Originally Published: July 15, 2014

Translating Day 2 of SEC media days

By Sam Khan Jr., Greg Ostendorf and Alex Scarborough | ESPN.com


HOOVER, Ala. -- We know the drill at media days. Coaches can't be completely honest. They have to give tons of credit to their opponents and not say anything controversial. But what if they could say what they really wanted to? Here are our best guesses for what a few people at media days would have said if they could really speak freely:

Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin on whether he's surprised he has become the No. 1 recruiter in Texas:
"If I was surprised, I wouldn't have taken the job. How is that (smiling)?"

Translation: Are you serious? No, I'm not surprised. We're the only program in Texas that can offer recruits a chance to play in the SEC, we just had a Heisman Trophy winner in 2012, we have an exciting offense, I play music at practice and we have a helicopter. Plus, I'm way cooler than Mack Brown and Charlie Strong combined.

Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen on the selection committee: "It's really interesting with the new playoff system because nobody really knows how it's going to affect us. I don't know how the selection process is going to be made. I don't know that anybody does until they get in the room and start selecting teams."

Translation: Please, someone out there explain the process to me. I'm lost. Does it involve the quadratic formula? The Pythagorean theorem? Or maybe a high-stakes version of Pin the Tail on the Donkey? Hopefully, the best teams will get in. But I can't quantify who's "best" for the life of me.

Tennessee coach Butch Jones on the Vols' goals for 2014: "Our goal is quite simply the power of one, one is all-encompassing. With us being as youthful as we are -- almost 50 percent of our football team going through their first college football season -- we have to focus on each moment, one practice, one day at a time, one snap at a time. We can never get ahead of ourselves. That's going to be the challenge."

Translation: We're not there yet. The goal last year was six wins and a bowl berth, but we're young and we lost our entire offensive and defensive lines. The future is bright for Tennessee, but don't expect a dramatic turnaround this season. Be patient.

Sumlin on five-star DE recruit Myles Garrett: "I'll just say this: Our players have respect for Myles Garrett."

Translation: That guy is a beast. He looks like Batman. He might be the best defensive lineman we have on the roster right now, and he's giving our offensive linemen everything they can handle. He's a superstar in the making.

South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier on Alabama's recruiting success: "I think they've had five No. 1 recruiting classes out of the last six years, which has got to make him the greatest recruiter in the history of college football. Arguably, they've got the greatest collection of football players ever assembled for a college team."

Translation: We need an early signing period in college football. But it ought to work a little differently than you might imagine: The rest of us should be allowed to sign recruits before Alabama gets to make its first visit.

SEC media days: Day 2 awards

By Edward Aschoff, Sam Khan Jr. and Greg Ostendorf

HOOVER, Ala. -- With Steve Spurrier and Kevin Sumlin on hand, the second day of SEC media days had no shortage of star power. There were some great quotes, revealing answers and a lot more. With that in mind, let's hand out some hardware.

Steve Spurrier quote of the day
Everything. Spurrier hit on Davy Crockett, "Duck Dynasty" and a lot more, as only he can. Click here for a full rundown on his comments.

Non-Steve Spurrier coach's quote of the day: Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M
"Is this the SEC media days? No, that's a great question ... about the Cleveland Browns. Anybody else got something? Sumlin answered with a grin, but it was clear he wasn't looking to spend much time talking about his former quarterback, even if that's almost all he was asked about.

Player quote of the day: Dylan Thompson, South Carolina
"They said Clowney had thousands of people waiting on him. I think I had three. So [I'm] closely behind."
South Carolina's quarterback used humor when asked about the conference's lack of superstars this year, after the departure of Jadeveon Clowney, Johnny Manziel and AJ McCarron.

Best-dressed duo: Texas A&M's Drew Kaser & Deshazor Everett
Credit to all three Aggies at SEC media days, including Cedric Ogbuehi, who all matched socks to another article of clothing. But Everett and Kaser stood out among the rest, as you can see below. Not pictured are Kaser's deerskin shoes, which he was quite proud of.

Best personality: A.J. Johnson, Tennessee
For someone who has never been one to really open up to the media, Tennessee linebacker A.J. Johnson had no problem speaking on Tuesday. From entering an interview room with a knock on the door and saying "Housekeeping" to showing off his incredibly short "Power T" Tennessee tie, Johnson was as bubbly as ever. The 6-foot-2, 242-pound senior admitted that he cries at times and even talked about how he's been growing his hair, which nearly runs down his entire back, for seven years.

Best off-field talent: Jay Hughes, Mississippi State
If you look up Hughes on Mississippi State's website, there's a photo of him playing the electric guitar. It's no joke. He can play, and he certainly knows his music. He said his favorite artist is legend George Benson, but he's a big fan of John Mayer on the guitar and he recently saw Prince in concert. "Whoa, you've got to see Prince," he said.


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