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SEC Headlines 1/16/2014

headlines-thuSEC Coaching News

1. Alabama defensive backs coach Greg Brown reportedly stepping down. Alabama makes hiring of new defensive line coach Bo Davis official.

2. New Georgia defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt has a new three-year deal expected to be worth $850,000 annually. ”Where the Bulldogs’ defense could benefit most is in the secondary.”

3. New Florida offensive line coach Mike Summers has 34 years of college and NFL coaching experience.

4. New LSU offensive line coach Jeff Grimes coached the o-line at Auburn from 2009 to 2012.  Former LSU All-American lineman Kevin Mawae wanted the job.

5. Former Auburn and Tennessee assistant Trooper Taylor is now the cornerbacks coach at Arkansas State.

6. James Franklinthanks Vanderbilt fans with a newspaper ad.

*** Trustees make South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier’s pay raise official.  Coaching staff also gets raises and contract extensions through 2015. ***

SEC Football

7. Vanderbilt investigation finds insufficient evidence against one of the former football players charged in the rape case.

8. Athlon makes some early predictions for 2014.  Are Alabama and Georgia the favorites this fall?

9. Texas A&M offensive lineman Cedric Ogbuehi is 6-feet-5 inches tall and 300 pounds and  reportedly ran a 4.7-second 40-yard dash.

10. Is Tennessee quarterback Riley Ferguson poised for a 2014 breakout season?

11. Boston College confirms that two former Florida players - quarterback Tyler Murphy and lineman Ian Silberman – are enrolled at the school.

SEC/NFL draft

12. A record 95 early entries for the NFL draft.  Total includes 27 players from the SEC.

13. Could Texas A&M players be the first two picks of the 2014 draft?

14. Auburn tackle Greg Robinson expected to go early, according to ESPN’s Mel Kiper.

15. Mississippi State middle linebacker Benardrick McKinney says he’s coming back for another season. Redshirt sophomore had projected as mid-first round selection.

SEC Basketball

16. Missouri at Vanderbilt.  Why free throws could be the difference in this one. Vandy’s free-throw percentage worst in the league.

17. Where were Arkansas security guards after the game against Kentucky Tuesday night?

Sports Business

18. Sports apparel contracts are worth at $3 million or more annually to at least 14 universities. Biggest SEC deals belong to LSU and Alabama.

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Reuben Foster Chooses Alabama

Linebacker Reuben Foster from Auburn (Ala.) High School has committed to sign with Alabama on Wednesday.

Foster, who also considered Auburn and Georgia, made his announcement on FOX Sports South. Foster said he decided on his way to the FOX studio.

“I’ve been loving Alabama since I was a pup,” Foster said. “I was raised as an Alabama fan from my mom and my dad.”

Foster originally committed to Alabama before he switched his commitment to Auburn. Foster then reopened his recruitment in December following the firing of head coach Gene Chizik and his staff, including former wide receivers coach Trooper Taylor.

Foster, who’s ranked the nation’s No. 1 inside linebacker by Rivals.com, is Alabama’s 23rd commitment for the class of 2013.

Of course, Foster’s announcement is only a commitment. He will surely hear from the other coaching staffs between now and Wednesday when he signs his national letter of intent.

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Wow Friday Headlines 11/2/2012

Commenting on his job status, Tennessee coach Derek Dooley tells a Nashville radio station this week, “Any of that stuff is beyond my control.”
ESPN analyst Brad Edwards says LSU needs assist from USC – which has home dates against Oregon and Notre Dame – to reach BCS title game
Florida football coach Will Muschamp says his team is battling the flu bug this week as it prepares to host Missouri Saturday
Arkansas receiver Brandon Mitchell will miss his second consecutive game Saturday for what is being classified as a violation of team rules
Ole Miss punter Jim Broadway plays at Georgia Saturday; father Jim Sr. was punter on Georgia’s 1980 national championship team
Auburn assistants Curtis Luper and Trooper Taylor refuse to comment on claims they’ve been pulled from recruiting due to NCAA probe
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WOW Headlines – 11/1/12

ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit tells Dallas radio station that Texas A&M is “more of a threat to Alabama” than LSU
LSU’s Les Miles is 36-1 in Saturday night games played in Baton Rouge
Auburn assistants Curtis Luper and Trooper Taylor refuse to comment on claims they’ve been pulled from recruiting due to NCAA probe
Alabama WR Amari Cooper is expected to be 100% healthy for Saturday’s game at LSU
Georgia DT John Jenkins is expected to play through ankle sprain Saturday against Ole Miss
Missouri’s Gary Pinkel says “The SEC has a lot more good teams” than the Big XII
Attendance-wise, Tennessee and Kentucky rank at the bottom of the SEC in terms of percentage of capacity filled
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Auburn Adds Receiver To 2013 Class

Auburn received a commitment from wide receiver Earnest Robinson during the weekend.

The Pinson (Ala.) Valley School product gave his pledge during Auburn’s junior day activities.

Robinson gave his commitment to Auburn wide receivers coach Trooper Taylor.

“He was jumping around crazy,” Robinson told 247Sports. “Coach (Tommy) Thigpen picked me up. It was great. I really love Troop. He’s like my family, like my dad. He’ll take care of me and be on me hard about my education. Thigpen is just like my dad. He’s cool, laid back. I can talk to them about anything.”

Auburn’s coaches will now talk to more prospects about joining its 2013 class, which has four commitments.

Other than punter Jimmy Hutchinson, who committed on Tuesday, Robinson is the first player to commit to Auburn’s 2013 class since August. The Tigers’ other commitments are defensive tackle Dee Liner from Muscle Shoals, Ala., and linebacker Trey Johnson from Lawrenceville, Ga.

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Auburn Visits Receiver Patterson

Auburn is continuing to pursue junior college wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson.

The five-star prospect received a visit on Wednesday from Auburn head coach Gene Chizik and wide receivers coach Trooper Taylor.

“It was a pretty good visit,” Patterson told 247Sports.com. “We talked about a lot of the same things we’ve been talking about, really. It was just good to  see the coaches again and have them come to my home. I feel better about Auburn now that Coach Chizik and Trooper came to see me. I really like the fanbase there, too.”

Patterson, who’s ranked the nation’s No. 1 junior college prospect by 247Sports, has already taken official visits to Auburn, Georgia and Tennessee.

Patterson plans to take two more visits and is considering Arkansas, LSU, Ole Miss, Baylor and Oklahoma. He told 247Sports he has scheduled official visits to Ole Miss and Baylor on Jan. 13.

“I got two visits set up for the same day and I don’t know which on I’m going to take yet,” Patterson said.

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Auburn Using “Us Against The World” Mentality

Ranked lower than any defending national champion in the last 20 years, Auburn’s football players — no doubt fueled by receivers coach Trooper Taylor — are taking an “us against the world” view of the 2011 campaign.

Now, to be honest, we’d have a much harder time finding one school in the country that doesn’t self-motivate by placing a chip — real or imagined — on its collective shoulder.  But in this case, AU’s at least got some numbers to back up their ‘tude.

Defensive end Corey Lemonier might as well have been speaking for the whole Tiger team when he said:


“Everybody’s dogging us.  Everybody’s like putting us down.  I don’t feel any pressure.  We’ve just got to go out there and just show them that we mean business.”


Technically, most teams that lose as much as the Tigers lost this past offseason aren’t likely to be ranked in the national polls at all.  So the “everybody’s dogging us” thing isn’t exactly true.

But as has been the case with sports teams for decades, it doesn’t matter what is and isn’t true.  All that matters is what the players believe.  And on The Plains, the Tigers believe they’re being disrespected.

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Geno Smith Ready To Announce Decision

Cornerback Geno Smith from St. Pius X Catholic High School will announce his college decision today.

Smith, who’s ranked the nation’s No. 2 cornerback and No. 31 prospect overall by ESPN.com, will choose between Alabama and Auburn.

Smith gave his thoughts on both schools to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Alabama: “Both schools are very similar with good head coaches, and lots of coaching experience with the defensive backs. I love the environment down there, with both Alabama and Auburn in general. They love football down there in Alabama. It’s important. I wouldn’t mind playing football at a place where they take football so seriously. Not that other schools don’t, but down there it’s kind of like heaven.”

Auburn: “It’s the same and everything with Auburn, with Coach Chizik and his defensive backs. Trooper Taylor was my recruiter and he has had a big impact. He’s one of the best at what he does. Like Alabama, Auburn has a great environment down there. I took an unofficial visit down there and had the chance to hang out with some of the players and talk with them. It was a good experience.”

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Auburn WR Bray: Someone To Pull For In 2011

If you’re looking for a young man to pull for this fall, look no further than Auburn freshman receiver Quan Bray.  As Evan Woodberry of Al.com points out, Bray’s mother was murdered over the summer and his father was arrested and charged with the crime.

Imagine trying to overcome something like that… while starting college… and playing football.  That’s one reason AU receivers coach Trooper Taylor heaps praise on the young man:

 

“I tell you, I’m proud of that kid.  I’m probably breaking some rule, but the kid threw out all of (the distraction) and had a 3.5 GPA (in the summer).  He has learned all his assignments and is out there busting his tail.  You talk about life throwing you some curveballs.  Obviously that was personal for me because I recruited him and know his family really well.  That’s a chance and an opportunity for us to stand up on what family really means…

He’s going to be something special.  To go through that type of an ordeal and to still come out with over 3.5 and to be able to do the things that he’s doing on that football field, obviously he’s go a lot of motivation.  But it also tells you the type of character and the type of upbringing he had coming from that home.”

 

Here’s hoping fortune begins to shine on this young man.

 

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Williams Becomes Auburn’s 10th Commitment

Wide receiver Ja’Quay Williams from Sandy Creek High School in Tyrone, Ga., committed to Auburn on Thursday.

Williams chose Auburn over Ohio State. Alabama, LSU and Tennessee were also in the mix.

“Auburn has one of the best wide receiver coaches in the country,” Williams said of Trooper Taylor. “It’s a great tradition down there, and I like the offense. They’ve really been on a hot streak with recruiting.”

Williams is considered a four-star prospect by Rivals, Scout and 247Sports. He’s the 10th commitment for Auburn’s class of 2012.

“I think Auburn is getting a really talented football player with a huge upside,” Sandy Creek coach Chip Walker told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “He has a good frame, lots of strength and great hands. There are some things he needs to improve on, like route running, and he knows that. But he’s a kid with a lot of upside.”

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