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SEC Headlines 4/14/2014

headlines-monSEC Football

1.  Alabama coach Nick Saban appears to be very pleased with the spring performance of running back Derrick Henry.

2. Auburn defender Justin Garrett is back on the field and feeling healthier after dealing with foot injuries.

3. Auburn’s coaching staff expects a lot of the Tigers’ wide receivers this year.

4. Which Georgia players helped themselves this spring? Seth Emerson takes a look.

5. Quarterback Hutson Mason showed he’s ready to lead Georgia, writes Barrett Sallee.

6. Missouri coach Gary Pinkel following the dismissal of Dorial Green-Beckham: “I’ve got to protect the integrity of the program.”

SEC Basketball

7. Bruce Pearl landed his first commitment at Auburn. The prospect was accused of eating marijuana during a January traffic stop.

8. Pat Dooley looks back at the top moments from Florida’s run to the Final Four this season.

9. Jerry Tipton is live tweeting John Calipari’s Monday media tour.

10. ESPN’s Chad Ford on Kentucky guards Aaron and Andrew Harrison will go to the NBA, but “I don’t think either of those kids should leave.”

SEC/NFL Draft

11. An anonymous NFL personnel man called Jadeveon Clowney “spoiled” and “lazy.

12. Clowney goes No. 1 to the Houston Texans in Josh Norris’ latest NFL mock draft.

13. Peter King looks at the draft in this week’s Monday Morning Quarterback.

Extra

14. Dennis Dodd looks at Jameis Winston’s busy weekend, which included a 56-pass spring game and save in a baseball game.

15. Ohio State quaterback Braxton Miller poked fun at rival Michigan over its spring game attendance.

16. Where is outrage about college sports coming from? “Much of it comes from academia and the media, which doesn’t make it wrong.”

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Pearl Lands First Commitment At Auburn

Power forward Cinmeon Bowers from Chipola Junior College in Marianna, Fla., became the first prospect to commit to coach Bruce Pearl at Auburn on Saturday.

Bowers signed with Florida State in November but was released from his national letter of intent in January after he was arrested for allegedly eating marijuana in order to conceal it from police officers during a traffic stop. Charges were later dropped.

Bowers told AuburnSports.com he wasn’t guilty of any wrongdoing during the alleged incident.

“About that incident, I was proven innocent,” he said. “I was falsely accused. People might think badly of me, but I don’t smoke. I was around the wrong people. People think I’m a bad guy – I’m a good guy.”

Bowers, who plans to sign with Auburn on Wednesday, believes he will be able to help the Tigers immediately.

“I looked at the depth chart and they need a four man,” Bowers told Auburn Sports. “I love the offense, they let the four man go and everybody shares the ball. It would be a great fit.”

Auburn signed two prospects – forwards Sam Logwood and Jack Purchase – during the fall signing period.

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SEC Recruiting Notebook: Lock Helps Missouri Bolster Offense

sec-recruiting-notebook-gfxMissouri’s offense received a big lift this week when it received commitments from quarterback Drew Lock from Lee’s Summit (Mo.) High School and running back Natereace Strong from East St. Louis (Ill.) High School.

Lock, who’s ranked the nation’s No. 5 pro-style quarterback by Rivals, chose Missouri over Tennessee. Kentucky, Ole Miss, Michigan State, Ohio State and Texas also offered Lock a scholarship.

Lock said during a press conference Wednesday night that Missouri led throughout the recruiting process. His father, Andy Lock, played on the offensive line for the Tigers from 1986-89.

“I don’t feel like I could have played anywhere but Missouri because I feel like that’s where their heart lies, and that’s where my heart lies, too,” Drew Lock said. “(Lock’s father) did walk out into that stadium. To think that so many years later, I’m going to get the chance to actually do that, it’s surreal.”

Missouri’s recruiting on the offensive side of the ball is off to a strong start in the 2015 class.

The commitment from Strong, who’s ranked the nation’s No. 21 running back by Rivals, is the third running back commitment for the Tigers. He told Rivals he believes he will fit in nicely to Missouri’s offense.

“Their offense is a good offense – they are powerful and physical,” Strong said. “They put up numbers and I want to be in an offense that puts up numbers because that will help me get to the next level and that’s where I want to be.”

Lock plans to help Missouri put up those numbers. The Tigers’ recent quarterbacks, including Chase Daniel, James Franklin and Maty Mauk, have shown the ability to throw and run. Lock believes he can follow in that line.

“I would definitely say that my label is a pocket passer,” Lock said. “But I feel like I can bring so much more to the University of Missouri and the college level. I can get out and make plays if I need to, if the pocket breaks down. That’s something I take pride in.”

Lock has always taken pride in his family’s connection to Missouri. Andy Lock recalled a conversation he had with Drew about the future of the quarterback position at Missouri.

“Drew, would you be comfortable with somebody else quarterbacking the University of Missouri for three or four years, however long you get to play?” Andy remembered. “He goes, ‘Absolutely not.’ I said, ‘There you go. You just answered your own question.’

“That right there. He kind of went, ‘No, Dad, I’m not OK with that because I love that school and my family loves that school so, no, it would hurt me.’”

And Missouri is glad Lock will be there to help the Tigers.

 

Tennessee continues in-state run

Athlete Jauan Jennings gave Tennessee good news when he committed to the Vols on Monday.

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SEC Headlines 4/8/2014

headlines-tueSEC Football

1. Missouri wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham has been indefinitely suspended ”for a violation of undisclosed team policies.”

2. What helped Amari Cooper have a big scrimmage on Saturday? The Alabama receiver credited Lane Kiffin’s offense.

3. Here’s a practice report from Alabama’s workout on Monday.

4. Auburn offensive tackle Avery Young is back after suffering a painful broken hand injury in the BCS title game.

5. Jonathan Mincy and Jermaine Whitehead are two leaders in Auburn’s secondary.

6. The LSU quarterback job is freshman Brandon Harris’ to lose, writes Barrett Sallee.

7. Here are five Ole Miss players who showed up as surprises this spring.

8. Kelvin Taylor appears to be “The Guy” at tailback for Florida.

9. Georgia has high hopes for linebacker Leonard Floyd as a pass rusher this fall.

10. Georgia’s coaches have challenged running back Todd Gurley to give it his all on the field.

NCAA Championship Game

11. UConn winning the national title proves the regular season doesn’t mean much, writes Pat Dooley.

12. UConn’s men drew inspiration from the women in their lives, writes Nicole Auerbach.

13. Kentucky fan Tyler Austin Black is keeping the “2014 Nati9nal Champions” tattoo he got before the tournament began.

14. Kentucky’s group of freshmen is already a thing of the past as several are expected to leave for the NBA.

SEC Basketball

15. Bruce Pearl says there have already been some “cultural changes” with Auburn’s approach to practice.

16. Auburn legend Chuck Person has joined Pearl’s staff. Pearl: “This is a pretty special day for Auburn basketball and the Auburn family.”

SEC/NFL Draft

17. Offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio and his former teammates are preparing for Tuesday’s Pro Day at Alabama.

18. Quarterback Zach Mettenberger will visit several NFL teams following LSU’s Pro Day.

19. Safety Craig Loston wants to show NFL teams he can cover as well as hit.

Extra

20. Former NFL linebacker Brendan Ayanbadejo believes Nick Saban traded him from the Miami Dolphins because he took paternity leave.

21. An Ohio bill says college athletes aren’t employees under state law.

22. UConn star guard Shabazz Napier said “there are hungry nights that I go to bed and I’m starving.”

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NCAA Championship Roundup: Kentucky Falls To Uconn

gfx-hoops-round-up2UConn 60 – Kentucky 54

1. Kentucky came up just short on its incredible run. John Calipari: “I can’t believe what these guys got done together.”

2. Video: Watch Calipari’s postgame press conference.

3. That wasn’t Julius Randle against UConn, writes Gregg Doyel. Randle finished with just 10 points and six rebounds.

4. Rex Chapman tweeted before the game that Calipari will leave to coach the Lakers this offseason. Calipari dismissed the idea after the game.

5. UConn guard Shabazz Napier will leave the school with two national title rings. Is he the best player in UConn history?

6. UConn coach Kevin Ollie has a national title in just his second season as a head coach.

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SEC Headlines 4/7/2014

headlines-monSEC Football

1. Report: Alabama cornerback Eddie Jackson suffered a torn ACL during Saturday’s scrimmage.

2. Here are five storylines to watch entering the final two weeks of Alabama’s spring practice.

3. Alabama’s running backs “have really had good springs so far,” according to Nick Saban.

4. Auburn cornerback Jonathan Jones needs to stay healthy to be able to help the Tigers.

5. Talented wide receiver Ricky Seals-Jones is the latest Texas A&M player to be arrested.

6. Athlon Sports put together an All-SEC team from the BCS Era.

Kentucky vs UConn

7. The script for Kentucky to reach the finals has been unlikely. The Wildcats can still have a happy ending.

8. Kentucky center Willie Cauley-Stein said it’s “heartbreaking” that he won’t be able to play against UConn.

9. It will be a tale of two backcourts going into tonight’s matchup.

10. Seth Davis is certain Kentucky will beat UConn. He thinks.

11. A rebound by Saint Joseph’s could have prevented UConn’s incredible run from ever happening.

SEC Basketball

12. The disappointing finish doesn’t define the journey for Florida, writes Pat Dooley.

13. There are plenty of questions to be answered now that Florida’s season is over.

SEC/NFL Draft

14. Wide receiver Jarvis Landry is preparing for LSU’ Pro Day on Wednesday.

Extra

15. Former Auburn coach Gene Chizik doesn’t appear too impressed with his daughter’s prom date in this photo.

16. “Why are all student-athletes still being considered equal?” That’s what Dan Wetzel wants to know.

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SEC Recruiting Notebook: Lineman Harris Chooses Missouri

sec-recruiting-notebook-gfxMissouri received a commitment Tuesday from offensive lineman A.J. Harris from Blue Valley High School in Stilwell, Kan.

Harris gave the commitment to Missouri coach Gary Pinkel and his staff during a trip to Columbia.

“There are a lot of good things about Mizzou, but some of them are that I have a former teammates that played there, Clay Rhodes,” Harris told PowerMizzou.com.  ”When I talked to him about it he told me it would be the best decision I ever made.

“Also, none of the coaches BS about the recruiting process. Coach Pinkel got the extension to 2020, so that added a lot of stability to the decision, too. Plus, all the faculties and my dorm are all within a square mile.”

Harris’ home is less than three hours away from Missouri’s campus. That proximity and Harris’ familiarity with the program helped the Tigers stand out early in the recruiting process.

“I’ve known it would be Missouri for about a month, but me and my dad wanted to wait to make sure the feeling stuck and to make sure nothing would change my mind on such a big decision,” Harris said. “I also wanted to do it in person, so we waited until I came (Tuesday) and I told the coaches in person.”

Harris, who considered offers from Arkansas, Illinois, Nebraska, Ohio State and Oklahoma State, is the third prospect and first offensive lineman to commit to Missouri’s 2015 class. The other two commitments are from running backs Chase Abbington and Ryan Williams.

Missouri’s coaching staff will likely pitch the early offensive commitments to quarterback Drew Lock. The Lee’s Summit (Mo.) High School standout is a high priority for Missouri’s 2015 class.

Lock told 247Sports last month he’s torn between the options of playing for the in-state school or leaving the state to experience something new.

“Missouri is up there for me as far as being the hometown school and my dad went there,” Lock said. “Then again there is a side of me that wants to get away and a side of me that wants to stay home. It is 50/50 and how anyone would feel.”

 

Harris releases top 10

Running back Damien Harris from Madison Southern High School in Berea, Ky., recently released a list of the top 10 schools he’s considering.

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SEC Headlines 4/1/2014

headlines-tueSEC Football

1. Alabama coach Nick Saban believes players “should have a voice” when it comes to their rights.

2. Here’s a report from Alabama practice with depth updates at several positions.

3. Auburn center Reese Dismukes has set his own goals to improve this offseason.

4. Set your calendar: LSU and UCLA will play a home-and-home series in 2021 and 2024.

5. LSU’s Ronald Martin and Jalen Mills are battling to hold onto the Tigers’ starting safety positions.

6. C.J. Hampton enrolled this semester at Ole Miss so he can help the Rebels this fall.

7. Kevin Sumlin says Texas A&M has programs in place to educate the school’s athletes off the field.

8. Freshman Will Grier has moved into the No. 2 quarterback role for Florida behind starter Jeff Driskel.

9. Georgia wide receiver Reggie Davis is focused on football and not track as he gets ready for his sophomore season.

10. Marc Weiszer has eight takeaways at the midway point of Georgia’s spring practice.

11. Athlon Sports ranks all 14 head coaches in the SEC. No. 1 will not surprise you.

12. Dylan Thompson is ready to become South Carolina’s full-time starter at quarterback.

SEC/Final Four

13. Florida will look to avenge its December loss to UConn when the two teams play on Saturday.

14. A Florida-Kentucky championship game matchup is inevitable, writes Pat Dooley.

15. Kentucky coach John Calipari doesn’t expected Willie Cauley-Stein to play in the Final Four.

16. This run by Kentucky isn’t like any we’ve ever seen, writes Mark Story.

17. CBS Sports expects lean toward a Florida-Kentucky matchup in the championship game.

SEC Basketball

18. Cuonzo Martin has reportedly pulled his name out of the running for the Marquette job.

19. Bruce Pearl is in the process of filling out his staff. His son will move to a strength and conditioning position.

20. LSU forward Johnny O’Bryant is likely to announce his future plans sometime today.

21. Guard Jordan Clarkson is leaving Missouri early for the NBA Draft.

22. Tony Criswell’s father was critical of Missouri coach Frank Haith when he called into the Paul Finebaum Show. Criswell called in to defend Haith.

Extra

23. Vanderbilt has consulted lawyers on player unionization.

24. Michigan football coach Brady Hoke is working to improve his team’s level of toughness.

25. Here are 11 amazing facts about the Final Four.

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SEC Headlines 3/31/2014

 headlines-monSEC Football

1. Report: Alabama will hire former Washington assistant Tosh Lupoi in an off-field role.

2. Alabama will get back to work this week as the team returns from spring break.

3. Auburn is adjusting its defensive line by trying to get bigger bodies on the field at the same time.

4. Angelo Blackson is hoping to earn more playing time at defensive tackle for the Tigers.

5. Arkansas is giving Kody Walker a look at fullback to see if he can handle the position.

6. LSU is putting its quarterbacks to the test as the Tigers continue to look for a starter.

SEC/NCAA Tournament

7. Pat Forde steps up and eats some crow now that Kentucky has advanced to the Final Four.

8. Kentucky’s toughness is a big reason the Wildcats are still alive in the tournament.

9. Are we headed toward an all-SEC championship game? Gary Parrish takes a look.

10. Florida and Kentucky are the two best teams in the Final Four, writes Jeff Borzello.

11. Florida will get its rematch with UConn, which is the last team to beat the Gators.

12. Former UConn standout Kevin Ollie has returned the program to an elite level as its coach.

13. Which teams have the advantages when it comes to matchups in the Final Four?

SEC Basketball

14. Report: Marquette officials met with Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin on Sunday.

15. The SEC is still a lousy league despite the success of Florida and Kentucky, writes David Climer.

Extra

16. Michigan State Tom Izzo said he’s learned from Nick Saban’s public handling of job speculation.

17. Kansas freshman Andrew Wiggins is expected to announce today he’s leaving for the NBA.

18. Basketball coach Tommy Amaker announced he will stay at Harvard.

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SEC Hoops Roundup: Kentucky Advances To Final Four

gfx-hoops-round-up2Kentucky 75 – Michigan 72

1. It was another thriller for Kentucky, which advanced on a last-minute three by guard Aaron Harrison.

2. Kentucky was playing without Willie Cauley-Stein. So freshman Marcus Lee stepped up in a big way.

3. Kentucky has looked down and out several times. But the Wildcats never stopped believing in themselves.

4. Michigan lived by the three and died by the three all season. That held true until the very end.

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