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

Tide Rising

August 19th, 2009
4:38 pm

1) Knowshown will be missed but UGA has a stellar, veteran O-line similar to the kind of line Bama had last year. I think 1 or 2 of their tailbacks step it up behind this line and UGA probably will go 7-1 in conference this year. Dogs look powerful not just on Oline but also on the front 7 on D, especially the 2 D tackles. So although I’m favoring Florida in the east I’m not writing off the dogs just yet.

2) Andre Smith- There will be a dropoff between him and James Carpenter who replaces him. But while Carpenter won’t be an Outland trophy winner this guy was a juco all america tackle and he is absolutely has all conference potential. he’s 6′5, 305 and its a lean, muscular 305. I hate losing Andre but I’m excited about this guy.

3) Peria Jerry- In my opinion he was the single best D tackle in America last year BY FAR! He truly was unblockable one on one and he manhandled our all american center Antoine Caldwell the last couple years. I’m a Falcons fan so I was ecstatic when we got him. This guy has all pro written all over him. Ole Miss will certainly miss him but they have probably the best D-line in America even without him. Greg Hardy at d end is a one man wrecking crew. 2 years ago he went against Andre most of the game and had something like 12 tackles, 4 of them for losses and also 2 or 3 sacks. He was incredible.

If Jerrell Powe comes close to his potential coming out of high school as a 5 star recruit and the top D tackle in the country then Ole Miss will still be really tough up front. I think they will have a tougher time replacing Oher ( replacement is a converted tight end or freshman Bobby Massie) then Jerry.

4) The D end for Kentucky was huge and on a team like UK that is not real deep this is a huge blow.

5) Percy Harvin- This guy is unreal and he will be missed by UF. However, its sick how much freaking speed Florida still has. They still have at least 6 guys who run a sub 4.4 forty including backs, receivers like Chris Rainey, Jeff Demps, Debose,etc. just to name a few. Slight dropoff but even then Gators will still be explosive.

Toot of the Whistle

August 19th, 2009
4:53 pm

Jasper Sanks will always be missed.

Alfred Neuman IV,Summa Cum Laude,UGA'90

August 19th, 2009
4:55 pm

We had a great game plan against Tech but we didn’t execute (or adjust)!


August 19th, 2009
4:57 pm


That is a very good piece you wrote. UGA will miss knowshon. This year I think it is harvin and Smith that are missed most though. We saw what ONE missing left tackle meant in the bowl game didnt we bama….wow and to think UGA lost their top 2 LINEMAN last year, then their best D-Tackle, the fullback, the tight end, 3 linebackers, and when all was said and done a TOTAL of 20 players were lost. Guess what?? the fullback is the only one from that list that is gone, sooooo that means the depth who played as freshman are back and so are the injured ones.. SO MANY that we took one of those linebackers and moved him to Defensive end….. A deeper dawg, and a healthier dawg, a meaner dawg. Go dawgs.


August 19th, 2009
5:01 pm

Andre Smith was on offense, genius. Geez.

Big Dawg

August 19th, 2009
5:09 pm

Good article Tony,

Yes all five of these guys will be missed because they had that big play potential or could take over at their positions and had the “IT” factor. Moreno when he was in the game more times than not turned negative yardage plays into positive plays. He also had that knack of making defenders miss and his enthusiasm was infectious. Harvin in my opinion is in a class by himself, like Herschal and Bo Jackson, game changers and made guys around them better as well. Andre Smith at Alabama what can I say as we saw what happened in the Sugar Bowl and IMHO that says it all about just how good he really was. Peria at Ole Miss was a force to be reckoned with because he tied up 2 to 3 blockers on every down. Jarmon at Kentucky seemed to get stronger as the game progressed which is a sign of strength and determination.

Of these five players IMHO Moreno will be missed the most, Florida has a truly special player in Tebow coming back and if he stays healthy I expect that he just might win a second Heisman. Alabama has been loading up on very good OL the last couple of years and I expect that one of them will be able to step in and replace Smith and OL should get better as the year goes along. As for Ole Miss they have some pretty good players to replace Pereia. And Kentucky has some pretty talented DL coming back as well.

Go Dawgs

Voice Of Reason

August 19th, 2009
5:18 pm

LAST SEASON is in the books! Otherwise I would talk about the 7 straight UGA victories over GT. Let’s all shut up until our teams play again. GO DAWGS!!!!!!!!!


August 19th, 2009
5:20 pm

Good post Tony, it’s odd though, all of the players you listed were underclassmen, except Jerry. These big schools pull in all the talent, and thats all it is…talent. The NFL is a magnet, and these schools are simply a spring board. Has the NFL adopted the new cap for the upcoming draft?


August 19th, 2009
5:24 pm

Tide Rising, good post! Knowshon will be missed. They are planning to use three guys to take his place. Smith will be missed also, UGA found the value of an all SEC OT last year when Sturdivant went down. Ditto for Ole Miss, they may have a hot shot DE, but it takes good play from the DTs to free up the ends. Harvin was a once in a lifetime player, like Knowshon. The other guys may have the speed, but how many are as strong as Harvin? For my fifth place, I have to chose Stafford, Cox should be okay if he plays within himself, but I don’t see him putting up Staff’s numbers.


August 19th, 2009
5:30 pm

Shane#1……..I agree, Cox will NOT put up the same numbers, but nobody expects him to. UGA faithful should feel gooooood to have a 5th year Senior behind center. He will make the alumni and fans very proud!

Duluth Gator

August 19th, 2009
6:41 pm

Dan, How about the SEC Championship vs. Alabama, Harvin did not even dress for that one.

mike t

August 19th, 2009
7:03 pm

They might have beat GA but what was the score against my struggling Tigers in the No-name bowl. Got to win in the lime lite to be considered a contender.


August 19th, 2009
7:08 pm

The biggest surprises to me (Bama faithful) were Glen Coffee and Rashad Johnson at Alabama, both now secure in the NFL. Inasmuch as both were surprises, I think I’ll miss them more than I’ll miss someone who performed to expectations. The team will miss Andre Smith. I will miss Coffee and Shad.

This is a difficult list. Could easily have been eight or ten names on there. I am glad not to see John Parker Wilson or Matthew Stafford. Glad to have watched both. Next.

real topic tomorrow

August 19th, 2009
7:53 pm

where Tony will discuss how real Southern Fired Football is played in the Always Competitive Conference!


August 19th, 2009
8:13 pm

I think the dawg fans who don’t think we’ll miss a beat at QB with Joe Cox are in for a rude awakening. He isn’t even on the same planet as Stafford and doesn’t have the arm to stretch the field and keep defenses honest even a little. Nor does he have the size, strength, and physical ability of Stafford. We’re going to have to play small ball all year long, because our QB doesn’t have many big plays in him.

Let’s just hope he’s mistake free. But Stafford will be missed the most. You can replace a great RB. Much harder to do with a QB, especially one who has no playing experience aside from a few snaps in 2 games 3 years ago.

Jim morrison

August 19th, 2009
8:49 pm

Hey WTF,

You must be in love with your idol Tebow since you always mention him like he is gay or something?

Gators Rule again!

Enough Said!

NeNe's Greg's boss

August 19th, 2009
9:00 pm

Fun Fact Dawg Fan’s 1990-2008 Georgia vs. Florida

Florida- 16 wins
Georgia- 3 wins


August 19th, 2009
9:47 pm

I’m sick of reading about Stafford and Moreno. Maybe in a couple of weeks there will be more to write about than yesterday’s players.


August 19th, 2009
9:54 pm

m. the only beginning is going to be your numerous arrests at the men’s bathrooms at Hartsfield. Live it up while you can Sweet Meat!!

percey harvin

August 19th, 2009
10:03 pm

go gaduh, go jakus


August 19th, 2009
11:30 pm


Your Peria Jerry logic is definitely flawed…New coaches, including Tracy Rocker made a huge difference. With Rocker now at Auburn, there will most certainly be a drop off, but I doubt most of it can be attributed to the absense of Jerry.


August 20th, 2009
12:16 am


It’s time to get off the sofa and visit Oxford, Miss., to find out what’s really happening with the Rebels. Shamefully, you, posing as Mr. College football, are clueless. “I haven’t bought into the Ole Miss hype,” as you and your (former) AJC colleagues continue to write, is getting old because you don’t know where Ole Miss is strong or weak. Peria was an All-America and a first-round NFL draft pick, yet Ole Miss has three players who will fill in well in his absence with two vastly improved DEs; it may be the SEC’s best defensive line. The play who will be missed most is Michael Oher, another All-America and first-round draft pick, at left OT. You would know that if you’d been to Oxford. You wouldn’t if you simply pulled together some meaningless stats comparing the Ed Orgeron staff’s results to the Houston Nutt staff’s. You can do better, and you know it.

– -
“Art will always be Art.” – Goethe

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August 20th, 2009
9:25 am

ole miss had center cris spencer go in the first round in 2004 to the seahawks where he starts. we will miss both peria and oher, but peria will be replaced by 325lb former 5 star no.1 dt in 2005 jerrell powe. oher will be replaced by 5star prep star 6′8” 345 mountain bobbie massie. ole miss will be 12-0 in the regular season. with a trip to atlanta to play 12-0 florida and it will be more hyped up than the florida-ut game


August 20th, 2009
12:42 pm

M.Oher will be missed the most at ole miss…hands down.


August 20th, 2009
12:51 pm

terrell, I,ve been telling my naysayer friends the same thing… OLE MISS(12-0)vs.FLORIDA(12-0) in Atlanta. Tebow…stuffed again. Lord, please let it happen.


August 20th, 2009
1:15 pm

terrell……….I’ve been telling my naysayer friends the same thing…..(1)FLORIDA vs. (2)OLE MISS in Atlanta. TEBOW…stuffed again. Lord, please let it happen.

Football Expert

August 20th, 2009
1:38 pm

Lou said it best:

“I just realized that 30 years is a veryyyyyyy long time. Reagan had not started his Presidency, Berlin Wall was intact, Soviet Union was intact, Chipper Jones was 7, No internet, Nobody knew Bill Clinton,Sadat was alive, A-Rod was 2,The ONLY Bush anyone cared about was the War Hero Bush, No ESPN, Was there a CNN??. Man!!!! 30 years is a very long time for an “elite” football program to go without even playing–let alone winning–for a National Championship. Shouldn’t it be about time??”

Well, last year was the time for sure. But again disappointment and embarassment. Why can’t UGA win the big one?


August 21st, 2009
8:44 am

More than anyone, dawgs will miss Reggie Ball.