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Player attendees for SEC Media Days revealed

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Yet another sign that a new season is quickly coming up on the horizon?  Media days attendees get full-blown attention.

The first Power Five conference up on the Media Days circuit in 2016 is the SEC, so that conference also becomes the first to reveal which players each of its 14 teams will send to the July 11-14 event in Hoover, Ala.  A total of 42 players, along with their head coaches, will be made available to the media throughout the four-day football kickoff.

In what may tell you something about the state of the quarterback position in the conference, just three signal-callers — Tennessee’s Josh Dobbs, Ole Miss’ Chad Kelly, Texas A&M’s Trevor Knight — will attend.  Conversely, five tight ends will be a part of the festivities.

Being invited by your team is considered an honor and thus leans heavily toward seniors, and such is the case this year as 29 players listed as being part of that class will take part.  There are 12 juniors in the group, meaning there’s only one non-upperclassman — South Carolina sophomore wide receiver Deebo Samuel.

Alabama
Jonathan Allen, Sr., DL
O.J. Howard, Sr., TE
Eddie Jackson, Sr., DB

Arkansas
Brooks Ellis, Sr., LB
Jeremy Sprinkle, Sr., TE
Deatrich Wise Jr., Sr., DL

Auburn
Montravius Adams, Sr., DL
Marcus Davis, Sr., WR
Carl Lawson, Jr., DL

Florida
Jarrad Davis, Sr., LB
Marcus Maye, Sr., DB
David Sharpe, Jr., OL

Georgia
Jeb Blazevich, Jr., TE
Brandon Kublanow, Sr., C/OG
Dominick Sanders, Jr., SS

Kentucky
Jojo Kemp, Sr., RB
Courtney Love, Jr., LB
Jon Toth, Sr., C

LSU
Leonard Fournette, Jr., RB
Ethan Pocic, Sr., C
Tre’Davious White, Sr., DB

Ole Miss
Evan Engram, Sr., TE
D.J. Jones, Sr., DT
Chad Kelly, Sr., QB

Mississippi State
Richie Brown, Sr., LB
A.J. Jefferson, Sr., DL
Fred Ross, Sr., WR

Missouri
Sean Culkin, Sr., TE
Charles Harris, Jr., DE
Michael Scherer, Sr., LB

South Carolina
Marquavius Lewis, Sr., DL
Deebo Samuel, So., WR
Mason Zandi, Sr., OL

Tennessee
Joshua Dobbs, Sr., QB
Jalen Reeves‐Maybin, Sr., LB
Cameron Sutton, Sr., DB

Texas A&M
Myles Garrett, Jr., DL
Trevor Knight, Sr., QB
Ricky Seals‐Jones, Jr., WR

Vanderbilt
Oren Burks, Jr., LB
Zach Cunningham, Jr., LB
Ralph Webb, Jr., RB

Ex-Vols QB Sheriron Jones transferring from Buffs to… the Vols

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In the end, Sheriron Jones is right back where he began.

On Jan. 7 of this year, it was reported that Jones would be transferring from Tennessee to Colorado.  Roughly two weeks later?  Never mind.  Pretend it never happened.

In a statement Friday afternoon, CU head coach Mike MacIntyre announced that he has granted Jones a release from his scholarship.  MacIntyre’s reasoning is that “[w]e have concluded that it is in his best interests for him to return to Tennessee.”

“My job is to work with the whole person,” MacIntyre said in the statement. “Each player is unique and comes with unique needs and concerns. Throughout the past couple of weeks, Sheriron and I have spent a lot of time trying to sort out his circumstances.”

For what it’s worth, UT officials have yet to confirm that the quarterback is returning to Knoxville and the UT football team.

No reason was given for Jones’ initial departure from the Vols, nor is there any reason given for his decision to leave the Buffaloes. The good news is that Jones should be eligible to play for the Vols in 2016 despite the transfer as an NCAA rule permits players to return to their original institution within a two-week period and not have to sit out a season.

While Jones won’t compete for the starting job in 2016 — Josh Dobbs has that on lockdown — he is certainly capable of doing so in the future.

Jones was a four-star member of UT’s recruiting class a year ago, rated as the No. 10 dual-threat quarterback in the country and the No. 40 player at any position in the state of California. He was one of two quarterbacks signed in that class, joined by fellow four-star signee Jauan Jennings.

Jones took a redshirt his true freshman season.

Vols score 17 straight points for halftime lead in The Swamp

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Florida drew first blood, but the Vols are on the attack down in Gainesville. It has been a while since Tennessee defeated the rival Gators, but they look to be on their way to snapping the losing streak if they can keep it going. Tennessee leads Florida 17-7 at the half after scoring 17 straight points.

Florida opened the scoring with a Kelvin Taylor touchdown run to cap a drive that was highlighted by a 47-yard run by Taylor just two plays earlier. Butch Jones, as he has been known to do from time to time, went into the bag of tricks to help get the Vols on the scoreboard. The call was for a double pass from wide receiver Jauan Jennings to quarterback Josh Dobbs. Once he got his hands back on the football, Dobbs raced up the field for a 58-yard touchdown to even the score at 7-7.

Later in the second quarter Tennessee may have been given a gift by the lack of an instant replay review. Alex Ellis lost control of the football on a short pass down the right sideline. He lost control of the ball before stepping out of bounds, and the ball was spotted at the one-yard line by the officials after rolling out of play. The ball actually hit a Tennessee body before hitting a pyline, so Tennessee would have kept control of the football, but the spot would have been pushed back a few yards. Jalen Hurd picked up the short touchdown run on the next play to give the Vols a 14-7 lead. A 34-yard field goal from Aaron Medley later in the half gave Tennessee the 17-7 lead.

No. 23 Tennessee looking the part through one half vs. No. 17 Oklahoma

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Through one half at a sufficiently amped Neyland Stadium, No. 23 Tennessee looks every bit like the team deserving of all that offseason hype and not the one that’s one for its last 28 against ranked opponents. The Vols hold a 17-3 lead over No. 17 Oklahoma at the break.

Tennessee opened the scoring with a 19-yard Aaron Medley field goal with 9:51 to go in the first quarter, and Josh Dobbs pushed the lead to 10 when he found Josh Malone for a nine-yard strike at the 1:56 mark of the opening frame.

Dobbs then pushed the lead to 17-0 when he hit Josh Smith for a 19-yard gain and then raced in from four yards out two plays later at the 12:14 mark of the second quarter.

Austin Siebert finally put the Sooners on the board with a 35-yard field goal with 4:56 to go before the half.

The combination of Dobbs and Jalen Hurd has carried Tennessee; Dobbs has completed 6-of-12 throws for 61 yards and a touchdown and rushed 10 times for 19 yards and another score, while Hurd has totaled 66 yards on 13 carries.

Led by Derek Barnett, the Tennessee front has harassed Baker Mayfield into 13 incompletions and one interception on his 20 throws, good for all of 77 yards. Joe Mixon has rushed five times for 35 yards, while Samaje Perine has added 31 yards on 11 carries.

Worth noting: Tennessee is 13-1 under Butch Jones when leading at the half.

Tennessee will receive the ball to open the second half.

CFT 2015 Preseason Preview: SEC Predictions

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As the 2015 season draws near, we peek into our crystal ball and guess project how each of the five major conferences will play out. Today, we will be examining the home of the defending national champion, the Big Ten. 

And while we’re at it, check out some of our other Power Five conference predictions HERE (ACC), HERE (Big 12) and HERE (Big Ten) as the CFT team continues to take its month-long glimpse of the upcoming season.

SEC EAST

1. Georgia (10-3; beat Louisville in Belk Bowl)
There is one certainty when it comes to the East: UGA will not finish lower than third, a low-water benchmark for each of Mark Richt‘s 14 seasons in Athens that has included five division titles — none since 2012, though.  They return the most talent of any team in the division, although the fact that they opted for Grayson Lambert as the starting quarterback has me second-guessing my prediction.  It’s been a decade since UGA’s last SEC championship, and if they’re going to get back to that level they’ll have to do so with a schedule that includes both Alabama and Auburn as well as a road trip to Tennessee.  Still, anything less than an East title and a spot in the SEC championship game would be decidedly disappointing — and would lead to yet another offseason of “is it time to go in another direction?” speculation.

2. Tennessee (7-6; beat Iowa in Taxslayer Bowl)
Am I a year early with this lofty projection?  Possibly, especially given the team right below them.  Still, there’s no denying that Butch Jones has stuffed his talent cupboard after the barren years under his predecessor, Derek Dooley.  The Vols closed out last year on a positive note, going 4-1 down the stretch — the lone loss coming by eight to Mizzou — capping it off with an impressive 45-28 win over the Hawkeyes in the bowl game.  That final flourish coincided with Josh Dobbs‘ ascension as the starting quarterback.  With the scintillating playmaker poised to build off his first season at this level, the Vols could very well challenge both UGA and Mizzou for East supremacy.

3. Missouri (11-3; beat Minnesota in Citrus Bowl)
“Here we go again, denigrating the two-time defending East champion Tigers.” — the two Mizzou fans who frequent this site, probably.  And, actually, that’s an understandable reaction, given how the Tigers have been the class of the division the past two seasons.  They’re also one of the few teams in the conference that returns its starting quarterback.  Still, there are concerns along the defensive line — they return just five starters on that side of the ball, period — and their schedule doesn’t do them very many favors as they play at Georgia and Arkansas as well as play host to Mississippi State.  It wouldn’t shock me, though, if Mizzou made it three straight titles.  In fact, the only thing that would shock the system is if they finish outside the top three in the division.

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