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Three & Out: SEC Fall Camp Notes, 8/15
LSU QB Jordan Jefferson
LSU QB Jordan Jefferson
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Aug 14, 2011


CFN SEC columnist Barrett Sallee shares three thoughts, news and notes on SEC fall camp.

Three & Out returns every Monday in 2011 to give you three SEC thoughts, news and notes. In the second edition of the 2011 season, we take a look at how fall camp is progressing in Baton Rouge, Auburn and Athens. This column is a “no-expansion zone.”

DON’T CALL IT A COMEBACK, HE’S BEEN AT IT FOR YEARS
Jordan Jefferson has been the subject of a lot of grief during his career in Baton Rouge - and that might be an understatement. The senior signal caller of the LSU Tigers suffered through a miserable 2010, completing just 56.5 percent of his passes for seven touchdowns and 10 interceptions. His inconsistency has the natives restless, especially with junior college transfer Zach Mettenberger waiting in the wings.

But according to all reports, Jefferson has solidified himself as the starter, and has Tiger fans thinking crystal football. He reportedly wowed everyone in attendance at the Manning Passing Academy, and that momentum has carried over into fall camp.

On Saturday afternoon, Jefferson completed 10-of-15 passes in LSU’s first full-scale scrimmage of fall camp, which included a touchdown pass to Russell Shepard.

I know I’m in the minority here, but I expect Jefferson to have a decent senior season. He has a veteran offensive line, a solid group of receivers and a very underrated feature running back in Spencer Ware, who is backed up by some talented youngsters. The adjustment to new offensive coordinator Greg Studrawa might throw a wrench in the works after Steve Kragthorpe moved from offensive coordinator to quarterbacks coach. But let’s be honest, whoever the offensive coordinator is, his biggest asset is that he’s not named “Gary Crowton.”

If LSU can just get a decent season out of Jordan Jefferson - just enough to keep the passing game in the back of the minds of opposing defenses - that might be enough for the Tigers to get to New Orleans for a chance to win the crystal football.

MAKING AN IMPACT
Auburn enters 2011 with one of the best running back tandems in the country with sophomore Michael Dyer and junior Onterio McCalebb, both of whom rushed for more than 800 yards last season for the Tigers. But nobody behind them, Auburn came into fall camp with a serious depth problem. The Tigers needed another option to emerge quickly, and one did in true freshman running back Tre Mason.

Mason, who was a four-star recruit according to Scout.com, was the last Tiger to qualify from the 2011 recruiting class. The 5-9, 190-pounder from Lake Worth, Fla., has turned some heads in the first two scrimmages, running for three touchdowns in the first and another long touchdown run on Saturday in the Tigers’ second scrimmage of the season.

"I'm really proud of Tre today," head coach Gene Chizik told Charles Goldberg of Al.com following Saturday’s scrimmage. "He has not arrived, but a really good job again today."

That’s about as much praise as Chizik is capable of during fall camp, so that says a lot about where Mason stands on the depth chart. If he can emerge as another weapon in offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn’s offense, it will go along way in helping the Tigers break in a new quarterback - whoever that winds up being.

DAWGS GETTING THIN
Washaun Ealey is gone. Caleb King is gone. And now, two of Georgia’s remaining running backs are battling injuries during fall camp.

True freshman Isaiah Crowell, who came to Athens as the latest version of the “next Herschel,” sat out Saturday morning’s practice with a groin injury. Joining him on the sideline was running back-turned linebacker-turned running back Richard Samuel, who is nursing a thigh injury.

If there’s one spot that UGA can’t afford injuries, it’s at running back. Boise State and South Carolina are already going to pin their ears back and come after Aaron Murray, and if the Bulldogs don’t have any semblance of a running game, it will only make that pass rush come quicker.

It’s still summer, so these injuries shouldn’t sound the alarm sirens in Bulldog Nation; but it’s something that keep an eye on as we get closer to kickoff. No team in America has a more important two-game stretch to start the season than the Georgia Bulldogs. They need everybody on the roster healthy; otherwise, the season could head south in a hurry.

Barrett Sallee covers the SEC for www.CollegeFootballNews.com. He can be reached at barrettsallee@gmail.com, or on Twitter at @BarrettSallee


2011 Three & Out Archive
Three & Out – August 15, 2011
Three & Out – August 8, 2011

Click Here for the 2011 offseason column archive
Click here for the 2010 regular season Three & Out archive


Related Stories
Freshman Shines at Auburn's First Scrimmage
 -by autigers.com  Aug 10, 2011
ITAT TV: Tre Mason Excited To Be A Tiger
 -by autigers.com  Aug 5, 2011
ITAT TV: Mason Remaining Humble
 -by autigers.com  Aug 31, 2011








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