Sidelines with John Clay

Links: Benny Snell, Landon Young, Jedrick Wills, plus Alabama downsizing

Links for Friday:

What drives Benny Snell to play so hard? asks Jennifer Smith of the Herald-Leader. “Benny Snell adores his mother. ‘She is the love of my life,’ Kentucky’s running back says of his mom, April. ‘My mom has been with me every step of the way.’”

Landon Young is a campus legend, says Mark Story of the Herald-Leader. “To listen to Landon Young’s Kentucky Wildcats teammates, the junior left tackle has achieved near-mythic status on the UK campus for tales of his exploits as an outdoorsman. ‘What’s Paul Bunyan? A myth? A legend?’ UK center Drake Jackson says, referencing the giant lumberjack of American folklore. ‘Well, we have ‘The Legend of Landon Young.’”

UK receiver Akeem Hayes could play immediately, reports Jon Hale of the Courier-Journal. “UK freshman wide receiver Akeem Hayes didn’t know much about the Kentucky-Louisville football rivalry. Until he flipped his verbal commitment from the Cards to the Cats in June 2017.”

No hot seats for Petrino or Stoops, says Rick Bozich of WDRB. “Let me make this perfectly clear: If I made a Hot Seat List for the opening of the 2018 season, I would NOT include Petrino, Stoops, Allen or Sanford. I’ve covered teams coached by Ron Cooper, Steve Kragthorpe, Bob Weber, Joker Phillips, Hal Mumme, Bill Curry, Gerry DiNardo, Cam Cameron, Lee Corso and others who tried to outrun the inevitable but still got the ziggy.”

Alabama experimenting with former Lafayette star Jedrick Wills, reports Ben Jones of the Tuscaloosa News. “Redshirt junior Matt Womack, the incumbent starter, has appeared to be working mostly with the second unit during the open periods of practice. Sophomore Alex Leatherwood spent time during viewing periods with the first team at right tackle during the early days of practice. This week, it appeared that sophomore Jedrick Wills was working at right tackle while Leatherwood played at right guard.”

Alabama planning renovations to football stadium, basketball arena, reports John Zenor of the AP. “Athletic director Greg Byrne said Thursday that the stadium will “most likely” go from 101,821 seats to sub-100,000, with a massive video board going up in the South end zone that will eliminate some seating and two new video boards opposite.”

Four-star defensive back picks South Carolina over Georgia, reports Ben Breiner of The State. “Will Muschamp went into the state of Georgia and snatched a four-star defender away from his alma mater. Georgia Military College cornerback D.J. Daniel, who is from Griffin, Georgia, picked the Gamecocks over his homestate Georgia Bulldogs, an upset based on the recruiting experts’ predictions. Daniel also had the Kentucky Wildcats as a finalist.”

Florida’s second scrimmage could decide starting quarterback, reports Robbie Andreu of the Gainesville Sun. “Florida coach Dan Mullen appears closer to knowing who his starting quarterback is going to be in the aftermath of the Gators’ first preseason scrimmage Monday night in The Swamp. By the end of the next scrimmage, which is Sunday, he may know for sure. But that doesn’t necessarily mean anyone else is going to know, Mullen said Wednesday.”

Jimbo Fisher laying foundation at Texas A&M, reports Robert Cessna of the Bryan/College Station Eagle. “Texas A&M’s Jimbo Fisher is too busy to know what’s happening outside the Bright Complex and the Coolidge practice fields. Several things probably come across as fake news to the first-year head football coach, especially if the team’s been affected by the Saharan dust.”

LSU quarterbacks exit after grades, reports Glenn Guilbeau of the Shreveport Times. “The first act of the virtually annual “LSU Quarterback Circus” is over. Two scholarship players have exited stage left, leaving two quarterbacks with the off-Broadway season opener set for just more than two weeks away on Sunday, Sept. 2, in Arlington, Texas, between the No. 24 Tigers and No. 8 Miami at AT&T Stadium.”

Vanderbilt’s veteran offensive line bears big burden, reports Adam Sparks of the Tennessean. “Kyle Shurmur’s interceptions might be the fault of Vanderbilt’s offensive line. Put Ke’Shawn Vaughn’s fumbles in that same category. And when the Commodores fail to complete a deep pass to Kalija Lipscomb, responsibility might be placed on those same offensive linemen.”

Ty Storey apparent leader in Arkansas quarterback battle, reports Bob Holt of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. “Junior Ty Storey took almost all his reps with the No. 1 offense in Saturday’s scrimmage and appears to lead sophomore Cole Kelley and three freshmen in the quarterback battle at the University of Arkansas. Both Storey and Kelley were asked about the competition after Wednesday’s light walk-through inside Walker Pavilion.”

Missouri’s top punt returner injured, reports Dave Matter of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “Missouri has two weeks to identify a punt returner for the start of the season. On Wednesday wide receiver Richaud Floyd was named a preseason, second-team All-American as a punt returner by CBS Sports. Also on Wednesday Floyd broke his right leg, an injury that will sideline him for four to six weeks, the team announced.”

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