SEC lunchtime links
August, 4, 2014
By Sam Khan Jr. | ESPN.com
With camps underway or about to open, there is no shortage of news and notes from around the SEC. Let's dive right in:
- LSU junior safety Jalen Mills, who was arrested in June after he was alleged to have punched a woman this spring, will be charged with misdemeanor simple battery. He has been suspended from the team since his arrest. Mills is one of two players missing from the team as the Tigers open training camp, with a quarterback battle headlining the coming weeks.
- When it comes to the Alabama quarterback competition, the majority of the attention is focused on Florida State transfer Jacob Coker. On Sunday, coach Nick Saban made it a point to say, "No one ever seems to ask about Blake Sims, but he has done extremely well so far in camp as well."
- If you're looking for a quarterback competition in Fayetteville, don't hold your breath. Arkansas coach Bret Bielema said Brandon Allen is the starter and his teammates, like Bielema, have confidence in the junior signal-caller. Beyond that, the Razorbacks are ready to get down to business and are tired of talking.
- True freshman guard Braden Smith, an ESPN 300 recruit in Auburn's 2014 recruiting class, is drawing comparisons to Ivan Drago from Rocky IV.
- Vanderbilt's leading rusher from 2013, Jerron Seymour, sat out the Commodores' first four practices but coach Derek Mason said "Jerron will be out here soon enough."
- Overwhelmed at times last year, a 20-pound heavier Jordan Mastrogiovanni at middle linebacker is the key to a Texas A&M defense seeking improvement, a unit that defensive coordinator Mark Snyder said has the best depth it has had in three years.
- Georgia quarterback Hutson Mason wore a pin on Friday in honor of his fallen friend and high school teammate, former Auburn tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen. His story on why is touching.
- Vanderbilt senior Kyle Woestmann is making the transition from defensive end to linebacker. Mason said "He is ready."
- South Carolina running back Mike Davis wore a yellow no-contact jersey in practice on Sunday, but Steve Spurrier said Davis could be full-go in Monday's practice.
- Robert Nkemdiche is confident a strong sophomore season is on deck. So much so that the Ole Miss defensive tackle joked, "They're going to have to tell me to chill."
- Kentucky opened camp bright and early Monday morning. Junior college transfer safety A.J. Stamps was among the first day standouts for the Wildcats.
- Missouri hits the practice field Monday afternoon and with many new players stepping into key roles, the Tigers are preparing to write a new chapter while maintaining a long-established pattern of success under Gary Pinkel.
- Can Mississippi State take the next step? The Bulldogs believe this is the year.
- Vernon Hargreaves III has already established himself as an elite cornerback. Florida coach Will Muschamp says "He's a pro at what he does."
- Von Pearson's path to Tennessee, which included a journey that had him out of football for a time, has brought life to the Volunteers' receivers.
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