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SEC Headlines 5/31/2013

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1. Can South Carolina’s Jadeveon Clowney win the Heisman?  Steve Spurrier: “It would be very difficult,”

2. Why are Arkansas coach Bret Bielema and Florida State assistant Tim Brewster engaged in a Twitter feud? More on Bielema’s tweets here.

3. Are Alabama A.D. Bill Battle’s Tennessee connections coming back to haunt him?  ”Nice to know the Third Saturday in October rivalry still has some teeth, at least off the field.”

4. Matt Hayes on Kevin Sumlin’s team: “It’s almost cosmic the way things lined up and played out for Texas A&M.”

5. Texas A&M A.D. Eric Hyman says about 3,000 people are on a waiting list for Aggies season tickets this fall. Aggies dropping future series with Oregon and Southern Cal.

6. Texas A&M and South Carolina/Missouri and Arkansas new permanent rivals starting in 2014.

7. Scott Rabalais:  Three reasons eight games are not enough for the SEC long term.

8. Good news for Kentucky safety Ashely Lowery now recovering from a car wreck.  Expected to return to Lexington in early June and rejoin the team.

9. Is Central Florida a trap game on South Carolina’s schedule?

10. In case you didn’t know, the most important Georgia player this fall is quarterback Aaron Murray.

11.Senior Bowl executive director Phil Savage thinks Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron and linebacker C.J. Mosley profile as potential first-round NFL picks.

12. Can Ole Miss freshman running back Jordan Wilkins make an impact this year?”

SEC/College News

13. Is Georgia spending enough?  ”Some quiet complaints.”

14. NCAA investigating Auburn? President Jay Gogue: ”Not that I’m aware of. Certainly the protocol is to receive a phone call from them telling you that and I have not received one.”

15. Gogue doesn’t support paying college athletes beyond a cost-of-living stipend:  ”You’re spending about $150,000 per student-athlete in terms of training, medical costs and all that. That’s probably an appropriate amount for a college kid.”

16. Former Alabama player Tyrone Prothro deposed in lawsuit involving NCAA and video game maker Electronic Arts.

17. Nick Saban admits he made up a “flimsy excuse” to meet A.J. McCarron’s girlfriend, Katherine Webb.

18. Tommy Tomlinson on Ohio State’s president. “I want to like Gordon Gee…But Gordon, buddy, you’re making this hard.”

19. Rick Pitino on Gee: “He’s a pompous ass for making those statements.”

20. MrSEC: “Gee was trying to be cute and as is usually the case when he tries to be cute… he failed miserably.”

21. NCAA president Mark Emmert on the idea of a “super division” of larger schools.   ”I think it would be healthy and the right thing to do.”

22. Former Alabama quarterback Phillip Sims no longer enrolled at Virginia – academic issues.

23. Texas A.D. Deloss Dodds prefers an eight-team college football playoff.

SEC Basketball

24. John Adams:  “Better recruiting would do more for the conference than tougher scheduling.”

25. “Among the top 100 players ranked by Rivals, 21 are slated to perform next winter in the SEC.”

26. Auburn won’t be going to the 2013 Puerto Rico Tip-off after all -  ”devastating blow to the Tigers’ schedule.”

27. Former Kentucky basketball coach Eddie Sutton has a big fan in current Kentucky coach John Calipari:  ”I would love for him to come to my practice and evaluate what we are doing and be a set of eyes for me.”

Extras

28. Long before she was Rutgers A.D., Julie Hermann faced a lawsuit as a volleyball coach at Tennessee.

29. Louisville A.D. Tom Jurich comes to her defense.

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Auburn Adds Three, Loses One For 2013

Auburn received commitments during the weekend from safety Khari Harding from Edmond, Okla., kicker Jimmy Hutchinson from Kennesaw, Ga., and wide receiver Tony Stevens from Orlando, Fla.

Stevens, who switched his commitment from Texas A&M, made the decision after seeing Auburn’s campus for the first time.

“It felt like home,” Stevens told AuburnSports.com. “It’s a family out here. I committed to Auburn University. I’m happy I made my decision.”

Harding made his decision to switch his commitment from Arkansas to Auburn. Both schools experienced coaching changes last month.

It was Auburn that produced a staff that was better able to connect with Harding.

“I wanted to be loyal, but I went for the coaches and I didn’t get a good vibe from their coaches,” Harding told AuburnSports. “The Auburn coaches are down to earth and they produce players.”

Auburn lost a commitment on Sunday from running back Jordan Wilkins of Cordova, Tenn.

Wilkins’s decision is not surprising. He had been considering other schools, including Ole Miss and Vanderbilt, since Gene Chizik was fired as head coach in November.

Auburn has 16 commitments for the class of 2013.

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Auburn Recruits Adjusting Plans

It’s no surprise that top prospects are reconsidering their opinion of Auburn now that Gene Chizik is no longer the Tigers’ head coach.

“No comment on Auburn right now,” Marietta, Ga., defensive end Carl Lawson told ESPN RecruitingNation. “The news shocked me.”

It shouldn’t have. Many expected Chizik to be out when it became clear Auburn was unlikely to win a game in SEC play.

Still, recruits are now in wait-and-see mode as Auburn looks to replace Chizik, who won a national championship in 2010, Chizik’s only winning season in the SEC during his four-year stint with the Tigers.

Lawrenceville, Ga., linebacker Trey Johnson is taking an approach that will be common among Auburn prospects.

“I do not want to talk about anything specific yet,” Johnson told ESPN. “I want to wait and see who they bring in and continue to take my visits.”

Auburn running back commit Jordan Wilkins will look around. Tennessee, a school conducting its own coaching search, might be wise to call Wilkins, who attends St. Benedict High School in Cordova, Tenn.

“They were on me,” Wilkins said of the Vols, per ESPN. “Haven’t heard from them in a while but I’d like to. They’re still in the picture.”

Ole Miss and Vanderbilt could be, too. Wilkins said both schools could receive official visits, although he hasn’t set a schedule yet.

Auburn’s assistant coaches will likely rely on help from commitments willing to stick with their pledge. One of those recruits could be Kamryn Melton, a cornerback from Dothan (Ala.) High School.

“I’m still committed to Auburn,” Melton said. “I just want to see the next coach, who they’re going to bring in, and I’m really trying to make sure our recruiting class stays together, so we can make a big change at Auburn.”

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Auburn Commit Wilkins Lost For Season

Auburn running back commitment Jordan Wilkins will miss the rest of his senior season at St. Benedict High School in Cordova, Tenn., after he suffered a major injury on Friday night.

Wilkins broke the tibula and tore a ligament in his right leg, according to a tweet from his mother, Angie Wilkins. Jordan Wilkins is expected to have surgery on Tuesday, according to his mother.

“It’s serious,” St. Benedict coach Mike David told AuburnUndercover.com. “Our hearts go out to him. He’s an incredible player and it’s really not the way we wanted his season to end. He’s made a huge impact on our program.

“He’s just a great kid and to have that happen is just heart-breaking.”

Wilkins, the No. 7 all-purpose back in the nation according to 247Sports, rushed for 1,041 yards and 14 touchdowns in his senior season.

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Jordan Wilkins Commits To Auburn

Auburn received a commitment on Wednesday from running back Jordan Wilkins from Cordova (Tenn.) High School.

Wilkins, who was celebrating his 18th birthday, has favored Auburn for several weeks. The Tigers took a big step in their recruitment when Wilkins visited Auburn in June.

“I just fell in love with Auburn when I came down for my visit,” Wilkins told AuburnUndercover.com. “I just got the vibe for it. I loved all the coaches. They jump around when they get excited and get you pumped up.. That’s what I’m looking for. On top of that, they’re going to coach you. They’re going to make it hard on you, which is good because you need somebody to push you. It was really a comfort thing and I feel like we’re going to do big things at Auburn.”

Wilkins chose Auburn over Vanderbilt. Tennessee and Michigan had also recruited Wilkins, who’s considered the nation’s seventh-best all-purpose back in the nation by 247Sports.

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