(WHNT) — With less than 50 days to go, we have the unofficial start to college football – the 2021 SEC Media Days.
First up, Florida. The Gators finished the 2020 All-SEC season 8-2 in conference play, 8-4 overall, winning the east but falling to Alabama in the championship.
One of our local guys will be returning to the Gators’ program this season – former Bob Jones standout Jaydon Hill. Head Coach Dan Mullen describes him as high character saying he’s done an amazing job in the program.
“That first year, kind of learning and figuring it out,” said Mullen. “Second year you get the opportunity and take a growth to learn where you are. We really – I expect him to jump into being a starter, being an every down player for us this season.”
“You talk about development and you look at the growth throughout their career, people get all excited, I want to see this guy play right away,” Mullen continued. “I’m more excited in seeing consistent growth throughout your career, and Jaydon is a guy that’s done that.”
Up next, we’ve got Coach O and the LSU Tigers.
The 2020 season was a tough one for LSU – finishing 5-5 overall. They lost so many incredible players from that 2019 National Championship-winning season, but Coach O says he’s proud of how his team has fought through the adversity.
“I think it shows, when you go to Florida and you’re a 27-point underdog, your back’s against the wall, you have a freshman quarterback, you beat them in The Swamp, you beat a great Ole Miss team, I think that was an outstanding team that Lane had, and then you have the No. 3 recruiting class, and 19 of your 22 starters decide to come back,” said LSU Head Coach Ed Orgeron. “So that says something’s going on in the locker room. Something’s going on. Our players believe in each other. I think all those things at the end, we ended up being an ascending program.”
Last, but not least on day one, South Carolina.
The Gamecocks have a new head coach entering the 2021 season – Shame Beamer will take over the program, coming to the SEC from Oklahoma. However, he’s worked in this conference before just not as a head coach.
“Let’s move this program forward today and let’s try to get better each and every week and be the best we can be at the end of the season and take our head out of the water and see where we are at that point,” said Beamer. “Hopefully, we’re the very best that we can be, and we’ve reached our potential for sure.We’re not talking about something that was 40 years ago.”
“It was recently done here in South Carolina,” Beamer continued. “We’re not far from getting back there and doing it again. That’s our plan, to not just get back to that point, but to be better than we’ve ever been, and that’s what we’re working towards every day.”
Beamer says looking at his first year – he knows it sounds cliché, but coming off a 2-8 season, he just wants his team to be the best they can be.