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WOW Headlines – 12/11/12

Former Tennessee QB Tee Martin has turned down an offer to become the Vols’ new WR coach
Internet report says former Tennessee offensive coordinator Jim Chaney has had informal discussions with Missouri
Chris Ash is the new defensive coordinator at Arkansas – joining head coach Bret Bielema from Wisconsin
SEC football attendance was at its lowest point since 2007 this past season
In terms of tickets sold, Auburn, Tennessee and Kentucky saw the biggest drops (and all three changed coaches after the season)
Texas A&M offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury is a leading candidate to replace Tommy Tuberville at Texas Tech
New Western Kentucky coach Bobby Petrino will face both Kentucky and Tennessee to open the 2013 season after those schools chose not to interview him
South Carolina RB Marcus Lattimore has a news conference scheduled for Wednesday afternoon, where he’s expected to announce his plans to pro
Follow the SEC every single day on MrSEC.com or on Twitter at Twitter.com/mrsec

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Tuesday Morning Headlines

Here are some recruiting headlines to start your Tuesday.

1. Recruiting has started to take its toll on defensive end Jordan Jenkins.

2. Gene Chizik was in Georgia to see Jenkins play on Friday night.

3. WR prospect Dorial Green-Backham is cutting his list of schools to five.

4. ESPN has updated its class rankings for 2012.

5. The Houston Chronicle takes a look at how Texas A&M could affect recruiting in the SEC.

6. Here’s an SEC/ACC recruiting notebook from Phil Kornblut.

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Early 2012 Mock NFL Draft: Six SEC Players In Round One

andrew luck

We’ve updated our NFL mock draft order for 2012. We based our order on preseason power rankings. We’ll update again once the NFL season begins, and factor in team needs at that time. This mock does not take needs into account.

 

1. Buffalo, Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford

Yes, he was extremely nuts to give up all that money that comes with being the #1 pick. And yes, that’s unprecedented, a #1 overall staying in school. We’ll never know why, we just know he’s going to be the first pick next year. As of now.

Luck as a NFL prospect, possibly the #1 NFL Draft prospect,- his strong arm, excellent read-and-recognitions, quickness and mobility, poise and intelligence on the field or his excellent standing off of it.

In preparation for his match-up with Luck and his Stanford teammates this week, Notre Dame Coach Brian Kelly discussed what impresses him most about the redshirt quarterback.

“He was hitting the wide field, go route, intermediate, and the thing that really got my attention is his ability to run. I think he had a 50 something yard run for a touchdown. So his ability, his escapability, I didn’t know what it was. I now know what it is. The guy is extremely athletic, as well, and he can run. So he brings a big dimension to the table and not just throwing the football,” Kelly said.

2. Cincinnati Bengals, Matt Kalil, OT, USC

usc-song-girl-swim

3. Minnesota Vikings, Matt Barkley, QB, USC

For bikini photos of the USC Song Girls (their cheerleaders) swim charity event go here

usc-song-girls-bikini

4. Carolina, Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama

5. Tennessee, Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan State Spartans

Michigan State DT Jerel Worthy’s NFL Draft stock is about as high as anyone in the Spartans, or even anyone in the Big Ten. He also has a tattoo that entails everything that makes college football such an awesome game. Go here to see it. Take a closer look and notice the tattoo’s homage to the rivalry with Michigan. What an affront it is to the Wolverines, love it!

For more on Worthy go here

6. Washington, Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina

7. Oakland, Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina

8. Denver, Donte Paige-Moss, DE/OLB, North Carolina

9. Arizona, Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB, Alabama

manti-te'o

10. San Francisco, Manti Te’o, ILB, Notre Dame

When he was a freshman, the 6-2, 245 lb LB posted the third-most tackles ever by an Irish rookie; and ranked fourth on ND with 63 stops in 2009. His 2010 season was even better

His defensive coordinator Bob Diaco described him thusly:

“He’s definitely in the top cut of maturity. He’s just a mature person with a big heart. Always in service, in service to the student body, his teammates, his coaches, helping out his buddies. So when you factor that with his tangible skill set on the field, that’s really a special blend.”

Go here for more about Teo

Teo yesterday at ND Media Day

on the differences in defense from last year to this year…

“I think you are going to see a completely different team. We will be more seasoned and confident. We have become more comfortable. The more comfortable we get the smoother things will be.”

on the play of the linebackers so far in practice…

“It has been good. The competition has been there. Every day, we are critiquing ourselves and the coaches are critiquing us. There are a lot of linebackers, so that puts in place a competitive environment where every day you know you could lose your starting spot if someone else outperforms you. No place is guaranteed to anyone on the team. It makes the team that much better.”

on the advice he gives to new players…

“The best advice I could give anyone is to be humble. Second is to always remember where you came from and whom you represent. Third is to be coachable. As a freshman you don’t know what is going on. You are in a totally different environment. College football is a completely different game than high school. You have to be able to accept criticism from both the coaches and other players in order to make yourself a better player and person.”

11. Jacksonville, Jared Crick, DE/DT, Nebraska Cornhuskers

12. Seattle, Vontaze Burflict, ILB, Arizona State

13. Miami, Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma

14. Cleveland Browns, Cliff Harris, CB/PR, Oregon

For the definitive collection of Hot Oregon Cheerleader pictures go here

oregon-cheerleaders

15. Dallas, Alfonzo Dennard, CB, Nebraska

16. Kansas City, Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina

17. Cleveland Browns, Luke Kuechly, ILB, Boston College

18. Detroit Lions, Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa Hawkeyes

19. Tampa Bay, Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford

20. Houston, Andrew Datko, OT, Florida State

21. St. Louis Rams, Mike Brewster, OL, Ohio State Buckeyes

Brewster is a 6-5, 293 senior from Orlando, FL with three years of starting experience. He was a NFL ready talent in 2011, but the best at the position don’t often get picked until the third round at the earliest. Therefore “Brewster’s Millions” (yeah, you knew it was coming, an ’80s pop culture reference, I just couldn’t past that up) must wait to 2012. And I think he made the right decision in putting the NFL off until after his senior season.

For more on Brewster go here

22. Indianapolis Colts, Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State Buckeyes

23. San Diego, Baker Steinkuhler, DE/DT, Nebraska

24. Chicago Bears, Zach Brown, OLB, North Carolina

25. NY Jets, Devier Posey, WR, Ohio State Buckeyes

Posey may not have the same GQ wardrobe or late ’90s boy band good looks of Sanzenbacher, but he does have a ton of NFL potential. Scouts love his ideal size, speed and ball skills for a professional receiver.

For more on Posey go here

26. NY Giants, Marcus Forston, DT, Miam

27. Pittsburgh, Andre Branch, DE, Clemson

28.Philadelphia, Devin Taylor, DE/OLB, South Carolina

29. Baltimore, Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State

30. New England Patriots, Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama

31. Green Bay Packers, Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame

With three alcohol related legal offenses during his time in South Bend, you know character concerns will be front and center. Of course no story about Michael Floyd is complete without mentioning that the true key to his realization of that enormous potential is staying healthy. Floyd led all FBS wideouts in the nation with a 29.09 yards per catch average and he was tied for the national lead in receiving TDs when he suffered a broken collarbone against Michigan State in ’09.

But last year he only missed one game, and when you look at his stats, ND records and size, you see what makes him a blue-chip prospect.

Floyd yesterday at Notre Dame Media Day

on putting everything behind him…

“The past is the past. I’ve moved on to the future, so I’m not even thinking about what happened anymore. I just have to make sure that the decisions I make are good because they are going to follow me forever.”

on if things seem as though they are back to normal now…

“It does. This time of year, I can just focus on schoolwork and football now. It helps me move on from the past. It feels good to know that I can put that behind me now and focus on school and football.

on his goals for this up coming season…

“I’m just trying to make myself an all-around better receiver. My goal is to be the best receiver in the country, so I have to work hard every day to make sure that I have the best possibility for that. I am a guy that likes to be pushed. If you are not being pushed, then you won’t perform to the best of your ability.”

on how he can be better this season…

“When our quarterback is in trouble, I need to get out of my routes faster, and I need to work on my blocking downfield, which is something you can always get better at. It isn’t all about catching the ball and running routes – you have to be able to do the little things that help the team win.”

on the records he could potentially break this year…

“I don’t even know what they are. I never look at things like that. Whatever happens, happens. I am just trying to win games for Notre Dame and this team.”

michael floyd

32. New England Patriots, Jeff Allen, OL, Illinois Fighting Illini

Allen, is yet another in a great line of OLs to come from Champaign to the NFL (Tony Pashos, David Diehl, Jon Asomoah, Brad Hopkins). The Illini switch guards and tackles given the play call. SO there is no true right/left guards and tackles. This versatility will serve him well for the next level.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site that generates millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports 

He does regular weekly radio spots in Chicago and Cleveland and has appeared on live shows all across the world from Houston to New Zealand. You can follow him on Twitter


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Kiper Ranks USC’s Jeffery As Top SEC Player

When it comes to the SEC, draft guru Mel Kiper believes South Carolina’s Alshon Jeffery is the top pro prospect in the league.

ESPN’s NFL expert has just posted a new 25-man “big board” which lists the top draft-eligible players in college football.  Here’s who makes the list from the Southeastern Conference:


4.  Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina

9.  Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama

13.  Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama

19.  Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina

25.  Courtney Upshaw, LB, Alabama


Keep these rankings in mind when the scribes at SEC Media Days in July tab Alabama and South Carolina as the favorites to meet in Atlanta for the SEC championship.

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Big Numbers: 10 SEC Players Nabbed In 1st Round

Five of the first six.  Seven of the first 15.  Ten of the first 32. 

When it comes to NFL draft first rounds, year-in and year-out about a third of the top talent in the land comes from the Southeastern Conference.  Last night, as noted above, was no exception.

Below are the SEC’s draft picks on the first night of the draft:


1.  Cam Newton, QB, Auburn — Carolina Panthers

No surprise with this one.  Newton was expected to be the draft’s top choice.  Let’s hope the Panthers are more patient with him than they were with last year’s QB pick, Jimmy Clausen.

Newton said he was blessed to land in Carolina.

In Charlotte, the Panthers got “an equalizer behind center.”  (Maybe, but they didn’t get the Equalizer.)


3.  Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama — Buffalo Bills

The Bills eschewed a quarterback in order to grab Bama’s big tackle.  Perhaps that’s because Buffalo ranked dead last against the run last year.

The folks in Buffalo say Dareus is the best defensive player the Bills have drafted since Bruce Smith.


4.  AJ Green, WR, Georgia — Cincinnati Bengals

It looks like the Bengals might have a ready-made replacement for Chad Ochocinco should they part ways with the temperamental veteran.  Now, will Green be enough to lure quarterback Carson Palmer back?

Green’s got talent, but folks there’s concern in Cincy about who’ll throw him the ball.


5.  Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU — Arizona Cardinals

Peterson will team with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie in Arizona’s secondary.  If the NFL hadn’t changed its kick return rules it’s possible Peterson would have gone a slot or two higher.

The Cardinals wanted any one of five guys… Peterson was the last of the five left when they picked.


6.  Julio Jones, WR, Alabama — Atlanta Falcons (traded up from Browns)

The Falcons went all in to add Jones to their high-powered offense, giving up three picks this year and two more — including another first-rounder — next year.  That’s a lot to give up for a receiver who played through a number of injuries at Alabama.

Jeff Schultz of The AJC says the Falcons picked the right time to make a big splash.


13.  Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn — Detroit Lions

So Nick Fairley and Ndamukong Suh will play alongside one another on the same D-line?  Wow.  Here’s guessing QBs won’t look forward to facing the Lions anymore.

This Detroit writer says Fairley and Suh give Detroit “a genuine, undisputed strength.”


15.  Mike Pouncey, OG/C, FLoirda — Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins grabbed a versatile player who can start at three different spots on the offensive line.  Smart pick.

Pouncey might not be exciting, but The Miami Herald says he’s a safe pick.


25.  James Carpenter, OT, Alabama — Seattle Seahawks

Carpenter’s surprise selection might have helped draw the biggest laugh of the first round.  Nick Saban was caught on video with repeating Carpenter’s name with a “what the?” look on his face.

It was a shocking pick, but Seahawks brass seemed awfully secure in their selection.


28.  Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama — New Orleans Saints (traded up from Patriots)

The Saints now have two Heisman-winners in their backfield, sort of.  Reggie Bush had to give his back, of course.  Ingram landed in a great spot on a good team.  New Orleans traded away a second-rounder and next year’s first-rounder to get him.

Bush let it be known last night that he thinks he’s on his way out of The Big Easy.


32.  Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State — Green Bay Packers

So much for the Bulldogs 14-year drought in the NFL’s first round.  Talk about good landing spots.  Sherrod will begin his career with the reigning Super Bowl champs.

Sherrod looks to be the heir apparent at left tackle… destined to replace ex-SEC’er Chad Clifton.

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SI’s Banks: 6 Of First 8 NFL Picks Will Come From SEC

NFL writer Don Banks of SI.com — one of the best in the business, by the way — has posted his latest mock draft for tomorrow’s this week’s NFL selection party.  Among the first eight picks, he expects six ex-SEC names to be called.

His SEC first-round picks:


1.  Carolina Panthers — Cam Newton, QB, Auburn

2.  Denver Broncos — Marcell Dareus, DE-DT, Alabama

4.  Cincinnati Bengals — AJ Green, WR, Georgia

6.  Cleveland Browns — Julio Jones, WR, Alabama

7.  San Francisco 49ers — Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU

8.  Tennessee Titans — Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn

15.  Miami Dolphins — Mike Pouncey, G-C, Florida

28.  New England Patriots — Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama

29.  Chicago Bears — Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State


Nine SEC players in a 32-pick first-round?  Sounds about right.  The Southeastern Conference usually accounts for about one-third of the first round selections.

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Nine SEC Players To Attend NFL Draft

The threats of the NFL players union have apparently fallen on deaf ears when it comes to this year’s incoming class of rookies.  A record 25 college players will attend the NFL Draft ceremonies in New York this week… despite the players’ union making it clear that it would prefer rookies not walk across the stage and shake the commissioner Roger Goodell’s hand on national television.

While the players attending might have some fences to mend — and some extra hazing to deal with — once the NFL season actually launches, the draft is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.  It’s unfair for veterans who’ve already had their shot at the draft to deprive the league’s top newcomers of the same opportunities they once had.

Of the 25 players planning to attend the draft, nine come from the SEC:

Randall Cobb, WR, Kentucky
Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama
Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn
AJ Green, WR, Georgia
Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama
Julio Jones, WR, Alabama
Cam Newton, QB, Auburn
Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU
Mike Pouncey, OG/C, Florida

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SEC To Provide Big Ten For NFL

Todd McShay of ESPN.com has spat forth his latest mock NFL draft and 10 first round picks — he believes — will come from the SEC.

Here’s his latest projection:


1.  Carolina Panthers — Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama
4.  Cincinnati Bengals — AJ Green, WR, Georgia
5.  Arizona Cardinals — Cam Newton, QB, Auburn
7.  San Francisco 49ers — Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU
8.  Tennessee Titans — Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn
10.  Washington Redskins — Julio Jones, WR, Alabama
15.  Miami Dolphins — Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama
19.  New York Giants — Mike Pouncey, C/G, Florida
27.  Atlanta Falcons — Justin Houston, LB, Georgia
29.  Chicago Bears — Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State


No offense to Dareus, but Fairley dominated the SEC and the BCS Championship Game.  He may be a head case — and that’s apparently the issue as teams have been unimpressed with his interviews — but the guy can play when he’s motivated.

When push comes to shove, we believe some team will roll the dice on his talent well before pick #8.

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Breaking Down Ole Miss

Ole Miss

Signees/Enrollees: 27

5-stars: 1
4-stars: 5
3-stars: 21

Justin Bell, OL, MS ***
Nickolas Brassell, WR, MS ****
Chelarvez Brown, DB, MS ***
Serderius Bryant, LB, FL ***
Aaron Garbutt, DB, CA ***
Senquez Golson, DB, MS ***
Uriah Grant, DT, CA ***
Mitch Hall, OL, AR ***
Woodrow Hamilton, DT, MS ***
Ethan Hutson, OL, LA ***
CJ Johnson, LB, MS *****
Keith Lewis, LB, FL ***
Marcus Mayers, LB, MS ***
Maikhail Miller, QB, MS ***
Donte Moncrief, WR, MS ****
Collins Moore, WR, AL, ***
Philander Moore, ATH, TX ***
Aaron Morris, OL, MS ****
Jamal Mosley, TE, MS ***
Ivan Nicholas, DB, NY ***
Gilbert Pena, DT, NY ***
Wesley Pendleton, DB, MS ***
Cody Prewitt, ATH, MS ****
Tobias Singleton, WR, MS ****
Zack Stoudt, QB, IA ***
Kameron Wood, DE, AL ***
TJ Worthy, WR, AL ***


Notes:

* In need of receivers, Ole Miss inked five including three 4-star pass-catchers.

* The Rebels landed the top five players in that state of Mississippi and eight of the top 12.  Don’t think Houston Nutt isn’t enjoying that fact (and the fact that Dan Mullen is having is having to swallow it).

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Breaking Down Mississippi State

Mississippi State

Signees/Enrollees: 22

5-stars: 0
4-stars: 1
3-stars: 21

Dee Arrington, DB, MS ***
Taveze Calhoun, WR, MS ***
Justin Cox, ATH, MS ***
Devin Fosselman, WR, MS ***
Johnathan Harris, DE, FL ***
Zachary Jackson, ATH, MS ***
PJ Jones, DT, MS ****
Daniel Knox, OL, MS ***
James Maiden, DT, MS ***
Justin Malone, OL, MS ***
Kendrick Market, DB, MS ***
Benardrick McKinney, ATH, MS ***
Derrick Milton, RB, VA ***
Joseph Morrow, WR, MS ***
Shaquille Perry, LB, MS ***
Dak Prescott, QB, LA ***
Nick Redmond, OL, MS ***
Josh Robinson, RB, LA ***
Darius Slay, DB, MS ***
Preston Smith, DE, GA ***
Joey Trapp, OL, CA ***
Rufus Warren, TE, MS ***

Notes:

* Landing one 4-star and 21 3-star prospects isn’t bad at all… but State’s class was passed by Ole Miss.  That has to be frustrating for a coaching staff that has bested the Rebels in back-to-back Egg Bowls.

* Of MSU’s 22 signees, 16 came from within the Magnolia State.

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