HOOVER, Ala. — Over the past three days, 24 players, eight coaches and six administrators have taken their turns on the podiums in the grand ballroom at the Hyatt Regency Wynfrey Hotel. On Thursday morning we’ll finally get to hear from coach Mark Richt and the Georgia Bulldogs.
Georgia is the 11th of the SEC’s 14 teams to stand before the microphones and cameras at SEC Football Media Days. Richt will be accompanied by wide receiver Chris Conley, linebacker Ramik Wilson and tailback Todd Gurley.
Ole Miss, Alabama and Kentucky, in that order, will round out what has been a record week for excess for this event — more than 1,200 credentialed media conducting interviews and watching presentations over four days.
Gurley’s arrival will be met by a bit of mild anticipation from the media horde, which has found itself somewhat starved for star power during this year’s proceedings. A year after Johnny Manziel, Jadeveon Clowney, A.J. McCarron, Aaron Murray and others kept things fairly stirred up, a parade of nondescript tight ends, offensive and defensive linemen and even a punter have marched been through the labyrinth of hallways and interview rooms on the second floor of the expansive hotel.
Since Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall was scratched, Gurley will be the first legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate to step into the room. And the junior from Tarboro, N.C., has developed enough of a reputation as a reluctant interviewee — “Surly Gurley,” he has been called — that there’s a some curiosity to see how he might react to the incessant stream of lighted cameras and loaded questions he’ll encounter on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Alabama’s Nick Saban and Amari Cooper, Mississippi’s Bo Wallace, and Kentucky’s — well, never mind Kentucky — offer an air of expectancy to Thursday’s itinerary. And then there’s the matter of preseason predictions.
By the time the Bulldogs arrive just before 9 ET this morning, the SEC should have released the media’s predicted order of finish and preseason All-SEC teams. Then again, no sense getting worked up over that. This group has tabbed the eventual overall champion just four times in the last 22 years.