Texas A&M Aggies: Travis Dural
Yes, it's that time of year where the talk is centered on the hardwood and brackets, but don't forget, spring football and pro days are in full swing, so there is still much to talk about on the gridiron. A sampling of news, notes and nuggets from around the SEC today:
- Lane Kiffin has been called a lot of things over recent years. Alabama receiver Amari Cooper calls his new offensive coordinator "player friendly."
- Georgia begins spring practice on Tuesday. With a new coordinator in charge (Jeremy Pruitt), defense will be the something fans will keep an eye on. While it's "wide open" according to Pruitt, here's a stab at the pre-spring defensive depth chart.
- Auburn's set at quarterback this fall with Nick Marshall returning, but what could be in store when sophomore backup Jeremy Johnson steps in? He says "more passing" could be the formula in 2015 and beyond.
- Spring football is underway for Arkansas. Here are five key questions for the Razorbacks, who are trying to improve on a rough 2013.
- Florida receiver Andre Debose, who was recently granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA, was involved -- but not arrested -- in a fight Saturday night that led to gunshots being fired according to the Gainesville Police Department. According to the brief, Debose was pushed into a window after an argument.
- LSU's top receivers from 2013 have departed for the NFL, so a pair of young receivers -- Travis Dural and John Diarse -- must step up as a result.
- Ole Miss receiver Donte Moncrief's strong NFL combine performance could give him a chance to sneak into the first round of the NFL draft, but other factors must be taken into account that could prevent that.
- Maty Mauk is Missouri's starting quarterback, but Gary Pinkel said "it's all about competition," and that the sophomore who was 3-1 as a starter last year is the starter "right now."
- Tennessee running backs coach Robert Gillespie breaks down the Volunteers' running backs.
Hope you all had a Merry Christmas and some quality time with family and friends during the holiday. To get you back into the football mood, let's take a look at some of the headlines from around the league:
- Missouri senior defensive lineman Marvin Foster has never started and injuries have repeatedly interrupted his college career. That hasn't stopped "Big Marv" from becoming the heartbeat of the Tigers, someone receiver L'Damian Washington called "the spirit of this team."
- In case you missed it, it's official: Florida has found its next offensive coordinator and it's Duke's Kurt Roper.
- Counting down the top plays from LSU's season, NOLA.com ranks Anthony Jennings' game-winning touchdown pass to Travis Dural against Arkansas as No. 2.
- A Q&A with Arkansas coach Bret Bielema, who is coming off a difficult first season in Fayetteville, Ark., where the Razorbacks went 3-9.
- A look at four-star quarterback David Cornwell, who played his final high school season in Norman, Okla. (home of the Oklahoma Sooners) but is committed to the Sooners' opponent in the Allstate Sugar Bowl, Alabama.
- The top moment in SEC champion Auburn's 2013 season? Easy. It's the "Kick Six."
- Ranking South Carolina's five best bowl wins and five worst bowl losses.
- With senior Austyn Carta-Samuels undergoing knee surgery and expected to miss the BBVA Compass Bowl, the transition to freshman quarterback Patton Robinette -- who played in place of an injured Carta-Samuels several times this season -- is officially underway.
Hope everyone is enjoying their holiday season. We've started bowl season, too, so there are plenty of storylines across the league. Here are a few of them:
- What makes Auburn's running game so successful, and at times unstoppable? It's the multitude of concepts the Tigers employ, which AL.com breaks down here.
- Alabama defensive end LaMichael Fanning, who has been suspended since the middle of the season, will transfer to Jacksonville State.
- The family of a construction worker who fell to his death during the renovation project of Texas A&M's Kyle Field is suing six construction companies and contractors related to the project.
- Georgia will be without safety Josh Harvey-Clemons and cornerback Sheldon Dawson in the Taxslayer.com Gator Bowl on Jan. 1, as both were suspended for violating team rules.
- Missouri junior defensive end Kony Ealy, part of one of the best pass-rushing units in the country this season, is weighing whether to return to school or go pro.
- Injuries nagged South Carolina running back Mike Davis late in the season, but he says now that is "health is good," as the Gamecocks prepare for the Capital One Bowl.
- LSU's Travis Dural, who caught the game-winning touchdown against Arkansas, has been buried on the depth chart behind Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry but could see his role grow significantly next year.
- In its search for an offensive coordinator, Florida's search has turned to Duke offensive coordinator Kurt Roper, whom Will Muschamp met with on Monday.
- With seniors Jordan Matthews and Jonathan Krause set to move on, Vanderbilt needs its younger receivers to develop quickly.
First Month Standouts and Surprises
12:00 PM ET Florida Tennessee 12:00 PM ET 6 Texas A&M 12 Mississippi State 3:30 PM ET 3 Alabama 11 Ole Miss 4:00 PM ET Vanderbilt 13 Georgia 7:00 PM ET 15 LSU 5 Auburn 7:30 PM ET South Carolina Kentucky