The college football season is right around the corner which means like every year there will be sleepers who emerge from the fog of the season. Whether it be a team or players, fans and media will be shocked at some point. That is a guarantee, what is also a guarantee is the SEC will have a decisive say in the way the landscape of college football unfolds.
While it may seem uncommon, sleepers will emerge from the SEC.
Is it the most talented conference in football? Absolutely. Is saying there will be sleepers a bold statement? No.
Despite the surplus of talent, there are players who are finally getting a chance to play meaningful time and thus will surprise people. A prime example of this is Alabama, each year they send 10 to 15 players to the NFL and that allows a new crop of players to emerge. Other teams have seen the same happen or they have started to recruit well thanks to the talent coming out of the conference.
No matter the situation or team, players break out, players make the most of their chances, and here are five of them to monitor.
It’s hard to label someone who is entering their sixth college season as a sleeper but here we are. In the days of the NIL that helps keep players in college we see instances like that of Joe Milton. Now, despite being around for five seasons thus far, he has only thrown over 100 passes twice. In both those seasons, PFF gave him a favorable grade but especially in the Tennessee bowl game against Clemson to end last year. He has a chance to build off that game but whether he can or not is yet to be seen. If he does, the sky is the limit for his draft stock.
One of the more raw prospects in the entire college landscape, Seydou Traore is the perfect example of a sleeper. He has only played organized football since his senior year of high school and despite that, he has earned All-Sun Belt honors and put up impressive numbers through two seasons. He transferred to Mississippi State this summer and him in that offense will be perfect for his development going forward.
He may not be a sleeper in the traditional sense but Jermaine Burton has yet to live up to his billing. Burton started his career in Georgia and flashed brilliance before transferring to Alabama where he was lost in the shuffle in 2023. For this upcoming season though, Burton has the perfect chance to be the top wide receiver for Alabama, and if history has shown us anything that gives him a chance to jump into round one. At the very least, he will see his production and targets jump up which allows for more eyeballs to boost his draft stock come April.