Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

February 4, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Edward Aschoff

Edward Aschoff
  (12:03 PM)

Greetings, everyone. It's been far too long. Hope you're all well rested after the Super Bowl. Isn't something big happening Wednesday?

Steven (Samson aka Snuff City) [via mobile]

Hi Ed, What team do you expect to surprise us all on signing day? Also do you think Auburn finishes with a top 10 class especially if they get Adams, Foster, McKenzie, and another surprise recruit?

Edward Aschoff
  (12:07 PM)

I actually think it will be Auburn. Getting Lawson back was huge, but Adams has a real chance of picking Auburn. Foster's early departure from his official visit to Auburn probably knocks the Tigers down a few pegs, but the Tigers could still hold onto DE Tashawn Bower, which would be huge, and Elijah Daniel (Ole Miss DE commit) just visited, so keep an eye on him. Landing some big names Wednesday would put the Tigers in the top 10

Aggie Fishfinder (San Antone)

Who are we going to miss more? Kliff Kingsbury, Ryan Swope, Demontre Moore, or Luke Joeckel?

Edward Aschoff
  (12:08 PM)

I think it's Moore. Having young, talented receivers and Jake Matthews will help, but no one on that roster can make up for the loss of Moore. Plus, most of that front seven is gone, so the Aggies need someone who can be an immediate playmaker on defense next year.

divakar (colorado springs)

Hi Edward, If Ole Miss ends up landing top recruits, do you think it will be a force in SEC West along with BAMA, LSU and TA&M to watch for?

Edward Aschoff
  (12:10 PM)

I think that if things continue the way they are going, Ole Miss will be more relevant in the SEC West, yes. But we've seen good recruiting classes make it to campus and fizzle out. The coaching has to build off what happened this fall. Getting stars is great, but you still have to coach them up. Ole Miss could have won nine games last year. With so much coming back and coming in, the Rebels will be a team to watch next season ...

Derek (Athens,GA)

Why has UGA struggled to recruit OL and RB positions this year? The depth should certainly be appealing to seniors.

Edward Aschoff
  (12:12 PM)

With Gurley and Marshall on campus, I can see why it's been tough, but you'd think the offensive line would be better. There are a few redshirt freshmen on the offensive line, but you can never really have too many offensive linemen. Getting Laremy Tunsil would be huge for the Dawgs.

Blues (SEC Blog)

Ed - believe me, I would be glad to have somoene of Foster's talent at Bama, but leaving in the middle of his official visit to he potential trouble for whoever signs him?

Edward Aschoff
  (12:13 PM)

He's had a rollar coaster recruiting life this year and I think some red flags have been raised. He was committed to two schools and then left one to go to its biggest rival. Not good. he has to get his mind right before he gets on campus ...

Aggie Fishfinder (San Antone)

Will you be in College Station next year for the A&M vs. Bama game? How likely will College Gameday be there?

Edward Aschoff
  (12:14 PM)

I'd love to be there. But I don't think Bama fans would like that very much. Last time I was around for that game, well, we all know what happened. I'm sure both will be top-10 teams so it wouldn't surprise me, but remember, CBS will probably want that game in Week 2

jeremy (rossville ga)

due to the concerns of PED now at alabama do you the ncaa will be investigating the crimson tide? Will the ncaa start strict testing nationwide?

Edward Aschoff
  (12:15 PM)

I think this is something NCAA is going to have to look into across the nation. Alabama isn't the only team mentioned by SWATS. I think PEDs at the college level are going to be in the conversation a lot more now. I don't know how much of a problem it really is at this level, but everyone is looking for some sort of edge, and I think the NCAA is going to have to look into it much more now and fix testings.

Chris [via mobile]

Which UGA player is poised for the breakout year? I think Justin Scott-Wesley or Ray Drew will have better seasons next year.

Edward Aschoff
  (12:17 PM)

I've heard good things about Scott-Wesley, but he just couldn't move up the depth chart last year. Ray Drew still hasn't wowed me either. Look for Josh Harvey-Clemons or Jordan Jenkins to really breakout next year. HC is a freak athlete, but they just don't know where they are going to put him. He can play offense and defense, so that'll have to be worked out this spring. Jenkins looks like he could be a star in the making, so keep an eye on him as he tries to replace Jarvis Jones.

philshiftly (GA)

What was your favorite Super Bowl commercial Dash?

Edward Aschoff
  (12:18 PM)

The Mercedes one was cool. The Clydesdale one was good. I loved the Taco Bell one with the old folks. Wasn't thrilled with the movie trailers though. Was hoping for an After Earth trailer :(

Nate (Ann Arbor, MI)

With the recent improvements at Ole Miss and Vandy doesn't that "rivalry" seem poised to become more exciting and legit than ever before?

Edward Aschoff
  (12:20 PM)

I think so actually. Ole Miss has really, really struggled against Vandy lately and I think it's something that the Rebels are really upset about. It's not UF-UGA or Alabama-Auburn, but it's developed into a fun little rivalry in the SEC. And they do recruit the same kids, for the most part.

Dmb22777 (blog) [via mobile]

Any positive chance Missouri gets Elliot to come play for the home team? Any other players of note that may drink the kool aid and sign on to Mizzou?

Edward Aschoff
  (12:24 PM)

Ezekiel Elliott has to be the top player on Mizzou's list right now. He's committed to Ohio State, but his parents both went to MU and his dad played ball there. After his visit he seemed pretty confused about things. He isn't talking right now, but he's having a lot of time to think, which I think favors Mizzou. It's going to be tough to keep him from signing with OSU, but his ties to Mizzou have the Tigers primed for the upset. He's signing late, so there will be a lot of anxious Mizzou folks that day. My gut says he stays with OSU.

Todd (Accounting)

What team is going to have the hardest time replacing the players they lost?

Edward Aschoff
  (12:26 PM)

LSU. Ten early entrees says it all. Plus they were all important players to some extent. I think they'll be fine without Spencer Ware and Michael Ford, but basically the entire d-line is gone and their best defender (Kevin Minter) is gone. LSU has a lot of work to do, and the coaches will have to look at even more youngsters this spring/summer/fall.

MikeDaTiger (SEC Boards)

I know Ole Miss is probably still the front runner for Nkemdiche, but come on, how can you say no to Shaq?

Edward Aschoff
  (12:27 PM)

Nkemdiche is doing it the right way. He committed way too early to a school he was NEVER going to, but now he's just traveling around having fun. He was never going to commit to UF, but he visited and had fun in Gainesville. He went LSU during the weekend of the Super Bowl! His heart -- and brother -- is at Ole Miss.

Concerned Gamecocks (Chicago)

Should the Gamecocks use their Tight Ends more this year to help fill the loss of Ace Sanders in the passing game, or do they have receivers you think will step up? Will this be a breakout year for Shaq Roland?

Edward Aschoff
  (12:29 PM)

With the talented tights ends they have, I think it's safe to assume they'll do that. Not having a big threat like Sanders there means that staff is searching for someone to help Bruce Ellington. Shaq Roland was a non factor last year. They has to change in 2013. He has the highest celling at receiver, but didn't develop fast enough. I think there's more pressure on him to step up this fall.

Isaac ((Holiday Inn Express))

Ed, What do you think of the Hogs recruiting with BB's short time on campus? Do you see us grabbing Alex Collins, Dwayne Johnson, and Denver Kirkland?

Edward Aschoff
  (12:33 PM)

Getting Collins or Altee Tenpenny would be huge for Bielema. It has been pretty quiet for the Hogs overall, but keeping TE Hunter Henry committed was huge. I think he can make an immediate impact, and he's probably going to have to for the Hogs. I also like how BB went into Miami and got De'Andre Coley from Miami Northwestern. Gotta hit the southeast, especially Florida. I can't speak on Johnson or Kirkland, but I think this class is rounding out about the way BB and his staff expected to. Getting one of those RBs would be a great way to close.

David Williams (Oxford, MS)

Does Hugh Freeze have the edge on Chris Jones?

Edward Aschoff
  (12:35 PM)

The fact he visited Ole Miss TWICE over the weekend is big. He says he knows where he's going and he saw Ole Miss last. His parents went too, and that's big. I'd give Ole Miss the edge right now, but there are still plenty of hours for this thing to change.

Aggie_Fishfinder (San Antone)

We lose 3 starting receivers to graduation. Do you see us having a problem with replacement, or do you think that our Corps is strong enough to fill in the gaps that we lost?

Edward Aschoff
  (12:37 PM)

Having Manziel back is big because he can create more time for those younger receivers to get open. The Aggies are bringing in some top receiving targets for him to work with and having Mike EVans back is a major plus. He'll battle for the crown of top WR in the SEC this fall. Keep an eye on Malcome Kennedy. He came up with the game-winning touchdown catch against Alabama. Sounds like he could be a real player for the Aggies.

Iusedtobedancanup [via mobile]

Ed your thoughts on a 3peat? And in your opinion what non household names need to contribute big for that to happen

Edward Aschoff
  (12:40 PM)

Bama is the frontrunner for next year's championship. No question about it. No other school is on the same level. But winning three in a row? Not sure if that will happen. Honestly, there's nothing I can say that tells me Bama won't do it, but I'm just going off of history at this point. The schedule is easier and we haven't see an SEC East team win the SEC championship since 2008. Bama is good enough to win its third in a row, but right now I'll say no purely because I'm stubborn.

John Sandberg (Starkville, MS)

Chris Jones was in starkville meeting with coaches last. Partying in oxford that night doesn't constitute recruiting visit. Does Ms State finish strong or teeter out in our recruiting class?

Edward Aschoff
  (12:44 PM)

It does when your parents are there twice and want to see the campus again and speak with coaches. So far, I think this State class is solid, but the Bulldogs have to keep Jones. He's the best player in this class and he's someone the Bulldogs desperately have to get into their lineup because they were awful rushing the quarterback last year. I've seen Cord Sandberg in person and I like him. I think he's perfect for Mullen's offense. Shumpert and Chappelle could come in and compete right away as well.

Jeff (Nola)

Yea lsu has a lot to replace. I just hope they can compete w bama (replacing its o line), georgia (lost its entire defense), or florida (lost its only legit receiving threat and has no passing game). If only lsu recruited well (recruits as well as anyone), developed players (how many nfl players again?), or got contributions from youngsters (bymidseason lsu only had 8 starters from prior yr and played 15 true freshman). Poor les. If only lsu had been successful when it lost its whole DL (including drake nevis), 2 lbs (including kelvin shepard), and patrick peterson. Oh wait....they played for national title the following season. Lsu doesnt rebuild....they reload. Now go write another gators article.

Edward Aschoff
  (12:46 PM)

Toughest to replace 10 underclassmen, IMO. Never said LSU was going to be bad. Just said they had a long way to go. LSU does a great job getting young players ready, but you're being naive if you think the Tigers are going to be just fine and everything will be peachy with those guys gone. I was asked which team had the toughest replacement assignment. CLEARLY it's LSU ...

Ben (Georgia)

Georgia's offense in 2012 was statistically the best in school history. With Murray, Gurshall, most of the receivers, and the entire offensive line returning, what do you expect from Georgia's offense in 2013?

Edward Aschoff
  (12:47 PM)

I think the offense will be even better. Michael Bennett is coming back and that offensive line will have gelled more. Murray will own some more SEC records when he's done in Athens.

Scratches (D'ham, NC)

Which will be stronger for Alabama next season: offense or defense?

Edward Aschoff
  (12:50 PM)

That's a tough one. Yes, that offensive line will look totally different, but I think Alabama has the potential to be more explosive with Chris Black and Kenny Bell coming back to help Amari Cooper. They'll still be able to run the ball too. The defense will be solid, no question, but losing MIlliner hurt. Will the defensive line develop more of a pass rush? I'm not sure which will be stronger at this point, but I"m going to lean toward the offense just because of the playmakers coming back.

Andy (CoMo)

I know the line play should be better this year since everyone should enter the year healthy unlike last year, but do you see Mizzou getting any line help from incoming freshmen this year?

Edward Aschoff
  (12:53 PM)

I think they'll have to because of what happened last year. You can't be too careful, as the Tigers learned the hard way. The good news is that the line returns a lot of guys who played last year (when they weren't banged up). I think conditioning will be a bigger emphasis on the line this year.

Brad (Atlanta)

What is your opinion of Dee Hart both as a player and fitting into the Bama offense?

Edward Aschoff
  (12:54 PM)

I've thought about this a lot actually. He's a great athlete and could be a guy who returns kicks because of how slippery he is, but he's not someone who is going to pound it out up front. But Keith Marshall wasn't supposed to be that either and he was able to at times for Georgia. I'm not sure where you line Hart up at more. He could definitely play in the slot and grab carries here and there, but I think you use him as a receiving target more and get him into space.

Scratches (D'ham, NC)

Courtney Upshaw: 2 BCS rings, a Defensive MVP award in the BCS NCG, and now a Superbowl ring (with a forced fumble in the game). How baller is that for a 23 year-old?

Edward Aschoff
  (12:55 PM)

It's impressive. Remember when teams didn't think he was good enough for the first round? yeah ....

Marilyn (San Antonio)

What will be the most memorable about this season: Alabama repeat? A&M and Missou's arrival? Johnny Football? Ole Miss and Vandy's improvement? etc

Edward Aschoff
  (12:57 PM)

Bama and Johnny Football. I think it's a tie because Bama was a team that people thought could repeat from the start. Johnny Football came out of NOWHERE. He was easily the best player to watch and he had never thrown a college pass until the Florida game.

Fred (Orlando)

Will our Gators actually get fans to attend the games this year??? Last yr was ridiculous.

Edward Aschoff
  (12:58 PM)

HA! It's a topic I laugh about with UF beat writers all the time. I'll never understand it, but it is what it is. Gotta feel bad for those players ...

Brad (Atlanta)

After the articles on 3000 yard passers in the league last season, who do you think will do it next year?

Edward Aschoff
  (12:59 PM)

Murray, McCarron, Manziel, Wallace, Mettenberger

Trey Connolly (Columbia, SC)

How much will losing Ace Sanders hurt SC's offense next year?

Edward Aschoff
  (1:00 PM)

A lot. He was the best offensive weapon that the Gamecocks had when Lattimore wasn't healthy. He was also a great punt returner. He was South Carolina's best big-play guy at receiver, so the Gamecocks are losing a lot with him out of the lineup.

TerryBowden'sShoeLifts (Nachadotches)

Ed, I know there are rumors flying about improprieties in Ole Miss recruiting. What have you got for us??

Edward Aschoff
  (1:01 PM)

Hugh Freeze challenged his skeptics to email Ole Miss compliance. Bold move, but he's telling everyone that he and his staffers are doing it the right way. That's what I have.

Brad (Atlanta)

Have you ever gotten to talk to the guy who stayed for the UF fight song alone? What is he like?

Edward Aschoff
  (1:02 PM)

Darrin Kitchens. It's funny how many people freaked out on the Gators for having him do that on his own. Even when Urban was there they NEVER sang the fight song with the fans and band after a loss. Now it's a big deal? But it's cool to see Kitchens do that. I know I wouldn't have if I were on a team that lost like that. But I'd probably be crying into my hands ...

Ben (Georgia)

I know Georgia lost all their stars on defense, but frankly, it was a defense that wasn't very productive. Do you think the unproven guys we have ready for '13 will have a chance to produce more than last year's squad?

Edward Aschoff
  (1:04 PM)

People keep pointing to the defensive struggles to say that losing all those guys won't be that big of a deal. But Jarvis Jones is gone. The entire secondary, outside of Damian Swann, is gone. Alec Ogletree is gone. John Jenkins is gone. These guys were studs and they are all gone. You lose a lot of production, experience and leadership. There are some good players left on that roster on defense, but none of them right now have what Jones and Ogletree had. They just don't, and that will be tough to replace.

Albert (Europe)

Ed, what are the odds that Vandy takes out one of the SEC powers in the upcoming season. I think it is time. South Carolina seems like a likely candidate.

Edward Aschoff
  (1:05 PM)

Mark my words: Florida, Georgia or South Carolina will lose to Vandy this fall. I don't know which one it will be, but it's going to happen ...

Chris (Austell)

What grade do you give Butch Jones so far in recruiting for the Vols?

Edward Aschoff
  (1:07 PM)

I'll grade him on national signing day, but I'm not very impressed with the class overall. Losing Derrick Green to Michigan was painful for that staff. Now, I like WR Marquez North and QB Riley Ferguson, but as a whole, the class just doesn't excite me. Now, there's still time for things to change, but I think it was a real uphill battle for him.

Kyle (UK)

What do you think about the job Stoops has done at UK in recruiting so far? And how good can they be next year?

Edward Aschoff
  (1:09 PM)

He's done pretty well, considering where he is and what he walked in to. I think Kentucky is still a ways away from really getting back to being competitive in the SEC East, but if he can close strong, the Wildcats will have some momentum heading into spring. This team has to get its current roster figured out first.

Edward Aschoff
  (1:09 PM)

He's done pretty well, considering where he is and what he walked in to. I think Kentucky is still a ways away from really getting back to being competitive in the SEC East, but if he can close strong, the Wildcats will have some momentum heading into spring. This team has to get its current roster figured out first.


Where is the love for A&M reciever Mike Evans? The guy posted some huge #'s this year as a red shirt freshman and when you take into account that he just started playing football its realy impressive. No respect?

Edward Aschoff
  (1:10 PM)

I thought i mentioned him when I talked about who the Aggies were bringing back ... I said he'll compete to be one of the top WRs in the SEC next year.

David (Missouri)

Hello, how do you think Arkansas will bounce back after the 4-8 year we had last year?

Edward Aschoff
  (1:13 PM)

The schedule isn't great. @ Rutgers, Florida, Alabama, Ole Miss and LSU. South Carolina will be tough, too. I think this team can start 3-0, but it's going to be tough to get back to a bowl with that schedule.

Edward Aschoff
  (1:13 PM)

OK guys, I'm out. Great chat as always. Good luck with national signing day!