SEC: Ed Christian

Lunchtime links

June, 18, 2012
Not the most exciting finish to the U.S. Open, but that squawking fan was pretty entertaining. So are all of these links ...
Desmonte Leonard, the suspect in the shooting deaths Saturday night of three people during a party near Auburn University is scheduled to appear in court for the first time.

The 22-year-old Leonard, who turned himself into authorities Tuesday after a three-day manhunt, is scheduled to go before a judge Thursday morning in Opelika, Ala. He faces three counts of capital murder in the shooting deaths of former Auburn football players Ed Christian and Ladarious Phillips and Auburn resident Demario Pitts.

Leonard is also accused of wounding three others, including current Auburn offensive lineman Eric Mack, who was shot near the hip.

Because Leonard is charged with capital murder, bond is not expected to be set.

Video: Arrests made in Auburn case

June, 11, 2012

Mark Schwarz reports on the two arrests made in the Auburn shooting case.

SEC lunch links

June, 11, 2012
We take a look at some of what's happening in the SEC on this day while keeping our friends at Auburn in our thoughts and prayers:
Our hearts go out to the entire Auburn community after the shooting deaths of three young men late Saturday night, including former football players Ed Christian and Ladarious Phillips.

Eric Mack, a sophomore offensive lineman, was also wounded. Auburn police said Mack has non-life threatening injuries.

The third fatality was Auburn resident Demario Pitts, and two others were wounded at University Heights apartments near campus. Police are still searching for the alleged shooter -- Desmonte Leonard of Montgomery, Ala.

According to police, the shootings stemmed from a fight that broke out at the apartments, and police said the only connection the Auburn players had was that they were the "victim of a brutal shooting."

Auburn police chief Tommy Dawson added, "I don't believe they were targeted. I believe it was a fight that went too far."

Phillips was a fullback for the Tigers and left the team in April. He was planning on transferring to Jacksonville State. Christian was an offensive linemen whose career was cut short by back problems. He was expected to finish his education at Auburn as a medical redshirt.

Now is not the time to delve into the specifics of this unspeakable tragedy. Three young men are dead, and a fourth is fighting for his life.

We mourn their loss and hope that the families can find a way to get through this.

Auburn is a tight-knit community, and I know there will be an outpouring of support for everybody involved. It's also a community that has shown its resiliency in the past.

All of us remotely connected to the SEC ache for what they're going through on the Plains right now.

The SEC's impact redshirt freshmen

February, 18, 2011
A pair of SEC players -- Alabama quarterback Phillip Sims and LSU defensive lineman Ego Ferguson -- made ESPN colleague Bruce Feldman’s national list of impact redshirt freshmen for next season.

I’ve come up with 12 more redshirt freshmen in the SEC to keep an eye on for 2011. They’re listed alphabetically:

Michael Bennett, WR, Georgia: With A.J. Green and Kris Durham departing, the Bulldogs are looking for more playmakers at receiver, and the 6-3, 202-pound Bennett is a terrific athlete with the ability to go up and get the football.

Ferlando Bohanna, LB, Mississippi State: All three starting linebackers from a year ago are gone, including the Bulldogs’ two tackle leaders, Chris White and K.J. Wright. The 6-foot, 235-pound Bohanna has the size and speed to step in and be a starter.

A.J. Cann, OG, South Carolina: Steve Spurrier talked like Cann might have a chance to play as a true freshman. The Gamecocks are losing four senior offensive linemen who made starts last season, which means Cann will get his shot in 2011.

Ed Christian, OG, Auburn: Four spots are up for grabs in the Tigers’ offensive with the four senior starters departing. Christian may end up battling another redshirt freshman, Eric Mack, for one of the starting guard jobs.

Chris Dunkley, WR, Florida: The Gators are looking for anybody on the perimeter who can make plays, and Dunkley showed a lot of promise last season and would have played as a true freshman had he not been saddled with hamstring problems.

Brandon Gainer, TB, Kentucky: The weight room has been good to Gainer, who’s bulked up to more than 215 pounds. He was pushing to play last season, but was slowed by injury. With Derrick Locke gone, the Wildcats need Gainer to make a move next season.

Victor Hampton, CB, South Carolina: Ellis Johnson, South Carolina’s assistant coach for the defense, is putting out an APB for anybody who can help improve the Gamecocks’ pass coverage. Hampton had some issues off the field before he got to South Carolina, but is plenty talented.

Chris Martin, LB, Florida: After originally signing with California, the 6-4, 240-pound Martin decided to transfer to Florida and was required to sit out and redshirt last season. He was a terror on the Gators’ scout team and will be a big addition to their defense in 2011.

Trovon Reed, WR, Auburn: A knee injury that followed him from high school was the only thing that kept Reed off the field last season. He drew rave reviews during the preseason when he did practice and is a perfect fit for Gus Malzahn’s offense.

Vincent Sanders, WR, Ole Miss: One of the Rebels’ highest profile signees a year ago, the 6-3, 180-pound Sanders will be counted on to add some pop to the deep passing game. Ole Miss needs its receivers to make more plays down the field next season, especially with Markeith Summers gone.

Ronnie Vinson, CB, LSU: An injury sidelined Vinson after playing in the first three games last season, and LSU is listing him as a redshirt freshman in 2011. The Tigers have a bundle of young talent in their secondary, and Vinson is right there at the top.

DeAndrew White, WR, Alabama: In offseason workouts a year ago, White impressed several of his older teammates. With Julio Jones turning pro, the Crimson Tide will be looking for help for Marquis Maze and Darius Hanks, and White is ready to provide that help.