out another way to attack defenses, put them off balance, and make them think and play slow. Just my 2 cents.

richtfan

August 19th, 2009
9:05 am

Tony,

why do you persist in thinking UGA can’t beat UF this year? This is disconcerting, but I guess we’ll just have to prove you wrong once the game comes around. In the SEC anyone can beat anyone any given week.

Corrine Brown (D) Florida

August 19th, 2009
9:08 am

What is Corch Urban Myers gwan to do wifout Percy Harvey? One, two, tree, fo, fi….Dem Gatuz, dey don’t take no jive! Skrike, Rattler, Skrike……uh, I mean, Go, Gatah!

What??

August 19th, 2009
9:08 am

SuperDawg – George Bush didn’t lie to get his agenda across? Ever hear the term WMDs? It truly astounds me how far in the sand some people’s heads are. I really hope that you don’t vote.

Voice of Reason

August 19th, 2009
9:11 am

well said CharlotteGator. A UF fan who knows his football.

Denver Dog

August 19th, 2009
9:14 am

Actually, this is what makes college football so great, that you have to find new players and the great ones move on to a new calling. All of these players will be missed greatly. My thoughts are that KM will be sorely missed, but there is something there he never had; a great offensive line. UF will miss Harvin, but will adjust in different ways to maximize the players they have, and they have them. Smith at UA will be missed,but someone will step in there too! Jarmon will force UK to adjust and the lineman from Ole Miss the same. The key to all of this is to have adequate replacements, and coaches who can adjust. TIme will tell on all of these stories.

shankit

August 19th, 2009
9:15 am

I Miss more Herschel, Worley and Henderson, Lastinger, Belue, etc.
THEY ALL BEAT THE GATORS.
Georgia will be all right, they have a stronger offensive line this year,
and he games are won or lost in the trenches.

Voice of Reason

August 19th, 2009
9:15 am

What?? “We have reason to believe there are WMDs” was not a lie. They did have reason to believe that. The fcat that there were no/ never found any WMD does not take away from the fact that it was not only Bush but a vast majority of Congress who believed they were there by looking at the same intel that Bush had. But, everyone needs a scapegoat so let’s just blame everything on Bush.

Sorry guys, that is the last non-football related post I will have. Go Dawgs!

Phoque Tech

August 19th, 2009
9:17 am

GT has missed seeing the sell-out crowd for probably 40 years now, haven’t they? If it ever happens again, I am sure it will make the Sports Illustrated’s “Sure sign that the Apocolypse is upon us” feature.

THIS IS A FOOTBALL BLOG

August 19th, 2009
9:17 am

Wow!

I just love it when politics are discussed here…NOT

Voice of Reason

August 19th, 2009
9:18 am

Knowshon was a great running back and that is why he could get 3-4 yards on a carry that should have gone nowhere because of poor OL play. You take away that ability and you must replace it with either another great back or better OL play. I don’t know that we will have another great back, but with our improved OL, we should still be able to run the ball as effectively as in the past.

shankit

August 19th, 2009
9:18 am

Helluva Engineer
I hear Curry is going to be after the Jacket’s arse.
State has picked up 400 grand by playing Bama
last game of the season.
SAY, Tech might could do the same by scheduling
Curry, they probably would be willing to help you
make your budget this year.

Voice of Reason

August 19th, 2009
9:20 am

shankit- Knowshon and Stafford beat the Gators as well and Herschel, Worley and Henderson, Lastinger, Belue, etc beat a UF team that was the laughing stock of the SEC at the time. Apples/Oranges

Bama Aaron

August 19th, 2009
9:21 am

Andre Smith will be missed at Bama. But not as much as Oher will be missed at Ole Miss. He should have been on the list.

Eric

August 19th, 2009
9:22 am

hey superdawg, is there secret george bush out there who’s only known to you? the one i know lied every time he opened his mouth. WDE!!! I’ll miss Tommy Tuberville just because I like the guy, but I really don’t think the Auburn Nation will miss him when the Tigers start surprising some folks on the football field. Gene Chizik is going to kick some ass this year…. and he’s just getting started.

Atlanta Gator

August 19th, 2009
9:25 am

Comments in response to Tony —-

(1) Knowshon Moreno will be a noticeably greater loss for the Dawgs than Matt Stafford. By all accounts, Joe Cox is a more emotionally committed leader than Stafford. Moreno’s yardage speaks for itself.

(2) Andre Smith was the key piece in Alabama’s resurgent 2008 defense. It will be impossible to fully replace him with an underclassman —- his replacement may grow with time, but other Tide defenders will need to step up in 2009.

(3) I can’t say I know Ole Miss’ Jerry—-but the stats quoted by Tony are certainly impressive.

(4) Percy Harvin? Yeah, he will be missed. To the extent he can be replaced, he will be replaced by a platoon of Gators. That speaks volumes about Harvin’s unusual combination of talents.

(5) Tested positive, eh? Damn shame for him and his team.

ReptilesRule

August 19th, 2009
9:25 am

Harvin’s replacement will be by several players including Demps, Rainey and James. Also, expect the Gators to be a little more physical in the running game utilizing more plays out of the backfied. The defense will be more dominating this year…

shankit

August 19th, 2009
9:26 am

Voice of reason – I thought Florida was ranked No. 1 in the nation by the AP when Worley and
Henderson beat them, even though as usual Florida had cheated and was on probation and not
ranked by the Coaches poll. Apples/Apples

Spike

August 19th, 2009
9:28 am

Eric, you are dreaming. Chizik doesn’t have the talent to kick anybodys arse. And I mean both player talent and coaching talent. You really think he is a better coach than Tubbs? If so, thanks for illustrating my point.

robodawg

August 19th, 2009
9:29 am

TB, a pretty good list. I think Bama will miss John Parker Wilson an awful lot as well. I expect their offense to struggle as they break in a new QB AND aren’t able to pound on defenses at will.

clowe

August 19th, 2009
9:29 am

Atlanta Gator, you ought to know Jerry. He and Greg Hardy spent a few hours in UF’s backfield last season.

TheItalianDawg

August 19th, 2009
9:31 am

Tony, you are absolutely right, 100% agreeing with you, however I think if you can write about who will be missed most in every sec team! I think South Carolina got the biggest hit losing McKinley, Jared Cook and the Brinkley brothers then Alabama and close third Georgia!

Captian Kirk

August 19th, 2009
9:33 am

Scotty, beam me up. The foul smell of the Ga. Tech bull s@#$ is ruining the earth. M= MORON Hellofanengineer=PUNK GA Teck = mediocre forever

Alphare

August 19th, 2009
9:35 am

Why nobody gives stats about KnowShon in the big games? He did not do well as I remember.

Nancy Pelosi (D) a$$ of the earth

August 19th, 2009
9:36 am

I love you, Coreeen Browns!

Lance

August 19th, 2009
9:36 am

Knowshon wont be missed much…you’ll see for yourself soon.

Gatorzone

August 19th, 2009
9:36 am

Andre Smith will be the most missed.
Knowshon and Percy were Awesome players and definetly game changers, but if they had a bad game, or were injured the offense had other options. When Alabama’s tackle was out, they could not move the ball or stop the Dline of Utah.
No doubt UF will miss the phenomenal plays of Harvin, but Meyer will find other ways to move the ball, just like UGA will find other backs to run in place of KM. Replacing a mountain on the line isn’t as easy, just look at last year when UGA had so many linemen injured at the beginning of their season.

Alphare is crazy

August 19th, 2009
9:37 am

he had a billion yards against UF in 2007.

Kramers2009

August 19th, 2009
9:38 am

Tony –
Got to disagree with a the Peria Jerry pick. Tony is right he was unblockable last year, but the Rebels current Dline will be even better. Hardy has little to do with this. Jerrell Powe was as big a Dline recruit as there was 3 years ago (but took a couple years to become eligible) and apparently looks great. Hardy is a great pass rusher but DE’s Emmanual Stevens and Kendrell Lockett are just as good (in terms of all-around performance). Also lookout for Lawon Scott and highly touted frosh Craig Drummond.

Joe – the Rebels had a Olineman taken in the first round in 2005. Chris Spencer by the Seahawks.

I agree that Mike Oher will be missed even more. The Rebs OLine is a much much bigger concern than their Dline.

atlantadave

August 19th, 2009
9:39 am

m….are you still getting those weekly sex change shots? How many seasons tickets did you buy this year to Tech games? Or are you one of the many Tech fans that talk a big game but won’t put your money where your mouth is and really suuport your team by showing up at their games. Keep running your mouth…we Dawg fans have heard it before everytime Tech changes coaches, which is every four-five years. You brag that things will be different and they never are. Georgia kicks techs a$$ no matter who coaches your team. Keep these numbers in mind, 1-8, 59-37-5. Tech will have to win twenty two games in a row to over take Georgia’s winning total aganist your lower tier program. You need to go back to your tickle pile…I hear your undefeated there.

G2Rhett (Colorado Springs)

August 19th, 2009
9:43 am

Stars will be born in ‘09

I’m not worried about Georgia’s running game. Nor am I honestly worried about any aspect of the team. I believe in Coach Richt and in the system that he’s put in place at the University of Georgia. Over the past eight seasons, Coach Richt and his staff have built one of the nation’s elite football programs. If you’re a football player at Georgia, you can rest assured that under Coach Richt, you’ll have the opportunity to compete and to win championships. Yes, I know he hasn’t managed to bring Georgia a National Title, but believe me; it’ll happen. Hell, it just may happen in ‘09! Okay, okay, that may be a little far fetched, but the point is that we don’t know what a season will bring. Did you honestly think that the ‘08 campaign would turn out as it did? I know I didn’t. The one thing that Georgia fans can bet money on is that Coach Richt and his staff will have this years team fully prepared (mentally and physically) to handle the challenges, adversity, successes, and disappointments that come with any college football season. College football fans know that each year brings with it a vast amount of unknowns. It is the unknown that makes this game so great as we are continually surprised year in and year out with the final results of the season. On the collegiate level each year, every teams roster and/or coaching staff changes; whether it be a little or a lot. When an established star on a team gets injured, graduates, or leaves early for the NFL; it gives an unproven or unknown player the opportunity to step up and become a star. This 2009 Bulldog team is stacked full of talent. And yes, we don’t have Stafford or Knowshon, but we’ve got some unknown future stars that are about to shine. Do you remember that kid that came out of Wrightsville, Georgia? The young man that as a true freshman took the country by storm and put the Bulldogs on the map nationally? Well, prior to the 1980 season, no one knew who was going to carry the ball for the Dogs and that included Herschel Walker himself. Not even Coach Vince Dooley knew. As a matter of fact, prior to the 1980 season, Coach Dooley stated to the media and the Bulldog Nation that “Between you and me, what I may have here is nothing more than a big stiff fullback.” Well, like Coach Dooley, I hope to God that Coach Richt will be lucky enough to blindly reach back on the sidelines in Stillwater Oklahoma, grab the shoulder pad of a young man, send him into the game, and get to observe first hand the next great running back of all time. “We hand it off to (INSERT NAME)! There’s a hole…5!!!…10!!!…12!!! He’s running over people!!! Oh, you (INSERT NAME)!!! My God Almighty, he ran right through two men!!!”

Gen Neyland

August 19th, 2009
9:43 am

Out of the box here, but the question above regarding the possible ineligibility of Bryce Brown has to do with allegations brought to the NCAA over money raised for Brown to attend football camps during Brown’s sophmore year of high school. On the Tennessee boards, the hope is that the NCAA moves faster than a snail (or slug) to resolve this issue…I just wonder who opened this can, what the outcome will be, when it’ll be resolved and how many other high school-college athletes coast to coast may be impacted if this becomes an issue in today’s market place…Of course, if we’ll recall, this kid had a ‘handler’. Maybe the ‘handler’ is at the root of the issue..? At least CLK and Tennessee are said not to be involved as it happened some years ago. More details will emerge.