It is a football event, however, this year’s SEC Media Days will be deeper than pigskin.
A new dynamic has been brought into the mix, as the Southeastern Conference will unveil a new feature, “Beyond The Field: Stories of the SEC.” This wrinkle allows each school to send at least one student who has a compelling story of excellence aside from athletics.
SEC Media Days is an annual event held inside the Hyatt Regency Birmingham-The Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover, Ala. The commotion is set to begin on July 13-16, and will reveal new SEC commissioner Greg Sankey. All 14 schools are allowed to send three players and a coach.
Senior inside linebacker Reggie Ragland will represent Alabama at SEC Media Days.
He filled in admirably last season in the absence of All-American linebacker C.J. Mosley. Ragland totaled 95 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, three pass breakups, three fumble recoveries, a forced fumble, a quarterback hurry and an interception. He was given second-round draft grade by NFL scouts, but decided to return to Alabama for his senior season.
He’s a head-hunter on the field, and a caregiver off it. Ragland participates in community service work at the local Veterans Administration hospital in Tuscaloosa, Ala. He shares encouraging words, and isn’t afraid of lifting spirits with a song. Ragland cited that more time on the field as well as in the classroom were both reasons in his decision to return to Alabama.
Ragland and Alabama’s head coach Nick Saban will take center stage on Wednesday, July 15, but the question is who else will join them? SEC Media Days is now two weeks away.
Stephen M. Smith is a staff writer and columnist for Touchdown Alabama Magazine, Pick Six Previews and SB Nation. You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” on Twitter, via @ESPN_Future.