GN is counting down the SEC’s top 50 players this season; we’re unveiling one player per day until we reach the No. 1 guy.
“Top” doesn’t necessarily mean the most pro potential or even the most sheer talent. Instead, it’s a mix of what the player has accomplished and what we think the player will accomplish this season. Production does trump potential, though.
Every school has at least one player in the top 50.
21. LSU C Will Clapp
Particulars: 6 feet 5, 309 pounds, junior
Recruiting background: 4-star prospect in 2014 signing class, from New Orleans Brother Martin
The skinny: Clapp has started all but one game the past two seasons; he missed a game last season with a shoulder injury. All those starts came at guard, but he is expected to start at center for the Tigers this season. Clapp, who was a freshman All-American in 2015, is both physical and quick, and gets the job done as a run blocker or pass protector. He is technically sound and can be a punishing run blocker. His move to center is predicated on at least one inexperienced guard playing well. If that doesn’t happen, he could move back to guard, where he would be one of the best players in the league at the position. At center, he likely will contend for second-team all-league honors. LSU’s line has some questions; none of them involve Clapp’s ability or potential. His dad, Tommy, was a LSU defensive tackle from 1984-87 and was a captain on the ’87 squad; that Tigers team finished 10-1-1 and ranked fifth nationally.
22. Florida OT Martez Ivey
Particulars: 6-5, 305 pounds, junior
Recruiting background: 5-star prospect in 2015 signing class, from Apopka (Fla.) High
The skinny: Ivey is heading into his third season as a starter. This will be his first at tackle, though, as he was a guard the past two seasons. Tackle is his natural position, and he looked good there during spring drills. He made the SEC coaches’ All-Freshman team in 2015 and was named second-team All-SEC by the coaches and media last season. Ivey is an especially good run blocker; he has the speed and agility to get downfield and mow down opponents in the back seven. His pass-blocking is not as good as his run blocking, but he has the feet and strength to be a high-level protector. Indeed, he has the potential to be Florida’s best offensive tackle since the late 1990s.
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