SEC Media Days: Rebels and Tigers.
BIRMINGHAM—Though not as compelling as SEC Media Days other two day-one participants, representatives from Missouri and Ole Miss offered several quotable moments. Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze is heading into his second year at the helm of the Rebels and he seems every bit as genuine as his character in “The Blind Side.”
Q. Gus Malzahn started wearing visor because Steve Spurrier wore visors? Is that true?
COACH FREEZE: I can’t speak for Gus. But as far as I’m concerned, when I was a high school coach, I was asked this last year on ESPN when we went to the car wash, why I wore a visor. When I was a high school coach, I wanted to be like Steve Spurrier. That’s the truth. Ever since then, Steve and I have become really good friends. He liked that story. He calls me his visor guy.
Spurrier’s “visor guy” is making Ole Miss relevant and it’s easy to see why recruits are signing with the Rebels in droves. Much like Tennessee’s Butch Jones, you get what you see with Freeze. And in the increasingly spectacle-filled world of the SEC, Freeze’s blue-collar humanity is refreshing.
We’re with you, Spurrier.
Moving on, Ole Miss’ QB, Bo Wallace, was asked about both Marshall Henderson multiple times and defended the Rebel shooter.
First up there was this on Henderson:
Ole Miss QB Bo Wallace on Marshall Henderson: “Marshall’s a good kid. He doesn’t mean any harm by anything he does.”
— Evan Woodbery (@TennesseeBeat) July 16, 2013
Bo Wallace on Marshall Henderson: “Marshall is going to be Marshall”
— Daniel Lewis (@DanielNooga) July 16, 2013
Next time Henderson gets arrested for cocaine possession, maybe he should offer that defense.
For whatever reason, Wallace seemed to field questions about controversial players with regularity. You may have heard Johnny Manziel was kicked out of the Manning Passing Academy for partying too hard, I mean “dehydration,” over the weekend. Bo Wallace was at the Manning camp and was asked about Manziel’s departure, “We were sad he had to go home because he was sick, or whatever.”
That one, folks, speaks for itself.
Moving to Missouri’s session, the only interesting thing about Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel’s media session was…NO ONE cared what he had to say. His session was by far the shortest of the day and most members in attendance clearly preferred silence over asking Pinkel about his program. Welcome to season two of “big boy football” coach Pinkel. It looks like it will be your last.
Luckily for the Tigers, they return dynamic QB James Franklin (no, not THAT James Franklin) who’s looking to get healthy after an injury-riddled campaign last year. I was impressed with Franklin’s session; he’s a well-spoken young man who constantly offered quality and polite answers. If it’s possible to be too nice, Franklin is just that.
Q: On Social Media: You follow just about as many as follow you, is that important to you to interact with them?
James Franklin: Yes, it is really important. The biggest reason I play football is to make a difference in people’s lives. I really do like putting a smile on people’s faces. So, for some people it’s a big deal for me to follow them back on Twitter or to reply to them, to like a picture or add them as a friend.
We’ll continue to bring reports as the week progresses.