SEC Media Days: Handful of familiar names but time for new star players to rise

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The SEC gets the conference media day circuit kick started on Monday with the opening of a four-day media event for the ages. Over 1,000 members of the media will descend on Hoover, Alabama for the SEC Media Days. Not only will all of the coaches from the conference be in attendance, but each school will be bringing three players to meet the media.

This should be an interesting season for the SEC. Some of the biggest names from around the conference the past couple of seasons have moved on, but there are still plenty of recognizable names in the line-up. Alabama wide receivers Amari Cooper and Christion Jones, Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall, Florida quarterback Jeff Driskel and Georgia running back Todd Gurley are among the names most fans will be most familiar with next week, but each player will get a chance to shine in front of microphones and audio recorders and cameras.

Here is the full list of football players scheduled to appear at SEC Media Days, as well as which day each school will send their players and coaches through the media rounds.

Alabama (Thursday)
•Landon Collins, Safety
•Amari Cooper, Wide Receiver
•Christion Jones, Wide Receiver

Arkansas (Wednesday)
•Brey Cook, Offensive Guard
•Trey Flowers, Defensive End
•Alan Turner, Safety

Auburn (Monday)
•Nick Marshall, Quarterback
•Reese Dismukes, Center
•Gabe Wright, Defensive Linemen

Florida (Monday)
•Jeff Driskel , Quarterback
•Dante Fowler, Defensive End
•Vernon Hargreaves III, Cornerback

Georgia (Thursday)
•Chris Conley, Flanker
•Todd Gurley, Tailback
•Ramik Wilson, Linebacker

Kentucky (Thursday)
•Bud Dupree, Defensive End
•Jordan Swindle, Offensive Tackle
•Za’Darius Smith, Defensive End

LSU (Wednesday)
•La’el Collins, Offensive Tackle
•Terrence Magee, Running Back
•D.J. Welter, Linebacker

Ole Miss (Thursday)
•CJ Johnson, Defensive End
•Cody Prewitt, Safety
•Bo Wallace, Quarterback

Mississippi State (Tuesday)
•Jay Hughes, Safety
•Benardrick McKinney, Linebacker
•Dak Prescott, Quarterback

Missouri (Wednesday)
•Evan Boehm, Center
•Markus Golden, Defensive End
•Maty Mauk, Quarterback

South Carolina (Tuesday)
•A.J. Cann, Offensive Guard
•J.T. Surratt, Defensive Tackle
•Dylan Thompson, Quarterback

Tennessee (Tuesday)
•Mack Crowder, Offensive Line
•AJ Johnson, Linebacker
•Curt Maggitt, Defensive End

Texas A&M (Tuesday)
•Deshazor Everett, Defensive Back
•Drew Kaser, Punter
•Cedric Ogbuehi, Offensive Tackle

Vanderbilt (Monday)
•Adam Butler, Defensive Line
•Steven Scheu, Tight End
•Andrew Williamson, Safety

It’s official: LSU-Alabama moving to daytime for the first time since 2010

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Astute observers of college football’s television contracts (read: nerds) perked up when CBS announced over the summer it had chosen Notre Dame’s Sept. 21 visit to Georgia as its annual primetime selection, meaning LSU’s Nov. 9 trip to Alabama would likely be played under sunshine for the first time since 2010.

However, there remained a question that CBS could work a backroom deal with ESPN to get Tigers-Tide in prime time, like it did back in 2011 when CBS initially used its annual primetime pick on Florida-Alabama and then nabbed LSU-Alabama when it became apparent that would be a No. 1 vs. No. 2 game. With history repeating itself on the field — Alabama is No. 1 in the AP poll, LSU is No. 2 — one had to wonder if history could also repeat itself in the boardroom.

That question was answered Monday, when CBS announced LSU-Alabama on Nov. 9 will indeed be played in the SEC on CBS’s traditional time slot of 3:30 p.m. ET/2:30 p.m. CT.

Playing the Crimson Tide in daylight could be a good omen for LSU. The Tigers, losers of seven straight primetime affairs, won the most recent afternoon kickoff, a 24-21 decision on Nov. 6, 2010.

Mark Richt suffers heart attack, says he’s ‘doing fine’

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From the outside, it seems as if Mark Richt is the most relaxed, stress-free person in the entire college football universe. In 18 seasons as the head coach at Georgia and Miami, Richt had an inner peace and perspective that never seemed to let the stresses of the job get to him in the way it did most other coaches or people in similar high-stakes gigs.

Now, he’s very much living that retired multi-millionaire life.

That’s why it was so surprising when Richt announced Monday he suffered a heart attack earlier this morning.

“I am assuming word travels fast,” he tweeted. “So I wanted to be able to inform everyone that I did have a heart attack this morning. I am doing fine. As I went through the experience I had peace knowing I was going to heaven but I was going to miss my wife. I plan to be at work this week.”

While Monday’s news was obviously frightening, it’s comforting to know Richt survived and will hopefully be around to eat many, many more cheese balls on the beach.

 

‘GameDay’ making maiden voyage to South Dakota State

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The Football Championship Subdivision recently made a coordinated, nationwide push for ESPN’s “College GameDay” to pay its brand of football more attention. That push has quickly paid off.

ESPN announced Sunday that “GameDay” will make its first ever visit to Brookings, S.D., as No. 3 South Dakota State hosts No. 1 North Dakota State. The Jackrabbits are 6-1 this season, losing only to FBS No. 17 Minnesota 28-21 to open the season and then running off six straight victories by an average of 24.3 points. North Dakota State is 7-0 on the season with four victories over FCS top-20 opponents.

South Dakota State should send flowers to Wisconsin, who lost to Illinois ahead of their visit to No. 3 Ohio State, to Michigan, who lost to Penn State before hosting No. 8 Notre Dame, and to ESPN for their recent visit to Baton Rouge, making a return visit for No. 9 Auburn at No. 2 LSU seem too redundant.

“GameDay” last visited an FCS site on Oct. 14, 2017, as No. 1 James Madison hosted Villanova.

Saturday will mark North Dakota State’s third “GameDay” appearance, passing Harvard for the most among FCS teams. The Bison won both of their previous appearances, a 51-0 drubbing of Delaware State on Sept. 21, 2013, and a 58-0 blowout of Incarnate Word on Sept. 13, 2014.

South Carolina dismisses DB Jamel Cook after domestic violence arrest

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Because of an off-field issue, South Carolina’s depth in the secondary has been pared a bit.

Friday, Jamel Cook was arrested and charged with one count of second-degree domestic violence.  Other than he was ordered to have no contact with the alleged victim or return to the location of the alleged incident, details surrounding the arrest and charge have not yet been divulged.

Early Sunday, the Gamecocks confirmed that Cook had been indefinitely suspended for violating unspecified team rules.  Later that day, Will Muschamp announced that the redshirt junior has been dismissed from his football program.

“[That’s] all I’m going to say about that,” Coach Gump added.

Cook was originally a four-star member of the Left Coast USC’s 2016 signing class, rated as the No. 17 player at any position in the state of Florida.  He played in three games in two years for the Trojans before transferring to the Gamecocks following the 2017 season.  Because of NCAA transfer rules, the defensive back was forced to sit out the 2018 season.

This year, Cook had appeared in one game prior to his off-field issues.