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August 14, 2006

SEC Report: Injuries hit Florida, Auburn

A quick look at the latest news out of the SEC from around the Rivals.com Network:

SEC East Practice Reports
Florida : Freshman receivers Percy Harvin and Jarred Fayson both sat out afternoon workouts on Saturday with minor injuries. The pair of highly touted prospects are expected to contribute immediately for the Gators in Urban Meyer's spread offense. Harvin was the No.1 player in the Rivals.com 2006 recruiting class.
Georgia: The four-way battle for the Georgia QB position did not make itself much clearer in Saturday's practice. In a game controlled by the defense, no one seemed to separate themselves from the pack. Sophomore Blake Barnes threw the only TD pass of the day, a 10-yard strike to senior wideout Mario Raley.
Kentucky: The QB battle officially got under way on Saturday as the Wildcats scrimmaged for two hours in front of the public and media. Coach Rich Brooks said that Andre Woodson and Curtis Pulley did some good things in the scrimmage and that neither gained an advantage. Freshman safety Ashton Cobb had two interceptions and a jarring hit in the scrimmage.
South Carolina: Gamecock quarterbacks had a great day Saturday during the team's first scrimmage. The unit completed 25-of-43 passes for 375 yards with five touchdowns and two interceptions. Freshman Chris Smelley highlighted the effort, completing 10-of-17 passes for 173 yards and three touchdowns. Smelley is currently listed as third on the depth chart behind starter Blake Mitchell and backup Cade Thompson, but is making a case to move up the depth chart.
Tennessee: One surprise during the team's first full-scale scrimmage on Saturday was sophomore Demetrice Morley occupying a first-team safety spot ahead of senior Antwan Stewart. Saturday also marked the return of junior DT J.T. Mapu. The scrimmage was Mapu's first live action in Neyland Stadium after being away from the program for more than two years.
Vanderbilt: Sophomore kicker Bryant Hahnfeldt returned to action for the Commodores for Saturday's scrimmage. He participated in field goal drills, going 3-for-3 and appears to be read to go this fall after injuring his knee against Tennessee last season.
SEC West Practice Reports
Alabama: Unlike a year ago, the Crimson Tide have position battles all over the field. Middle linebacker, free safety and wide receiver are all up for grabs, but the most interesting battle is at left tackle, where incumbent Chris Capps is battling heralded freshman Andre Smith, the No. 2 overall player in the Rivals.com 2006 recruiting class.
Arkansas: At quarterback, sophomore Casey Dick is expected to be the starter. Freshman Mitch Mustain is unquestionably the future, but Saturday it was junior Robert Johnson who left the biggest impression during the scrimmage. With Dick sidelined by a sore back, Johnson hit junior split end Marcus Monk on consecutive 20, 21 and 20-yard passes over the middle to set up a four-yard touchdown run by Felix Jones during the first series of Saturday's scrimmage.
Auburn: Coach Tommy Tuberville decided to cancel Saturday's scheduled scrimmage due to the number of mounting injuries facing the Tigers. Receiver Courtney Taylor and offensive lineman Antwoin Daniels went down with knee injuries during Friday's morning practice. With OL Ben Grubbs (ankle), CB Jerraud Powers (shoulder) S Lorenzo Ferguson (shoulder) and CB David Irons (hamstring) already out of practice, Tuberville chose a morning workout Saturday rather than a full-scale scrimmage.
LSU: While just about everyone else in the SEC held their first scrimmage over the weekend (Alabama's is Monday), LSU will finally get around to live action tomorrow. The Tigers had their first practice in full pads on Friday. All eyes will be on the LSU offense in the scrimmage. QB JaMarcus Russell and running backs Alley Broussard and Justin Vincent all return from injuries they suffered last season.
Mississippi State: The first scrimmage was dominated by the defense on Saturday. It caused turnovers, made interceptions, forced fumbles and even scored a touchdown. The one bright spot for the offense was QB Tray Rutland, who threw the ball well.
Ole Miss: New quarterback Brent Schaeffer finally made his Rebels debut in Saturday's scrimmage and showed why coach Ed Orgeron has been holding the position for Schaeffer. The former Tennessee QB completed 11 of 20 passes for 145 yards and three scores. He did throw an interception which was returned 50 yards for a touchdown by sophomore DB Terrell Jackson.

(Compiled by Brandon Castel, Rivals.com)

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