SEC Preseason Report: Eli’s coming, and so is Kentucky

Jul 9, 2002 5:03 AM


Head coach: Philip Fulmer, 11th year.

Player to watch: WR Kelley Washington (65 rec)

2001-02 ATS record: 6-5

Victory margin: +12

Comments: Only three of 12 games outside state of Tennessee”¦ Recruiting class ranked among Top 3 in USA”¦Fulmer 95-20 (.826) in first 10 years”¦ Lost Travis Stephens (RB), Donte Stallworth (WR) and Albert Haynesworth (DL) to NFL.



Head coach: Ron Zook, 1st year.

Player to watch: QB Rex Grossman (34 TDs last year)

2001-02 ATS record: 8-4

Victory margin: +30

Comments: Eight players taken in NFL draft, third highest in school history”¦Only team besides Nebraska to win at least nine games the past 12 seasons. WR Taylor Jacobs (Orange Bowl MVP) returns. Must play both Miami and FSU this year.



Head coach: Nick Saban, 3rd year.

Player to watch: RB LaBrandon Toefield (1,200 yds, 7 gms)

2001-02 ATS record: 6-6

Victory margin: +9

Comments: Must find a replacement for SEC’s best receiver Josh Reed and QB Rohan Davey”¦Offense set six school records last year”¦Saban is 61-33-1 at LSU, Michigan State and Toledo”¦Injury-prone Toefield rushed for 1,200 yards in just seven games last year.



Head coach: Mark Richt, 2nd year.

Player to watch: OT Jon Stinchcomb

2001-02 ATS record: 5-7

Victory margin: +9

Comments: Stinchcomb and LB Boss Bailey were nominated for The Sporting News Preseason All-American team”¦TSN ranks the Bulldogs rated No. 5 in the nation”¦Georgia has won at least eight games for a school-record five straight years.



Head coach: Tommy Tuberville, 3rd year.

Player to watch: RB Carnell Williams (5.1 ave as FR)

2001-02 ATS record: 4-8

Victory margin: —2

Comments: Jason Campbell and Daniel Cobb have yet to establish themselves as a pure No. 1 QB”¦Could bolt to 3-0 start if victorious in rare West Coast game at USC. 62 of the 80 roster players are sophomores and freshmen. Was 7-0 SU at home last year.



Head coach: Lou Holtz, 4th year.

Player to watch: QB Corey Jenkins

2001-02 ATS record: 5-5

Victory margin: +5

Comments: Jenkins, ex-No. 1 pick of the Red Sox, was third on USC in rushing last year. With luck, could be 7-0 SU heading into Oct. 19 game at LSU. Defense allowed 17 points or less in 10 of 12 games. Top KR/WR Ryan Brewer recovering from ankle surgery.



Head coach: Houston Nutt, 4th year.

Player to watch: DB Ken Hamlin.

2001-02 ATS record: 8-3

Victory margin: —1

Comments: Nagurski candidate Hamlin was suspended indefinitely for breaking team rules. QB Zak Clark, who started 10 games last year, transferred to Central Arkansas”¦ Won 7 OT thriller over Ole Miss. Six of first eight games at home.



Head coach: David Cutcliffe, 4th year.

Player to watch: QB Eli Manning

2001-02 ATS record: 4-6

Victory margin: +8

Comments: Less than 10,000 season tickets remain in a rebirth of interest in Oxford”¦ Manning, who set 16 school records last year, was picked to Playboy preseason All-America team”¦Ole Miss 23-13 SU under Cutcliffe”¦Rebels return 53 players, including 14 starters.



Head coach: Dennis Franchione, 1st year.

Player to watch: 5-8 RB Shaud Williams

2001-02 ATS record: 5-7

Victory margin: +8

Comments: Williams came over with Franchione from TCU”¦Need freshman redshirt Freddie Roach to replace LB Saleem Rasheed, who left Bama early for the NFL”¦Early acid test in Week 2 at Oklahoma”¦NCAA banned Tide from bowl games for two years”¦



Head coach: Guy Morriss, 2nd year.

Player to watch: QB Jared Lorenzen

2001-02 ATS record: 5-6

Victory margin: —9

Comments: After Oct. 20, the Wildcats led the SEC in passing offense (376 YPG) and averaged 29.8 PPG”¦Morriss is more comfortable at UK and will use a number of redshirted players from last year on defense”¦Glenn Pakulak (44.5) is an All-SEC punter.



Head coach: Jackie Sherrill, 12th year.

Player to watch: QB Kevin Fant

2001-02 ATS record: 6-5

Victory margin: —8

Comments: With Spurrier gone, Sherrill (70-56-2) is now dean of SEC coaches”¦Normally stingy defense allowed 24 points or more six times, including final four games”¦ Fant threw four TDs in spring game and could quickly make Bulldogs forget Madkin.



Head coach: Bobby Johnson, 1st year.

Player to watch: WR Dan Stricker

2001-02 ATS record: 4-6

Victory margin: —16

Comments: Stricker has posted over 2,000 receiving yards over the past two years 6-foot-4 freshman QB Jay Cutler, 15-0 in high school, may emerge as the starter in a pass-option offense. Opener at Georgia Tech is first meeting between the schools in 34 years.