HOOVER, Ala.—Greetings from the big interview room of SEC Media Days, where the air condition is cranked way up and the coaches quotes from the podium are sure to include plenty of optimism and talk of how the offseason workouts couldn’t be better.
It’s Steve Spurrier time today to get the day going on the second day of the four-day gabfest.
The South Carolina coach will be followed by Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen, Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin and Tennessee’s Butch Jones.
Johnny Football has taken his act to Cleveland.
Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin made it clear there’s “not going to be another Johnny Manziel.”
There still were a fair share of Johnny Manziel questions. Several of them.
“Let me get this straight, the question was ‘What’s it like not coaching Johnny Manziel?” Sumlin said repeating the gist of the first question he got.
The offense could look be changed without the dazzling former Heisman Trophy winner, Sumlin said.
“Maybe,” Sumlin said.
Manziel was a big story here last year for oversleeping at the Manning Camp (so he said).
Sumlin was asked Tuesday about Manziel’s recent partying, which he doesn’t have to concern himself with anymore.
“Is this the SEC Media Days?” he said. “No, that’s a question about the Cleveland Browns. Anybody else got something?”
Dan Mullen’s mother is a British citizen so maybe it shouldn’t be a surprise that the Mississippi State head coach likes futbol as well as football.
“My wife sometimes questions what I’m doing, but I don’t mind waking up early Sunday morning and watching the premiership if you have a little bit of a break,” Mullen said of the offseason. “Get a workout in, watch that 6 a.m. kick.”
Mullen thinks Europen soccer fans and SEC football fans have a lot in common in one regard.
“The passion our fans have is equal,” he said. “I’m sure I’ll have a lot of European nations very upset, teams throughout the world upset. That is one of the things that makes this league so much fun, is the passion that our fan bases have for football is similar to watching the passion these European soccer teams and followings have, which is a pretty neat deal.”
The usually colorful Spurrier may not have been on top his game with the zingers, but he certainly was still entertaining during his time at the microphone this morning.
“Getting ready for talking season,” he said at the start.
And Spurrier did talk:
–On QB Dylan Thompson, stepping in full-time as the starter: “He’s the only quarterback in the nation to beat UCF last year.”
–On the game with Texas A&M going to be getting an “Alamo Trophy.: “I always was taught the hero of the Alamo was Davy Crockett, so this was a new one on me. It’s a good story, I’m sure Bonham did some good things. I always thought Davy Crockett was the hero of the Alamo, he and those 33 Tennessee guys that came in here and got killed and so forth.”
–On Alabama’s Nick Saban’s recruiting prowess: “I think they’ve done extremely well. No question about it. I think they’ve had five No. 1 recruiting classes in the last six years. That’s got to make him the greatest recruiter ever….They’re the favorites. There’s no question about that.”
–On his experience with deep-pocket boosters: “Joe Rice is one of our big donors. I was kidding around with him recently. He took me to the Bahamas on his jet airplane, on his yacht, pretty good trip. You’re sort of like an owner of the team. The big donors in college are similar to an NFL owner because they put the money up. The best part of it, they don’t tell us what to do, though. They don’t tell you who to play, what plays to call, so forth.”
–On former Gamecocks quarterback Stephen Garcia being here this week as a media member: “He got his long hair back. It looked like he had joined Duck Dynasty instead of the media.”
–On Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin, who now makes $5 million a year. “Kevin Sumlin has an excellent record as a coach. He’s a good negotiator, we know that also, so he’s got a good deal.”
Georgia arrives on the scene Thursday on the last day.
Receiver Chris Conley, tailback Todd Gurley and linebacker Ramik Wilson are the player representatives.
Conley, it was announced Tuesday morning, is among nominees for the AllState AFCA Good Works Team, “recognizing players whose charitable involvement and community service contributions stand out among all other student-athletes participating in the sport.
The All-SEC media vote will come out on Thursday. There are 14 Georgia players listed on the ballot: Gurley and Keith Marshall, receivers Conley, Michael Bennett and Malcolm Mitchell, offensive linemen John Theus and David Andrews, defensive lineman Ray Drew, linebackers Leonard Floyd, Amarlo Herrera, Jordan Jenkins and Wilson, cornerback Damian Swann and kicker Marshall Morgan.