Critiquing preseason all-SEC team

July 21st, 2008

Random observations on the SEC coaches’ preseason all-conference team, which was released today:

Which coach left Tim Tebow off his first team? The guy wins a Heisman Trophy as a sophomore (something that hasn’t happened since, uh, never), takes his spring break trip to the Philippines to help circumcise impoverished children and he can’t get any love in his own conference.

Maybe if Tebow bags another Heisman, donates an organ or two and passes up NFL riches to return to Florida for his senior year, he’ll be a unanimous choice among the SEC coaches next summer.

South Carolina receiver Kenny McKinley also was dissed a bit. The senior from Mableton, Ga., led the conference in total receptions, receptions per game and receiving yards per game last year. But apparently that wasn’t enough for at least one of the SEC coaches, who are not allowed to vote for their own players.

LSU’s Demetrius Byrd and Georgia’s Mohamed Massaquoi, the second-team receivers, are nice players and might be better pro prospects than McKinley. But the two combined for 67 catches last season – 10 fewer than McKinley – and should not have been stealing his first-team votes.

South Carolina’s Eric Norwood was a second-team selection at a position he hasn’t played since high school. The coaches voted Norwood as a first-team defensive end last season and put him on the second team this fall at his new linebacker spot, sight unseen.

Corner Captain Munnerlyn was USC’s only other first-team selection, although a strong case could be made for safety Emanuel Cook, the Gamecocks’ designated hitter.

The SEC’s press release stated the Gamecocks had eight players selected to the three teams. Actually, the number is seven.

Ryan Succop showed up on the second team twice as a punter and place-kicker, never mind that USC’s coaches are kicking around the idea (pun intended) of letting Spencer Lanning punt to take some of the strain off Succop’s right leg.

The rest of the selections look fair enough, although I’ll have to trust the coaches’ judgment on their third-team offensive line picks. The media votes on its all-SEC team this week at the conference’s kickoff event in Birmingham, and I’ll have Tebow on my first-team ballot.

If he happens to rescue from a kitten from a tree or perform open-heart surgery while he’s in town, he might even take 100 percent of the vote.

Summers back in the game

June 26th, 2008

He won’t play in tonight’s season opener for the Calgary Stampeders because of an ankle injury, but Demetris Summers is in a lot better position than he was a couple months ago when the former USC tailback was sitting on the couch and wondering what happened to his football career.

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Summers closes in on roster spot

June 20th, 2008

Five years after arriving at USC together, former Gamecocks’ tailbacks Demetris Summers and Cory Boyd both have a shot to win roster spots on a pro team this summer – albeit at opposite ends of the continent.

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See C.C. head home

June 20th, 2008

Another one of South Carolina’s early enrollees has left Columbia.

C.C. Whitlock, the freshman receiver/kick returner from Chester High who enrolled at USC in January, returned to his hometown after finishing the spring semester. The Gamecocks’ coaching staff expects Whitlock to be back on campus in July for the second session of summer school. Read the rest of this entry »

Camp Spurrier in full swing

June 5th, 2008

With temperatures in Columbia soaring into the 90s, Wednesday was a perfect day to become better acquainted with your air conditioning unit.

Or lug a six-pack of Gatorade around the golf course.

Steve Spurrier did neither. Read the rest of this entry »