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SEC Headlines 1/16/2014

headlines-thuSEC Coaching News

1. Alabama defensive backs coach Greg Brown reportedly stepping down. Alabama makes hiring of new defensive line coach Bo Davis official.

2. New Georgia defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt has a new three-year deal expected to be worth $850,000 annually. ”Where the Bulldogs’ defense could benefit most is in the secondary.”

3. New Florida offensive line coach Mike Summers has 34 years of college and NFL coaching experience.

4. New LSU offensive line coach Jeff Grimes coached the o-line at Auburn from 2009 to 2012.  Former LSU All-American lineman Kevin Mawae wanted the job.

5. Former Auburn and Tennessee assistant Trooper Taylor is now the cornerbacks coach at Arkansas State.

6. James Franklinthanks Vanderbilt fans with a newspaper ad.

*** Trustees make South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier’s pay raise official.  Coaching staff also gets raises and contract extensions through 2015. ***

SEC Football

7. Vanderbilt investigation finds insufficient evidence against one of the former football players charged in the rape case.

8. Athlon makes some early predictions for 2014.  Are Alabama and Georgia the favorites this fall?

9. Texas A&M offensive lineman Cedric Ogbuehi is 6-feet-5 inches tall and 300 pounds and  reportedly ran a 4.7-second 40-yard dash.

10. Is Tennessee quarterback Riley Ferguson poised for a 2014 breakout season?

11. Boston College confirms that two former Florida players - quarterback Tyler Murphy and lineman Ian Silberman – are enrolled at the school.

SEC/NFL draft

12. A record 95 early entries for the NFL draft.  Total includes 27 players from the SEC.

13. Could Texas A&M players be the first two picks of the 2014 draft?

14. Auburn tackle Greg Robinson expected to go early, according to ESPN’s Mel Kiper.

15. Mississippi State middle linebacker Benardrick McKinney says he’s coming back for another season. Redshirt sophomore had projected as mid-first round selection.

SEC Basketball

16. Missouri at Vanderbilt.  Why free throws could be the difference in this one. Vandy’s free-throw percentage worst in the league.

17. Where were Arkansas security guards after the game against Kentucky Tuesday night?

Sports Business

18. Sports apparel contracts are worth at $3 million or more annually to at least 14 universities. Biggest SEC deals belong to LSU and Alabama.

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Report: NCAA Investigators Head To Louisiana In Auburn Probe

And this is the danger of having NCAA investigators on your tail.

While sources continue to say that NCAA sleuths have yet to turn up any serious new dirt regarding Auburn’s recruitment of Cam Newton, the NCAA’s investigation into the Newton recruitment might lead to the discovery of other violations involving other players.

Back in January, Thayer Evans of FoxSports.com relayed the story of Auburn’s surprising recruiting success in Thibodaux, Louisiana.  Monday, the NCAA turned up to talk to Auburn signee Greg Robinson and three other people in Thibodaux regarding AU’s recruitment of Robinson and current Tiger receiver Trovon Reed (who signed with Auburn last year).

The NCAA is taking an interest in a person named Sean Nelson — who may or may not be acting as a “street agent” for players — and Auburn assistant Trooper Taylor.

Click here for the latest from Evans.

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Is Auburn Threatening LSU’s Recruitment?

The thought when Alabama hired Nick Saban in 2007 was that he would go back to Louisiana and steal recruits from LSU.

That hasn’t necessarily happened. But could another school inside the state of Alabama be challenging LSU’s recruiting supremacy inside its own state?

Auburn turned some heads last year when wide receiver Trovon Reed signed with LSU. Recently, the Tigers picked up a commitment from offensive lineman Greg Robinson, who happens to be a former teammate of Reed at Thibodaux (La.) High School.

Scott Ferrell has a post on the Bayou Bengals Blog about other prospects Auburn is hoping to steal away from LSU (and perhaps Alabama, too).

Read it here.

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Auburn Gets Key Commitment From Louisiana

Auburn has landed an important commitment from offensive lineman Greg Robinson in Thibodaux (La.) High School.

In fact, Robinson has known for several weeks that he would choose the Tigers. He held back from announcing it publicly because of the amount of LSU fans around him.

“In my hometown, I’d just never told anybody,” Robinson told 247Sports.com. “My parents knew. They said it was going ot be hard for them to let me go, but I feel like I can be successful and that’s the place for me.”

Robinson’s announcement comes after his visit to LSU last weekend. He’s ranked the nation’s 8th best offensive tackle and 47th best prospect overall by 247Sports.

Robinson is the 14th commitment for Auburn’s 2011 class, which now has commitments from three offensive linemen. That’s key because the Tigers will have to replace four starters from the current unit.

Robinson said he plans to help on Auburn’s offensive line immediately.

“I have no thoughts in my mind about redshirting,” Robinson told 247Sports. “I’m going in there and try to fight for a spot. I’m trying to get noticed quickly.”

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