Written By: Gary Helton
Welcome back to the second part of our series determining the best SEC players of the past decade.
This week we will be looking at the SEC west.
Mississippi State: The choice here is Dak Prescott and it isn’t even close, given his resume this choice was easy.
The Skinny: Dak was one of the most prolific SEC Qb’s to play in the SEC during the 2010s. He compiled crazy career numbers he compiled 11,897 total yards and 111 Total touchdowns to boot. His best season came in 2015 when for a short time he lead Mississippi state to a #1 national ranking.
Auburn: While Auburn has had good players over the decade this one really came down to three players, Cam Newton, Tre Mason, and Derrick Brown. In the end I chose Derrick Brown just because of his sustained level of play.
The Skinny: Derrick Brown had an immediate impact the moment he stepped on campus, as a 5 star recruit he had a lot of expectation and he more than lived up to it. In his 4 years at Auburn he compiled 12.5 sacks and 33 tackles for loss. While being one of the best interior linemen in the SEC for most of his career.
Arkansas: This one was a little tough, I had to look back through the decade because no one player came to mind. But in the end I chose Alex Collins.
The Skinny: To put in bluntly, Alex Collins is the best RB to come out of Arkansas not named Darren McFadden. During his 3 year career he rushed for over 1000 yards all three seasons, which in its self is very impressive. Collins anchored the offense during his time, compiling 3870 total yards and 36 touchdowns to boot.
Texas A&M: This one had a few challenges, it came down to Myles Garret and Johnny Manziel. In the end the nod went to Manziel.
The skinny: Johnny football lit up the college football world out of nowhere, coming in and dominating during his first year under center as a redshirt freshman, Manziel had a historic campaign culminating in him wining the Heisman trophy. Manziel has crazy numbers for only playing for two years. During which he compiled 9989 yards of offense with 93 touchdowns to complement it. After winning the Heisman in 2012, Manziel was once again invited to the ceremony in 2013 where he would place 5th.
LSU: This choice should come at no surprise to anyone. The choice here is Joe Burrow.
The Skinny: Joe Burrow left his mark on college football forever. Putting up record breaking numbers thought unattainable. Joe played perhaps the greatest season of football ever by a college Qb. In his senior year, Burrow 5671 yards and three for 60 TDs. His career numbers are 9364 yards of offense and 90 total touchdowns. Burrow showed how a mostly pure passing QB could change a game. His efforts culminated in him winning almost every major award there was including the Heisman and then a national championship.
Alabama: This choice was by far the hardest. Alabama owned the 2010s and had many all time greats in the process. But to me this choice has to go to Derrick Henry.
The Skinny: Henry changed what the running back could be. Henry who was often thought to big to play running back had insane measurements. Standing at 6’3 and weighing 240lbs, he was bigger than most linebackers. But the deceiving thing about Henry was that he had speed. For his freshman and sophomore seasons Henry was reliable with the ball. But it was his record breaking Heisman junior season that set him apart. During that season Henry rushed for a record 2219 yards and 28 touchdowns while adding 91 yards receiving and 3 touchdowns. Giving him a season total of 2310 yards and 31 touchdowns. Henry ended the year with a Heisman trophy and a trip to the college football playoff.
Ole Miss: This pick may come as a surprise to some, but for me the pick here is QB Bo Wallace.
The Skinny: Wallace was nothing but productive during his 3 years starting for Ole Miss, in 2012 Wallace missed the mark for 3000 yards passing by 6 yards, had he gotten it he would’ve had three straight 3000 plus yard seasons. For three seasons under center, Wallace passed for 9534 yards and 62 touchdowns. His total yardage is 10,510 yards and 82 touchdowns which are some of the best in SEC history.