5 thoughts on the SEC Media Days attendees list
Get excited, y’all.
The SEC Media Days attendees list is finally out, and my goodness, it’s good. We’ve got preseason Heisman Trophy contenders, underclassmen and controversial figures who will take to the podium in Birmingham. That’s a very good thing.
Anybody complaining about a lack of stars this year is clearly just mad at the world. The stars will be shining bright in Birmingham.
Here were my takeaways from seeing the list of player representatives in Birmingham:
1. Alabama chose stars above the path of least resistance
I fully expected Alabama to bring at least 1 offensive lineman, some well-spoken senior who never plays and maybe a skill player. Instead, we’ll get Tua Tagovailoa, Jerry Jeudy and Dylan Moses, who are the team’s top 3 stars. What a time to be alive.
Last year, Tagovailoa’s infrequent media availability even after he was named the team’s starter made him a rare interview. He’ll have the most filled table, no doubt. And Jeudy and Moses are both getting preseason All-America and first round NFL Draft buzz as juniors.
Those usually aren’t the type of guys who Nick Saban chooses to speak for the team at Media Days. But hey, perhaps this is a sign that Alabama is publicly embracing who it is as a high-octane offense.
Whatever the case, I’m here for it.
2. Holy quarterbacks
There are 9 (!) quarterbacks who will be there. That list is:
- Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama
- Feleipe Franks, Florida
- Jake Fromm, Georgia
- Joe Burrow, LSU
- Kelly Bryant, Mizzou
- Matt Corral, Ole Miss
- Jake Bentley, South Carolina
- Jarrett Guarantano, Tennessee
- Kellen Mond, Texas A&M
Bentley is the only one from that group with SEC Media Days experience (this feels like his 17th straight year representing South Carolina).
Compare that to last year when we only had 6 quarterbacks, and the conference’s 2 best — Fromm and Tagovailoa — weren’t among that group. Now, it feels like the best SEC quarterbacks will be in attendance.
Go figure that there are more SEC quarterbacks than offensive linemen (6) among this year’s attendee list. Three years ago, only 3 SEC quarterbacks were in attendance. To me, that says a lot about the state of the position in the conference. Teams feel good about their respective starters.
Well, at least good enough to let them handle the media blitz that awaits.
3. Any chance that Matt Corral wasn’t Ole Miss’ starting QB is gone
Speaking of teams showing confidence in their quarterbacks, how about Corral? The redshirt freshman is the only second-year player attending, and he hasn’t even officially been named the starter. The expectation was all offseason that he was going to be the guy, but a move like this confirms it.
There’s probably a hope that bringing him to Media Days will push him to continue to develop as a leader. That’s what this extremely young Ole Miss offense needs in the post-Jordan Ta’amu era. It’ll be interesting to see how Corral handles the spotlight.
The last we saw of him, he was fighting dudes in the end zone of the Egg Bowl. Needless to say, he might have to dial things back a bit.
But here’s hoping he’s in full Egg Bowl mode in Birmingham.
4. Best player who won’t be there? D’Andre Swift
Not to nitpick too much here, but Swift is the only major household name who won’t be attending. And look. I’m not even blaming Georgia for that. Fromm is the leader of that team, Andrew Thomas has preseason All-America and first round draft buzz while J.R. Reed was there last year — dressed extremely well, too — and is still the leader of the defense.
Would it have been nice to talk to Swift about some of his preseason accolades? Sure. I would’ve liked a full breakdown of his Kentucky run, too. But if Swift has the year that many expect him to, there will be plenty of chances to hear from him.
In other words, yes, I expect to hear from Swift a lot in 2019.
5. Sign me up for some Kash Daniel and Joe Burrow
Last year, nobody brought more juice to SEC Media Days than Benny Snell, AKA Benny Tha Bandit. Between him talking about being disrespected and his blossoming rap career, nobody entertained me as much as Snell last year in Atlanta.
Dare I say his teammate might have a chance to best him.
Daniel doesn’t have a filter. That’s why he called people doubting Kentucky “a bunch of jack——.” Daniel is the same dude who gave us this glorious image:
There’s no doubt in my mind that Daniel will have plenty to say about the preseason chatter about Kentucky coming off the program’s best season in a decade. That’ll produce at least one viral moment/quote.
And as for Burrow, I’ve been saying for the last year that he’s got some Baker Mayfield in him. There’s a confidence that you hear in Burrow whenever he’s got a microphone. Entering his fifth year of college and second as LSU’s starter, I think we’ll get reminders of that.
He’ll be in a much different mindset than Daniel because there’s a chance LSU starts the year as a top-5 team. But Burrow always has that chip on his shoulder, and it’s great to see it on the big stage.
I’ll drop everything I’m doing to make sure I hear everything from two guys who are anything but boring.