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SEC lunchtime links

August, 23, 2013
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Just think, the next time you click on the SEC lunchtime links post it will be Monday of the first game week of the college football season. Ready or not, it's that time again.
  • Tennessee lost two defensive ends over the course of the preseason and spent much of the past week or so looking for their replacements. In 6-foot-5, 260-pound Jordan Williams, the Vols may have found their man to start.
  • Damiere Byrd is already the fastest player on the South Carolina roster. Now the speedy wide receiver wants to make the biggest plays in the biggest situations.
  • Matt Elam was a playmaker and an All-American at safety for the Gators last year. Marcus Maye, his replacement, worked with Elam this offseason and has impressed coaches with his work ethic so far. With the season nearly underway, Maye hopes to be the same type of presence on defense as his predecessor.
  • Vanderbilt's seniors Kenny Ladler and Javon Marshall have so much familiarity with one another that they rarely need to speak. The Commodores are hoping that experience and comfort level pays off as the two form what could be a stellar safety net for the secondary.
  • It won't be easy, but Missouri's defensive linemen must replace Sheldon Richardson's disruptive presence on the Tigers' defense.
  • Arkansas struggled to defend the pass last year, finishing dead last in the SEC in passing yards allowed. Eric Bennett and Rohan Gaines are hoping to change that. The two safeties expect big years.
  • Keihl Frazier surprised many when he dropped out of the quarterback race to start over in the Auburn secondary at safety. That move happened less than two weeks ago. And ready or not, he'll need to be ready to play just over a week from now when the Tigers host Washington State in their season opener.
  • Arie Kouandjio was starting at guard for all spring and most of preseason camp before an abrupt move to tackle last week. Austin Shepherd experienced the same thing, switched from tackle to guard in a position experiment by the Alabama coaching staff. Now, it appears that those experiments are over and the Tide can get to the job of establishing chemistry.
  • The Egg Bowl is months away, but Mississippi State went ahead and released its new snazzy uniform combination for the rivalry game against Ole Miss.
  • D.J. Welter and Lamar Louis are expected to start, but how do the rest of LSU's inside linebackers stack up?

SEC lunchtime links

August, 21, 2013
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Starters are being named, injuries are being assessed and coaches are seeking consistency. Yup, the season is drawing closer. Take a look around the SEC and see.
Senior small forward Kelly Oubre (Fort Bend Travis/Findlay Prep) had a strong feeling he was going to make some cuts to his list of suitors shortly after the conclusion of the Nike Peach Jam this past weekend.

That feeling became a reality Wednesday morning as Oubre, the No. 20 player in the ESPN 100, trimmed his massive list down to eight schools.

No. 3 prospect Randle nearing decision 

February, 21, 2013
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For PF Julius Randle (Dallas/Prestonwood), the visitation process is over. Five successful trips on the books and everyone knows what’s coming next.

“Win a state championship and announce with you guys on TV,” Randle said. “That’s pretty much it.”


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2014 SG Vaughn lists nine, waits on UNC 

January, 17, 2013
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Class of 2014 standout Rashad Vaughn (Minneapolis/Robbinsdale Cooper) has a knack for putting up huge numbers on the court, which has led to a litany of offers from many of college basketball’s most storied programs.

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Best of the City of Palms Day 3 

December, 21, 2012
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FORT MYERS, Fla. -- As the days go by here at the City of Palms Classic, the intensity level picks up as teams vie for a spot in Saturday’s championship game while hoping to avoid being sent to the consolation bracket.

Without a doubt, the game of the day on Thursday started at 11 p.m. and featured a pair of ESPN 25 teams in No. 1 Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.) and ninth-ranked Whitney Young (Chicago). Montverde needed overtime but held on for a 68-65 victory.

Let's take a look at some of the best performances from Day 3 on Thursday.

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Plan B for teams that missed on Parker 

December, 20, 2012
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Jabari Parker (Chicago/Simeon) has made his decision, and while Duke is the big winner, that leaves four other schools heartbroken at the altar. So now the question becomes, where do those programs go from here?

Let’s take a look at how they can rebound from losing out on Parker.

Michigan State


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David Dawson mulls options after UF visit 

October, 24, 2012
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Offensive lineman David Dawson (Detroit/Cass Tech) had been committed to Michigan since February, but recently parted ways with the Wolverines. Dawson promptly set up a visit to Florida for the South Carolina game, since the Gators and Dawson had been in communication for quite some time.

The visit went well for Dawson as he got to take in the game atmosphere, check out Florida's communication department and the athletic facilities. The visit didn't yield the results Florida fans were hoping for, though, as there were rumors Dawson would be committing on the visit.

"I rushed myself into a bad situation at Michigan earlier this year by not weighing my options, so I didn't want to make the same mistake," he said. "I want to look at a few other schools close to home, and that might play a factor in the long run. That's mainly because of all the things my family has been through in the last year, so I feel that maybe I should try to stay close to my support system."

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Selden sits down with Kansas, Florida 

September, 21, 2012
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Several of the nation’s top coaches have zeroed in on Wayne Selden (Boston/Tilton) as a recruiting target, with Kansas, Florida, UCLA, Ohio State, Syracuse and Missouri all in the hunt for the ESPN 100 small forward's services.

Earlier this week, Kansas’ Bill Self and Florida’s Billy Donovan became the first two coaches to conduct in-home visits with Selden.

[+] EnlargeWayne Selden
Courtesy of NikeWayne Selden is the No. 2 SF and the No. 13 overall prospect in the ESPN 100.
Self and assistant coach Norm Roberts were in town on Tuesday, visiting first with Selden’s mother in Boston and then continuing up to see the star swingman on Tilton’s New Hampshire campus.

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The addition of Missouri and Texas A&M has necessitated a re-examination of the Southeastern Conference’s football schedule. One possible format would be a 6-1-1, meaning each team would play every team in its division, have one permanent foe from the other division, and play the remaining six teams in the other division on a rotating basis.

[+] EnlargeRonald Powell
Derick E. Hingle/US PresswireThe LSU-Florida series might end when the new SEC schedule template is released.
Florida-LSU is one of those permanent matchups, but there’s debate about whether the series should continue. The teams have met every year since 1971, but could 2012 be the end?

Here’s a look at it from each school’s perspective …

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