The preseason hype surrounding Missouri quarterback Drew Lock is certainly not slowing down upon the conclusion of SEC Media Days.
The senior who finished last season on the All-SEC First Team finds himself in the exact same position on the media’s annual preseason list of top players from the league. Lock, a potential first-rounder, edged out Auburn’s Jarrett Stidham (second team) and both Georgia’s Jake Fromm and Mississippi State’s Nick Fitzgerald (third team). While the SEC has been knocked for quarterback play in the past, that is certainly not the case in 2018 given the depth that is apparent from the preseason teams, which doesn’t even include others like Ole Miss’ signal-caller Jordan Ta’amu.
Leading the way on defense was, not surprisingly, several Alabama stars. Defensive lineman Raekwon Davis, linebackers Anfernee Jennings and Mack Wilson, plus defensive back Deionte Thompson were all on the first team All-SEC defense. All told, 13 Crimson Tide players were named to one of the three teams, a mark followed closely by Georgia (12), Auburn (9) and Florida (8).
The full set of three preseason teams are below:OFFENSE
1. After being asked, on a particularly intemperate mid-August day, about the state of the Alabama quarterback battle between Tua Tagovailoa and Jalen Hurts, Nick Saban brandishes a Coca-Cola bottle and declares it to be his starter in the season-opener against Louisville. The Coca-Cola bottle subsequently calls a press conference in which it states (through a translator) that it is transferring to Georgia Tech to be closer to its family. Saban starts Tagovailoa, who completes 18-of-24 passes for 291 yards and three touchdowns in Alabama’s 39-10 victory over Louisville.
2. With Michigan trailing Notre Dame 21-18 and facing a 4th-and-3 at the Notre Dame 32-yard line late in the fourth quarter, Jim Harbaugh calls for a play referred to as “Spongebob.” Quarterback Shea Patterson takes a shotgun snap, does a backflip, shouts some nonsense at a perplexed defensive end, scrambles until he hyperventilates, and then hurls a pass that angles off two defenders’ helmets and the belt buckle of a side judge before landing in the hands of wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones for the game-winning touchdown.
3. In Week 2, Michigan State beats Arizona State 45-9, prompting ASU coach Herm Edwards to deliver a fiery postgame lecture about the potential of Bitcoin technology.
4. After his Florida Atlantic team upsets Oklahoma, starts the season 3-0 and puts up an average of 46 points per game, Lane Kiffin denies rumors that he will become the head coach of the Canadian Football League’s Saskatchewan Roughriders.
5. A Tennessee man blames repeated viewings of the Imagine Dragons’ song “Natural” during college football broadcasts for brainwashing him into purchasing a nearby Chick-fil-A franchise.
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With the start of the college football season comes the age-old query: which athletes will make the biggest impact at their respective positions? There’s still a lot of football to played before we know for sure, but there are already plenty of clues when it comes to predicting who might take home some hardware come December.
(This article covers all non-Heisman awards for the 2018. You can check out our piece on the 2018 Heisman favorites here.)
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At powerhouse college football programs, it usually takes a while for their top incoming recruits to hit the field. But there are always exceptions.
Some of this year’s blue-chip freshmen are positioned to make an immediate impact in 2018, whether it be as key role players or starters. Given the pedigree of some of these schools, there may be a few surprises.
Read on to find out which first-year football phenoms are bound to make a splash on Saturdays this year.
Note: Recruiting rankings and information courtesy of 247Sports.
Patrick Surtain Jr., cornerback, Alabama
Titans Linebacker Rashaan Evans was on the The Jim Rome Show, talking about what he learned from playing under Nick Saban at Alabama.
[You may want to adjust your volume before you see his shirt.☺]
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Alabama is entering the 2018 season with two quarterbacks who are clearly worthy of being starters, and that puts them in a position that many teams cannot relate to. But do they have the best quarterback depth in the country? One QB from another program doesn’t seem to think so.
On Tuesday, Alabama Football’s official Twitter account shared some of last season’s highlights from Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa and said the duo headlines the “best QB room in the country.” Penn State backup quarterback Tommy Stevens had a very simple response.
Stevens, a redshirt junior, considered transferring from Penn State earlier this offseason but ultimately decided he will back up senior Trace McSorley for a third consecutive year.
“I did search around and look to see if there was a better place for me somewhere, and I talked to some schools,” he said previously, via Jordan James of 247Sports.com. “Ultimately, I know what I have here. I love Penn State. I love the relationships that I have here. And I love playing football with my best friends.
The hype surrounding Terrell Lewis always seemed justified.
Just look at him.
At 6-foot-5 and 256 pounds, the Alabama junior has the lean, sinewy build of an elite pass rusher.
He also has a tantalizing blend of speed and power -- qualities that made him a defensive terror.
We already talked about it in a dedicated article yesterday, but I can’t express how upset I am at the news about Terrell Lewis. I pegged him as my favorite player from his recruiting class before they ever set foot on campus, and have expected big things from him every season since. And now another injury.