HOOVER, Ala. (WIAT) — Players and coaches are building towards next season, and their excitement was on display throughout the third day of SEC Media Days.
Kentucky is looking to build on a successful surprise season after QB Stephen Johnson went from making the team as a backup to leading the team to victories in seven out of its 11 games on the season.
SEC Media Day 3 Roundup
“We’re optimistic, we’re excited, and we’re ready to get going,” said Mark Stoops, University of Kentucky head coach.
Johnson, Kentucky Safety Mark Edwards, and more were on hand to represent the future of the team, and give their thoughts on what comes next for the Wildcats.
Missouri and Texas A&M were both on hand to provide an insight into how their teams were developing, and both coaches expressed optimism.
Though Missouri went 4-8 over the season last year, they had a real bright spot in the development of Quarterback Drew Lock, who went on to throw for almost 3,399 yards and 23 touchdowns against 10 interceptions last year.
Lock returns to a team that is searching to establish its identity around a tough defensive corps that includes Linebacker Brett Geisel.
Texas A&M Aggies Head Coach Kevin Sumlin brought up the struggles that coaches face in the SEC, and how it the winning attitude has always been a necessary part of his survival.
However, that is not to say that Sumlin believes that the struggle is insurmountable, as he believes the key to their success is hard work and responsibility.
“We got the biggest sign in our building and it says ‘No excuses’,” Sumlin said. “We’re not giving any excuses and that starts with me. We want to be a top-tier football team, we want to be a championship football team. So the things we’ve done, the things we keep putting in place, the things that we adapt to this league to get to that next level, we’re doing it.”
His players, Armani Watts, Christian Kirk, and Koda Martin, gave their thoughts to a media that awaited their thoughts on the team’s direction, and CBS42’s Simone Eli got more in-depth thoughts from Kirk on his assumption of a leadership role.