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Ex-Receiver Norwood On Potential FSU-To-Bama Move By QB Coker: “I Thought Everybody Knew”

gfx - they said itFormer Alabama receiver Kevin Norwood says he didn’t mean to let any cats of the bag when he remarked last week in a radio interview that the Tide: “… have a guy coming in from Florida State, a 6-5 guy.  I don’t know too much about him.  But I heard good things about him.”

The him Norwood was referring to is apparently Mobile native and Seminole backup QB Jacob Coker.  Coker just happens to be the backup to the reigning Heisman-winner, Jameis Winston.  Winston was just a freshman last year.  And thus… a transfer for Coker.

Only Coker has to date downplayed the rumors of a transfer back to his home state and to Nick Saban’s program.  And that’s why Norwood tried to backtrack from his comments yesterday, though he first seemed to sorta/kinda confirm them:

 

“I thought everybody knew he was coming.  I didn’t know I was putting him on the spot or did anything like that…

I don’t want to mess anything up or get anybody excited.  I hope I didn’t because I don’t know if it’s true or not.  I really don’t.”

 

Riiiiight.

Now the question becomes: “What has Coker told Jimbo Fisher?”  If he’s not been upfront with Fisher about the possibility of transferring to Bama the Noles’ coach might not be too thrilled with the possibility that his old boss Saban might possibly be wooing his backup quarterback through back channels.

Longtime Tennessee and Kentucky assistant Randy Sanders makes it sound as though Coker is well worth any efforts to land him (or keep him in FSU’s case).  Currently serving as FSU’s quarterbacks coach, Sanders had this to say about the guy who was Winston’s backup until tearing his meniscus:

 

“I’ve never had anybody with his size who throws it as well as he does.  Jake has a really quick release with tremendous arm strength.  Rarely does it not spiral or not go where he wants it to go.”

 

Alabama fans now must wait and wonder what Coker thinks of new Crimson Tide offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin.  Will he like the guy who did a good job with quarterbacks at Southern Cal (the first time around) and Tennessee?  Or will he focus in on the QB struggles at USC under Kiffin the head coach in recent seasons?

Perhaps Norwood knows the answer to that one, too.

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SEC Headlines 1/4/2013

headlines-saturdaySEC Football

1. Vanderbilt coach James Franklin will reportedly interview with Penn State on Sunday.

2. Gus Malzhan and NFL rumors: “I’m happy at Auburn and I think I’ve made that clear.”

3. Understanding Malzhan’s success: “To really understand it, you have to see how every piece of the foundation was built.”

4. Media day today in Pasadena - then Auburn will get a full practice behind closed doors.

5. Ellis Johnson on Auburn’s defensive stats: ”The whole thing has sort of confounded me.”

6. Was the SEC overrated this year?  And if so, what does that mean for Auburn?

7. John Clay: “Right now, it’s good to be a Stoops.”

8. Is the coaching search at Texas more evidence that the power in the state has shifted to A&M?

9. What’s next for Alabama? “One of the most fascinating offseason questions in a long time.”

10.The viral video of the Alabama woman fighting Oklahoma fans - says they were taunting her son and called her a name.

11. Why didn’t Derrick Henry get the ball more in the Sugar Bowl?

12. Missouri linebacker Andrew Wilson bypassed his father last night in terms of tackles at the school.

13. With two bowl games left- Vanderbilt today and Auburn Monday night - the SEC is now 6-2.

14. One of those two losses was Georgia – Bulldogs fan decides to burn UGA flag.

15. LSU running back Jeremy Hill was the star of the Outback Bowl – but don’t forget the performance of the offensive line.

16. Tennessee looks to have plenty of options at tight end for 2014.

SEC/NFL Draft

17. Texas A&M receiver Ricky Seals-Jones on quarterback Johnny Manziel: “He’s gone.”

18. LSU defensive tackle Ego Ferguson and right guard Trai Turner have joined Athletes’ Performance – operation that prepares players for the NFL Combine. On Friday, former LSU defensive tackle Anthony Johnson and safety Craig Loston signed with ProSource Sports.

19. South Carolina wide receiver Bruce Ellington will enter NFL draft.  Two-sport star will no longer play basketball.

20. Florida junior cornerback Marcus Roberson joins teammate Loucheiz Purifoy in declaring for the draft.

21. Alabama linebacker Adrian Hubbard will meet with coach Nick Saban next week before announcing a draft decision.

Media

22. Sugar Bowl television audience largest since 2007.

SEC Basketball

23. George Washington 73 – Georgia 55. Second-straight double-digit loss for the Bulldogs.

24. With Dre Applewhite transferring, Mississippi State must shuffle its roster.

Today’s Schedule

25. Tusculum at Tennessee. Riding a two-game winning streak, are the Vols back on track?

26. Richmond at Florida. Two areas of concern for the Gators - free-throw shooting and assists.

27. UTPA at Texas A&M

28. Long Beach State at Missouri. Tigers have an 80-game home streak in nonconference play.

29. Robert Morris at Alabama

30. Florida A&M at Auburn

31. Dayton at Ole Miss.  Based on RPI, victory by the Rebels would be their best of the season.

32. Rhode Island at LSU.  With the New Orleans playing tonight, LSU moves to an earlier gametime.

33. UTSA at Arkansas

34. Northeastern at Vanderbilt. Commodores try to bounce back after loss to St. Louis.

Extras

35. So is Louisville coach Charlie Strong headed to Texas or not?

36. Earlier Friday, Jimbo Fisher rumors were circulating.  Florida State QB Jameis Winston: “I’m gonna ask if I can go with him – yeah, I’m serious, he’s my coach.”

37. Kevin Scarbinsky: “Florida State has given Winston the opportunity to become the next Bo Jackson,”

38. Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops and the Cleveland Browns?

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FSU’s Fisher Defends His Old Boss, Bama’s Saban

gfx - they said itIt’s not often that Nick Saban needs defending when it comes to his game management.  We believe that’s in large part due to the fact that his team’s talent makes up for his coaching decisions.  On Saturday, team failed to make good on his decision to attempt a 57-yard field goal on the Iron Bowl’s final play.  Result: Auburn 34, Alabama 28.

While we still feel the field goal attempt was more likely to fail than to succeed, one man — an ex-Saban assistant — has defended the coach’s decision.  Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher had this to say yesterday:

 

“I mean, Nick has coached that up, I promise you that.  We do it here, and that’s the way we handle that.  There’s chances in everything you do.  If he makes it, he’s a hero.  You play to win the game, you don’t play not to lose the game.”

 

Bama’s loss makes it nearly impossible for the Crimson Tide to meet the Seminoles in the BCS Championship Game.  That Alabama/FSU matchup was the most likely BCS outcome… prior to Saban’s decision to risk a block or a return on an improbable kick.

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Despite Loss To Ga. Southern, Muschamp Expected Back In 2014

will-muschamp-huh-faceAccording to The Orlando Sentinel, anyone hoping an embarrassing loss to Georgia Southern… of the FCS… in the Swamp… would lead to Will Muschamp’s ouster can forget it.  Athletic director Jeremy Foley still stands by his endorsement of the embattled third-year coach, according to Florida senior administrator Steve McClain.

The Gators continue to rack up the injuries, losing more bodies during Saturday’s upset.  They’ve now lost six straight games.  They won’t be going bowling.  And the offense — with a third-string quarterbacks running it — looks completely impotent.

But…

The Gators are coached by the same man who was SEC Coach of the Year last year.  Ron Zook — that comparison is getting so very old — never approached an 11-win season or a major bowl game.  Which is why Florida is wise not to judge its coach on this year alone.  Heck, take it from Muschamp pal Jimbo Fisher, the coach of Florida State and the man most likely to hand Florida its eighth loss of the year on Saturday:

 

“Will’s a heck of a football coach and a good guy.  You have injuries and things that go on.  You can’t judge a person on one season.  Will’s a heck of a football coach.  He’s a great friend, but he’s a heckuva football coach.  I’ve coached with him.  He does a great job at Florida.  I’ll guarantee you this: They’ll be ready to play when we go down there next week.  I know that.”

 

So you’re saying he’s a heck of a football coach?

Yes, it’s a bit self-serving for Fisher to talk up the Gators and Muschamp before he plays them.  The man’s in a BCS title race and he doesn’t need people talking down his schedule.  But that doesn’t mean he’s wrong about judging a coach on one season alone.

Examples:

 

*  A team goes 6-6 in its regular season and loses to Louisiana-Monroe at home.  The coach?  Alabama’s Nick Saban in 2007.  We know what he’s done since.

*  A coach goes 5-6 and getting crushed by Kentucky 33-0 at home and losing to his team’s three biggest rivals.  The coach?  Georgia’s Vince Dooley in 1977.  Dooley won a national crown three years later.

*  A coach opens the season 0-6 (with losses of 25 to LSU, 32 to Auburn, and 28 to Washington State) before finishing 5-6.  The coach?  Tennessee’s Johnny Majors in 1988.  Majors went 29-6-2 and won two SEC titles over the next three seasons.

 

Good coaches can suffer through bad seasons and bad breaks.  The book on Muschamp suggests there is a high side to ability.  This season — Gators fans must hope — would be the low side.  But Florida is wise to give Muschamp one more year to make that point clear.  Even after Saturday’s miserable defeat.

Hiring a four new coaches in a 13-year span is no way to build a stable, successful football program.

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SEC Headlines 9/11/2013

headlines-wedSEC Football

1. Suspended Vanderbilt wide receiver Chris Boyd is due in court Friday.

2. In defense of Jadeveon Clowney: “To expect perfection every snap from a 20-year-old, no matter how athletically gifted, is to expect the unattainable.”

3. Between his time at LSU and Alabama, Nick Saban is 15-2 when facing a team a year after losing to them.

4. Jimbo Fisher, Will Muschamp and Derek Dooley were in the room when Kevin Sumlin interviewed for Nick Saban’s LSU staff back in 2002.

5. Matt Hayes on the “Johnny Cam” Saturday:  “And you people wonder why college athletes have an entitled attitude.”

6. Mark Bradley on Alabama-Texas A&M:  “I think Alabama wins in College Station without undue stress.”

7. Gene Stallings on the comparisons between AJ McCarron and Johnny Manziel: ”A good question would be if you could just have one of them, which one would you take? That’s not a question I’m going to answer.”

8. Big question for Alabama – will the Tide see better play from the offensive line?

9. Behind the obvious Aggies-Crimson Tide matchup – you know what the second-most bet game is  this weekend?  If you guessed Kentucky-Louisville, you’re right.

10. Kentucky-Louisville and the battle for…Ohio?

11. Former Georgia quarterback David Greene on Aaron Murray: “It’s unfair how guys get labeled, because, honestly, a quarterback’s play doesn’t always correlate to a win.”

12. Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall saw improvement in his play from Week 1 to Week 2:  ”Yeah I made some improvement, but there’s still room to get better.”

13. Arkansas quarterback Brandon Allen struggled in second half last week.  Offensive coordinator Jim Chaney: Allen was“pressing a little bit.”

14. Debate question: Is LSU a SEC title contender?

15. Message to South Carolina fans following the loss to Georgia: “Don’t buy those Music City Bowl tickets just yet.”

16. South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier on two assistants caught on camera screaming at each other: “We hashed it out. They know we’re not going to have any more of that.”

17. Could Vanderbilt wide receiver Jordan Matthews be headed for a big weekend?  South Carolina’s secondary has some injury issues.

18. With Rajion Neal and Marlin Lane, Tennessee is establishing an effective tailback tandem.

19. Missouri coach Gary Pinkel wants his Tigers to play Kansas every year in Kansas City.

Practice/Injury Reports

20. Unclear if Auburn’s Dee Ford and Justin Garrett will be available for Mississippi State.

21. With Mississippi State starting guard Justin Malone out for the season with a broken foot, Ben Beckwith gets a chance to play on the Bulldogs offensive line.

22. South Carolina center Cody Waldrop ”very doubtful” to play Saturday – planning to see specialist about his sprained foot.

23. Texas A&M is focusing on tempo in practice as it prepares for Alabama.  ”We know it got on their nerves last year.”

24. Aggies safety Floyd Raven has a collar bone injury -won’t play Saturday.

25. Ole Miss wide receiver Vince Sanders has been out since camp started with a broken collarbone.  He may play against Texas.

26. Texas quarterback David Ash hasn’t been ruled for the Ole Miss game but he didn’t practice Tuesday.

27. How is Tennessee getting ready for Oregon? By listening to the Ducks fight song.

28. Georgia receiver Malcolm Mitchell had ACL surgery Tuesday - expected to apply for a medical redshirt.

29. After giving up 68 points and 921 yards in the first two games, Georgia gets an off-week to fine-tune its defense.

30. Missouri also gets a bye week to get healthy – linebacker Kentrell Brothers and cornerback E.J. Gaines banged up.

31. Florida quarterback Jeff Driskel not the only Gator hurt - “UF’s injury list is long and rather significant.” Most should be back for the Tennessee game.

SEC/College News

32. Booster T. Boone Pickens responds to Sports Illustrated’s investigation into the Oklahoma State program.

33. Coach Les Miles left Oklahoma State for LSU in 2004.  Former A.D. Skip Bertman: “We did an extensive background check on a personal basis…Nothing showed in terms of NCAA issues – nothing.”

Extras

34. Football on Yom Kippur: What’s a Bama Jew To Do?

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SEC Headlines 5/14/2013

headlines-tueSEC Football

1. Auburn was “a lot better than a three-win team” last year, according to defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson.

2. Nick Saban is bringing out-of-states students to Alabama, which is helping generate millions of dollars.

3. LSU defensive coordinator John Chavis is confident in his defense. “The thing we’ve got to do is build that depth.”

4. Joe Schad reports Tennessee is in the running for transfer QB Wes Lunt. UT should make a run at Lunt, writes Barrett Sallee.

5. From yesterday: Kansas coach Charlie Weis backed Bob Stoops’ recent criticism of the SEC.

6. Florida coach Will Muschamp is a popular man with fans following a successful season in 2012.

7. Georgia’s offensive line can be one of the greatest lines in school history, says lineman Chris Burnette.

8. Jacquese Kirk, who recently transferred from Vanderbilt, admitted to stabbing an ex-teammate in April.

SEC Basketball

9. Swingman DeVon Walker had a change of heart and will return to Florida for his sophomore season.

10. Star prospect Andrew Wiggins will announce his decision today at 12:15 ET. Kentucky is an underdog in the race.

11. Analysts from around the nation weighed in on Wiggins’ pending decision and his potential impact in college.

Extra

12. Auburn president Jay Gogue wrote a letter to fans following an evaluation of Auburn Athletics.

13. Southern Cal coach Lane Kiffin discussed the idea of one day coaching high school football.

14. Matt Hayes writes that Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher shouldn’t release Matthew Thomas without consequence.

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MSU And FSU Battling Over Brewster

Reports of Tim Brewster’s move from Mississippi State to Florida State seem to have been a bit premature.  Today there’s still some back-and-forth going on as FSU tries to hire the tight ends coach and MSU tries to keep him.

At this point we can be sure of just one thing — the ex-Minnesota head coach will be making a lot more money next season… either in Tallahassee or Starkville.  But while money will likely play a pretty big role in Brewster’s ultimate decision, Bulldog fans are taking to Twitter to try and convince him to stay in the Magnolia State.

 

msu tweets

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There’s just one catch, of course.  Do you really think Brewster is hanging out on Twitter as two programs compete for his services?

Brewster has been at State for six months, coaching the schools receivers last year before being assigned tight ends two weeks ago.

Update: The Florida State Rivals Site ($) says the deal with Brewster was finalized today. He will coach tight ends for Jimbo Fisher.

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Vols Lose Assistant/Alum Graham To Florida State

mrsec-breaking-newsNew head football coach Butch Jones has suffered his first big loss at Tennessee.  Volquest.com — the Rivals site covering Tennessee — reports today that Vol running backs coach Jay Graham has verbally accepted an offer from Jimbo Fisher to join his Florida State staff in the same capacity.  Regarded as a strong recruiter, Graham left South Carolina to return to his alma mater under Derek Dooley in late-2011.

The site reports that Graham will receive “more money with more responsibility” in Tallahassee.

Jones and his first batch of Volunteers open spring practice in a little less than two weeks.  They’ll need to find a running backs coach between now and then.  According to the coach’s Twitter feed his search is already underway:

 

butch-jones-tweet

 

 

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Signing Day 2013: The Battle For Florida

state map floridaLooking at Wednesday’s signees — including junior college and prep school athletes — here’s a snapshot of the talent produced by the state of Florida in 2013 (as graded by Rivals.com):

 

5-stars = 5

4-stars = 47

3- stars = 168

Total 3+ stars = 220

 

Here’s where the state’s 10 highest-ranked players are headed:

 

Florida = 2

Florida State = 2

Alabama = 1

Clemson = 1

Notre Dame = 1

Ohio State = 1

Ole Miss = 1

Southern Cal = 1

 

Loyalty:  Only four of the state’s 10 best players will suit up for Sunshine State schools next season.  With so many in-state schools to pick from that number’s a bit low.  Six different schools made successful raids for the state’s best prospects.  Will Muschamp and Jimbo Fisher can’t be too pleased about that.

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Bellamy Still Committed To FSU; UGA His New Leader

The headline is correct.

Defensive end Davin Bellamy from Chamblee (Ga.) High School told ESPN RecruitingNation he’s still committed to Florida State, but Georgia has taken the lead for his services following an official visit to Athens.

“We have a new leader in the house,” Bellamy said. “I definitely think with this scheme and (defensive coordinator Todd) Grantham, the years he has been here, that position has led the SEC in sacks. So the proof is in the pudding. He coached (Dallas Cowboys linebacker) Demarcus Ware, so I feel like with my skill set, he can take it here and I can be like Jarvis Jones and a top-10 pick.”

So where does that leave Florida State, which has held a commitment from Bellamy since August? He’s expecting an in-home visit from FSU coach Jimbo Fisher this week.

“I am still a Florida State commitment and Jimbo Fisher is coming Wednesday to try and talk me into staying with the program,” Bellamy told ESPN. “We will see how it goes.”

Bellamy visited Tennessee on Jan. 18 and came away impressed with the Vols. But Florida State’s chief competition appears to be Georgia with 10 days to go until signing day.

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