Top SEC freshman performances: Florida’s Malik Davis among those with major Week 5 impact

After the performances of LSU and Tennessee in Week 5, perhaps it’s time for the Tigers and Volunteers to start playing more freshmen.

Which would be quite the feat for LSU, considering Ed Orgeron is starting 18 first-time starters, including eight first-year freshmen. That’s the most frosh suiting up for the Tigers since 2005.

As for those freshmen that actually played well this week, an honorable mention goes out to quarterbacks Jake Fromm of Georgia and Texas A&M’s Kellen Mond after leading the Bulldogs and Aggies, respectively, to impressive victories.

But that wasn’t enough to crack the top-5 freshman performances from throughout the SEC in Week 5.

5. RB Najee Harris, Alabama

While Najee Harris only managed 43 yards on the ground against Ole Miss, the former No. 1 recruit scored the first touchdown of his career in the Crimson Tide’s win over the Rebels. While he remains behind Damien Harris and Bo Scarbrough on the depth chart, he’s rushed for 199 yards so far on the year and adds tremendous depth.

4. DE Nick Coe, Auburn

Nick Coe broke out against Mississippi State, earning a career-best 6 tackles, .5 of which went for a loss. He could have had more, but had to settle for a team-high 4 quarterback hurries as the Tigers cruised to a win over the Bulldogs.

3. RB Chase Hayden, Arkansas

Chase Hayden continues to be a force out of the Arkansas backfield. While only rushing for 48 yards, he found the end zone twice for the Razorbacks in their 42-24 win over New Mexico State. Hayden now has scored 4 touchdowns on the year and rushed for 246 yards, 3 shy of team leader Devwah Whaley.

2. DB Jamyest Williams, South Carolina

South Carolina lost 24-17 to Texas A&M, but the blame can’t be pinned on Jamyest Williams. He led the Gamecocks with 10 tackles, 9 of them solo. The Dacula, Ga., native entered the game with 16 career tackles. The nickelback also logged a pair of tackles for loss and a quarterback hurry.

1. RB Malik Davis, Florida

Malik Davis needed just four career games before truly bursting on the scene and emerging as the SEC’s top freshman running back this year. Davis’ first career 100-yard effort made him the first Florida freshman to eclipse the century mark while scoring twice in a game since Jeff Demps in 2008 versus Arkansas. He joins the Razorbacks’ Chase Hayden as the first first-year freshman to score multiple touchdowns in a game in the SEC this season. Davis’ 124 yards on the ground were a career best, surpassing his previous high of 94 against Tennessee.

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