Media days are about coaches providing tidbits, learning new information about the upcoming season and waiting for somebody to make a baffling comment. But the players shouldn't be excluded from the event. This is a chance to get to know certain players better and tap into their brain as well.
The SEC has announced each player who will participate in this madhouse from July 16-18. Johnny Manziel, AJ McCarron and Jadeveon Clowney, among other popular players, will be in attendance. However, there are a few big names that didn't make the list, which should have.
Of the 42 attendees, 32 are seniors. It's nice to reward the upperclassmen, but many young guys have stepped up and deserve the privilege of participating. That would include a pair of 1,000-yard rushers and one of the best wide receivers in college football.
Todd Gurley is arguably the best running back in college football. He's also a Heisman candidate after rushing for 1,385 yards and 17 touchdowns last year. The sophomore took college football by storm and is beginning to look like that once-in-a-lifetime running back.
Besides quarterback Aaron Murray, there may not be a more popular Georgia player. Gurley is a workhorse running back and will hope to carry Georgia back to the SEC Championship Game. He may only be a sophomore, but there aren't many players better than him.
Gurley deserved a spot at SEC media days based simply off importance to the Bulldogs. Without him, Georgia wouldn't be the favorite to win the SEC East.
Among other things, media days are chances to get to know players. They spend so much time on the field that it is hard to get to know the guy under the helmet. Linebacker Kwon Alexander is somebody who college football fans should get to know. You better begin researching if you aren't familiar with the name.
Alexander is the next great LSU defender. A broken ankle cut his freshman season short, but he will be back with a vengeance, and SEC offenses should be afraid. He covers a lot of ground and is easily the most gifted linebacker on the team. In fact, LSU lost so much talent that he may be the best defensive player—period.
The potential is that high.
Tre Mason is one of the best SEC running backs. He averaged nearly six yards a carry last season and should have a bigger impact with Gus Malzahn as his head coach. Malzahn is considered an offensive genius and will find creative ways to take advantage of Mason's speed.
Why won't he participate in media days?
Auburn is bringing two defensive players and fullback Jay Prosch. No offense to coach Malzahn, but flashy offense is what people are interested in these days. Nobody wants to hear from a defense that ranked 13th in the SEC. High-scoring offense and exciting plays are what Tigers fans are hoping to see. Mason brings that to the table.
Maybe Tennessee is looking to make a statement by bringing offensive linemen Antonio Richardson and Ja'Wuan James, as well as defensive lineman Jacques Smith. Head coach Butch Jones is looking to change the culture and it starts in the trenches.
That's cute, but how about rewarding one of the best defenders on the team?
Byron Moore led the SEC last season with five interceptions. He also finished second on the team with 86 tackles and played both safety positions. Sure, the defense was ranked dead last in the conference, but Moore had nothing to do with that.
Moore is one of the top safeties in the SEC and bringing him to media days would have given him the attention he deserves.
It took Amari Cooper one season to emerge as one of the best players in the SEC and one of the top wide receivers in the country.
He finished last season with 59 receptions, 1,000 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns. He averaged almost 17 yards per reception. Cooper is the real deal and should only improve with more knowledge of the playbook and a full season under his belt.
Not bringing him is likely Nick Saban keeping his younger players at bay. Cooper is only a sophomore and most coaches tend to bring seniors to media days due to them being more mature. But Cooper is a grounded kid who seems to be destined for greatness.
Although it's tough to argue with Saban, it would have been nice to hear from the promising wide receiver.