Predicting which players will represent their teams at SEC Media Days
It can say a lot.
Which players represent their respective teams at SEC Media Days can often set the tone for a season. The player representatives are often captains, or maybe they’re just smart in front of a microphone.
Who will represent each SEC team in Atlanta next month? I took a stab at trying to figure that out.
Players — Damien Harris, Ross Pierschbacher, Jonah Williams.
I’d be stunned if Nick Saban had Jalen Hurts or Tua Tagovailoa at Media Days. Instead, he’ll send a pair of veteran offensive linemen and the senior running back, all of whom will dodge the quarterback question like a truck in oncoming traffic.
Players — Kevin Richardson, Hjalte Froholdt, McTelvin Agim.
You never know with a new coach, but I tend to favor think that Chad Morris will go with a few of his most experienced players. Expect them to answer a billion questions about the new offense and how vastly different Morris and Bret Bielema are.
Players — Jarrett Stidham, Ryan Davis, Deshaun Davis.
Stidham’s introduction to SEC Media Days seems inevitable now that he’s had a year in the system and he’s on preseason Heisman lists. But based on how the spring went, Gus Malzahn might just bring 3 guys who are actually healthy.
Players — Cece Jefferson, Martez Ivey, David Reese.
I think there’s a fairly decent chance that Dan Mullen elects not to have a skill player present in Atlanta. He’ll lean on the veteran big boys to talk him up. You’ll probably hear the phrase “culture change” more times than you can count.
Players — Jake Fromm, Deandre Baker, Andrew Thomas.
Fromm seems like an obvious choice to get in front of the microphone, while a pair of established veterans with plenty of preseason hype would make a lot of sense. I’d love to live in a world in which Smart brought Fromm and Justin Fields, but that world doesn’t exist.
Players — Mike Edwards, Josh Allen, C.J. Conrad.
I really hope I’m wrong about this and we get a full dose of the charismatic Benny Snell, but I tend to think that Mark Stoops will go a different route. But either way, the Cats still have plenty of upperclassmen who are no strangers to the microphone.
Players — Devin White, Greedy Williams, Garrett Brumfield.
White seems like a lock, and Brumfield is plenty familiar with speaking to the media. Williams would be an obvious choice because of all the preseason attention he’s getting, but I’d love to see the reaction if Joe Burrow somehow made the cut. I know. It won’t happen.
Players — Nick Fitzgerald, Montez Sweat, Mark McLaurin.
Fitzgerald will get the nod to talk about Joe Moorhead’s new offense and as senior defenders, Sweat and McLaurin seem like safe bets. Not that Jeffery Simmons isn’t deserving and plenty capable, but MSU could elect to avoid bringing him on the off chance that someone brings up his less-than-stellar moment that dominated his recruitment.
Players — Drew Lock, Albert Okwuegbunam, Terry Beckner.
Mizzou belongs to Lock so much that I wouldn’t be surprised if the Tigers just let Lock bring a couple of his childhood buddies to help him with his Heisman campaign. But seriously, Okwuegbunam and Beckner have tons of potential themselves and they’ll give the Tigers a nice representation.
Players — Jordan Ta’amu, A.J. Brown, Greg Little.
All offense, all the time. With all due respect to the Ole Miss defense, we know what everyone is going to be talking about. Something tells me it won’t be about the ins and outs of the Rebels’ scout team secondary.
Players — Jake Bentley, Deebo Samuel, Zack Bailey.
Bentley and Samuel got to go last year, and as the faces of the program, they’ll likely be back again. Bailey makes sense as the senior offensive lineman who can talk about the differences of the South Carolina skill players. Shouldn’t be a whole lot of debate here.
Players — Nigel Warrior, Marquez Callaway, Chance Hall.
Again, no guarantees with new coaches, especially ones who play by their own rules like Jeremy Pruitt. My best guess would be that we won’t see Trey Smith because of his pending status related to his health issue. That would mean Hall could represent the Tennessee offensive line while Warrior and Callaway would fall under the “expected best player/leader” classification.
Players — Trayveon Williams, Erik McCoy, Tyrel Dodson.
McCoy is often made available to the media — the top veteran offensive linemen usually are — while Dodson and Williams could get the nods as well. I wouldn’t expect Nick Starkel or Kellen Mond unless that quarterback battle gets a new development (a transfer) in the next month. Either way, all eyes will be on Jimbo. I already feel bad for whoever has to transcribe his interviews.
Players — Kyle Shurmur, Ke’Shawn Vaughn, Bruno Reagan.
So I know what you’re thinking. Shurmur and Reagan are obvious picks as proven upperclassmen, but Vaughn? The former Illinois transfer who sat out the 2017 season? Yes. Here’s why: Lovie Smith actually brought Vaughn to Big Ten Media Days when he was a sophomore in 2016 — he was the only sophomore there — and in an effort to enter the post-Ralph Webb era, I wouldn’t be surprised if Derek Mason did the same.
Who said that I never make any bold predictions?