SEC Media Days 2013: Key Takeaways Heading into Next Season
Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports
Johnny Football, Jadeveon Clowney, Nick Saban and a swath of media swarmed down on Hoover, AL. for a collection of SEC media days that resulted in some shocking quotes and revelations.
In other words it was a typical day in the SEC.
Much of the attention was focused on Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, and rightfully so after the Manning Camp debacle.
That said, Manziel was not the only central figure giving away critical information about the 2013 season.
The show wasn't as big as say, LeBron James' Miami announcement, but it's about as big as you're going to get in the realm of college football.
Here are the biggest highlights from the three-day extravaganza you should pay close attention to as we inch toward the season.
Manziel Primed for Another Heisman Run
Chalk this one up under "obvious", but Manziel is ready to put the Manning camp behind him and move on with the rest of his career.
Too bad he's alone on that one.
Manziel was the star of the show for all the wrong reasons. His departure from the Manning Passing Academy has been well documented to say the least, but it stole the show anyway.
Fortunately Manziel handled the questions with class and gave out further information about the events, some noted by the world of Twitter:
Manziel, when asked about drinking at the Manning Camp, answered "We had social events." Translation: "We didn't play Scrabble."— Andrew Brandt (@adbrandt) July 17, 2013
So smooth was Manziel through the pressure that even Drake was proud (get it?):
You handled yourself well today. Proud of you brother! @JManziel2— Drizzy (@Drake) July 17, 2013
In all seriousness, the Heisman Trophy winner is ready to get back to football. Regardless of what occurred at the camp, Manziel is still a kid acting like a normal kid under an intense microscope.
Expect Manziel to get back to what he does best. It's the offseason and everyone wants a story—Manziel was just naive enough to create one.
Clowney Thinking SEC Championship and NFL
Clowney's coming for Manziel, that much we know.
When asked if Clowney thinks he can get Manziel, he scoffed before reassuring all of his confidence on the issue:
"Can I get him?" Clowney said. "Yes, I can get him. Does Johnny think he can get away? That's the question. No, I'm just playing. How would I approach him? Full speed. He's got to make a move. I'm going straight, and I'm going to make him make a move. I'm going to try to hit him in the mouth. He's tough, but you got to come at him full speed and play straight ahead. That's how you have to approach him."
Of course, Clowney was also asked about various awards and the NFL. The answer was simple—he wants an SEC championship and a high selection in the draft, not a Heisman trophy:
Jadeveon Clowney: "The Heisman's not a big deal to me. Winning the SEC championship's a big deal to me. Getting drafted high's a big deal."— Bruce Feldman (@BFeldmanCBS) July 16, 2013
Who wins a foot race?
Whether he wants it or not, Clowney is on the fast track to a Heisman with the media buzz he is garnering combined with his ever-improving play on the field.
Make no mistake—Manziel's fast. But so is a Clowney, an athletic freak who claims he can tally a 4.46 40-yard dash despite weighing in at 6'6" and 274 pounds.
The SEC is largely going to be determined by Manziel and Clowney, but we didn't need a media day to tell us that.
Nick Saban Not a Fan of Media or Scheduling
Here's something we already know about Saban—he rocks insanely nice suits whenever possible. He also has a disdain for the media and some of the inner-workings of college football.
We also didn't need a media day to tell us any of that, but it was well documented by Twitter anyway:
Saban kids about SEC media going 4-17 in picking conference champ last 21 years. Media: Hey, those teams underachieved.— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) July 18, 2013
Saban on scheduling: "There can never be an equal path (for all teams). Everyone doesn't play everyone in NFL"— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) July 18, 2013
Anyway, it was business as usual for the man behind three national titles with the Crimson Tide and yet again responsible for the No. 1 recruiting class in the country.
Alabama's back in a big way once again. Saban did nothing but certify the notion that the Crimson Tide will be competing for it all once more next season.
Butch Jones Fits in Well
One major thing the SEC media days did tell us is Butch Jones, formerly of the Cincinnati Bearcats, has still not broken his habit of speaking in utterly cringe-worthy clichés.
Now with Tennessee, Jones apparently is like every other coach in the conference who speaks like a mindless drone when asked about it:
Butch Jones starts first SECMD appearance by saying "whenever the SEC does something, it's something special." He's into the club, guys.— Eye on College FBall (@EyeOnCFB) July 17, 2013
It's fair game for Butch to say what he wants in his first presser with the SEC. More interesting was his exuberant enthusiasm for the program moving forward.
There's a bit of a rebuilding process ahead for the Vos, but it appears they found the right man for the job.
Follow me on Twitter for NFL news, analysis and more @Chris_Roling
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