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SEC Headlines 8/21/2012

SEC West Football

1. Can Mo Isom make history at LSU by becoming the school’s first female player?

2. Isom: ”Do I think I can make a tackle? Absolutely. But I won’t be kicking off, so it’s incredibly unlikely that I’ll ever actually need to.”

3. Expect wide receiver James Wright to be a bigger part of the LSU offense this year.

4. A lot of focus on the quarterbacks at Auburn, but that’s not the only position up for grabs.

5. Arkansas is counting on a bigger receiving corps to create mismatches against secondaries.

6. New practice fields for the Razorbacks.

7. Two of the best offensive tackles in the country play for Texas A&M.

8. D.J. Fluker toughest guy on the Alabama team? “You don’t want to run into him in a dark alley.”

9. At 6’2″ and 220 pounds, Ole Miss linebacker Aaron Garbutt may be the smallest linebacker in the SEC.

10. No one is talking at Mississippi State about the sudden resignation of Angelo Mirando, the Bulldogs wide receivers coach.

SEC East Football

11. Florida linebacker Ronald Powell, who tore the ACL in his left knee four months ago, could return by October 1.

12. Final scrimmage today for the Gators – here’s a position-by-position breakdown of where things stand.

13. Tennessee depth chart will come out Thursday but it looks like Byron Moore has won a battle at the safety position.

14. Vols linebackers Christian Harris and Herman Lathers are both in rehab mode and hope to be back sooner rather than later.

15. Teammates are comparing Georgia running back Todd Gurley to Trent Richardson. Gurley: “I have a long, long, long way to go to be like Trent Richardson.”

16. Mark Richt on Malcolm Mitchell: “I think he’ll get some offensive snaps game one.”

17. Tweets monitored at Kentucky:  ”I thought I found the girl of my dreams at the strip club.”

18. Season ticket sales down 10,000 at UK.

19. Vanderbilt quarterback Jordan Rogers will host his lineman for dinner in a gesture of appreciation.

20. Mizzou defensive back E.J. Gaines has added 10 pounds and has a goal of being an All-American.

21.  New $6.5 million video board at South Carolina will make its debut September 8.

SEC/College News

22. Kirk Herbstreit’s best in college football (several SEC players/teams/coaches mentioned).

23. A big advantage of going from the Big 12 to the SEC?  The league’s website.

24. Your SEC starting quarterbacks.

25. Alabama-LSU and Oregon-USC on the same date. “That day’s winners meet for the 15th BCS title, right? “

26. The positions that could determine the next BCS champion.

27. Adios to the WAC (as a football conference).

28. Review of the new book “Paterno.”

29. Two more years for Brent Musberger.

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Top 5 SEC Freshman Running Backs

It’s often the position that allows freshmen to see the field the earliest.

Highly-touted running backs arrive on campus with carries available and the talent to make plays immediately. This year’s class is no different.

Players such as Trent Richardson, Michael Dyer and Marcus Lattimore have shown up in recent years and made a difference on championship teams in the SEC. Who might do the same this fall?

Here are the top five freshman running backs in the SEC.

1. Keith Marshall – Georgia

We’ll see what Marshall is made of early in 2012 now that Isaiah Crowell is no longer in Athens. Marshall, our No. 1 freshman in the SEC regardless of position, enrolled at Georgia in January and showed during the spring he’s ready to play in the SEC. He’ll have a good chance to start from day one. Marshall has good size (5-11, 202) and is a threat to break a long run on any play. Georgia will have high expectations this year, which should fit right in with the attention Marshall will see on Sept. 1.

2. T.J. Yeldon – Alabama

Many are skeptical whether Yeldon will really get a fair shot this season with so much returning talent in Alabama’s offensive backfield. But Yeldon, one of Alabama’s stars in the spring, has too much talent to stand on the sideline. Yeldon will get his touches behind starter Eddie Lacy, and quarterback A.J. McCarron would be wise to look for Yeldon out of the backfield. He’s a threat as a receiver, too. Former Tide running back Trent Richardson benefited in 2009 from playing behind Mark Ingram. Yeldon should experience similar success behind Lacy.

3. Todd Gurley – Georgia

Gurley (6-1, 195) won’t receive as much attention as Marshall but he should have a significant impact on Georgia’s season. While Marshall was the unanimous pick as the top back in North Carolina, many believe it was a close race with Gurley. Now the two can settle the debate on the same team. Gurley’s a speedster – he ran track for Team USA in Europe last year – and Richt knows he’ll be another weapon for quarterback Aaron Murray this season. Note to Murray: don’t be afraid to check down.

4. Trey Williams – Texas A&M

Starting running back Christine Micha el is back from injury and will need help behind him. Williams should provide it. He isn’t big (5-8, 180) but is quick and can make plays. Williams should also be a nice compliment to Michel, who’s a bigger, more physical runner. The Aggies aren’t expecting Oklahoma transfer Brandon Williams to be eligible to play this fall. While his arrival will likely have to wait, the Williams combo should be a dangerous one in 2013.

5. Brian Kimbrow – Vanderbilt

Kimbrow was the top signee in February for coach James Franklin, who has a number of ways he plans to use Kimbrow this fall. He can help as a runner, receiver and kick returner. Some analysts considered Kimbrow (5-8, 170) the top prospect in the state of Tennessee in 2012, which makes his arrival in Nashville even more significant. There’s a reason Ohio State coach Urban Meyer offered a scholarship to Kimbrow. He’s a playmaker.

Be sure to keep up with recruiting from across the SEC on MrSEC.com’s Recruiting Page.

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Website Not Backing Down From Emmert-To-LSU Report

Last Thursday, the TMZ of sports websites — SportsByBrooks.com — caused quite a stir with a series of tweets.  In them, the site claimed that NCAA president Mark Emmert had sent his representatives to talk with LSU officials about returning to the school (read from the bottom up):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emmert responded by saying, “That’s complete nonsense.”  On Friday, LSU board of supervisors athletic council chairman Stanley Jacobs said Emmert — who served as the school’s chancellor from 1999 through 2004 — is “not coming back to LSU.”  Jacobs added: “He’s making, I believe, 1.8 million as head of the NCAA, probably one of the most prestigious positions in the country.”

Taking note of the fact that an LSU rep knew Emmert’s salary, SportsByBrooks simply doubled down yesterday in response (again, from the bottom up):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While Emmert and Jacobs were pretty definitive in their statements, SportsByBrooks.com clearly isn’t backing down from the story.  However, it’s important to remember that SportsByBrooks also never backed away from its many Cam Newton and Trent Richardson stories which, in the end, led to zero NCAA sanctions against Auburn or Alabama respectively.

Stay tuned…

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SEC Headlines – 1/13/12 Part Two

1.  Expected to enroll at LSU, offensive tackle prospect Patrick Miller changed his mind and enrolled at Auburn instead.

2.  This writer says Trent Richardson’s decision to sign with Alabama had a ripple effect across the SEC and the nation.

3.  Arkansas’ basketball loss at Ole Miss this week was an eye-opener.

4.  Knile Davis is ready to build on the football Hogs’ Top 5 finish.

5.  LSU receiver Rueben Randle joined fellow underclassmen Morris Claiborne and Michael Brockers in heading to the NFL early.

6.  Ronald Martin has become a two-sport athlete for the Tigers.

7.  Dee Bost made a game-saving steal with four seconds to play in MSU’s four-point win over Tennessee last night.

8.  Bulldog receiver Chap Bumphis has pleaded not guilty to charges of public drunkeness and disorderly conduct.

9.  Murphy Holloway helped drive Nick Williams to a good performance in Mississippi’s win over Arkansas this week.

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Early Departures For Bama, LSU Become Official

Alabama has confirmed the expected news that linebacker Don’ta Hightower, cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick and tailback Trent Richardson have declared for the NFL draft.

Richardson, who won the Doak Walker Award as the nation’s top running back, and Hightower were first-team Associated Press All-Americans. Kirkpatrick earned second-team honors.

Safety Robert Lester will be the lone starter returning in Alabama’s secondary. Safety Mark Barron and cornerback DeQuan Menzie will depart as seniors.

LSU cornerback Mo Claiborne and defensive tackle Michael Brockers won’t return for their senior seasons. Both players confirmed at a press conference today that they will declare for the draft.

Claiborne, who won the Thorpe Award as the nation’s top defensive back, was a first-team AP All-American. Brockers was a member of the AP All-SEC second team.

“Both of these guys are great examples of players who developed when they came to LSU,” coach Les Miles said in a statement through the school. “We are really proud of who they are as men.”

LSU is also bracing for the loss of junior wide receivers Rueben Randle and Russell Shepard.

Shea Dixon of Fox Sports/Scout.com reported Thursday afternoon via Twitter that Randle has decided to go pro. Joe Schad of ESPN.com reported the same expectation for Shepard.

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Bama Expected To Lose 3 To The NFL

According to TideSports.com, three Alabama stars will announce shortly that they’re heading to the NFL early.

Lineback Dont’s Hightower, cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick and tailback Trent Richardson are all expected to leave Bama early according to an Alabama source. 

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Report: Dyer Given Release From Auburn

The website AuburnUndercover.com and The Associated Press are reporting this morning that star tailback Mike Dyer has been granted a release from this scholarship with the Tigers.

Dyer was the MVP of the BCS Championship Game last season and he is the first Auburn back to break the 1,000-yard rushing barrier in each of his first two seasons.  (First, as in Bo Jackson didn’t even do that.)

The Arkansas native rushed for 1,242 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2011.  His 103.5 yards-per-game average was second only to Trent Richardson in the SEC.  That figure was good for 11th place on the SEC’s total offense list.

It’s likely just a matter of hours before Dyer touches down at Arkansas State.

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SEC Headlines 12/10/2011

1. For the second time in three years, an Alabama running back is in New York as a finalist for the Heisman Trophy.

2. Four of the five finalists, including Trent Richardson, arrived in the Big Apple on Friday.

3. Richardson projected to finish third.

4. New York is also getting a taste of honey.

5. No matter how he finishes tonight, Tyrann Mathieu has already beaten the odds.

6. Paul Haynes is the new defensive coordinator at Arkansas.

7. Paul Petrino will make $425,000 as the Razorbacks offensive coordinator.

8. Arkansas punt return/receiver Joe Adams a finalist for the Paul Hornung Award.

9. Charlie Weis on becoming the head coach of the 2-10 Kansas Jayhawks: “It was too good of an opportunity.”

10. No current Florida assistants will join him.

11. Weis to his new players: ”(E) njoy your Christmas holidays — because when you get back in the middle of January it’s not going to be very pleasant.”

12. Bill Ritter: “There’s nothing like compounding one mistake by making another.”

13. Will Mike Shula replace Weis at Florida?

14. Alabam’s Jim McElwain or Oakland Raider’s assistant Kelly Skipper will be the next head coach at Fresno State.

15. Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari: ” I’d be surprised if I’m here longer than 10 years.”

16. It’s a homecoming of sorts for Kentucky guard and Indianapolis native Marquis Teague as the Wildcats face the Hoosiers.

17. Florida 90 – Rider 69.  Patric Young with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

18. Mississippi State faces a Troy team that leads the nation in 3-pointers.

19. Andy Kennedy on his 7-1 Ole Miss Rebels: “We’ve really struggled.”

20. Tennessee forward Jeronne Maymon looks to regain his Maui magic.

21. LSU basketball coach Trent Johnson will face his alma mater tonight.

21. Freshman BJ Young is becoming a leader of a young Arkansas team that goes up against Oklahoma today.

22. Roundup of the projected best and the blowouts from this weekend’s college basketball.

23.  Mark Stoops the next defensive coordinator at Auburn?

Extras

24. Memphis police will investigate sexual assault allegations against AAU CEO Boddy Dodd.

25. Is today the day for Kevin Sumlin and Texas A&M? Update.

26. Jim Mora expected to be named the next head coach at UCLA.

27. Wall Street Journal –  Tim Tebow: God’s’ Quarterback.

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SEC’s Richardson, Mathieu Among Heisman Finalists

When the Heisman Trophy ceremony kicks off in New York on Saturday, the SEC will account for 40% of the candidates.  Alabama tailback Trent Richardson and LSU defensive back Tyrann Mathieu are among the five finalists for this year’s award.  (Ah, but is it a major award?)

Also heading to the Big Apple are Baylor’s Robert Griffin III — who has gone from “guy with little pub” to favorite based solely on his highlight reel skills — Stanford’s Andrew Luck and Wisconsin’s Montee Ball.

Preseason favorite Kellen Moore of Boise State didn’t garner enough votes to receive an invitation.  Neither did Southern Cal’s Matt Barkley or Houston’s Case Keenum.

The SEC has won the last two Heismans (Cam Newton and Mark Ingram) and three of the last four (tossing in Tim Tebow). 

In the early days, most media members saw games from the East and Midwest.  That’s part of the reason the SEC had just four winners from 1935 through 1981 (not counting South Carolina’s George Rogers).  But the explosion in televised games has aided the SEC.  The league has captured six trophies from 1982-2010.

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SEC Headlines – 11/30/11 AM Edition

Unfortunately today will be a quick day around MrSEC.com as duty calls in other areas.  For that reason, we’ll have more headlines, less analysis today and for that we do apologize. 

Here’s the first wave of what’s going on around the SEC today:


1.  Urban Meyer didn’t exactly leave a stocked cupboard at Florida in the first place, but now the number of Gators transferring out is all the way up to 11 since April.

2.  LSU’s defense will be the best Georgia has seen all year.

3.  A Lexington study shows that it would cost less than half as much to renovate Rupp Arena than to demolish it and build another one.  (Sorry, Mitch Barnhart.)

4.  Here’s a by-the-numbers look at South Carolina’s football season.

5.  Oakland coach Greg Kampe says Tennessee compares favorably to Alabama and Arkansas.  (His squad beat UT at home and lost to the two UAs on the road.)

6.  Vanderbilt officials were impressed enough by Wake Forest’s stadium last week — and James Franklin’s stellar work in Year One of his tenure — to consider making some upgrades at Vanderbilt Stadium.

7.  This interesting statistical breakdown suggests that Ted Roof’s Auburn defenses haven’t been as bad most everyone suggests.

8.  Alabama tailback Trent Richardson is waiting for his official invitation to the Heisman Trophy ceremony.  (Wonder if he’ll have anything nice to wear?  Calm down, it’s a joke…)

9.  Arkansas’ Mike Anderson is wary of Mississippi Valley State.

10.  Receiver Rueben Randle has become a leader at LSU.

11.  Two MSU players took to Twitter to laugh at stories that Dan Mullen might leave them.  (File under: Asking for it.)

12.  This writer says Ole Miss fans want a coach who will toss barbs back at Mullen.  Someone like, um, Larry Fedora?

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