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SEC Headlines 2/22/2013

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1. The $425 million renovation of Kyle Field will begin November 10th – one day after Texas A&M’s final home game this fall.  A&M president R. Bowen Loftin: “This is probably the largest project ever done at Texas A&M.”

2. Will Kyle Field surpass Neyland Stadium as the largest in the SEC?

3. Where will Josh Harvey-Clemons play for Georgia this fall?  Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham could be tipping his hand.

4. Why so many missed tackles in college football? Auburn defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson: “A lot of the missed tackling in college football today is because the game has changed. It’s faster, it’s more spread out and there are better-skilled athletes playing than when I started out coaching.”

5. When spring practice starts at Auburn, the Tigers will have just two quarterbacks on scholarship in uniform, Kiehl Frazier and Jonathan Wallace.  Offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee: ”There’s two guys that are going to get a lot of opportunity in the spring.”

6. Brent Dearmon hired at Auburn, third high school coach hired for an off-the-field role on the Tigers staff. He joins former Auburn cornerback Dell McGee and Chip Lindsay who’ve accepted positions on Gus Malzahn’s staff.

7. Kentucky coach Mark Stoops has bought a home for $1.45 million.  According to the Fayette County property valuation administrator:  ”That makes it the third-highest single-family home sale in the past year.”

8. Mississippi State expects to improve its run defense in 2013.

9. Will we see top prospect Robert Nkemdiche lining up on the inside on passing downs this fall at Ole Miss? The Rebels secret to success?

10. Spring practice dates set at South Carolina. 

11. Most season-ticket holders at Missouri will pay the same price this year. No increase at Auburn this year.

12. LSU legend Billy Cannon released from a hospital on Thursday.  Had suffered a stroke earlier in the week.

NFL Scouting Combine

13. Texas A&M offensive tackle Luke Joeckel is out to prove he’s worthy of the No. 1 overall selection and thinks SEC defenses helped him prepare: “SEC defensive lines are the best in the country.”

14. Could Alabama’s Chance Warmack make draft history?

15. Former Alabama center Barrett Jones is six weeks in to a four-month timetable toward full recovery.  Recovering from foot surgery.

16. Just four months removed from hip surgery, former Auburn tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen said there no “red flags” raised by teams on Thursday.

17. Former Tennessee offensive lineman Dallas Thomas is in Indianapolis but recovering from a torn labrum: “I might be injured, but I’m still the same player that I was.”

18. A hamstring injury hampered his senior season but Missouri linebacker Zaviar Gooden thinks he can run a 4.3 second 40-yard dash at the combine.  ”Yeah, it’s possible. I’ve done it before. I’ve just got to do it on the big stage.”

19. NFL combine invitees for all SEC schools over the last three years. LSU has the most – Vanderbilt the least.

NCAA Miami Investigation

20. With the formal charges made, where does Missouri basketball coach Frank Haith go from here?

21. Three former Miami assistants want their case dismissed because of mistakes by the NCAA. Update: NCAA reportedly agrees to hear the request.

22. Possible for Miami to sue the NCAA? “I think Miami would have a case.”

SEC Basketball

23. Do the recent struggles at Ole Miss spell doom for coach Andy Kennedy? Canceled his scheduled press conference Thursday.

24. Auburn-Ole Miss and Missouri-Kentucky are two bubble games to watch this weekend.

25. So who needs a win more Saturday – Missouri or Kentucky? Dick Vitale: “It’s much bigger for Kentucky.” But the Tigers are in need of a quality road win. ESPN’s GameDay will be on hand – a lonely job for the driver of the bus.

26. When it comes to fans - does Kentucky basketball equal Alabama football? “To me, they’re identical programs.”

27. Missouri’s Phil Pressey has his father to thank for making him a point guard: “My dad noticed I wasn’t growing. I wasn’t going to be a shooting guard. He said, ‘Son, you need to start passing the ball.’”

28. When Florida hosts Arkansas Saturday night, Billy Donovan wants to see more production from Patric Young. ”I would just like to see him rebound better.”

29. Nerlens Noel still the favorite to win the SEC’s Freshman of the Year honors.

30. Seth Davis on the NCAA Tournament selection process: “Regardless of what you think about the RPI, the fact is that most fans really have no clue how it is actually used.”

Extra

31. Tennessee lawmakers consider legislation that would require schools to adopt concussion p0licies.

32. New Philadelphia Eagles coach Chip Kelly hires a former Navy SEAL to be the team’s “Sports Science Coordinator.”

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LSU And SEC Legend Cannon Hospitalized After Stroke

In the long history of Southeastern Conference football there aren’t many names bigger than that of Billy Cannon.  The 1959 Heisman Trophy-winner made news on and off the field in a turbulent career and life that’s seen him rise to the pinnacle of LSU sports lore.

Today, the 75-year-old ex-tailback is in intensive care in Baton Rouge recovering from a stroke.  The school confirmed through Cannon’s family that he had a stroke, but it was made clear that he alert and resting as of last night.

Cannon led LSU to a national title in 1958.  As noted above, he won the Heisman a season later.  The signature moment of his career came on an 89-yard punt return against Ole Miss on Halloween night in ’59.  The play remains one of the most iconic runs in SEC history:

 

Billy Cannon Run October 31, 1959

 

Cannon became an orthodontist after his AFL career ended.  He has been the head of the dental program at the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola for 15 years.

Our best wishes to Cannon and his family as he recovers.

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