SEC's Top 25 players: No. 18 Kony Ealy

Published: Monday, July 8, 2013 at 12:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at 6:26 p.m. counts down this season's standout players in the nation's toughest conference.

No. 18 Kony Ealy

Position: Defensive end

School: Missouri

Height: 6-foot-5

Weight: 275 pounds

Year: Junior

Why he's No. 18: There have been plenty of comparisons to Missouri great Aldon Smith, and this could be the year Ealy lives up to that potential. He was a reserve pass-rush specialist in 2011 (all Big-12 freshman team) before stepping into the starting lineup and producing last year. Ealy had 10 starts and 10 tackles for a loss, 3.5 of them sacks. He also batted down seven passes, and Florida fans will remember the two he knocked away in The Swamp last year. Ealy is expected to face a lot of double teams with the loss of tackle Sheldon Richardson to the NFL, but his quickness as an edge rusher will make him hard to block.

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