Ole Miss & MSU prepare for SEC Media Days

SEC Media Days are first chance that reporters from all across the country have to get representatives from each of the conference’s 14 schools together for a sneak peek of the upcoming season. The 2018 edition of SEC Media Days has almost arrived, and MSU and Ole Miss have announced who they’ll be sending to represent their respective programs.

The event will be held in Atlanta at both the College Football Hall of Fame and the Omni Hotel, making this the first time in 18 years that it will be held outside of Hoover, Alabama.

For Mississippi State, new head coach Joe Moorhead will be joined by a trio of seniors including QB Nick Fitzgerald, DE Gerri Green and S Mark McLaurin. Dan Mullen will be in Atlanta, but as the representative for the Florida Gators. Making his first trip to SEC Media Days, Moorhead will likely receive a bevy of questions regarding how he aims to replicate and build on Mullen’s success in Starkville, and what will look different on the field for MSU in 2018.

Fitzgerald continues to recover from the ankle injury that he suffered in the egg bowl, so expect him to have to answer several inquiries about his status. Green, the defensive captain, and McLaurin, the team’s leader in INTs last year, will face questions about improving one of the stronger defensive units in the SEC from 2017.

Ole Miss comes into media days once again facing a bowl ban for the upcoming season although that is being appealed. Head coach Matt Luke will also make his first appearance at the event because Hugh Freeze was still the man in charge at this time in 2017. Luke will be joined by senior QB Jordan Ta’amu, senior C Sean Rawlings and junior DT Josiah Coatney. In addition to on-the-field questions, the second-year head coach will likely face the same questions that Freeze did 365 days prior regarding whether or not the bowl ban will affect his team.

For the players, Ta’amu enters his first full season as the starter after Shea Patterson’s decision to transfer to Michigan. The senior QB showed the ability to lead the offense last season, and he’ll now face questions about his ability to sustain that success for a full season. Rawlings, also a senior, will likely speak to the protection of their QB and the line’s role in jumpstarting the Rebel running game in 2018. Coatney will represent the Rebel defense, which has a lot of room to improve coming off a 2017 season where they allowed nearly 460 yards per game and ranked 115th in the nation.

Ole Miss will take the stage on Tuesday while the Bulldogs will wait until Wednesday. 

The NCAA released a complete schedule for the event that begins next Monday and runs through Thursday:

MONDAY, July 16 (All times Eastern)

11:30 a.m. – 3:10 p.m.: Commissioner Greg Sankey and Texas A&M
2 p.m. – 6:50 p.m.: Kentucky and LSU

TUESDAY, July 17

8:30 a.m. – 8:50 a.m.: Steve Shaw, SEC Coordinator of Football Officials
9 a.m. – 1:15 p.m.: Georgia and Ole Miss
1:30 p.m. – 5:45 p.m.: Arkansas and Florida

WEDNESDAY, July 18

8:30 a.m. – 8:40 a.m.: David Fletcher, Football Bowl Association
8:40 a.m. – 8:55 a.m.: Bill Hancock, Executive Director College Football Playoff
9 a.m. – 1:15 p.m.: Mississippi State and Tennessee
1:30 p.m. – 5:45 p.m.: Alabama and Missouri

THURSDAY, July 19

8:30 a.m. – 8:40 a.m.: Football Writers Association of America
8:40 a.m. – 8:55 a.m.: National Football Foundation
9 a.m. – 2 p.m.: Auburn, Vanderbilt and South Carolina