HOOVER — The trip to Hoover was a home-state return for University of Florida running back Lamical Perine, who played prep football at Theodore High School in Mobile County. Not every memory he has of Alabama — or at least his recruitment by the in-state SEC schools — is a fond one.
“Alabama recruited me but they got on me late in my senior year,” said Perine, who was a part of Jim McElwain’s 2015 Gator recruiting class. “I felt kind of disrespected by that. I felt like I had to stick with my loyalty and that was Florida.”
One of the reporters in the surrounding scrum commented that “no one says ‘no’ to (Nick) Saban,” to which Perine replied “well, Lamical Perine did.”
His comments about Auburn, which also elected not to offer him a scholarship, were even more pointed.
“I am not an Auburn fan at all,” Perine said. “They recruited me a little bit. But I didn’t have an offer from them. They told me I was too slow. You can tell on my film, you can tell I’m not that slow. They had their opinion.
“I remember those words. Saying they felt like I needed to get my speed up, things like that, and I’ll never forget that. Honestly, that didn’t stop Florida and other schools from offering me. Only Auburn.”
Perine will get a chance at retribution on Oct. 5 when Auburn plays Florida in Gainesville.
It’s in the book
After years of a traditional offense geared around the run, one reporter was skeptical of LSU coach Ed Orgeron’s claim that spread and run-pass option concepts would be featured more prominently.
“It’s in the playbook, I’ve seen the playbook,” Orgeron said.
Orgeron added he believes that style of offense suits quarterback Joe Burrow’s mobility well.
The best one?
LSU has lost several in-state recruits to Alabama in recent years, including receiver DeVonta Smith and freshman defensive lineman Ishmael Sopsher from Amite High School. LSU coach Ed Orgeron acknowledged it was important to land Amite receiver Devonta Lee to maintain a presence in the area.
“Well, really it’s a battle, obviously, a battle especially from that area,” Orgeron said. “And we feel we got the best player from that team. Devonta Lee had a great state championship game. He played offense, he played defense. He’s a great young man.”
If football does not work out for Florida QB Feleipe Franks after his college career, then he will test out the MLB waters. The redshirt junior has signed a deal with the Boston Red Sox. Franks was drafted in the 31st round of the 2019 MLB Draft.
“My main focus is on football,” Franks said. “It will be a fallback option if football does not work out.”
Florida coach, Dan Mullen, a Red Sox fan, was happy Franks was drafted by Boston, a team in need of some bullpen help.
“If any team was going to draft him, I’m very glad it was them,” Mullen said. “I heard he threw 95 miles per hour in a workout for them. He’s still working on his accuracy so I do not know if I want to get in the batter’s box with him if he is throwing 95 miles per hour.”
Must be the shoes
Dan Mullen is no stranger to making fashion statements with his sneakers. Before SEC Media Days in 2015, the coach started a trend of posting his shoe selections for the event on Twitter.
This year he donned custom Jordan 11’s that featured a blue and orange color scheme with a gator-skin pattern, and the UF gator logo on the tongue.
No such luck
Greg Sankey got the attention of the media assembled at the Wynfrey Hotel when he announced the site for next year’s Media Days.
“I know there is interest in where we conduct Media Days next year,” Sankey said. “So I’m pleased to announce that we will be in Las Vegas next year. Ah, I’m kidding.”
Las Vegas is a destination for one SEC team, however. The SEC is tied to the new Las Vegas Bowl.
The 2020 SEC Media Days is heading back to Atlanta while the 2021 event will be in Nashville.
College football turns 150 this year. Princeton played Rutgers in the first college game on Nov. 6, 1869. The SEC will help celebrate the anniversary by airing “Saturdays in the South: A History of SEC Football” over the course of eight consecutive Tuesdays at 8 p.m. CT, beginning Sept. 3.
Missouri senior linebacker Cale Garrett talked about his enjoyment of mountain climbing. Garrett first climbed Pikes Peak in Colorado.
“I was very unprepared. It was in May, so there’s still snow,” Garrett said. “There wasn’t an actual path so I kind of had to make up my own and I was like ‘there’s no way I’m getting back down this’, so I just took a train down.”
Since then, Garrett has researched it and saw that it’s better to climb in June or July to let the snow melt.
Notes compiled by Cecil Hurt, James Ogletree, Tyler Martin, Hunter Jones and Edwin Stanton