With fall camps around the Southeastern Conference in full swing, a number of younger players -- some expected, some not so expected -- are serving early notice that they'll be ready to make a significant impact this fall. A few hot names we've come across here at NFL Draft 365:
Justin Cox, CB, Mississippi State -- The junior college transfer will play and play a lot for a Bulldogs secondary that lost a lot of talent at the cornerback position last season. If Cox can give MSU the lockdown presence it needs on one side of the field, it will do wonders for the entire defense. Then again, Mississippi State doesn't have an elite SEC receiver to challenge him in fall camp. As such, only the season can unfold the reality of Cox's impact.
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Ronald Powell, LB, Florida -- Word around the Gators' campfire is that Powell looks every bit as good in the preseason as he did in 2011, when he last played for UF. A serious knee injury that required two separate procedures may have Powell 18 months between healthy practices, but the former No. 1-rated prep recruit is not showing any significant rust.
Anthony Johnson, DL, LSU -- Johnson is more than ready to take over as the next star defensive lineman in Baton Rouge. Last year his contribution, which included 10 tackles for loss, was more bonus than baseline. This season, he'll be counted on as the line's top playmaker. And as such, offensive lines will be paying far more attention to the 310-pound early-entry candidate.
Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn -- AU defensive end Dee Ford isn't exactly an NFL general manager, but he recently called Robinson a "future first-rounder." Ford, at least, does project as an NFL player himself, and has learned what it's like to go head to head with the promising sophomore in practice. Robinson (6-foot-5, 320) will handle the all-important left tackle position for the Tigers.
Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama -- No surprise here. One of the elite receivers in the league torched the Alabama secondary in the Crimson Tide's first fall scrimmage to the tune of four catches for 182 yards and three touchdowns. In four offseason scrimmages, including three in the spring, Cooper has been credited with 17 catches, 431 receiving yards and eight TDs.
Caleb Azubike, DE, Vanderbilt -- Insiders at Vandy say the 6-4, 265-pound sophomore has been extremely difficult to block in fall camp and is emerging as the dominant force in the Commodores' defensive front. Don't be surprised if he doubles the sack total (four) that he compiled as a freshman last year. He'll get a nice early test against Ole Miss Aug. 29, against an offense that likes to release the ball quickly on pass plays.
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Robert Nkemdiche, DE, Ole Miss -- The nation's No. 1 overall recruit in the class of 2013 hasn't taken long to emerge in Oxford. Nkemdiche is already operating with the first-string defense, and figures to be a significant contributor to the Rebels even if he doesn't end up being a full-time starter.
Tray Matthews, DB, Georgia -- By seemingly every account, Matthews will make a significant impact on the Bulldogs' secondary as a true freshman this season. The strongest indication of that came at the end of spring drills, for which he was eligible as an early enroller, and was named the team's most improved defender. Has been nagged by a camp injury, but it's a minor setback.
A'Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama -- UA coach Nick Saban has commented that Robinson, along with a couple other freshman defensive linemen, have the potential to find their way onto the field this season. Robinson (6-4, 320) is one of the most physically impressive of all the Crimson Tide's incoming freshmen, which is a mouthful. He would be well-suited to a 3-technique role.