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SEC Headlines – 7/10/12

1.  College football stat man Phil Steele says Alabama, LSU and South Carolina are among a group of 11 teams that “fit the national championship mold” for 2012.

2.  As we suggested two months ago, Notre Dame is talking with the ACC about getting in on its Orange Bowl deal.

3.  Hooray!  The Mackey Award preseason watch list is out.  (Betcha don’t even know what the Mackey Award is for. )

4.  Add Auburn to the list of SEC schools that are scheduled to play Idaho in coming years (along with LSU, Ole Miss, and Florida).

5.  Arkansas’ point guard BJ Young says the Hogs will better “understand how to play” in Mike Anderson’s system this season.

6.  Ex-Razorback football coach Bobby Petrino is still living in the Fayetteville area (fueling speculation by some that AD Jeff Long might bring him back at some point).

7.  After just missing out on the Olympics, John Calipari isn’t sure if he’ll return as the coach of the Dominican Republic’s basketball team in the future.

8.  Is that Joker Phillips on bass guitar in a country music video?  Why, yes.  Yes it is.

9.  Missouri backup quarterback Ashton Glaser is transferring to Missouri State.

10.  Mizzou’s smallish defensive line could be an issue as they enter the SEC.

11.  Senior linebacker Cam Lawrence will be an important man for Mississippi State this fall.

12.  This writer believes the most important piece of Ole Miss’ 2012 hoops signing class is shooting guard Marshall Henderson.

13.  Texas A&M will unveil its new football uniforms Thursday afternoon with a live video stream.

14.  This writer says A&M and South Carolina are among the most underrated football head coaching jobs in the country.

15.  The Gamecocks’ Marcus Lattimore comes in at #7 on The Gainesville Sun’s “Top 25 Players in the SEC” list.

16.  Tennessee’s Jarnell Stokes feels his summer with the US 18-and-under team has helped his game.

17.  Hey, Kentucky fans, turns out Billy Gillispie actually signed some talented guys while he was in Lexington.

18.  No surprise… four-star defensive tackle signee Dante Phillips has lost his appeal for admission to Florida.

UPDATE — NCAA basketball coaches open up about recent rule changes.

UPDATE — The 2012-13 bowl schedule is set and we’re only 158 days away from the Gildan New Mexico Bowl.  (Hell, yeah!)

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A Good Day for D.J.

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April L Brown – AP

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D.J. Williams is on a hot streak lately. First (and most importantly), he was the subject of a string of fawning posts on the most prestigious site on the Internet, He followed that up with a big game on Saturday, catching two TDs and finishing as the Hogs’ leading receiver for the day.

For most people that would be enough, but today it was announced that he (once again) made the semifinalist list for the Mackey Award, which recognizes the nation’s top tight end, and that he won the Disney Spirit Award, a national honor for college football’s most inspirational figure. Impressive (and well-deserved)!

And, on top of all that, his Twitter page remains pretty awesome.

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Williams Given Disney Award

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Arkansas tight end D.J. Williams was named the recipient of the Disney Spirit Award on Monday for the “most inspirational figure” in college football.

The senior was also named a semi-finalist Monday for the Mackey Award, given to the nation’s best tight end.

In a release announcing the decision, Disney said it chose Williams because of his work advocating domestic abuse awareness, stemming from his own experience as a child. Williams, his sister and his mother moved from Dallas to Little Rock during his childhood to escape an abusive household.

Williams has spoken openly about the experience, including in this ESPN article last year.

“I will accept this award on behalf of my mother, my sisters and the entire Razorback family,” Williams said in the release. “Watching my mother, who never quit, is the inspiration for me each day and a lesson for us all.  My hope is the story of my family will show those who are experiencing a similar ordeal that they are not alone and there is help and a way out.  To be recognized by Disney Sports and to join the list of recipients of this award is humbling and a blessing I’ll share with my family.”

Williams is the NCAA’s active leader in receptions (140) and receiving yards (1,719) by a tight end. He also has nine career touchdowns.

In Saturday’s 58-21 win over UTEP, Williams recorded five catches for 58 yards and two touchdowns before leaving the game with what is believed to be a minor shoulder injury.

For more visit You can follow Matt Jones on Twitter @NWAMatt.

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