Rivals recruiting analyst Mike Farrell mentioned five SEC players this week that he views as breakout candidates in 2021.
And there’s a Tennessee Vols sophomore he didn’t mention that he’ll likely end up regretting.
Here are Farrell’s SEC breakout candidates:
- Yusuf Corker — Kentucky — Safety
- Kevin Harris — South Carolina — Running Back
- Xzavier Henderson — Florida — Wide Receiver
- Trajan Jeffcoat — Missouri — Defensive Linemen
Those are all great choices, and I don’t want to take anything away from any of those players. They’re all talented.
But Vols sophomore wide receiver Jalin Hyatt should absolutely be on this list.
Hyatt, a South Carolina native, finished the 2020 season as one of the top freshman wide receivers in the SEC with 20 receptions for 276 yards (sixth in the SEC among freshmen wide receivers) and two touchdowns.
Those are solid numbers when you consider that Hyatt was mostly coming off the bench, while also playing in an ineffective offense.
Hyatt, who was laser timed running a 4.31 in the 40-yard dash in early 2019, should be one of the biggest benefactors of Tennessee’s decision to hire Josh Heupel as the program’s new head coach.
Heupel runs a high-powered offense that stretches the field, which is essentially a wide receiver’s dream. Redshirt senior wide receiver Velus Jones is expected to be the top option in the passing game, but Hyatt shouldn’t be far behind. The two speedy wide receivers will be a nightmare for opposing defensive coordinators.
— Tennessee Football (@Vol_Football) December 13, 2020
Analysts like Farrell are sleeping on Tennessee wide receivers — specifically Hyatt — simply because they weren’t able to show their true abilities under Jeremy Pruitt.
The Vols’ offense, however, is going to look a lot different in 2021. In fact, it’s going to look like a completely different team on the field.
Hyatt is a player that I think will be a star in the SEC. And he should absolutely be on every “2021 breakout college football players” list that comes out between now and the start of the season.
Featured image via Tennessee Athletic Communications/Randy Sartin-USA TODAY