All 12 SEC football teams opened fall practice this past week.
I’ve compiled the notable news, notes and developing stories from the first week of fall practice for every team in the Southeastern Conference. This will hopefully allow you to get the cliff-notes version of the top happenings from each camp rather than sifting through countless articles on the internet.
Here’s a look at the middle four teams to open fall practice…Arkansas, LSU, Mississippi State and Kentucky. This is the second of a three-part series of SEC fall practice summaries from week one of fall practices. See the summaries of the first four teams and the last four teams on the main page.
Arkansas Razorbacks (#14)
-Bobby Petrino’s confidence in his team, that was obvious at SEC Football Media Days, continues into fall camp.
-QB Tyler Wilson, who Petrino has regularly complimented for his leadership, throwing ability, work ethic and toughness, was named one of six team captains for 2011 despite being in a quarterback competition (allegedly.)
-Two of the numerous true freshmen that have impressed early in camp are RB Kody Walker and QB Brandon Allen.
-The offensive line is being watched closely with the two tackle positions still up in the air.
Bobby Petrino Quote: (on his football team) “After the first couple of practices, I’m very encouraged by where we’re at as a football team. I think first and foremost you really see what Coach (Jason) Veltkamp and his strength staff accomplished throughout the summer. Our players are big and strong and faster than we’ve ever been and very, very well conditioned. I’m proud of our strength staff and how much work our players did throughout the summer. I can see everyone’s in great condition.”
LSU Tigers (#4)
-Steve Kragthorpe relinquished the offensive coordinator duties to offensive line coach Greg Studrawa after LSU announced that Krapthorpe had recently been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Kragthorpe remains on staff as quarterbacks coach.
-Les Miles has been impressed with his freshmen class which includes, as usual, great SEC-ready size, speed and athleticism (similar to Alabama) including DT Anthony Johnson, WR Odell Beckham and RB Terrence Magee.
-The coaching staff has already determined scout team players among the freshmen class.
Les Miles Quote: (on Kragthorpe and Studrawa) “I feel very comfortable in the direction we’re going. I told Coach Studrawa that this is a battlefield promotion. I hired Kragthorpe as coordinator, but we are fortunate to have a veteran offense and offensive coordinator that can step in and make these calls. This promotion for Greg gives us reason to not miss a beat and to continue on. First, Kragthorpe is going to be in every huddle, every play call and in the press box. He will assist fully with game plan and the passing game will be called with him and Billy Gonzales’s thumb on it. Coach Studrawa will understand how to get it done.”
Mississippi State Bulldogs (#20)
-The first week of practice has been open to the media and the public.
-Dan Mullen’s confidence level in his team has carried over from SEC Football media days, much like Bobby Petrino at Arkansas.
-The top two QBs, Chris Relf and Tyler Russell. have had impressive periods in camp throwing the football.
Dan Mullen Quote: (on team’s first few split squad practices) “We got after it a little bit today, but we’re still not full contact. We’ll have a little bit more to evaluate from today though; the linemen got a little more work than the first two days.”
-It is hard not to look at #71 in practice, and at Kentucky’s Media Day. He’s 6-foot-11, 360 pound OL redhead walk-on Jack Gruenschlaeger.
-One of the most decorated recruits in UK history, S Glenn Faulkner, was finally cleared academically by the NCAA and joined the team on Saturday.
-Joker Phillips says they are here to win championships not just go to bowl games.
Joker Phillips Quote: (on whether they will play more freshmen this year) “I think we will play more freshmen than we have in the past, especially at the skill positions, and I just think that those guys just need to be focused on football, getting themselves ready, and then you guys will see them in the first game. You’ll see a bunch of them.”
Sources: Each of the 4 SEC athletic media relations departments, Rivals.com SEC team sites and 247Sports SEC team sites.
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