Photo by Andrew Davis Tucker/Georgia athletics
There’s no conference like the SEC when it comes to recruiting.
As a result, there are always a handful of freshmen that are ready to come in and take the nation by storm. In what will be a 2-part series, we’ll be looking at 21 instant-impact freshmen from the SEC in 2021.
Here are the members of the 2021 recruiting class that could make an instant impact as freshmen in the SEC East.
Jason Marshall, CB
Florida has one of the best cornerbacks in the nation in Kaiir Elam, but Jason Marshall may line up opposite of him as a freshman. The former five-star will immediately be a big part of the rotation for the Gators. As a matter of fact, he was getting first-team reps in the spring. When you put together Marshall’s skill-set and Florida’s recent success at the position, you have to love Marshall’s chances to be a difference-maker early.
Adonai Mitchell, WR
Mitchell didn’t have a bunch of stars next to his name, but he stepped up and helped fill the void left when George Pickens went down to injury. The former Ole Miss commit has great size with a wide catch radius — something he showcased in Georgia’s spring game. Injuries have forced Mitchell to grow up quickly. So far, he’s handled it well.
Amarius Mims, T
Georgia has had some very good offensive linemen come through the program in recent years, but Mims has the potential to be the best. Amarius Mims was rated as the top offensive tackle in the country in the 2021 class, per the 247Sports Composite, and for good reason. He is a tremendous athlete on the edge and has a big frame at 6-foot-7 and 330 pounds. Mims might not have a starting spot immediately, but he’ll certainly be hard to keep off the field as the season progresses.
Nyland Green, CB
Georgia loses tons of production in the back end of its defense. The Bulldogs’ top cornerback signee in the 2021 class could be an instant remedy. UGA will have to replace almost everyone that made a huge impact at cornerback last year, so it’ll be relying on Green to create some much-needed depth.
Trevin Wallace, LB
Wallace was undoubtedly the most impressive pull from the 2021 class for the Wildcats. With some production lost from a year ago, Kentucky will look to utilize Wallace’s elite skill-set very early on this year. Kentucky won’t need Wallace to start, but there’s a good chance he works his way into a starting role by year’s end.
Travion Ford, DL
Missouri has had the recent history of sending defensive linemen to the NFL, and Ford could be one to be excited about. The highest-rated member of the Tigers’ 2021 class will bring some much-needed physicality to Missouri’s front. Ford was banged up this spring, but watch out for him over the next few years in Columbia.
Dominic Lovett, WR
Lovett is a dynamic playmaker at wide receiver, who seems to be a perfect scheme fit for Missouri’s fast-paced offense. Missouri loses tons of production out wide, including its top receiver Damon Hazelton to the NFL. The opportunities for early success will be plentiful for Lovett.
Jaylen Wright, RB
With both Eric Gray and Ty Chandler leaving the program after 2020, the running back rotation is wide open for the Volunteers. In fact, Wright was already right in the middle of the rotation as a freshman this spring. Wright will have to compete with Tiyon Evans and Jabari Small, but Wright’s elite speed should allow him to see the field in the fall.
Aaron Willis, LB
Willis might be the biggest wild card on this list. Tennessee’s highest-rated 2021 signee had high expectations heading into his first year, but was suspended for the entirety of spring ball. Still, there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be a key part of the rotation if he can prove himself to the coaching staff. Is this wishful thinking? Probably, but it’ll be interesting to watch.