The 2022 college football season is still a few months away, but it’s never too early to try and predict which players will rise above the rest.
Superlatives are great for recognizing individuals who have special abilities that deserve to be appreciated. In this article, we are straying from the typical superlative you’d find in your high school yearbooks.
Whether it be the reigning Heisman-winner rising to the occasion, or a first-year player that could cause a stir as a true freshman, the SEC is loaded with talent that will be seen by fans, players and analysts from all across the nation .
Here are a few predictions for the upcoming 2022 season.
MVP – Bryce Young, Alabama (QB)
Bryce Young won the 2021 Heisman Trophy for his outstanding play as a true sophomore that was in his first year as a starter. Playing under Nick Saban is no simple task, and Young definitely made it seem easy. With plenty of high-level talent surrounding him in 2022, Young expects once again to be seen as one of the best in the nation.
Offensive Player of the Year – Anthony Richardson, Florida (QB)
Anthony Richardson has officially won the battle as the Gators starting quarterback, seeing as his main competitor from 2021, Emory Jones, transferred to Arizona State. The rising junior quarterback appeared to have all the tools to be a stellar starter last season, but was a bit inconsistent. With confidence, Richardson could be a game-changer. Florida may not seem like a competitor out of the east, but who knows what the future holds for first-year head coach Billy Napier and the Florida Gators.
Defensive Player of the Year – Will Anderson Jr., Alabama (LB / EDGE)
Will Anderson Jr. didn’t get an invite to New York last year for the Heisman ceremony and Alabama fans were livid. Now, as a junior, Anderson’s dominance is expected to be taken to the next level. Words cannot describe his abilities. So just watch some film, it speaks for itself.
Offensive Rookie of the Year – Zach Evans, Ole Miss (RB)
Zach Evans isn’t a first-year college football player, but this will be his first season in the SEC after transferring to Ole Miss from TCU. The star running back was one of the most talented players to hit the transfer portal this offseason. Lane Kiffin lost a few offensive playmakers, so Evans will definitely be utilized in a system that could allow him to run free. Expect to hear his name plenty.
Defensive rookie of the year – Jordan Domineck, Arkansas (DE)
Jordan Domineck is another player who is not new to college football. He played at and graduated from Georgia Tech before transferring to Arkansas with two more years of eligibility remaining. He is set to join the program over the Summer and will likely have to work his way up the depth chart. But seeing as he was a hidden gem in the ACC, Domineck is poised to breakout on an up-and-coming Razorbacks team.
Best Leg – Will Reichard, Alabama (K)
Will Reichard is about to begin his senior season with the Crimson Tide. After a sophomore campaign in 2020 where he didn’t miss a single kick, Reichard’s junior season saw a small decline. With this likely being his final season, Reichard will look to go out with a bang.
Most likely to drastically improve 2023 NFL draft stock – Will Levis, Kentucky (QB)
Will Levis is a name that may not be known nationally today, but he is expected to have a strong Senior season, his second at Kentucky after transferring from Penn State. Some projections for the 2023 NFL draft has Levis being selected early in the first round. Plenty of pressure for him to perform in 2022.
Most Improved – Spencer Rattler, South Carolina (QB)
Spencer Rattler’s fall from the top while at Oklahoma was one of college football’s biggest storylines in 2021. He looks to have a fresh start in the SEC at a program that needs a boost after falling at or near the bottom year after year. With less pressure, Rattler could be in a position to make a comeback into national relevancy.