SEC Football Daily: February 22nd

Coach Lane Kiffin

Yes, it is almost time for spring practice around the college football world, and there are several major story lines we will all be following throughout the course of spring. First, Texas A&M and Missouri are coming into our world now, and it will be interesting to see how they transition over from the Big 12 to the SEC. Alabama, LSU, Georgia and Arkansas all are favorites to win the SEC next season, but they all have several question marks as well. And last but certainly not least, Derek Dooley should be on the No. 1 coach on the hot seat in the SEC, no doubt. Dooley is entering his third year at Tennessee, and he has a lot of talent to win with this year. [Athlon Sports]

Auburn has shuffled its defensive staff with the recent hire of former Georgia defensive coordinator Willie Martinez. Martinez will coach the defensive backs, and Tommy Thigpen will move from coaching safeties to linebackers. Thigpen has been coaching the secondary for the last three years; however, there’s a new sheriff in town in Martinez, and he will take over the secondary duties. [ESPN]

Two former SEC coaches in Lane Kiffin and Urban Meyer once hated each other, but they are now making up. Kiffin, while at Tennessee, was like the little punk at school who would not shut up, and Urban Meyer let him get under his skin at Florida with all his comments. Well, now, they are kissing and making up. It seems like just yesterday when Kiffin was mouthing off to Meyer about then-Florida commit Nu’Keese Richardson signing with Tennessee on National Signing Day. If you will remember, Kiffin said, “I love the fact that Urban had to cheat and still didn’t get him”. Kiffin is now blaming his youth for his stupid comments at Tennessee, and both have said to have apologized to each other about the incident. Both USC and Ohio State are being penalized by the NCAA for violations their universities committed while they were not the head coaches. I can feel a big rift coming for both former SEC coaches from all of you… [CBS Sports]

The hot topic of football right now is the combine, and there are five top defensive backs to watch at the combine. And four of the five played in the SEC. Morris Claiborne (LSU), Dre Kirkpatrick (Alabama), Mark Barron (Alabama) and Janoris Jenkins (Florida before North Alabama) are the ones to watch. They could likely go in that order as well when the draft rolls around. There is certainly some special talent in the SEC in the secondary year-in and year-out. [Orlando Sentinel]

Florida offensive lineman James Wilson is seeking a sixth year of eligibility because of his injury-plagued career at Florida. Coming out of high school at Nease High School (same HS of Tim Tebow), Wilson was a stud of a recruit at tackle. But things just never developed during his career, as he was injured for most of it. Wilson has played in 37 games and made five starts in his career. [Florida Times Union]

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