SEC Media Days 2021: Highlights, Comments and Reaction from Tuesday

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJuly 20, 2021

Georgia head coach Kirby Smart speaks to reporters during the NCAA college football Southeastern Conference Media Days Tuesday, July 20, 2021, in Hoover, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
AP Photo/Butch Dill

SEC media days continued Tuesday with coaches and players from Georgia, Kentucky, Ole Miss and Tennessee taking the stage.

The upcoming college football season will feature plenty of unknowns throughout the conference, with new coaches, new quarterbacks and reloaded rosters among them.

Of course, Georgia quarterback JT Daniels might have done the best job of summing up preseason expectations:

Scott Rabalais @RabalaisAdv

JT Daniels on preseason predictions, which will likely have Georgia picked to win the SEC East:<br>"It's cool when they you're great. It's cool when they say you suck. It doesn't really matter." <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SECMD21?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SECMD21</a>

The quarterback and Bulldogs head coach Kirby Smart do have high hopes for the year thanks to the talent on offense:

Patrick Brickman @PatrickBrickman

"As an offense, we have the best problem you could have - which is you only have one ball."<br><br>Even without George Pickens, JT Daniels thinks Georgia will have a great offense this season. <a href="https://t.co/dl55ss8wnD">pic.twitter.com/dl55ss8wnD</a>

960 The Ref @960theref

Kirby 💬 "JT Daniels absolutely has the arm talent. But arm talent is not the No. 1 quality to being an elite quarterback. The decision making process, TD/INT ratio, using playmakers, JT has all those skillsets. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SECMD21?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SECMD21</a>

Smart also got attention by saying he gets texts from Quavo, although defensive tackle Jordan Davis grinned as he poked fun at his coach:

Chris Breece @ChrisBreece

.<a href="https://twitter.com/GeorgiaFootball?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@GeorgiaFootball</a> DT Jordan Davis pokes fun at his coach Kirby Smart for saying he has <a href="https://twitter.com/QuavoStuntin?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@QuavoStuntin</a> phone number <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SECMD21?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SECMD21</a> <a href="https://t.co/ua4SFNUVOI">pic.twitter.com/ua4SFNUVOI</a>

As for the advice Quavo wanted to pass along to the players regarding the NCAA's new NIL rules: "Don’t be thirsty. Be selective in what you do, selective in how you handle your branding."

Georgia once again enters the year with SEC championship and national title hopes. The first test will come in Week 1 against Clemson on Sept. 4.

It's a different situation for Tennessee, which is looking to bounce back from a 3-7 season.

Josh Heupel as head coach takes over after three years with UCF, and he already has a fan in receiver Velus Jones Jr.:

Emily Proud @emily_proud

Velus Jones Jr. on Josh Heupel - “He has an amazing personality. He’s a real open guy. Coach Heupel really interacts with the players, he’s always around us. He’s very involved, he’s always around, you always see his face. I’m proud to go to war for that man this fall.” <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Vols?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Vols</a>

Heupel also believes he can turn things around for the Volunteers after a long stretch of mediocrity:

Rob Fischer @thefishnation

Josh Heupel asked how and when <a href="https://twitter.com/Vol_Football?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Vol_Football</a> can get back in the mix in the SEC East.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SECMediaDays?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SECMediaDays</a> coverage all week on <a href="https://twitter.com/grindcitymedia?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@grindcitymedia</a> <a href="https://t.co/ekknLi8XRO">pic.twitter.com/ekknLi8XRO</a>

A major story for the team will be the competition at quarterback, which remains wide open heading into the season:

David Ubben @davidubben

Josh Heupel on adding Michigan QB transfer Joe Milton after spring practice: "Competition is the greatest friend any coach has. You have to have it in that room."

Madison Blevins @Madison4Blevins

Josh Heupel on QBs:<br><br>Year one, there's not a spot that is secure at any position. You have to earn and prove we can trust you. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Vols?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Vols</a>

The Volunteers added experienced transfers in Hendon Hooker and Joe Milton, while Harrison Bailey appeared in six games for Tennessee last year.

It doesn't appear any one of these players has separated himself from the field.

Kentucky could also be led by an incoming transfer, with former Auburn player Joey Gatewood a top contender after a good spring:

Jordan D. Hill @JordanDavisHill

Mark Stoops on former Auburn quarterback Joey Gatewood, who is part of UK's QB battle this summer.<br><br>"Joey has been a terrific teammate, has come in and really worked hard ... He had a really good spring."<br><br>Stoops said he was very impressed with Gatewood's accuracy down the field

Penn State transfer Will Levis could be another option for the Wildcats.

Kentucky coach Mark Stoops had a few other interesting comments, notably his opposition to an expanded conference schedule:

Dennis Dodd @dennisdoddcbs

Mark Stoops on the SEC going to 9 conference games: "I wonder if anyone watched last year. Quite a few teams struggled."

BBN Tonight @BBNTonight

Mark Stoops says one of his goals when he came to Kentucky was to take UK to national prominence<br><br>"People laughed at me. We're not there yet, but we're on our way"

Kentucky finished 5-6 last season but earned a win at the Gator Bowl, its third straight bowl victory.

Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin unsurprisingly also had his fair share of fun moments at the podium:

Ben Murphy WTSP @BenMurphyTV

Lane Kiffin coming out swinging <br><br>Says his son Knox no longer has a college fund set after Lane was fined 25k last fall <br><br>"It was good to see commissioner" 🤣🤣🤣 <a href="https://t.co/B8eoXMiEL7">pic.twitter.com/B8eoXMiEL7</a>

Rob Fischer @thefishnation

.<a href="https://twitter.com/OleMissFB?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@OleMissFB</a> Head Coach Lane Kiffin talks about his enjoyment of Twitter yet doesn’t express that enjoyment.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SECMD21?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SECMD21</a> coverage all week on <a href="https://twitter.com/grindcitymedia?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@grindcitymedia</a> <a href="https://t.co/RLYfuqfTxj">pic.twitter.com/RLYfuqfTxj</a>

Chris Breece @ChrisBreece

.<a href="https://twitter.com/OleMissFB?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@OleMissFB</a> coach <a href="https://twitter.com/Lane_Kiffin?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Lane_Kiffin</a> made sure to keep the Nick Saban <a href="https://twitter.com/AlabamaFTBL?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@AlabamaFTBL</a> "Rat Poison" moniker alive at <a href="https://twitter.com/SEC?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@SEC</a> Media Days <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SECMD21?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SECMD21</a> <a href="https://t.co/nWiiwoFrBY">pic.twitter.com/nWiiwoFrBY</a>

Kiffin is in his second year with the Rebels, but media days were canceled last season because of the pandemic. The entertaining coach made up for it with plenty of quotable moments Tuesday.

He also took time to praise quarterback Matt Corral:

Brad Logan @BradLoganCOTE

"Our own QB in Matt (Corral)"<br><br>-Kiffin when asked who he believes the preseason top QB in the SEC is returning. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SECMD21?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SECMD21</a>

Brad Logan @BradLoganCOTE

Kiffin: Matt Corral played as good as any player in the country, at times, last year.

SEC media days will continue Wednesday, highlighted by Alabama head coach Nick Saban's appearance. Mississippi State's Mike Leach, Texas A&M's Jimbo Fisher and Vanderbilt's Clark Lea will also be available.