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SEC Headlines 7/1/2013

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1. Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins believes the Tigers should “beat the mess out of” Georgia this year. (Watkins added a little clarity via twitter to his quotes)

2. Charles Barkley is a big Nick Saban fan – “I respect greatness” – but he’s also excited about Gus Malzahn at Auburn.

3. Another football scooter issue at Florida: A walk-on punter has been charged with DUI.

4. Andrew Gribble looks at Colorado State, Alabama’s opening opponent.

5. Here’s an early look at Auburn’s schedule. It could set up favorably for the Tigers.

6. LSU’s athletic budget will rise. Its ticket prices will be going up, too.

7. Linebacker D.T. Shackelford is the No. 33 most important player for Ole Miss.

8. John Clay looks at the history of the offensive coordinator position at Kentucky.

9. Here are some quotes from Kentucky football hall of famers.

10. Center Cody Waldrop will be an important player for South Carolina.

11. An old-time Tennessee football player wants to see more toughness from today’s players.

SEC Basketball

12. Louisville transfer Zach Price has signed with Missouri.


13. Pat Forde has this primer to catch everyone up on the latest with college realignment.

14. George Schroeder on realignment: “Change has come and keeps coming.”

15. Former Missouri football player T.J. Leon has climbed the ranks in Missouri’s athletic department.

16. Former teammates at Florida are stunned to hear of Aaron Hernandez’s murder charge.

17. Former Florida receiver Deonte Thompson is receiving good reviews with the Baltimore Ravens.

18. A teenager has been arrested in the vandalism case of Clemson’s Howard Rock.

19. NBA free agency has begun. Dwight Howard is the league’s most coveted free agent.

20. Yahoo! Sports has this free agency tracker to follow for the movement.

21. Matt Kenseth won another Sprint Cup race this weekend. He’s having a strong year.

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Swinney: ‘I’m interested in competing with everyone out there’

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney has never shied away from competition.

That’s been obvious on the field, and it’s shown on the recruiting trail. And it could help explain how in recent years Swinney has landed such highly-touted prospects as running back C.J. Spiller, wide receiver Sammy Watkins and 2013 defensive end Robert Nkemdiche, who’s committed to the Tigers.

Swinney, who became Clemson’s head coach in 2009 after serving as an assistant from 2003-08, has always gone all out in his pursuit of the nation’s top prospects.

“I was told you can’t go recruit C.J. Spiller,” Swinney told Yahoo! Sports. “(I was told), ‘You’re wasting your time recruiting that guy. He ain’t coming to Clemson.’

“That was the mentality here. I don’t get that. I’m like, ‘What do you mean I can’t recruit him? He takes my call every week. He likes me. He says he wants to visit.”

And that effort by Swinney helped convince Spiller to sign with Clemson in 2006.

Swinney has also helped Clemson find success on the field. The Tigers won a division championship in the ACC in 2009 and won the conference title outright last year. But Swinney’s goals are greater than conference success.

“People always want to talk about this conference,” he said. “I’m not really interested in this conference. I’m interested in being the best. I’m interested in competing with everyone out there. I’ve got to beat those people. I’ve got to beat them in recruiting and I’ve got to beat them in the field. That’s my mentality.”

And that’s why we mention it on this site. While Clemson doesn’t compete against SEC teams in conference play, the Tigers do battle for many of the same prospects on the recruiting trail.

If Clemson continues to have more success under Swinney’s guidance, expect more SEC prospects to take notice of the Tigers.

(And take a look at the entire Yahoo! story linked above. It’s extremely well done by Dan Wetzel.)

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