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The Most Important Offensive Players for All 16 SEC Teams


Nov 4, 2023; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; LSU Tigers quarterback Garrett Nussmeier (13) throws pass against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the second half at Bryant-Denny Stadium
© Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

Going into the 2024 season, the Southeastern Conference is the big man on campus when it comes to who holds sway over the college football world. And, with the addition of the Texas Longhorns and the Oklahoma Sooners to their ranks, the SEC is stronger than ever.


Here is a look at the most important offensive players for all 16 SEC teams in the League of Extraordinary Football Players.


Important Offensive Players for ALL 16 SEC Teams

 

QB Garrett Nussmeier, LSU Tigers

Garrett Nussmeier takes over the QB1 position from the 2023 Heisman Trophy winner, QB Jayden Daniels. Last season, Nussmeier threw for 591 yards, four touchdowns, and one INT. And, in the ReliaQuest Bowl against the Wisconsin Badgers, Nussmeier threw for 395 yards and four TDs as he led the Tigers to a come-from-behind victory to ring in the new year.


WR Luther Burden III, Missouri Tigers

Luther Burden III is the league’s returning receiver this season after a 2023 performance that garnered 1st Team All-SEC and 2nd Team All-American honors. Burden hauled in 86 catches (4th highest in school history) for 1,212 yards (3rd highest for a single season) and nine touchdowns for Missouri. Last season, Burden gained 100 yards receiving in five consecutive games, and three of those games resulted in double-digit catches.


Sep 9, 2023; Columbia, Missouri, USA; Missouri Tigers wide receiver Luther Burden III (3) catches a pass as Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders cornerback Teldrick Ross (1) defends during the second half at Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium.
© Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

WR/KR Barion Brown, Kentucky Wildcats

A triple-threat for coach Mark Stoops and Big Blue, Barion Brown scored from everywhere on the field in 2023. Brown caught 43 passes for 539 yards and four touchdowns; rushed for 147 yards and a score; and recorded 576 yards on kickoff returns and three TDs. Brown was named 3rd Team All-American by College Football News and 2nd Team All-SEC as an all-purpose player and a return specialist.



QB Quinn Ewers, Texas Longhorns

Quinn Ewers led the Longhorns to the College Football Playoff vs. Washington after throwing for 3,479 yards, 22 touchdowns, and six INTs, and he completed 69% of his passes. Ewers threw at least one TD pass in every game he played last season (he missed two games with an injury) and did not throw an INT until week five. Ewers leads Texas into SEC play for the first time in program history.


Dec 2, 2023; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Longhorns quarterback Quinn Ewers (3) and offensive lineman DJ Campbell (52) in action during the game between the Texas Longhorns and the Oklahoma State Cowboys at AT&T Stadium
© Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

WR Nic Anderson, Oklahoma Sooners

Nic Anderson is the leading returning receiver for the Sooners this season after catching 38 passes for 798 yards and 10 touchdowns. Anderson posted a season-high 120 yards on three catches in a 66-17 win over Tulsa.


QB Jalen Milroe, Alabama Crimson Tide

This is not your daddy’s Alabama football team. Decimated by the transfer portal (brought on by the retirement of the G.O.A.T. Nick Saban), new Head Coach Kalen DeBoer does have an experienced and talented quarterback in Jalen Milroe. Milroe recorded 2,834 passing yards, 23 touchdowns, and six INTs. In addition, Milroe rushed for 531 yards and 12 more scores.


Over the final five games of the 2023 season, Milroe threw 10 touchdowns and only one INT, including zero touchdowns in a loss to Michigan in the College Football Playoff semi-final game.


WR Kelly Akharaiyi, Mississippi State Bulldogs

Kelly Akharaiyi was a 1st Team All-Conference USA selection a season ago after catching 48 passes for 1,033 yards and seven TDs and averaging 21 yards per catch for the UTEP Miners. Akharaiyi transfers to Starkville and should thrive in new Head Coach Jeff Lebby’s pass-happy offense after making 18 starts at the position.


UTEP's Kelly Akharaiyi catches a pass in front of a WKU defender on Nov. 4, 2023 at the Sun Bowl.
© Alberto Silva Fernandez/ El Paso Times / USA TODAY NETWORK

In each of the final four games of last season, Akharaiyi gained over 100 yards receiving and put up a season-high 223 yards on eight catches in a 27-14 win over FIU.


QB Jaxon Dart, Ole Miss Rebels

In two seasons in Oxford, Jaxon Dart has passed for 6,338 yards, 43 touchdowns, and 16 INTs. In addition, Dart has rushed for 1,003 yards and nine more scores. With another 3,300-yard passing season, Dart will take over sole possession of the #2 slot on the school’s all-time passing list, behind only some guy named Manning.



QB Carson Beck, Georgia Bulldogs

Carson Beck led the Bulldogs to the SEC Championship Game in his first season as the starting quarterback for coach Kirby Smart. Beck was just 59 yards shy of 4,000 yards passing a season ago, throwing for 3,941 yards, 24 touchdowns, and only six INTs (in 417 pass attempts). For his efforts, Beck was named 2nd Team All-SEC. Beck is the leading returning passer in the league for 2024.


WR Eugene Wilson III, Florida Gators

As a true freshman, “Trey” Wilson caught 61 passes for 538 yards and six TDs on his way to SEC All-Freshman honors.


QB Conner Weigman, Texas A&M Aggies

Playing only four games in 2023 due to injury, the talented Conner Weigman threw for 979 yards, eight touchdowns, and two INTs, and completed 69% of his passes. In addition, he scored two rushing touchdowns. If Weigman can stay healthy, and with the weapons in place at running back and wide receiver, the Aggies should have a potent offense under first-year offensive coordinator Colin Klein.


Sep 16, 2023; College Station, Texas, USA; Texas A&M Aggies quarterback Conner Weigman (15) looks for an open receiver during the second quarter against the Louisiana Monroe Warhawks at Kyle Field
© Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

RB Jarquez Hunter, Auburn Tigers

Jarquez Hunter rushed for 909 yards and seven touchdowns a season ago, a bright spot for an Auburn team that went 6-7 and lost their final three games of the 2023 season. So far in his collegiate career, Hunter has recorded 2,177 rushing yards in the Auburn record books. If Hunter can manage a 1,000-yard season in 2024, he will climb to No. 6 all-time and overtake Tre Mason on the school’s rushing list.


WR Squirrel White, Tennessee Volunteers

Squirrel White led the Vols in 2023 with 67 catches for 803 yards and two touchdowns. White posted three games over 100 yards receiving and caught double-digit passes in two games last season and will be a dangerous weapon for presumed QB1 starter Nico Iamaleava.


Tennessee wide receiver Squirrel White (10) with the touchdown reception while covered by Alabama linebacker Chris Braswell (41) during a football game between Tennessee and Alabama at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Saturday, Oct. 21, 2023.
© Brianna Paciorka/News Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK

RB Rocket Sanders, South Carolina Gamecocks

A transfer from Arkansas, Rocket Sanders played in only six games last season and gained 209 yards and scored two touchdowns. However, in 2022, Sanders left scorched earth in his wake as he ran for 1,443 yards, 10 touchdowns and averaged a robust 6.5 yards per carry.


For his efforts in 2022, Sanders was named to the 2nd Team All-SEC. Sanders may have to carry the offensive load for a while until newly anointed QB1 starter LaNorris Sellers can get his game legs underneath him.


RB Ja’Quinden Jackson, Arkansas Razorbacks

A transfer from Utah and a former quarterback, Ja’Quinden Jackson rushed for 797 yards and four touchdowns with the Utes in 2023. Jackson recorded three games over 100 yards rushing and will help fill the void left behind by the departure of Rocket Sanders.


RB Sedrick Alexander, Vanderbilt Commodores

Sedrick Alexander led the Commodores in rushing with 371 yards and four touchdowns for a team that was ripped apart by defections into the transfer portal.



The winds of change are blowing with hurricane force across the college football landscape. NIL, the transfer portal and conference realignment have affected the sport we love in so many ways, and whether we like it or not, more change is still to come. For the players listed above, they revel in the competition on Saturdays against some of, if not, the best talent in the country in a league where football means more.

 


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