Let’s check around the SEC East and get some fall camp updates:
- RB Matt Jones is still out of practice recovering from a viral infection. In the meantime, freshman Adam Lane has turned some heads with his tough play thus far. Jones’ return is still up in the air.
- QB Jeff Driskel looks more efficient and more compact and has a quicker delivery in fall camp. WR Demarcus Robinson looks to be his go-to player during the season. The freshman has shown tremendous flashes in fall camp.
- The biggest liability on defense is the linebackers. With Antonio Morrison out, younger players will have to step up to help Michael Taylor, Neiron Ball and Darrin Kitchens. Daniel McMillian is one to watch.
- The biggest surprises of fall camp have been the freshmen corners Brendan Langley, Shaq Wiggins and Kennar Johnson. Langley and Wiggins have been standouts, and both will have equal opportunities to garner playing time.
- Josh Harvey-Clemons has been playing very well, and it’s too bad he’s suspended against Clemson. He looks in mid-season form already, and everyone’s looking forward to watching him in week two.
- OLB Leonard Floyd is pushing James Deloach for the starting job. Floyd has had a strong camp and will add depth this year.
- The QB job still hasn’t been finalized – or if it is, the coaching staff isn’t telling. Jalen Whitlow, Max Smith and Patrick Towles continue to battle it out, but I’d give the edge to Whitlow because of his scrambling ability.
- Mark Stoops said earlier this week, “We just aren’t good enough to win games at some positions.”
- Stoops said practice this morning was ‘wasted’. He’s trying to send a message to his players.
- Now that Gary Pinkel has named James Franklin the starter, the tension should ease up a little bit and focus more on the players around the QB.
- The Tigers’ WR corps is loaded. L’Damian Washington, Dorial Green-Beckham, Marcus Lucas and Darius White are four of the many. If Franklin can find the air attack again, the offense should be much better.
- CB EJ Gaines has been out with a knee sprain, and it’s showing through the pass defense. Both Franklin and backup Maty Mauk have shown just how much Gaines means to the team and defense.
- DE Kony Ealy looks like he’s ready to become a breakout player. With Sheldon Richardson now gone, Ealy looks like the lifeblood of the D-line.
- Spurrier has been pleased with Connor Shaw and Dylan Thompson during preseason practice, but neither has been as sharp as hoped.
- WR Bruce Ellington and TE Rory Anderson have been dinged up and unable to practice. Clowney and Damiere Byrd are back practicing again after missing some time last week.
- With LB Cedric Cooper sidelined with a hyper extended elbow, Marcquis Roberts has filled in nicely for him, although Cooper will regain the starting job upon returning. The LBs seem much faster and athletic than last year’s corps.
- Freshman QB Riley Ferguson has been the standout as of late. Although Justin Worley probably will be named the starter, Ferguson gives Butch Jones options, and he could become the starter sometime during the season. Ferguson is a great looking player.
- Junior CB Ryhahd Jones was penciled in as a starter this year, but a calf injury has sidelined him. Freshman Cam Sutton is the likely starter if Jones can’t go week one.
- DT Daniel McCullers is playing harder than anyone has seen him play yet. McCullers is a hyped player this year, but he needs to step up his game after an underachieving 2012 season.
- Austyn Carta-Samuels has been playing lights out for the offense. He’s been crisp and efficient, and several have been commenting on his passing ability. I want to see ACS go up top to Jordan Mathews and Chris Boyd game after game this season. This is great news for the Dores.
- The coaching staff has been raving about the defensive line throughout fall camp. All are playing well, especially Caleb Azubike, who could be a breakout caliber player at defensive end.
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