When is SEC Media Days?
SEC Media Days start Monday, July 19, and run through Thursday, July 22. The event will be live streamed on fuboTV. The event certainly will have its fair share of talk about the College Football Playoff expansion as well as name, image and likeness. There will also be a number of first-time SEC coaches at the podium. al.comSEC Media Days 2021 live stream: How to watch online for free, TV, time, full schedule
20 July, 2021 - 05:11am
Including what is going on elsewhere in the state.
In a small gathering with local reporters Monday at SEC media days, Mullen was asked about a mixed martial arts gym owned by a Miami athletics supporter offering $500 a month to every Hurricanes scholarship player. Mullen answered the question with a question of his own.
Dan Mullen and his shoes are here pic.twitter.com/RksoJ7sQef
Mullen said the idea sounds great … if the plan follows state law. If so, Mullen sounded optimistic that something similar could happen with the Gators.
“I think if it is, there’s obviously going to be a lot of Gators support and there (are) people to do it,” Mullen said. “My biggest deal is, how do we make sure that is legal? ... I don’t need to find myself in prison for violating rules that we’re not sure that I’m even violating.”
State law prohibits schools from paying players directly. Supporting entities can’t, either. Nor can an “officer, director, or employee” of a supporting organization. Players must also receive “market value” for things like autograph signings, meet-and-greets or sponsored social media posts.
The Gators’ name, image and likeness policy specifically prohibits boosters from paying players (or arranging payment for them). But different institutions can interpret laws differently, like whether a flat rate for every player is “market value.” Mullen describes the situation as a whole as “a big learning curve.”
“I talk to my financial team to make sure we stay within those boundaries,” Mullen said, “but let’s make sure we’re taking advantage of the different laws that are on there.”
Mullen declined to give specifics but said a “pretty high number” of players have received coronavirus vaccinations. Mullen was vaccinated this spring.
SEC commissioner Greg Sankey made a push for players, fans, coaches and staff members to receive the vaccine, with only six of the league’s 14 teams having at least 80 percent of their players immunized.
“That number needs to grow and grow rapidly,” Sankey said. “... With six weeks to go before kickoff, now is the time to seek that full vaccination.”
Games won’t be rescheduled this year if teams don’t have enough available players, Sankey said, so forfeits are a possibility.
Mullen made national headlines last year for saying he wanted to pack the Swamp as the coronavirus pandemic raged across the country. So it’s probably not a surprise that he’s ready for college football stadiums to return to full capacity this fall. He illustrated his point Monday by referencing the Lightning’s championship run.
“You look at things that are going on with the Lightning winning the Stanley Cup and the energy in the stadium, and you realize how much you missed that,” Mullen said.
LSU coach Ed Orgeron said he thinks Myles Brennan and Max Johnson are both “championship quarterbacks” in the mix to earn the starting job. Johnson, the son of former Bucs quarterback Brad Johnson, led the Tigers to an upset win at UF last year, while Brennan was a blue-chip signee in 2017.
Former Clearwater High star Robert Margalis will be inducted into Georgia’s circle of honor. The 2003 SEC swimmer of the year won an NCAA title in the 400 individual medley. He’ll be recognized Oct. 2 during the Bulldogs’ game against Arkansas.
20 July, 2021 - 05:11am
HOOVER, Ala. — Florida coach Dan Mullen kicked off SEC Media Days on Monday saying he doesn’t plan to fit a square peg into a round hole, as far as the type of offense the Gators’ will run this season.
“We’ll be a little bit different offensively,” Mullen told the room full of reporters in the ballroom of the Wynfrey Hotel, easing into the reality that the Gators’ passing game will take a step back this season.
“But that’s part of the fun of coaching, is being able to adapt and change and build around the players that we have.”
What the Gators do not have is Heisman Trophy finalist and second-round NFL Draft pick Kyle Trask coming back at quarterback, nor No. 4 overall NFL draft pick Kyle Pitts and first-round receiver Kadarius Toney returning to catch passes.
Florida led the nation with 378;6 yards passing per game during an 8-4 season that Mullen classified as “great.”
This, even though the Gators lost their last three games of the season and their SEC Championship drought was extended to 13 years.
“After coming off a great year, obviously,” Mullen said, " a little bit of challenge.”
To be clear, Mullen has confidence in fourth-year quarterback Emory Jones, a LaGrange, Ga., product who has appeared in 24 games over the course of his career.
“If you get into statistics and go look at Emory Jones’ statistics, he’s a guy that’s played a bunch of football,” Mullen said, referencing Jones’ relatively modest numbers, 55-of-86 passing for 613yards with 7 touchdowns and 1 interception.
“He’s not coming in as a guy that’s never played before. So I’m really excited about that.”
But, Mullen added, Florida has not settled on a personality for its offense.
“Thirteen years here (in the SEC), I don’t know what my bread and butter is because we’ve been all over the place with every different style of quarterback,” Mullen said. “If you go back, even being a coordinator, you go back to the Alex Smiths and the Chris Leaks, through the Tebows, to Tyler Russell and Dak Prescott. There’s been so many different variations.
“I think the key to it is, and one of the reasons we’ve been successful is, never try to take a square peg and put it into a round hole. It’s identifying what our guys do really well and build around the strengths of not just the quarterback, but the offense as a whole.”
Jones’ career-high passing game was as a redshirt freshman three seasons ago in a 63-10 win over Idaho, when he was 12-of-16 passing for 125 yards with 2 touchdowns.
It’s a different Gators’ offense around Jones now, however.
Florida loses more than 60 percent of its receiver production from last season — in addition to Trask — and figures to have its hands full with a difficult schedule.
The Gators play SEC West foe LSU as their annual crossover opponent, and this season Alabama rotates on to Florida’s regular-season schedule for the first time since 2014.
And, Mullen said, Florida would love to see a return trip to Mercedes-Benz Stadium to play in the SEC Championship Game.
“We’ve been to three straight New Year’s Six bowl games,” Mullen said. “Hopefully, we can get that one step further into a New Year’s Six playoff game this year. I’d love the opportunity to get back to Atlanta to compete for another SEC Championship this year like we did last year. It was really exciting.”
Florida has not made back-to-back SEC Championship Game appearances since 2015 and 2016, losing to Alabama by scores of 29-15 and 54-16.