SEC: Mitch Petrus

Super Bowl rings for SEC players

February, 6, 2012
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Super Bowl XLVI MVP Eli Manning was one of 10 former SEC players on the New York Giants' roster who will soon be getting Super Bowl championship rings.

Here's the entire list:
Also, offensive tackle Stacy Andrews (Ole Miss), receiver Michael Clayton (LSU) and linebacker Jonathan Goff (Vanderbilt) were on the Giants' injured reserve list.

Grant, Trattou and Clayton joined an exclusive club. They've now won a national championship in college football and a Super Bowl championship in pro football. Webster had already accomplished that feat. He was a part of the Giants' 2007 Super Bowl championship team.

Grant played on Tennessee's 1998 national championship team. Trattou played on Florida's 2008 national championship team, while Clayton and Webster were both on LSU's 2003 national championship team.

Lunchtime links: Mettenberger to miss at least one game

March, 17, 2010
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Making the rounds in the SEC:

SEC combine report: Tate sparkles

March, 1, 2010
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The NFL combine wraps up Monday and Tuesday, and already several former SEC players have helped themselves.

A few might have hurt themselves, too.

Auburn running back Ben Tate had a super workout session. Weighing 220 pounds, he turned in the third fastest 40-yard dash time among the running backs (4.43), was second among the running backs with a 40.5-inch vertical leap and tied for the most reps on the bench-press among running backs with 26. He also had a 10-4 broad jump, which tied Tennessee's Montario Hardesty for first among the running backs.

Hardesty, who had bulked up to 225 pounds, ran a 4.49 40-yard dash and did 21 reps on the bench.

The defensive linemen and linebackers are working out on Monday, and Georgia defensive tackle Jeff Owens set the bar pretty high on the bench-press with 44 reps. His teammate, Geno Atkins, did 34 reps. As a comparison, Nebraska's Ndamukong Suh did 32 reps.

Kentucky linebacker Micah Johnson put up 31 reps Monday morning.

The strongest former SEC player of the combine was Arkansas offensive guard Mitch Petrus, who did 45 reps over the weekend. That tied a combine record (since 2000).

The fastest former SEC player was LSU return specialist Trindon Holliday, who ran a 4.34 40-yard dash.

Florida quarterback Tim Tebow didn't throw at the combine. He'll show off his new delivery at the Gators' pro day on March 17, but he did demonstrate what kind of athlete he is. He ran a 4.72 40-yard dash, fourth fastest among the quarterbacks, and tied Josh McCown's record for quarterbacks with a 38.5-inch vertical leap. Tebow's hands (10 1/8) also measured the largest of the quarterbacks.

One of the biggest surprises of the combine so far was that Ole Miss' Dexter McCluster didn't turn in a faster 40 time. Weighing 172 pounds, McCluster ran a 4.55, but did show off his strength with 20 reps on the bench-press.

LSU receiver Brandon LaFell also had a disappointing 40 time (4.6), while Ole Miss' Shay Hodge was even slower (4.63).

Some players chose not to run the 40 and/or work out because they were injured or simply wanted to wait until their school's pro day. Florida tight end Aaron Hernandez had a strained back and didn't run.

The defensive backs work out on Tuesday.

Lunchtime links: Tebow defends Super Bowl ad

January, 27, 2010
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Some SEC football treats to munch on:

SEC players in East-West Shrine Game

January, 14, 2010
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Ole Miss defensive end Greg Hardy, who was injured for much of the season, has been selected to play in the East-West Shrine Game.

Other SEC players on the East roster include Ole Miss kicker Joshua Shene, Mississippi State linebacker Jamar Chaney, LSU tight end Richard Dickson, LSU defensive end Rahim Alem, Alabama safety Justin Woodall, Arkansas offensive lineman Mitch Petrus, Florida linebacker Ryan Stamper, South Carolina safety Darian Stewart and Tennessee offensive tackle Chris Scott.

SEC Players of the Week

November, 2, 2009
11/02/09
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Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low

The SEC league office has announced its top performers from Week 9:

OFFENSE

Anthony Dixon, RB, Mississippi State: Rushed for a school-record 252 yards and two touchdowns in Mississippi State’s 31-24 win at Kentucky. His 3-yard touchdown run in the final minute of the third quarter put the Bulldogs ahead to stay. Dixon now has 1,001 rushing yards on the season.

DEFENSE

Walt McFadden, DB, Auburn: Tied a career high with five tackles, including 1.5 tackles for loss, and had two interceptions in the Tigers’ 33-20 victory over Ole Miss. He returned his first interception 29 yards for a touchdown, and his second interception sealed the game with Ole Miss driving in the final minutes.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Caleb Sturgis, PK, Florida: Booted a career-long 56-yard field goal in the first half against Georgia, while also completing a 44-yard attempt in the Gators’ 41-17 win against the Bulldogs. His 56-yarder was the second-longest field goal in school history and the longest field goal in the SEC this season.

OFFENSIVE LINEMAN

Mitch Petrus, G, Arkansas: Led a Hogs' offensive line that didn't allow a sack in the 63-27 win over Eastern Michigan. The Hogs finished with 297 yards passing and 292 yards rushing.

DEFENSIVE LINEMAN

Antonio Coleman, DE, Auburn: Recorded five tackles, while tying career highs with four tackles for loss, including two sacks, along with one forced fumble, four quarterback hurries and one blocked kick in the Tigers’ 33-20 victory over Ole Miss.

FRESHMAN

Janzen Jackson, DB, Tennessee: Collected seven solo tackles, forced a fumble and contributed two pass breakups in Tennessee’s 31-13 win over South Carolina. His big hit on the game’s third play from scrimmage resulted in a South Carolina fumble that Tennessee recovered and turned into seven points just two plays later.

The SEC's 'scariest' players

October, 29, 2009
10/29/09
3:00
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Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low

With Halloween just around the corner and all the goblins sure to be out on Saturday night, I’ll take a stab at the 12 scariest players in the SEC.

These are guys you wouldn’t want to make mad and certainly wouldn’t want to meet in a dark alley if they had an issue with you.

Here’s my list (Hope none of them are mad at me):

1. Alabama linebacker Rolando McClain

2. Florida linebacker Brandon Spikes

3. Mississippi State defensive end Pernell McPhee

4. Arkansas defensive tackle Malcolm Sheppard

5. Kentucky linebacker Micah Johnson

6. Florida safety Major Wright

7. Ole Miss linebacker Patrick Trahan

8. Arkansas offensive guard Mitch Petrus

9. Vanderbilt linebacker Chris Marve

10. Tennessee offensive guard Vladimir Richard

11. Auburn offensive tackle Lee Ziemba

12. LSU defensive tackle Drake Nevis

Lunchtime links: Special chemistry for Gators

September, 16, 2009
9/16/09
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Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low


Checking in on what's happening around the SEC:

Petrus says Hogs' season rests with O-line

August, 7, 2009
8/07/09
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Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low

Arkansas senior guard Mitch Petrus is not one to sugarcoat anything. He'll tell you so himself.

So when he says the Hogs' offensive line needs to be the most improved unit on the team, believe it.

When he says the offensive line is the "X factor" to this offense being one of the most explosive in the country, believe it.

 
  Wesley Hitt/Getty Images
  Guard Mitch Petrus knows the offensive line will be crucial to Arkansas' success.

And when he says he's matured by leaps and bounds after having to sit out last season because he fell short in the classroom, believe it.

"It's important to see things the way they are," said Petrus, a second-team All-SEC selection two years ago. "The truth is that we have good players everywhere else. If the offensive line can hold its own and come through, we're going to be a really good team."

The Hogs return three starters on the offensive line from last season, and plugging Petrus back into the equation makes it four guys who've been full-time starters at some point.

"Mitch plays with a real good attitude," Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino said. "He's kind of nasty and mean and very, very aggressive. That kind of mentality helps the rest of our offensive line, being able to see that and having somebody with that personality playing with them."

It wasn't a pretty sight at times a year ago for anybody associated with the Hogs' offensive line. It allowed a staggering 46 quarterback sacks, which was the second-highest total among all FBS teams.

"It was not acceptable how many sacks we gave up," Petrus said. "We've got to improve, and we've been working hard to get it done. We're headed in the right direction, but we never can be satisfied with where we are.

"What our goal is and what we talk about is that we don't want to take one step forward and two steps back and go back and forth and back and forth and never be getting anywhere. We understand we're going to have bad practices some days, but it's important to not take steps back."

(Read full post)

Arkansas spring wrap-up

May, 5, 2009
5/05/09
9:10
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Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low

Arkansas Razorbacks
2008 overall record: 5-7

2008 conference record: 2-6

Returning starters

Offense: 8; Defense: 9; kicker/punter: 1

Top returners

RB Michael Smith, WR Joe Adams, WR Lucas Miller, TE D.J. Williams, OG Mitch Petrus, DE Adrian Davis, DT Malcolm Sheppard, LB Wendell Davis, LB Jerry Franklin

Key losses

QB Casey Dick, OT Jose Valdez, C Jonathan Luigs, P Jeremy Davis

2008 statistical leaders (* returners)

Rushing: Michael Smith* (1,072 yards)
Passing: Casey Dick (2,586 yards)
Receiving: D.J. Williams* (723 yards)
Tackles: Jerry Franklin* (87)
Sacks: Malcolm Sheppard* (6.5)
Interceptions: Jerry Franklin* and Ramon Broadway* (2)

Spring answers

2009 Schedule
Sept. 5 Missouri State
Sept. 19 Georgia
Sept. 26 at Alabama
Oct. 3 Texas A&M (Arlington)
Oct. 10 Auburn
Oct. 17 at Florida
Oct. 24 at Ole Miss
Oct. 31 Eastern Michigan
Nov. 7 South Carolina
Nov. 14 Troy
Nov. 21 Mississippi State
Nov. 28 at LSU
Mallett takes charge: Arkansas ended the spring with Ryan Mallett as the starter. There was a caveat of sorts, though, from Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino. That's if the Razorbacks played a game today, meaning that Tyler Wilson isn't completely out of the race when preseason practice begins in August. Both Mallett and Wilson threw the ball well and put up big numbers this spring, but it's Mallett's job at this point.

Playmakers galore: The Hogs shouldn't have any shortage of guys who can make a play on offense. Sophomore receivers Jarius Wright, Joe Adams and Greg Childs all had big springs and will be a year better after playing as true freshmen a year ago. D.J. Williams is one of the best pass-catching tight ends in the country, and running back Michael Smith should be healthy again come fall.

Not so defensive on defense: Defensive coordinator Willy Robinson will have the depth and personnel to do more things on defense next season. He was handicapped by inexperience and injuries last season. The linebacker corps is solid, led by senior Wendel Davis, and senior defensive tackle Malcolm Sheppard has bulked up and has the quickness to make life miserable for opposing offensive linemen.

Fall questions

Running game: One of the Razorbacks' priorities during this past recruiting class was to find some bigger running backs to help Smith, who missed the spring while recovering from hamstring surgery. Freshman Knile Davis was having a great spring, but injured his knee. Broderick Green, a 242-pound transfer from Southern California, is another possibility, but he's still waiting to hear if he'll be eligible in the fall.

Navigating the schedule: There's no such thing as an easy schedule in the SEC. But Arkansas' path in 2009 is as brutal as it gets. The Hogs are the only team in the league that has to play at Florida, at Ole Miss, at Alabama and at LSU. They also face Georgia at home and Texas A&M at a neutral site. The Hogs will be a much-improved team. The hard part will be improving their record with such a killer schedule.

Putting the "special" in special teams: Arkansas struggled in most facets of special teams last season. The Hogs were last in the SEC in kickoff coverage and punt return average. They're also replacing their punter, Jeremy Davis, who averaged 43.2 yards per kick. Petrino brought in former Michigan State and Louisville coach John L. Smith to oversee the kicking game, which will need to be better if Arkansas is going to make a move in the West.

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