SEC report:

Saban has nice words for Pruitt

By: Bob Holt , Tom Murphy
Published: Monday, July 23, 2018
NCAA college football head coach Nick Saban of Alabama speaks during the Southeastern Conference Media Days at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, Wednesday, July 18, 2018. (AP Photo/John Amis)
NCAA college football head coach Nick Saban of Alabama speaks during the Southeastern Conference Media Days at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, Wednesday, July 18, 2018. (AP Photo/John Amis)

ATLANTA -- Alabama Coach Nick Saban can now boast four current SEC head coaches who have worked as his assistants, with Texas A&M's Jimbo Fisher and Tennessee's Jeremy Pruitt joining Georgia's Kirby Smart and South Carolina's Will Muschamp this season.

Pruitt was asked what advice Saban might have imparted to him as he left for Tennessee last winter.

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"You think Coach Saban is going to give me advice?" Pruitt said, drawing laughter.

"You better write down everything you can. You better take it all in while you have the opportunity because as soon as you go put on the other uniform, I can guarantee you ... even though everybody's friends, we want to beat the other guy. So we don't want to give the other person the edge."

Saban said he has had both incoming and outgoing phone calls to discuss rules, personnel or management issues with his former assistants over the years.

"What I tell every guy when they leave, whether it was Jim McElwain or Kirby or whoever, I said the most important thing for you, when you go to be your own head coach, is you have to be who you are," Saban said. "You have to be yourself. You guys have been that way here, and you made a tremendous impact on the group that you were in control over.

"So to think you have to be any different just because you're in charge of the whole team instead of one side of the ball is not something you need to overthink. And I think Jeremy's very capable. He's one of the best coaches we've had on our staff, and I think he'll do extremely well."

Hjalte's Denmark

Arkansas offensive lineman Hjalte Froholdt was asked many questions about his native Denmark at SEC media days, including one about how often he gets to share his country's culture with people in the United States.

"Well, I'm 21 so I can say this: We love beer in Denmark," Froholdt said. "We're huge fans of beer. If you go to Denmark or Germany, get some good beer.

"Good time, down by the beach or in the harbor. We love our ships. Out on a boat or something you know. Having a good beer, nothing beats that. That's my main culture."

Froholdt, clearly saddened, did not want to talk about Denmark's shootout loss in the World Cup to Croatia.

RPO frenzy

Georgia defensive lineman Jonathan Ledbetter isn't a fan of practicing for offenses that feature heavy run-pass options.

"I think they all have their own aspects," he said. "I really just think they're kind of annoying. I mean, people just use them to get the ball out quick, just to get that fast pace.

"I don't hate them in the game so much. It's more practice because we do so many. We practice for so much and you're doing RPOs over and over and over again, fastball paced, and you're breathing heavy and you're like, 'C'mon coach, we just did like 20 RPOs.'

"You're resetting the ball at the line of scrimmage in like seven seconds. I mean, what team is going to get back to the line in seven seconds and run a play?"

Zinger!

The old Skywriters Tour, which existed from 1966-1983, has been a renewed topic in Atlanta. College Football Playoff Executive Director Bill Hancock expressed his delight that SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey gave a nod to the group in his opening comments last Monday.

The Skywriters flew around the SEC in a plane chartered by the late SEC publicist Elmore "Scoop" Hudgins over the course of nine days in the summer.

Sankey took a playful shot at SEC executive associate commissioner Mark Womack on Monday while a picture of the Skywriters Tour from the 1960s was displayed behind him.

"Mark Womack had been on the SEC staff for 27 years the moment this photo was taken," Sankey said with a chuckle.

Say what?

Alabama Coach Nick Saban and Auburn Coach Gus Malzahn both struggled to hear some of the questions posed to them on the spacious turf field at the College Football Hall of Fame at SEC media days.

Saban seemed the most perturbed, turning to moderator Kevin Trainor, the associate athletic director for media relations at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, with a pained expression to get help in clarifying the questions. Saban also experienced a dry throat a couple of times while on the podium.

Several other coaches also struggled to hear questions precisely. Trainor said the acoustics in the room were a little tricky on the elevated stage.

Horse man

LSU linebacker Devin White is not your ordinary college football player. The junior from Springhill, La., is a horse owner and he rides to get away from it all.

"I think the best moment of my life is being a horse lover," said White, who led the SEC with 133 tackles last year. "My first horse is a horse that's so big his name is Ricky Bobby. I don't ride him much.

"I got a new horse this past Sunday. Her name is Daisy May and she's 5 years old. I got the chance to move her to Baton Rouge when I first purchased her.

"I go visit her every day. She's made my life easier this past week, because I go spend time with her and there's not a lot of outside noise."

Prewett blew it

Missouri senior safety Kaleb Prewett, who finished fourth on the team with 60 tackles last season, has been dismissed for an undisclosed disciplinary matter, Coach Barry Odom said at media days. Prewett, who transferred to Missouri from Kansas State, had been suspended since January.

Spurrier in sight

Steve Spurrier has the most SEC media days appearances among head coaches with 23, 12 at Florida and 11 at South Carolina.

Alabama Coach Nick Saban is second with 17 --5 at LSU and 12 with the Crimson Tide.

Phillip Fulmer (Tennessee) and Mark Richt (Georgia) are tied for the third-most appearances with 15. Houston Nutt (Arkansas, Ole Miss) had 14 along with Camden native Tommy Tuberville (Ole Miss, Auburn).

Sports on 07/23/2018

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