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Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes 8/11
South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore
South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Aug 11, 2010


CFN SEC columnist Barrett Sallee shares three thoughts, comments or observations on what's going on this summer in the SEC.

Reach me via e-mail at barrettsallee@gmail.com or on Twitter @BarrettSallee



It's that time of year when camps are starting and pads are popping. With less than a month to go before the season starts, Three & Out returns to give you a periodic look at what's going on in the SEC. In today's edition, we take a look at a freshman running back that's making some noise in Columbia, a scary situation for a playmaker at Florida and a new time slot for the Iron Bowl.

MATCHING THE HYPE
Marcus Lattimore came to South Carolina to turn the Gamecocks' offense around. As the No. 1 running back in the nation in 2010, the 6-0, 207-pounder from Duncan, S.C.,was the prized recruit of head coach Steve Spurrier's most recent recruiting class. If the first week of practice is any indication, he won't disappoint.

With sophomore Kenny Miles nursing a hamstring injury and senior Brian Maddox nursing a groin, Lattimore and fellow running back Jarvis Giles have received the majority of the carries in the first week of practice for the Gamecocks. Lattimore has taken the opportunity to shine and run with it. He had a Herschel Walker moment on Saturday during 11-on-11 work, and then followed it up with a seven-carry, 41-yard performance Tuesday morning in the Gamecocks' first scrimmage.

Spurrier has already said that Lattimore will be ready for the first game of the season. Will he be the feature back? Probably not right off the bat. He will probably split carries with Giles and Miles. But Lattimore is going to make an immediate impact for a Gamecock team that finished last in the SEC in rushing offense in 2009.

With a stout defense led by Cliff Matthews, an impressive receiving corps headlined by Alshon Jeffery and Tori Gurley, and an underrated and overly-criticized Stephen Garcia taking the snaps, the Gamecocks are poised to take a major step forward in 2010. Lattimore's presence may take the pressure off of Garcia enough to turn the Gamecocks from a team that's perennially overlooked, into a team that contends for the SEC East.

SCARY STUFF FOR RAINEY
The Florida Gators had a scare this week, when wide receiver Chris Rainey missed a few practices with an accelerated heartbeat. The redshirt junior underwent a non-invasive cardiac procedure to fix the problem and will likely return to practice later in the week.

''Our guys do a very thorough job here,'' said Florida head coach Urban Meyer. ''They took care of him and everything is fine.''

Rainey is battling for one of the three starting wide receiver spots. But his real impact may be at the “Percy Position,” where he can show off his as a receiver and as a rusher.

I'm no doctor, nor do I play one on TV, but I do know that you don't take heart issues lightly. As the old saying goes, “spring is for learning, summer is for earning.” Rainey has already earned a spot as a significant contributor for the Gators in 2010. There's no need for him to hurry back to battle for his receiver spot when he's working through heart issues. Health is more important. THANKSGIVING HANGOVER
Auburn and Alabama fans don't agree on much. But when CBS announced that it was moving the annual Iron Bowl to the Friday after Thanksgiving for the 2009 and 2010 seasons, a collective moan was heard from the state of Alabama.

Rejoice Tigers and Tide fans, the early wake up call the Friday morning after Thanksgiving will not be necessary next year. The two-year deal ends after this season, and CBS has confirmed that the 2011 Iron Bowl will not be played during the same time slot.

Instead of the Iron Bowl, CBS will consider moving the LSU-Arkansas game, which occupied the slot prior to 2009, back to the day after Thanksgiving if the two schools are willing. The network also owns the rights to the Florida-Florida State and Georgia-Georgia Tech games on alternating years, and will also consider moving them to the time slot.

It's great exposure to play in the game. It's virtually unopposed exposure, which is priceless for a football program. But locking in a rivalry game to a long-term contract to play the day after Thanksgiving would be unfair for fans. With so many people traveling to all parts of the country, getting back in time for the 2:30 p.m. ET kickoff is very difficult even if fans are staying in the region.

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



2010 Offseason Three & Out Archive
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – August 11, 2010
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – August 4, 2010
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – July 28, 2010
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – July 21, 2010
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – July 14, 2010
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – July 7, 2010
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – June 30, 2010
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – April 21, 2010
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – April 14, 2010
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – April 11, 2010
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – April 8, 2010
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – April 5, 2010
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – March 31, 2010
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – March 28, 2010
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – March 24, 2010
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – March 21, 2010
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – March 18, 2010
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – March 15, 2010
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – March 11, 2010
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – March 5, 2010
Three & Out: SEC Thoughts, News & Notes – March 2, 2010

Click Here for the off-season blog archive

Click here for the 2009 regular season Three & Out archive


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