For each team session at SEC Media Days, I will provide a quick and totally incomplete recap. Next up: South Carolina‘s Steve Spurrier, DE Jadeveon Clowney, WR/KR Bruce Ellington, and QB Connor Shaw.
Spurrier came to the podium with a mission: fight for stipends for his players. Spurrier told the media that at the SEC Coaches Meetings in Destin, all 14 head coaches voted to give players spending money ($300 per game) and their parents money to travel to games. He was careful to point out that he’s not advocating “pay to play,” just giving players a stipend. In fact, he’s so passionate about it that he said the only way he’ll stop fighting for it is if President Obama tells him to. I’m sure you guys will have fun with that in the comments section.
What else did the coaches vote for? “We voted 14-0 for Notre Dame to join a conference.” Not the Southeastern Conference, just any conference. This is the point that I wished Steve Spurrier was my drinking buddy.
Why was Spurrier so cheerful? He’s got a really good team. “We’ve got a pretty good team, I think. Don’t know how good.” If I had a dime for every time Spurrier used the phrase “really good,” I would be enjoying a really good 20 oz. Diet Coke right about now.
How does Spurrier describe Jadeveon Clowney? “He’s a disruptive player that every offense has to change their blocking assignments to account for.” Spurrier mentioned that yesterday, Clowney ran a 4.46 40 after a training session, which was the talk of the rooms this afternoon. Any chance he’ll ever play on offense? “Not really. We’ve got a bunch of offensive players that are really good.” Smirk Smirk.
On “visor guy,” aka Hugh Freeze: “Hugh and I have a lot in common. We both play golf. We both wear visors. We both call plays. How can you not like a guy like Hugh Freeze?” For that comment, how can you not love a guy like Steve Spurrier?
Spurrier did his best to steal the show tonight, but all eyes were still on defensive end/monster Jadeveon Clowney, who garnered the biggest crowd of reporters on Tuesday BY FAR. To his credit, he handled the attention extremely well. Clowney said that he does his best to stay out of trouble. How? “I just stay out of bars and stay off Twitter. …Can’t get in trouble at home.”
That’s a sharp contrast to fellow SEC star Johnny Football Manziel. When asked if he would advise Manziel to stay off the web, Clowney said: “That’s a grown man. He makes his own decisions. I stay off there.”
How intimidating is Clowney? A Hoover, Alabama cop was assigned to escort Clowney around Media Days, and he chuckled at his assignment, saying “I’m ‘security’ for him. If he can’t handle it, who am I?” (H/t to @JoshatTheState).
That’s a wrap for Day One in Birmingham. We get rolling bright and early with Mark Stoops tomorrow morning, so stay tuned.