July 13, 2017 8:10:41 AM
Today, we preview three teams no one thinks will win the SEC and then we all leave town.
Once more, more updates are coming on Twitter (@Brett_Hudson).
SOUTH CAROLINA: Will Muschamp, QB Jake Bentley, TE Hayden Hurst, WR Deebo Samuel
- Muschamp's out here talking trash about his hoop game. I'll take him in 1-on-1 whenever he wants.
- Muschamp said he was going to redshirt Jake Bentley last year. He ended the year as the starting quarterback. Football is weird sometimes.
- Muschamp says tight end Hayden Hurst was the first sophomore in school history to be voted a team captain.
- Muschamp on not bringing a defensive player to Hoover: had some test and class conflicts, but also, last time he did that the defense didn't play very well.
- Muschamp has challenged his (numerous) returning defensive starters in the weight room.
- On kickers, South Carolina loses a good one in Elliott Fry, but says Alex Woznick has the skill to be just as good.
- Muschamp: "It's a delight to coach (Hayden Hurst)."
- Pat Dooley of the Gainesville Sun introduces himself before a question as, "What's left of Pat Dooley." Muschamp responds: "It ain't much."
- Muschamp strikes again, as the Orlando Sentinel's Mike Bianchi identifies himself: "They could use your voice to torture prisoners of war."
- Muschamp says young quarterbacks playing immediately in the SEC is, "like drinking water out of a fire hose."
- In trying to decide what to do at quarterback last year after losing to Georgia, Muschamp said he called his AD, Ray Tanner, the former baseball coach, and asked him if he was crazy to play a kid that should be in his senior year of high school.
- Good question from a fellow at SEC Country on run-pass options in offenses and how they might impact the guys he recruits. He said it doesn't really change the kind of athlete he recruits, just how he schemes with them.
- Let me try to explain what just happened to Hayden Hurst. So this reporter I don't know showed him a picture of an advertising picture of some sort. It was a picture of him on the field paired with an advertisement for a.....intimacy enhancement device.....with a tagline involving, "Rugby inspired." The reporter asked him about and he, obviously, said he had never seen it before and that it was, "interesting." Apparently the reporter found it on Reddit.
- Jake Bentley said he was inspired by Marcus Lattimore growing up.
- Deebo Samuel said he's known Jake Bentley since he was in 9th grade, so his maturity in the program after skipping his senior year of high school to go to South Carolina didn't surprise him.
AUBURN: Gus Malzahn, K Daniel Carlson, DB Tray Matthews, OL Braden Smith
- Malzahn calls Braden Smith, "one of the more talented offensive linemen I've had at Auburn." He was a 1st-teamer on my ballot, for what that's worth.
- Malzahn says Daniel Carlson has parents and grandparents that are Alabama grads. Interesting.
- In a statement that would make me laugh if I were on the Auburn beat, Malzahn says the biggest question mark on the team is who will start at punter. Punters are important, I know, but there's no way that's your biggest question mark: a guy that, in theory, plays three or fewer plays per game. I reject this statement.
- Malzahn: "The biggest comfort for me is that we have quality depth at the quarterback position right now."
- Now Malzahn's getting the catching up to Alabama question. "What I do like about this team is they have high expectations. They expect to win the SEC Championship. The last two times we beat them, we won the league."
- Malzahn on how Braden Smith has grown: "In his first two years I would always get short answers from him. Sometimes just a grunt."
- Malzahn says the team is in need of pass rush help and is looking at Marlin Davidson to be the one to do it.
- Stop asking Auburn about moving to the SEC East. Stop it.
- Malzahn just compared this team to the 2013 team in that it weathered a storm the year before and was hungry for more. The 2013 team went to the national title game, so that's not a small statement.
- Malzahn: "Kevin Steele is a great coach. A truly great coach." Sir, there are some numbers that would disagree with that statement.
- Malzahn called graduate transfer offensive lineman Wilson Bell, "a mountain of a man."
- Malzahn says the wide receiver group took the next step over the spring. Also called John Franklin III, quarterback-turned-wideout for this season, is one of the fastest in-pads guys he's ever seen.
- Here's a quote I'm sure you guys will have fun with: "Hugh (Freeze) is one of the good guys of college football." And that was his last quote. Outstanding.
OLE MISS: Hugh Freeze, QB Shea Patterson, OL Javon Patterson, DT Breeland Speaks
- Freeze points out that every year since his first, there's been something other than football to talk about than his football team.
- "We look forward to our meeting with the Committee on Infractions and putting this behind us."
- Freeze says that things going on around the program have no impact on players ability to get degrees or make themselves better as men. He also takes pride in no players leaving the program in this time, which he takes to mean, "something is right inside our walls."
- Freeze blames himself for struggles last year, saying, "I did a poor job of recapturing the confidence we needed to finish the season the way we hoped to."
- "Mental toughness is the secret sauce."
- Some folks are beginning to wonder if Freeze is filibustering this thing to avoid questions.
- Now Hugh Freeze is going over the roster and the new additions to the coaching staff. Probably his favorite part of the day (behind getting on the plane to leave in a few hours).
- Freeze: "While I would love to give my opinion on it, it's a legal matter and I can't comment on it at this time." Finally, the moment we were all waiting for.
- In the face of the bowl ban, Freeze says he's setting the team up to have, "its finest hour."
- Freeze jokes he may go for it on 4th down a lot more this year. Go all in on it, never punt is definitely a thing at certain high schools.
- Freeze: "I've said for so long the scope of college football is so hard to manage with all the tentacles it has." He later said, "educating your boosters is huge."
- "Is it possible to always do everything? I don't know."
- Freeze recognizes the role Shea Patterson has in keeping the locker room together in these times.
- Freeze is asked who is responsible for his having to answer questions like these today. "We created it in and around our program."