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The SEC Freshman to Watch in 2011

The title-hungry conference that has produced folk heroes like Bo Jackson and Emmitt Smith is preparing to usher in its next coterie of well-calloused backs to lead their time-consuming ground-n-pound offenses. Meanwhile, the high school idols of yesteryear continue to fashion themselves for the next level of bodily punishment, new playbooks abundant with unfamiliar formations, and a plateau of competition that will test their character more vigorously than an eighty-hour work-week. It's only a matter of months before these worlds collide, giving the SEC extremists a well-deserved release from football's annual hibernation. While the top recruits flock to the high-profile schools of their choice, one student-athlete stands separate from the pack in his attitude, persistence, and desire for victory. His name is Demetrius "Dee" Hart and he's going to Alabama. Look out.

Demetrius "Dee" Hart's four-year quest for a State Championship Ring has left him both empty-handed and heartbroken. Four autumns worth of Hart's efforts rendered three playoff appearances, the best 6A offense (statistically) of the 2010 season, and one trip to Orlando for the state championship game. Originally assuring his talents to the Michigan Wolverines, Dee had a provoked change of Hart after the foreseeable dismissal of UM head coach, Rich Rodriguez. The proclaimed saint of Dr. Phillips HS de-committed from Michigan and rather elected to follow his teammate and fellow All-American, Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix, to the University of Alabama.

Hart's running style is best described as low-centered, with an unusually explosive burst. His physique compliments his talents down to the finest detail; bouncing off of otherwise crippling blows with his thickset thighs while maintaining the composure to make a defender's ankles crumble before he even takes a lateral step. This young man's heavyset lower body carries perfectly his slender 5'9, 189lb frame, allowing him to be a threateningly effective downhill power back without battering his natural athleticism.

If Hart's physical accolades aren't enough to have SEC defensive coordinators quivering in their boots, maybe they should go to his stat sheet for a second glance. Dr. Phillips' career rushing leader commandeered an offensive unit that averaged just under 50ppg in 2010 while knocking off perennial Florida powerhouses like Boone (142yds), Seminole Ridge (218yds), and Seminole (159yds), not to mention posting two more 200+ yard performances in two meetings with Orlando-Olympia HS. And if his resume wasn't startling enough already, you can tack on his career landmarks, which include 4,151 rushing yards, 88 touchdowns, 7,405 all-purpose yards, and five scores on kick/punt returns.

The 2011 college football season should see Hart participate in a respectable number of snaps, playing the primary compliment back to projected 1st round pick, Trent Richardson. Remember to keep your eyes peeled for Hart on special teams as well, as he will likely play a vital role on the coverage teams, as well as in the return game. Hold onto your seats whenever the Tide start to roll because Dee Hart will surely be a driving force behind this powerhouse offense en route to a high-and-dry future with frequent trips to Honolulu.

Thanks to Eric Caldwell for writing this article for SEC Sports Fan. Here's more about Alabama Crimson Tide Football.

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