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SEC Headlines – 8/8/11 Part One

Sorry we had to go with a links-only approach on the main page last week.  We’ve been tackling some business-related issues on the back end in the past few days.  Should lead to some improvements in the site that we feel you’ll enjoy.  (Those should launch in the coming weeks, by the way.)

At any rate… on with the daily SEC news:

1.  Will Muschamp says Frankie Hammond Jr. is Florida’s most consistent receiver.

2.  You can put Jeff Demps’ name on the Paul Hornung Award Watch List.

3.  Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo likes what he sees from Georgia’s young, thin running back corps.

4.  Hutson Mason is solid as UGA’s #2 quarterback behind Aaron Murray.

5.  Some new Dawgs are getting praise while others are getting a push from coaches.

6.  Expansion elsewhere in the nation hasn’t changed the fact that the SEC is still the league to beat for the BCS championship.

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Scholarship status for WR Frankie Hammond Jr. still undetermined

Content provided by Swamp Things – Gators Blog.

On the field, at least, Frankie Hammond Jr. appears to be earning his scholarship back. The Gators’ redshirt sophomore had it revoked after a DUI arrest this summer, one that has since been settled in court.

At the time, coach Urban Meyer said Hammond would pay his way this season and possible for the entire year.

This week, Meyer said he still hasn’t determined Hammond’s scholarship status. By all accounts, though, Hammond has taken this as a lesson and is moving in the right direction.

“Do I have a timetable? No,” said Meyer. “But I’m evaluating everything he’s doing and that includes his unselfish contribution to this team, his academic reports and his off-the-field behavior and assisting us with a lot of off-the-field things. He’s doing very well.”

After missing the first two games, he has emerged as one of the Gators’ top receivers. He leads Florida with 16 receptions in the past five games, and is the team’s best blocking receiver.

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Injuries, improvement earn more playing time for Frankie Hammond Jr.

Content provided by Swamp Things – Gators Blog.

Very quietly, Frankie Hammond Jr. turned in an standout performance last week against Georgia. Coach Urban Meyer selected Hammond, a redshirt sophomore, as one of three offensive players of the game in his 34-31 overtime win. He had three receptions for 46 yards, which seems insignificant enough until you consider that he played 70 snaps on offense and 20 more on special teams.

“He played all his special teams reps, all his offensive snaps, the plays that he made in the game,” said offensive coordinator Steve Addazio. “Really terrific to see him come back. Really, he’s a very quiet guy and he’s a real unassuming guy and just works really hard. That’s what he did before too. I think it’s a great sense of pride for him to bring value to this football team like he has, and he’s doing a great job.”

Hammond’s tumultuous path to this point goes back to a June DUI arrest that cost the receiver his scholarship. He had to meet conditions to return to the team, and is paying his own tuition this semester.

Coach Urban Meyer has said he will review Hammond’s scholarship situation after the season, but it’s clear that the receiver is working his way back into his coaches’ good graces.

“You talk about a kid that kind of came from the abyss. He made an awful choice in his life, and he’s really learning from it,” said receivers coach Zach Azzanni. “He’s come to work every day. He’s shut his mouth and he’s working really hard.”

Hammond has 11 catches for 150 yards and one touchdown this season; but like his stats in Saturday’s game, those are deceiving. Coaches have praised Hammond for his willingness to block, an attribute that has helped get him on the field.

“They always emphasize blocking on the perimeter, and  that’s one thing I’ve really tried to get good at as far as blocking,” Hammond said. “Because as far as springing Jeff and those running backs in games, I just tried to get better at blocking.”

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