Tigers, Bulldogs headline SEC Media Days day two

2023 SEC Media Days event July 17-20 in Nashville, Tennessee
Published: Jul. 18, 2023 at 7:27 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - The Auburn Tigers are ready to begin a new chapter on the Plains. Head Coach Hugh Freeze and Georgia’s Kirby Smart headlined day two of SEC Football Media Days 2023 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Freeze and his coaching staff have overhauled the Tigers roster heading into his first season as Head Coach. 42 new players are on the roster as Auburn prepares for Fall camp.

“I think the biggest challenge that you mentioned is the fact that we have 42 new players and I don’t know all of their names yet,” Freeze said. “That’s the way I feel, I do, but I have not had a time to have a deep conversation with them. I mean you literally recruit a portal kid for two days, sign him, he comes to work particularly the ones after spring, they come to work with your strength staff, you’re trying to take a little time off and I mean you’re really, that’s uncomfortable.”

The Two Time reigning National Champion Georgia Bulldogs are aiming to become the first team to three peat since Minnesota did it back in the 1930′s. Instead of championship aspirations, Kirby Smart fielded questions from the media that dealt with off the field news and the culture issues within the Bulldogs program.

“Talk to the retention rate we keep with our players,” Smart said. “Our players respect the fact that they are under a microscope and they always will be as athletes. We have one of then highest character, highest GPA, one of the best teams we’ve had. So I’m very confident about our team and our culture.”

Mississippi State will enter the season without Mike Leach, who died in December of 2022. Former Bulldogs Defensive Coordinator now Head Coach Zach Arnett is excited for Fall camp in Starkville.

“It’s tragic what happened to Coach (Mike) Leach,” Arnett said. “I wish my coaching tenure would have came under different circumstances. But Starkville is a special place, Mississippi State is a special place, and they deserve to have a football team who’s ready to line up and compete and who’s prepared to win some football games and that’s what our job’s to do. So as we go into training camp, that’s what we’re all about. So let’s get to training camp, let’s line up and play some football.”

Vanderbilt Head Coach Clark Lea met with media members about the upcoming season, and discussed the match up with the Bulldogs of Alabama A&M. Lea excited to bring the Bulldog Nation to Nashville Labor Day Weekend September 2nd.

“She took a chance on me to give me his opportunity,” Lea said. “We’ve formed such a great partnership. I think we challenge each other in the right ways. There’s a really honest nature to our conversations. She took on a big job and she is a year ahead of me in her development. She gets to mentor me along. She doesn’t sweat the small stuff, but she makes sure that we maintain an alignment on our values.”

SEC Football Media Days continue Wednesday. Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, and Kentucky headline the day.

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