Joe Moorhead hasn’t even coached a game in the SEC yet but he’s already sending subtle shots to other coaches in the league who might be trying to paint him in a negative light.
In a long interview with USA Today about adjusting to life at Mississippi State after decades spent as an assistant and head coach in the Northeast, Moorhead pretty firmly pushed back at a few theories of how to recruit in the area and why he could conceivably be at a disadvantage with all his experience coming north of the Mason-Dixon line.
“I truly believe the regional aspect of recruiting and coaching couldn’t be more overblown,” he said. “If you can recruit you can recruit. If you can coach you can coach.” Nick Saban and Urban Meyer aren’t Southern, he finishes, and they did OK in the SEC.
“Where you’re born doesn’t guarantee success,” he tells them, “but it doesn’t eliminate it.”
The comments can be seen as a fairly direct response to South Carolina’s Will Muschamp, an SEC veteran at several schools, who told The State at league meetings that recruiting in the conference is different from anywhere else and presents some difficulty for outsiders to pick up on and manage.
“As much as anything, what’s different in our league is the recruiting element,” Muschamp said. “It’s 24/7, 365 and you have to be involved or it will get away from you. That’s what a lot of coaches who come in our league don’t always understand is that side of it.”
Moorhead definitely has a good point about two of the most dominant coaches in recent SEC history being from elsewhere and still cleaning up on the recruiting trail. In the end, their tenacity at going after top prospects is what separates the Saban’s and Meyers’ of the world from the pack much more so than where they’re from or what kind of accent they might have — certainly the more relatable traits to takeaway for somebody new to the area.
Muschamp’s original comments came as he was asked about new Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt, who also has a lengthy resume filled with SEC experience. While we may not be able to test this insider/outsider theory completely using Moorhead and Pruitt as examples, the two newbies do serve as a nice dichotomy as to how to approach the job of running one of the league’s 14 programs.
Perhaps the biggest shame however, is that the Bulldogs and Gamecocks don’t meet again in the regular season until 2023 so we won’t get the head-to-head clash between Muschamp and Moorhead to prove who’s right on the subject between the lines.
A key piece of Lane Kiffin‘s 2018 recruiting puzzle is no more.
On his personal Twitter account very late Tuesday night, Charles Cameron announced that “[it is] with great regret that I inform you of my decision to not continue my education and football career at Florida Atlantic University.” Cameron gave no indication as to what his football future holds, including whether or not he’ll move on to another program.
The defensive tackle had transferred into the Owls from a Mississippi junior college earlier this offseason.
Cameron was a three-star member of FAU’s 2018 recruiting class. Only one signee in the Owls’ class this year was rated higher than Cameron — fellow defensive tackle Marcel Southall out of a Texas junior college.
Prior to his departure, the lineman had been expected to play immediately this coming season.
The talk has officially come to fruition.
Earlier this month, Clemson athletic director Dan Radakovich confirmed that he had been involved in scheduling talks with several Power Five programs, including LSU. Wednesday, both of those football programs announced a future home-and-home series pitting the ACC Tigers against the SEC Tigers.
The two teams will meet first at Memorial Stadium (aka Death Valley) in Clemson, South Carolina on August 30, 2025. The following season, LSU will play host to Clemson Sept. 5 in Baton Rouge’s Tiger Stadium (aka Death Valley).
“The series against LSU continues the philosophy we have had at Clemson for many years of looking to add another Power 5 opponent to our schedule outside of our annual rivalry game with the University of South Carolina,” Radakovich said in a statement. “We are excited about playing a school with LSU’s rich football tradition. We know our fans will enjoy visiting Baton Rouge, and we know they will provide our renowned Clemson hospitality to the fans from LSU.”
“We have put an emphasis on bringing Power 5 teams outside of the Southeastern Conference to Tiger Stadium as often as we can,” Radakovich’s LSU counterpart, Joe Alleva, said in his statement. “It’s what we want and most importantly it’s what our fans want.”
The 2025 game will mark the first-ever regular season matchup between the two schools. They have met in the postseason three different times — the 2012 Chick-fil-A Bowl, 1996 Peach Bowl and 1959 Sugar Bowl.
The SEC Tigers hold a 2-1 edge in those bowl games.
And then there were two
Earlier in the day Tuesday, rumors surfaced that, after neither showed up for practice, two LSU quarterbacks, Justin McMillan and Lowell Narcisse, were considering transfers from the Tigers. Tuesday night, Narcisse announced on his personal Twitter account that he has indeed pulled the trigger on a transfer.
The redshirt sophomore came to his decision “[a]fter sitting down and talking with my parents.” Narcisse wrote that he wants “a fresh start and be able to have an opportunity to showcase my Abilities.”
Just over 13 hours later, McMillan took to the same social media website to announce the same decision. McMillan pulled the trigger on a transfer after meeting with the Tigers’ coaching staff Wednesday morning.
With the departures of McMillan and Narcisse, LSU is left with just two scholarship quarterbacks on the roster — presumptive front-runner to start and Ohio State transfer Joey Burrow; and four-star 2017 signee and last year’s primary backup Myles Brennan. There are two other quarterbacks currently listed on the Tigers’ roster — Tennessee Tech transfer sophomore Andre Sale and true freshman Jordan Loving.
There is some level of good news in the seemingly dire depth at the position as, if something were to happen to Burrow and Brennan, Sale started seven games for his former FCS school before transferring to the Tigers in January of this year. So the quarterback room has that going for them, which is nice.
As for the first of the two departed ones, Narcisse, the St. James, LA, product was a four-star member of LSU’s 2017 recruiting class. He took a redshirt last season after enrolling early as he continued to rehab significant knee injuries he sustained in high school.
McMillan, meanwhile, has already graduated from LSU. He’s thrown exactly one more pass in his collegiate career than I have, but would be eligible to play immediately at another FBS school if that’s the tack he takes.
It’s not even remotely worrisome to the point of full-blown fretting, but there’s at least a pause for concern.
Alabama running back Najee Harris missed Monday’s practice with what is being described as a lower-body injury. Tuesday, Harris missed his second consecutive day of practice because of the same injury.
BamaCentral.com wrote that “Harris was seen before practice with his leg in a small scooter so he can keep his weight off of it.” It’s believed the sophomore suffered the injury during the Crimson Tide’s scrimmage this past Saturday.
It remains unclear how much longer Harris will be sidelined, although al.com reported the injury, which that website is saying involves one of the back’s feet, will probably sideline him for the next couple of weeks of practice. On a positive front, that same site notes that there’s a “good chance” Harris is available for the opener Sept. 1 against Louisville.
Head coach Nick Saban is not scheduled to meet again with the media until Thursday, which will likely be the next official update on Harris’ status moving forward.
Last season as a true freshman, Harris finished fourth on the Tide in rushing yards (370) and rushing touchdowns (three). He averaged more than six yards per on his 61 carries.
The good news is that, outside of Harris, ‘Bama returns two of its leading rushers from a year ago — Damien Harris (team-leading 1,000 yards) and Josh Jacobs (284) — should the other Harris’ injury linger on beyond the next couple of weeks.