CBSSports.com released a list of five underappreciated SEC players on Friday afternoon. The basis for this list is that the five players on the list are likely overshadowed by a much more high profile teammate, but this player will play an integral part of their team this season.
Here's the rundown of players from CBSSports.com:
- Guard Larry Warford - Kentucky
- Cornerback Tharold Simon - LSU
- Quarterback Connor Shaw - South Carolina
- Punter Dylan Breeding - Arkansas
- Wide receiver Jordan Matthews - Vanderbilt
Some of these guys aren't your typical household names like the Marcus Lattimore's and Tyrann Mathieu's of the SEC.
These are players, though, that could have big years for their respective teams. CB Simon from LSU is a perfect example. He's got the size at 6'3" and was solid behind Morris Claiborne and Mathieu last year at the defensive back position. LSU has had some luck with their cornerbacks the last few years. Expect Simon to step up and play a major role.
The name that may need to have the biggest season, though, is QB Connor Shaw. Shaw filled in for departed QB Stephen Garcia in 2011 and helped lead South Carolina to it's greatest year in school history. He's primed for a big year in 2012 but needs to remain injury-free in order for the Gamecocks to have a shot in 2012. If he's out, it could spell trouble for the Gamecocks.
Another guy who stepped up big last year, WR Jordan Matthews looks to build off a strong finish to the 2011 season. When Jordan Rodgers took over at quarterback, Matthews came alive. He had 36 receptions for over 700 yards and five touchdowns in his last seven games. Vanderbilt could be a better team in 2012 and Matthews will be a part of that if he's up to the challenge.
A strong list of guys that may not get mentioned much but certainly deserve some recognition for their importance to their respective teams.