Dallas Colleges: Isaiah Crowell
|A conversation about Manti Te'o takes a strange twist in Friday's Ben & Skin Landry Locker room and Johnny Football continues to handle the college life like a boss. |
Here's how the Texas A&M running backs we looked at last year did in 2012:
6. Christine Michael, Texas A&M: Like Lattimore, Michael was coming off of an ACL injury this fall, but he never seemed to really fit in the Aggies' new spread scheme. Eventually, he really wasn't Texas A&M's first option at running back and he finished the season with 417 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns in 11 games of action.
Who was overlooked:
- Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M: The Heisman winner was arguably the nation's most elusive player in the country when he took off running. He shredded defenses all season and led the SEC with 1,410 yards and 21 touchdowns. He also averaged 7 yards per carry.
It's almost time for hundreds of media folk to pile into a swanky ballroom and kick off another year of SEC media days.
The festivities begin Tuesday at the Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover, Ala., and last until Thursday afternoon. The event serves as the unofficial kickoff to SEC football season.
So what should we be on the lookout for this year?
Well, the biggest news is all the star power that won't be making the trip. Two of the league's top rushers -- Marcus Lattimore and Christine Michael -- won't be in town. Yes, they are both coming off season-ending injuries, but so is Arkansas' Knile Davis, and he'll be in attendance.
One of the league's best, Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray won't be in Hoover, either. Nor will Bulldogs wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell.
Some other big names not on the list include Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron, LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu, South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and Missouri quarterback James Franklin.
There are a lot of interesting storylines revolving around all those players, who serve as faces for their respective programs, and it's disappointing that they won't be around this week.
However, some quality names are on this year's roster, including Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones, Alabama offensive lineman Barrett Jones, Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson, Texas A&M linebacker Sean Porter, Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray and South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw.
I'm sure they'll all have plenty to say and should keep us all entertained.
Here are some other things to keep an eye on this week:
- If you're coming into town, make sure you bring your protective gear for Thursday. That's when Alabama's up, and you'd better believe the lobby will be jam-packed with Tide fans. They come out in full force and expect things to be even tighter this year after that championship.
- Arkansas players will have to answer a lot of questions surrounding their former coach, Bobby Petrino. How much of a distraction will his exit be this fall?
- Also, what will new Arkansas coach John L. Smith say? He sure knows how to make a news conference exciting, so don't expect anything to be different in front of all those SEC scribes.
- One coach not afraid to put on a show while at the podium is South Carolina's Steve Spurrier. The Head Ball Coach has been chirping this year, and he probably won't stop in Hoover.
- Last year, there were a lot of questions about the quarterback talent in this league. This year, that isn't the case, as the league is as plentiful at the position as it has been in years.
- Although only Davis will be in town, expect a lot of talk about three of the league's best running backs all coming off major, season-ending injuries.
- Georgia has had an eventful offseason away from the field, and it's time to see how players and coach Mark Richt are feeling about all of the silly distractions. Also, what's in store for the Bulldogs' running game now that Isaiah Crowell is gone?
- I wonder how many times Nick Saban and his players will be asked questions about comparisons to the 2010 team. You know how much Saban loves comparison talk. ...
- Tennessee coach Derek Dooley should field a lot of questions about his job security this week. Regardless of how you feel about the time he's had and all the issues he's had to deal with, his seat is hotter than ever.
- Texas A&M and Missouri are now officially members of the SEC. How will their players and coaches react to being surrounded by all those SEC writers? And how many more questions will they get about adjusting to their new conference?
- LSU was on top of the college football world until last year's national championship. The Tigers bring back a boatload of talent, but can they finish things this year?
- The good news for Auburn, South Carolina and Tennessee is their coaches won't have to deal with NCAA questions, unlike last year.
Texas' Malcolm Brown and Georgia's Isaiah Crowell have done just that, leading their respective teams in rushing in the 2011 season.
Green, however, was stuck on Nebraska's bench behind Rex Burkhead and fellow newcomer Ameer Abdullah. He rushed just 24 times for 105 yards and two touchdowns.
He decided he wanted a change of pace, and tweeted this week that he planned to transfer to TCU. No official announcement has been made, but if Green does indeed land in Fort Worth, the impact could be a welcome sign for the whole new world TCU has opened up with its Big 12 membership.
TCU has three 700-yard rushers returning in 2012 for its inaugural season in the Big 12, but do the Horned Frogs land Green if they're still stuck in the Mountain West?
Do they even sniff Green?
He's just a transfer, and will sit out a year, but he was the No. 11 player in the nation in 2011. How many of those has TCU ever landed?
More importantly, how many more will they get?
Those are all rhetorical questions with very scary answers for the rest of the Big 12. Green isn't from the Dallas metroplex, he hails from San Antonio.
On the recruiting trail, I've predicted that TCU will see huge dividends in the DFW area. Green doesn't exactly personify that idea, but TCU is a program in a major metro area that's proved it can win on the big stage.
Can it continue to win big in a bigger league? Green apparently didn't need much convincing to believe it could.
It'd be foolish for Green to try and earn a waiver to play immediately. After this season, two of TCU's three rushers who received at least 100 carries in 2011 will graduate, and Green looks like a perfect fit. I said he should go to TCU as soon as he announced plans to leave Nebraska.
Can TCU win big in the Big 12? Green looks poised to help the Horned Frogs prove they can.
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