The Alabama Crimson Tide returns an undefeated quarterback who wears a national championship ring, but not every team in the conference is so lucky. There are many new faces and the AP provides a roundup.
AP: A look at the other new SEC quarterbacks:
Brantley is the most high-profile new starter, because of his team’s record and his predecessor’s accomplishments. He’ll take the field against Miami (Ohio).
“I’m trying not to think about it too much so that I don’t get too nervous,” Brantley said. “It’s going to be a little nerve-racking running out there the first time, but if you’re not nervous then there’s something wrong. I’m excited. I just can’t wait for Saturday to come.”
The 6-foot-6, 250-pound Newton won the Tigers’ starting job in the spring, and gives Auburn a dual threat to run coordinator Gus Malzahn’s offense.
Newton transferred from Florida after getting charged with stealing a laptop (he says he bought it not knowing it was stolen). The charges were dropped after he completed a pretrial intervention program for first-time offenders.
“I think he’s a great quarterback,” Brantley said. “He’s a really smart football player. He knows the game of football. It’s just unfortunate because of his past but I think he’s going to do a great job at Auburn. I’m pulling for him.”
From Newton’s perspective, “I feel like the luckiest man on earth to be able to start for any Division I school.”
“We were just waiting our turn, and unfortunately he got the chance,” Newton said. “But I’m still in an excellent situation myself, so it worked out for the both of us.”
No SEC team has less seasoning at quarterback than Georgia. Murray is a redshirt freshman, backed up by freshman Hutson Mason and two walk-ons. The only Bulldog player with game time at quarterback is Logan Gray, last year’s backup to Joe Cox and now a receiver.
No wonder coach Mark Richt said Georgia’s “quarterback room has got to be the youngest room maybe in the history of college football.”
But he’s been here before, having started David Greene and Matthew Stafford as freshmen.
Mississippi State’s Relf was mostly a runner when he saw action last season, gaining 131 yards against Ole Miss. He did throw five TD passes. Russell is a redshirt freshman.
At Tennessee, Simms beat out freshman Tyler Bray but he hasn’t even seen Neyland Stadium on a game day much less started.
“I have played it through my mind a million times, almost everyday since I have been here,” Simms said. “Even though each time I play it over in my mind it gets better, it’s not going to compare to when I actually do it for the first time. I am just going to try and stay focused and not keep my mouth wide open just looking around at the place.” (read the entire AP story below)