Texas A&M Aggies: Tennessee
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?
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.
- No one wants to see a player suspended, but Alabama's senior leadership is hopeful that Geno Smith's one-game suspension serves as a "lesson learned."
- It's all about timing. Gus Malzahn saw his offense display its best rhythm since his return to Auburn during the final day of the Tigers' preseason camp.
- Arkansas coordinator Chris Ash is seeking more consistency from his defense. The good news? The first-team defense hasn't allowed a touchdown during two scrimmages.
- It's no secret that Florida expects a lot out of Ronald Powell, the former national high school player of the year. But two surgically repaired knees have made the defensive end/linebacker's ascension difficult. Can he make it to the season opener against Toledo? He says he's getting "closer and closer."
- The story of Georgia's preseason camp has been the emergence of freshman outside linebacker Leonard Floyd, who could be the Bulldogs' next great pass-rusher.
- Kentucky's Avery Williamson doesn't like to disappoint. When he was in grade school he kicked a hole in the wall because he disappointed his parents. Since then, the decorated linebacker has done all he can, developing into a leader of the Wildcats defense.
- LSU standout freshman linebacker Kendall Beckwith says there's a chance he sees the field early on.
- Les Miles says the Tigers were "sloppy" again in their final fall scrimmage. Sour news with the season opener against TCU less than two weeks away.
- Mississippi State's Baker Swedenburg has mind wanders at times, but he still boasts one of the best legs in the SEC.
- Houston Nutt continues to say Houston Nutt things. What the former Ole Miss coach is saying about his old program.
- Missouri cornerback E.J. Gaines is an integral part of the Tigers' defense. Unsure if he'll play in Thursday's scrimmage because of an injury, Gaines' status for the season opener has been in doubt. After Tuesday's practice he said he'll be ready to go.
- The Mike Davis era is officially underway in Columbia, S.C., as the Gamecocks announced that he would start the season opener against North Carolina. But Brandon Wilds and Shon Carson will see plenty of time, too.
- Tennessee's defense had a lot of work to do this offseason, rebuilding after a tough 2012 campaign. Though the Vols are on schedule, they're still not there yet.
- Butch Jones is still trying to figure out who his playmakers will be on offense as the Vols seek answers in the passing game.
- Just what Texas A&M wanted to hear on the radio with its quarterback under NCAA investigation: A truck dealership has taken advantage of the Johnny Manziel autograph game, reportedly offering a chance to win a Manziel-signed football.
- Kevin Sumlin likes what he sees from freshman wideout Ricky Seals-Jones. "He's still go a ways to go," he said. "He's got real ability, he's very athletic."