SEC Media Days 2017 - Day 4

posted by Wade Smith -

Before you jump into today's coverage, check out our coverage of previous days to find out what you missed. 

Day 1 (Arkansas, LSU, Tennessee): https://goo.gl/kvp17c

Day 2 (Georgia, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State, Florida): https://goo.gl/w53a5R

Day 3 (Alabama, Missouri, Texas A&M, Kentucky): https://goo.gl/4V8vZP

9:00 AM - The 4th and final day begins now. Thanks for joining us for another day of coverage of SEC Media Days 2017. Today we are going to have a hodge podge of a schedule featuring Auburn, Ole Miss, and South Carolina. Follow along for updates throughout the day.

9:25 AM - South Carolina Junior WR Deebo Samuel joins us first. He will be one of the primary targets for young QB Jake Bentley (coming up at 11 AM). 

I really think that this Carolina team is one year away. Next year will be the year that they compete for the SEC East. I have them in the middle of the pack this season. But I would not be surprised to see guys like Bentley and Samuel putting up big numbers during SEC play.

9:35 AM - South Carolina Junior Tight End Hayden Hurst comes in next from South Carolina. 

Hurst is 24 years old. He got a late start in college because he played Minor League Baseball right out of High School. 

Hurst is more of a lead by example kind of guy. He said it himself "I am not the rah-rah kind of player. I just do my work."

He is another big target for Jake Bentley and I think it really helps to have this 24 year old TE paired up with an 18 year old QB. 

9:45 AM - Coach Will Muschamp is up as our first coach of the day. (Two of my best photos of the week).

Muschamp has not lost that fire and says he has learned from days past. He will not make the same mistakes he made at Florida. 

"I don't know if we are trying to catch up to the West...I think we are really all trying to catch up to Alabama" - one of the quotes of the week as well.

You can feel the passion for the game when listening to Coach. No wonder kids want to play for this guy. 

"Jake Bentley has matured beyond his years"

10:15 AM - Javon Patterson joins us from Ole Miss. Patterson believes that Ole Miss QB Shea Patterson can be elite. Said he is a hard worker and a gym rat. 

Patterson also says that the Offensive line is a strength of this team and definitely many of the team leaders. 

10:25 AM - Junior DT Breeland Speaks finishes up our time with players from Ole Miss. The biggest focus for this team will be week to week. There is no stress for Ole Miss as they have self imposed a bowl ban. 

Speaks believes that Shea Patterson will be a great leader for this team the next couple of years.

10:45 AM - Senior DB Tray Matthews is the first player from the Auburn Tigers. He started his career at UGA. Said his time at Auburn has been the best years of his life. Happy to be working on his Masters Degree. 

He mentioned that he did not know much about the Iron Bowl rivalry before coming to Auburn but now treats it like a rivalry he has known for his whole life.

10:55 AM - Senior Offensive Lineman Braden Smith is next for Auburn. He will move around the Offensive line where he is needed this year. Likely he will play a good bit of Guard and Tackle. 

Smith thinks that Jarrett Stidham provided a high level of leadership early. The team could follow either him or White if they are selected to be the starting QB.

11:05 - South Carolina Sophomore QB Jake Bentley wraps up our Gamecock coverage. I have high hopes for this guy as an SEC QB. 

 I think he is one year away from being one of the best players in the conference. I, in fact, put him as my vote for 2nd Pre-season All-SEC Quarterback.

 One observation. You can tell he is one of the youngest attendees of media days this year. Just has that look like he hasn't grown into the full blown SEC star yet. Next year will be a big year for Bentley.

11:15 AM - Ole Miss Coach Hugh Freeze joins us at the next coach on the list. Let's start with this..."No comment." That is all we are getting on the NCAA/Hugh Freeze talks. Open investigations are not to be discussed. 

It seems that Freeze is ready for all the speculation to fade away. You have to feel a little for the guy because he just wants to coach a team without a black cloud of his head. I don't see that going away the next few years. 

11:45 AM - All World Auburn Kicker Daniel Carlson is the last player of Media Days for our room. He is ready to take on kicking and punting duties if needed. 

11:55 AM - We finish with Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn. I think the Tigers are going to have a good year and based on what I have seen so far from other interviews, Coach Malzahn thinks the same way. 

Gus is not budging on the QB situation "Jarrett Stidham has to win the job still in my mind."

Malzahn says that depth and health will be a key for this team to be successful.

Gus also said that having an impact player at kicker is a great feeling. Within 55 yards, he feels like it is sure points.

WRAP UP: 

It has been a fun week at SEC Media Days 2017. I appreciate everyone checking in on our coverage this year. Can't wait for the season to start in just a few weeks. Good Luck to your favorite team in 2017! That's a wrap from Hoover. 

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