Greg McElroy moving on from NFL, into SEC Network role

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Make room, Tim Tebow.  You have some additional former SEC quarterback company.

Greg McElroy confirmed to al.com that he has been hired by ESPN and taken a job as an analyst for the new SEC Network, which will launch this fall.  The former Alabama quarterback retired from football late last week following a very brief three-year NFL career.

McElroy’s only broadcasting experience came as a guest analyst during ESPN’s coverage of the Auburn-Oregon BCS title game back in January of 2011.

“You grow up wanting to play in the NFL and loving playing the game,” McElroy told the website. “I started playing this game when I was 8, and for the first time in 17 years, I won’t be putting on shoulder pads and a helmet every day in the fall.

“It will be difficult, but I know that with the opportunity to work for ESPN and cover a conference I’m so passionate for, there were just too many positives to overlook.”

The SEC Network subsequently confirmed the hiring of McElroy, who was an NFL teammate of Tebow during his stint with the New York Jets.

“Greg was an integral member in what has been a dynasty of success at Alabama under Coach Nick Saban over the last decade. The personal understanding he has of the teams we will cover every week allows a perspective unavailable on any other network,” said ESPN in a statement. “His intelligence, experience and first hand playing knowledge of playing in the conference on the biggest national stage will be an incredible asset to the fans.”

It was announced back in December that Tebow, the former Florida quarterback, would serve as an analyst on the network, joining another former Gator quarterback, Jesse Palmer, in that role.  Brent Musburger was hired earlier this month to be the lead play-by-play voice on the network’s football telecasts.

The SEC Network will officially launch Aug. 14.  The first football game televised on the network will be the Aug. 28 Texas A&M-South Carolina opener.

Four-star 2015 signee second Aggie to leave Texas A&M this week

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With a new head coach in town, it’s far from surprising to see somewhat of a personnel exodus in the spring.  In that vein, Jimbo Fisher‘s first-year Texas A&M roster is the latest FBS football program to see such attrition.

On his personal Twitter account Thursday night, offensive lineman Koda Martin announced that he would be transferring from A&M to Syracuse.  On the same social media website a day later, teammate Kemah Siverand announced that he too will be leaving College Station as a transfer.

Unlike Martin, Siverand (pictured, left) did not reveal his next college football home in the tweet.

As Siverand will be leaving the Aggies as a graduate transfer, he’ll be eligible to play immediately at another FBS school in 2018 if that’s the tack he takes.

Siverand was a four-star member of A&M’s 2015 recruiting class.  After beginning his collegiate career as a wide receiver, the Cypress, Tex., native moved to defensive back between the 2016 and 2017 seasons.  He caught two passes for 16 yards in two games as a redshirt freshman in 2016, then was credited with six tackles in 12 games last season.

Iowa LB Aaron Mends to miss extended time with injury

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Talk about a hard-luck story.

After never starting a game at Iowa, Aaron Mends (pictured, blocking punt) had earned a starting job at outside linebacker during practice this spring.  With football being the cruel mistress that it can be at times, the Hawkeyes announced Friday night that Mends “will miss an extended period of time due to injury.” The program offered no details as to the specific nature of the injury, although it’s believed to involve the knee.

According to the school’s release, the fifth-year senior suffered the injury during the final week of Iowa’s spring drills.

Mends was a three-star member of the Hawkeyes’ 2014 recruiting class.  He was the highest-rated linebacker in Iowa’s class that year.

After taking a redshirt as a true freshman, Mends has played in 38 games the past three seasons.  A baker’s dozen of those appearances came during the 2017 season.

Nick Saban, Urban Meyer, James Franklin and Clay Helton among 15 CFB coaches attending NFL Draft

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We’re less than a week away from former college players officially finding out their new homes with the start of the 2018 NFL Draft and the excitement is palpable no matter if you’re a Cleveland Browns fan or somebody who dons the cardinal and gold of USC.

Naturally this is a big deal for the players’ former programs as well and their recent head coaches will be taking full advantage of the marketing opportunity to future recruits by stopping by the draft itself at AT&T Stadium for the festivities. The NFL released a list of 14 college football coaches and one recent one on Friday as being confirmed to attend the event and there are a few notable names beyond the big ones we’re used to seeing every year:

In addition, Stanford head coach David Shaw will serve as a draft analyst on NFL Network for a seventh year in a row and even ESPN’s College GameDay is getting involved with a pregame show outside the stadium they are quite familiar with from big games over the years.

Georgia DB Mark Webb tears meniscus in practice but expected back before fall camp

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Georgia’s injury luck this spring isn’t getting much better as the defending SEC champions move toward their annual G-Day spring game over the weekend.

Head coach Kirby Smart confirmed with reporters after Thursday’s practice that sophomore defensive back Mark Webb suffered a knee injury earlier in the week and tore his meniscus. He already had the knee scoped and is expected back before fall camp after the rather minor procedure.

Webb originally landed in Athens as a wideout but made the move to the secondary just as the season was getting going. He appeared in 13 games in 2017, mostly on special teams, but was expected to challenge for one of the starting spots at cornerback heading into the upcoming campaign.

The absence of Webb in the lineup for the final week of spring adds to a growing list of injuries for the team during practice as they do a little bit of roster building toward the future. Receiver Michael Chigbu’s career may be over due to lingering injuries and defensive back Divaad Wilson tore his ACL not long after enrolling this semester.

Safe to say that G-Day on Saturday might not be as physical as Smart and the coaching staff would otherwise like as a result of trying to keep the team healthy as they prepare to head into a big offseason.