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SEC breakout players for 2017: Get ready to learn these names

Spring practice is over, which means no more college football until the first weekend in September. That’s a long wait.

We’ve given you our post-spring practice preseason top 25. We’ve given you our post-spring practice SEC power rankings. We’ve even given you an early look at the SEC’s top 10 prospects for the 2018 NFL draft.

Now it’s time for our look at each SEC team’s breakout player for 2018. “Breakout player” is sort of a nebulous term, but we’re defining it as a player guy who hasn’t done much yet but will become a known name to all SEC fans this fall. So read on about the SEC breakout players for 2017.

DA’SHAWN HAND, by Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports

ALABAMA

DE Da’Shawn Hand
The particulars: 6 feet 4, 282 pounds, senior
The buzz: Hand was a five-star recruit in the 2014 recruiting class, but his transition was not seamless and his reps have been lacking. He has played a total of 492 snaps in the past two seasons. His snap count will jump to about 40 to 50 a game, which should help his production skyrocket. He can play end and tackle; on passing downs, he will kick inside to try to an interior pass rush this fall. Expect Hand to have the type of season that leads to him being added to the list of early-round picks from Alabama’s defensive front.

RELATED: Da’Shawn Hand showing up in some early 2018 mock drafts

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