SEC lunchtime links
August, 5, 2014
By Sam Khan Jr. | ESPN.com
Traditions, position changes, underrated players, suspension news and even anonymous scouting reports on SEC teams. It's all here for you in today's lunch links:
- Florida opened practice Monday and coach Will Muschamp said he couldn't sleep the night before the first practice because of the anticipation of the new season. Understandable after the Gators' brutal 2013 campaign.
- Nick Marshall will not start Auburn's season opener against Arkansas, so that means Jeremy Johnson likely gets the nod, right? Not so fast, offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee said; he wants to see Johnson take the next step in the "maturation process."
- After a felony charge of second-degree battery was reduced to misdemeanor simple battery, LSU safety Jalen Mills had his suspension lifted and returned to the practice field for the Tigers on Monday. Les Miles said, "We're moving forward."
- Junior college transfer linebacker Ryan Flannigan just arrived at Kentucky and he's eager to learn quickly in hopes of being an instant-impact player for the Wildcats.
- LSU running back Terrence Magee will wear No. 18 this season. It's a tradition passed down from season to season, and here's why.
- Alabama offensive coordinator and former Tennessee and USC head coach Lane Kiffin still has head coaching aspirations, naturally. "I think that's always in your blood when you're competitive," Kiffin said.
- Missouri coach Gary Pinkel clarified the status of receiver Levi Copelin, who is suspended for the 2014 season because of a failed drug test. Pinkel said Copelin can practice, but not play in games or travel.
- Speaking of Missouri receivers, Pinkel is giving running back Marcus Murphy a look at the position in training camp in hopes of getting him on the field more.
- In case you missed it, Arkansas four-star quarterback recruit Ty Storey signed a financial aid agreement with the school. Storey, the 18th-ranked pocket passer in the nation, committed to the Razorbacks more than a year ago.
- Georgia inside linebacker Amarlo Herrera is receiving high praise from his teammates, who say he is underrated.
- There is no shortage of running backs in Ole Miss' backfield. There is also no clear favorite among the group at the moment.
- Mike Davis returned to practice Monday for South Carolina and showed no ill effects from the hamstring injury that kept him out recently.
- Texas A&M has much better depth at linebacker this season and linebacker coach Mark Hagen said the group is operating much smoother this year than last.
- Tennessee coach Butch Jones was quite unhappy with the Volunteers' showing at practice on Monday. "We have to stop using youth as a crutch, or as an excuse," Jones said.
- Vanderbilt junior quarterback Josh Grady will make a position change to wide receiver.
- It's often a challenge to get coaches to speak candidly about topics, particularly their opponents, but give them some anonymity and things change. Here's a look at SEC coaches had to say about all 14 teams in the league.
12:00 PM ET UAB Arkansas 3:30 PM ET 1 Mississippi State Kentucky 4:00 PM ET Vanderbilt Missouri 7:15 PM ET 3 Ole Miss 24 LSU 7:30 PM ET South Carolina 5 Auburn 7:30 PM ET 4 Alabama Tennessee