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LSU CB Simon To Leave Early For The NFL

mrsec-breaking-newsLSU cornerback Tharold Simon is the latest Tiger to announce he’s jumping to the NFL early.  Yesterday, linebacker Kevin Minter and safety Eric Reid announced their intentions to depart.

A very quick stat check shows that Simon, Minter and Reid combined for 266 tackles and six interceptions this past year.

 

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WOW Headlines – 1/4/13

Georgia QB Aaron Murray says his NFL draft grade came back as “second or third round”
South Carolina QB Connor Shaw will likely miss spring practice due to foot surgery
Auburn has hired Dameyune Craig and Rich Bisaccia as assistant football coaches
Arkansas’ new assistants will make a combined $2.8 million per year
LSU juniors Kevin Minter and Eric Reid are leaving early for the NFL
Ole Miss RB Jeff Scott says he will return to school next year
Texas A&M will face Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl tonight
The SEC is currently 3-3 in bowl games this postseason
Mississippi State beat New Orleans 97-46 on Thursday
Texas A&M beat Houston Baptist 67-59 on Thursday
Georgia will host George Washington tonight
Tennessee will host Memphis tonight
Ole Miss will host Fordham tonight
Follow the SEC all year long at MrSEC.com and via MrSEC apps

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No Suspension For LSU’s Reid (And With Good Reason)

As we wrote yesterday on the site, a big hit delivered by LSU safety Eric Reid to Texas A&M receiver Mike Evans wasn’t likely to add up to a suspension for the Tiger defender.  We wrote that we didn’t think Reid would be handed a suspension by the SEC because: “Reid appears to have put his shoulder int Evans’ chest.  If this were a helmet-related issue, it might be a questionable call.”

Yesterday, associate commissioner and (uber-patient) PR man Charles Bloom sent us this note:

 

“This was a dead ball personal foul, and was penalized but since no contact to the head or neck area, it would not be subject to additional conference sanctions.”

 

Was Reid’s hit dirty/dumb?  Probably more dumb than dirty, but still worthy of a flag.  And if he’d made contact higher up Evans’ body, he could have faced further punishment.  But he didn’t.  So he won’t be suspended for LSU’s next game… against #1 Alabama in Baton Rouge.

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SEC Headlines 8/23/2012

SEC East Football

1. How high is the ceiling for South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney?  Defensive end coach Brad Lawing: “I tell (Clowney) all the time, ‘You can be a first-rounder or you can be the first guy.’ It’s your choice.”

2. At 6-8 and 267 pounds, Gamecocks defensive end Devin Taylor is also a pro prospect.

3. Derek Dooley on his Tennessee team that returns 17 starters. “More than anything, I think our team is in a real confident state and I don’t think it’s false.”

4. Tennessee depth chart for North Carolina State released.

5. Injuries piling up at Mizzou – twenty players sat out Thursday’s scrimmage.

6. Tigers walk-on offensive lineman Max Copeland gets a scholarship.

7. Depth chart released at Vanderbilt.

8. Georgia QB Aaron Murray: “We definitely as an offense are in synch right now.”

9. Some of the highest-ranked recruits in the country the past few years play in Florida’s secondary.  Now it’s time for the Gator DBs to live up to the billing.

10. Ominous sign for Florida wide receivers?  First player mentioned by offensive coordinator Brent Pease is a walk-on.

11. Wide receiver woes at Kentucky, too.  Receivers coach Pat Washington tries to re-instill confidence.”Like with a kid, you’ve got to kind of whip them on the butt a little bit but hug them on the neck at the same time.”

12. A projected 25 freshmen and 24 sophomores on Kentucky’s two-deep.

SEC West Football

13. Auburn wide receiver DeAngelo Benton suspended indefinitely.

14. Auburn close to naming a starting quarterback.  Clint Moseley still bothered by his shoulder: “”They say if I was a pitcher, they’d put me on the DL.”

15. A decision could come today or Friday on the fate of LSU walk-on kicker Mo Isom.

16. With Morris Claiborne leaving early for the NFL and Tyrann Mathieu’s dismissal from the team, Tharold Simon is the lone cornerback veteran for the Tigers, safety Eric Reid is the lone returning starter.

17. Expect a dozen NFL scouts in the stands when the Texas A&M  plays Louisiana Tech.

18, Alabama wants to focus on Michigan – but not just Michigan. Nick Saban: ”I think you can practice too long for one particular game.”

19. A crowded backfield for the Crimson Tide.  Lineman Barrett Jones a darkhorse Heisman candidate?

20. Arkansas defensive coordinator Paul Haynes is not happy with the way the Razorbacks are tackling. He expects both Tenarius Wright and Alonzo Highsmith to be ready for Jacksonville State.

21. “This has been as promising a preseason as any in recent memory for the Razorbacks, eliminating – for the moment – apprehensions cast in April.”

22.  The charisma of Dan Mullen is one reason for the rebound in fortunes of Mississippi State football.

23. Outlook at Ole Miss going from bad to worse?

SEC/College News

24. What Tyrann Mathieu can learn from a running back at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Update: Mathieu’s adoptive father tells ESPN the former LSU cornerback won’t play football this year and his focus is working with counselor and former NBA player John Lucas.

25. A Bobby Petrino sighting - at a UAB football practice.

26. Shindig at the shore.  SEC Beachfest this weekend in Gulf Shores, Alabama.

27. Why Oklahoma State hypnotizes its quarterbacks.

28. Sonny Vaccaro, former college basketball players and a lawsuit with the NCAA.

29. Kentucky’s Nerlens Noel is not the only top recruit where the NCAA is investigating eligibility issues.

30. Dennis Dodd on five years after Appalachian State-Michigan: “The closest airport to Boone, N.C., is in Johnson City, Tenn. When the nation’s biggest story finally landed, all the shaken, stirred and giddy players could think of was to belt out, “Rocky Top.” “

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Top Five SEC Freshman Defensive Backs

Playing quarterback in the SEC hasn’t looked very fun the last few years.

There are NFL quality defensive linemen to deal with, linebackers faster than some running backs, and playmakers in the secondary ready to take advantage of a signal-caller’s mistakes.

And those defensive backs can make the difference in a tight championship game.

Look at the coverage provided by Alabama’s secondary in last year’s BCS title game. LSU would have struggled to win an SEC championship without Morris Claiborne, Tyrann Mathieu and Eric Reid.

Most of those players are gone from the SEC, but more are on the way.

Here are the top five true freshman defensive backs in the SEC.

1. Landon Collins – Alabama

He arrived in Tuscaloosa looking like he was ready to play in the SEC. Collins has plenty of work to do on the mental side, but he appears to have the natural instincts of an SEC safety. Collins (6-0, 202) has great speed to go with his impressive size. He will wait his turn in Alabama’s talented seconday, but expect Collins to contribute right away for the Crimson Tide. He also has new competition in his own class as talented freshman Eddie Williams recently moved from wide receiver to safety.

2. De’Vante Harris – Texas A&M

The Aggies gave Harris a jersey number (No. 1) that will bring plenty of attention to him. Offenses will be paying attention to him, too. The top freshman cornerback in the SEC, Harris has already shown this fall why he was so highly-touted as a recruit. Harris (5-10, 160) needs to add weight to play in the physical SEC, but his athletic ability is undeniable. Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin will need strong defensive play in the SEC. Harris should be a nice start.

3. Joshua Holsey – Auburn

This freshman cornerback is confident. Holsey has let everyone know he and his classmates will be playing early and often for Auburn this fall. Holsey has seen time at both cornerback spots – as well as the return positions – during fall camp. Holsey (5-11, 188) has good size for a freshman and has shown good awareness for a player only a few weeks into his college career. Expect big things from Holsey as he learns from new defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder.

4. Geno Smith – Alabama

Smith is in line to be the next great Alabama cornerback. He has already received praise from coach Nick Saban, which could be a sign that Smith will be counted on this fall. Smith (6-0, 182) has good size at corner and has shown a nice level of maturity for a freshman in college. Alabama is talented but unproven at cornerback. If the Tide’s returning players struggle early, don’t be surprised to see Smith receiver extra playing time.

5. Brian Poole – Florida

A cornerback prospect as a recruit, Poole recently moved to safety in Florida’s fall camp. Why? Florida is deep at corner and coach Will Muschamp believes Poole is ready to help the Gators now. Poole (5-10, 206) should add versatility to the safety position. He’s physical enough to go make a tackle and solid enough in coverage to line up on a receiver in the slot. Will Poole be a safety his entire career? Maybe. But he’ll likely be making plays no matter where he is.

Be sure to keep up with recruiting from across the SEC on MrSEC.com’s Recruiting Page.

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SEC Headlines – 11/7/11 Part One

As we await the press conference in Oxford, Mississippi, we’re going to be posting a few headlines from across the league right here…

1.  Saturday night’s game of the century was CBS’ highest-rated regular-season game in 22 years.

2.  Despite losing to LSU, Alabama remains in the hunt for the national title.

3.  Auburn is looking for a strong finish (as opposed to all the other teams out there who want to finish weakly).

4.  After an open date, the Tigers have turned their attention to Georgia.

5.  Arkansas contained South Carolina’s pass rush and Alshon Jeffery in cruising to a big win Saturday.

6.  The Razorbacks could still reach the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta.

7.  LSU continues to control its own BCS destiny.

8.  Eric Reid’s interception at the 1-yard-line might have saved a national title shot for the Tigers.

9.  The Tiger players aren’t interested in a rematch with Alabama.  (Nor should they be.  They won on the road.  While we’d like to see a rematch because these are the best two teams in the country, it wouldn’t be fair to LSU if there are other unbeaten teams to face.)

10.  Houston Nutt is out and the press conference to announce the move will start at 3:00pm ET.

11.  Dan Mullen needs all hands on deck when MSU hosts Alabama on Saturday.

12.  State’s basketball team is out to prove the doubters wrong.

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