The SEC may be packing up their media day extravaganza and moving from Alabama to Atlanta, but this year’s media day schedule shows the SEC will still carefully roll out plenty of storylines over the course of a four-day love fest for the conference.
The SEC is setting up shop at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, which feels like a great landing spot for the new media day fun for the SEC. The conference has established Atlanta as a destination point for the end of the regular season and the city just played host to the first College Football Playoff national championship game between two teams from the same conference, the SEC (Alabama and Georgia). So why not kickstart a new football season with the media in Atlanta too?
New Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher will be the headline act for the first of the four media days for the SEC. Fisher will make his SEC Media Days debut as head coach of the Aggies on Monday, July 16. Other coaches speaking that day will be LSU’s Ed Orgeron and Kentucky’s Mark Stoops. Day 2 will be an interesting one with Georgia’s Kirby Smart in the spotlight coming off the SEC championship last fall and new Florida head coach Dan Mullen addresses the media for the first time as the Gators coach, although the former Mississippi State head coach is no stranger to the SEC media day circuit by now. Day 2 will also be the first SEC Media Day introduction for new Arkansas head coach Chad Morris and second-year Ole Miss head coach Matt Luke (Luke took over as head coach in Oxford after SEC Media Days last summer following the removal of Hugh Freeze not long after media days).
But when is Alabama head coach Nick Saban speaking, you ask? Day 3 (Wed., July 18 for those keeping track). Saban headlines the third day of the media day event for the SEC. Two other coaches speaking that day will be new head coaches in the SEC with former Saban assistant Jeremy Pruitt representing Tennessee and Joe Moorhead of Mississippi State stepping to the SEC podium for the first time. Missouri’s Barry Odom is also scheduled on day three. Day 4 will feature Auburn’s Gus Malzahn, South Carolina’s Will Muschamp, and Vanderbilt’s Derek Mason.
Player representatives for each school in addition to any other speakers will be announced at a later time.
As we trudge deeper into the college football offseason, roster attrition across the sport has shown no signs of slowing down.
It was confirmed Tuesday that three players have decided to take their leave of the Missouri football program. Two of the departees are defensive backs (redshirt freshman Jerod Alton, redshirt sophomore TJ Warren) while the other is a wide receiver (redshirt junior Ray Wingo).
All three of the transferring players were three-star recruits coming out of high school. Wingo, who moved to receiver after his redshirt season in 2014, was the highest-rated of the group, with 247Sports.com pegging him as the No. 24 cornerback in the country and the No. 4 player at any position in the state of Missouri.
After catching five passes for 143 yards and a pair of touchdowns in 2016, Wingo didn’t record a reception at all in 2017. He’ll finish the Mizzou portion of his playing career with 167 yards and those two touchdowns on his nine receptions.
Warren played in 18 games the past two seasons, including six last year. He started one of those games, with that coming during the 2016 season.
Alton took a redshirt as a true freshman last season.
All four-star 2018 recruits are officially accounted for.
After the first-ever Early Signing Period in December and the annual National Signing Day earlier this month, just one of 347 four-star recruits remained unsigned by FBS programs. That one, Tyrone Sampson Jr. of Detroit, had reportedly zeroed in on Arizona State, Mississippi State and Nebraska as likely destinations but, instead of signing on the first Wednesday of February, opted instead to continue studying his options as schools such as Illinois, Missouri and West Virginia had entered the picture.
In the end, however, it appears that the one-time Syracuse commit will at least begin his collegiate playing career not at a Power Five program but rather at a Mountain West Conference school according to the offensive lineman as well as his new football coach.
That commitment came shortly after Sampson visited the Bulldogs’ campus.
Sampson was rated as the No. 7 center in the country and the No. 346 recruit overall on 247Sports.com‘s composite board. He had been committed to Syracuse for more than eight months before decommitting in December.
Easily the highest-rated member of Jeff Tedford‘s second recruiting class, Sampson is the first four-star recruit signed by the football program since 2015 (wide receiver L.J. Reed) and just the fourth such prospect in the school’s history, joining quarterback Derek Carr (2009) and offensive tackle James Paulk (2005).
Thursday, Oregon graduate transfer Khalil Oliver tweeted that he decided to spend his final season of college football at Missouri. A day later, one of Oliver’s former teammates has followed suit.
Alex Ofodile confirmed to Rivals.com Friday that he has decided to transfer from Oregon to Mizzou as well. Like Oliver, Ofodile, who played his high school football in the state of Missouri, will be a grad transfer and can play for the Tigers in 2018. Unlike his teammate, however, he will have two years of eligibility remaining,
According to the wide receiver, the coaching change in Eugene helped fuel the move to Columbia.
“I think it’s just perfect timing,” Ofodile told PowerMizzou.com. “I felt like with Oregon going through so many changes coaching staff-wise over the years, I just kind of felt like I gave my all to them, but it’s kind of time to end my career coming back home.”
A four-star member of the Ducks’ 2015 recruiting class, Ofodile was rated as the No. 12 receiver in the country; the No. 2 player at any position in the state of Missouri; and the No. 120 recruit overall on 247Sports.com‘s composite board. Only three signees in UO’s class that year were rated higher than Ofodile.
Despite that lofty recruiting pedigree, Ofodile finished the UO portion of his career with just four catches for 31 yards. Three of those receptions and 23 of the yards came this past season.
A little over four months after leaving Oregon, Khalil Oliver has found himself a new college football home.
On his personal Twitter account Thursday, Oliver announced that he will “be continuing my playing career and furthering my education at the University of Missouri.” The defensive back made his decision after taking a visit to Mizzou’s campus this past weekend.
As he’s coming to the Tigers as a graduate transfer, he’ll be eligible to play immediately in 2018. He’s also hoping that he’ll get a medical hardship waiver for the 2017 season that would give him another year of eligibility he can use in 2019.
Oliver played in 26 games during his time with the Ducks, and was named as the team’s Most Outstanding Special Teams Player for the 2016 season. He started the opener this past season, his first career start, but didn’t play the remainder of the year because of an injury sustained in that game vs. Southern Utah.
That injury situation lends credence to the safety getting a waiver for another year of eligibility.