SEC Three & Out: Dworaczyk Gets One More
LSU guard Josh Dworaczyk
CFN SEC columnist Barrett Sallee examines the offseason in the SEC.
By: Barrett Sallee
Follow me on Twitter: @BarrettSallee
Three & Out returns every Thursday in 2012 to keep fans up-to-date on the latest news and notes from the SEC. This week, we navigate the doldrums of February with a look LSU's post-signing day gift, a coaching change on the Plains and government meddling in college football.
BACK TO SCHOOL
One week after signing the nation's No. 7 recruiting class, the LSU Tigers received some more good news on Wednesday. Offensive guard Josh Dworaczyk was granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA, and will suit up for the Tigers as they look to defend their SEC Championship in 2012.
Dworaczyk started every game for LSU during the 2009 and 2010 seasons, but suffered a knee injury in August that caused him to miss the entire 2011 season. But he turned that injury into a learning experience, and will enter 2012 with a different perspective on the game.
"Getting to see the game through the eyes of a coach and understanding what they are looking for from the players on the field, it helped me fully understand our offense," said Dworaczyk. "It also gave me a different relationship with my teammates. As a player, I was a leader on the field. Last year, I couldn't be in the huddle with my teammates so I tried to be a motivator, giving words of advice or encouragement and doing whatever I could to help from the sidelines."
Getting the 6-6, 301-pound New Iberia, La. native back will be huge for the Tigers - literally. With Dworaczyk back in the mix, LSU essentially returns five offensive line starters this year - Dworaczyk, Alex Hurst, Josh Williford, Chris Faulk and P.J. Lonergan. Championships start up front, and the experience the big uglies have will make LSU a favorite again in 2012.
Here we are a week after National Signing Day, and Auburn is in the midst of another coaching search.
No, the sky is not falling, but former Tiger cornerbacks coach Phillip Lolley is leaving the field to take an administrative role for the second time in his career.
Lolley came to the Plains when former head coach Tommy Tuberville was hired in 1999, moved upstairs to take the Director of NFL Relations job in 2004, but was lured back down to the field when Gene Chizik was hired in 2009.
So who's out there to fill Lolley's spot as cornerbacks coach?
One name to keep an eye on is former Auburn safety Travaris Robinson. Robinson played for Auburn from 1999-2002, with his final season coming under the direction of Chizik, who was hired as Auburn's defensive coordinator in 2002. Robinson has been coaching since 2006, and is currently the defensive backs coach for the Florida Gators. Robinson's Florida team finished seventh in the country in pass defense in 2011, and is known as a strong recruiter. The only question is whether or not Florida head coach Will Muschamp would let him walk.
Another name to look out for is - and Georgia fans, try not to laugh - Willie Martinez. Martinez doesn't exactly have a sterling reputation in SEC circles following a disastrous stint as Georgia's defensive coordinator from 2005-2009; but he coached some pretty successful defensive backs under new Auburn defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder from 2001-2005 at Georgia. Martinez wouldn't be in the coordinator role, so the familiarity with VanGorder and success in the same role makes him a logical choice.
You can stop laughing now, Bulldogs.
Lawmakers in South Carolina took a shot at some important business on Wednesday - making it mandatory that South Carolina and Clemson meet every year on the football field. Instead, it was a whole lot of sound and fury signifying nothing.
A House subcommittee voted 7-0 to deny a requirement that would have forced the two rivals, which have met every year since 1909 without such a law on the books, to annually meet on the gridiron.
The move was a clear reaction to the ACC's decision last week to institute a nine-game conference schedule once Syracuse and Pittsburgh join the conference. With only three out-of-conference games available each season, that move could - conceivably - put some traditional ACC/SEC rivalries in jeopardy. If those games realistically were on the chopping block, then the government probably would step in to require them. But right now, that's not an issue.
The SEC is still steadfastly maintaining its eight-game conference schedule, but when the next round of expansion hits - and it's coming - commissioner Mike Slive might not have a choice but to expand to nine conference games.
Barrett Sallee covers the SEC for www.CollegeFootballNews.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter at @BarrettSallee
2012 Offseason Three & Out Archive
Three & Out - February 9, 2012
Three & Out - February 2, 2012
Three & Out - January 23, 2012
Three & Out - January 16, 2012
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