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SECMD 2016: Recapping the Final Day

Shanna Lockwood - USA TODAY Sports

Thursday was the final day of the circus in Hoover known as SEC Media Days. After a week full of humor, news and some controversy, it was time for Les Miles to take the stage to wrap everything up with his talks of the LSU football team (a.k.a. vacations).

Les Miles Talking About Things Other Than Football

This happens every year and yet it is always entertaining. Whether it be his vacations, favorite food or the NBA finals apparently.

“I was shanghaied in Austin, Texas, and taken to Cleveland, Ohio, to watch a Game 6 in the NBA Finals and root for LeBron James,” Miles said in his opening statement on Thursday. “I’m so happy for him.”

That story lasted a few minutes before he went on to breakdown the entire LSU depth chart, as he does every year. After speaking for 22 minutes, he finally took questions in the main room.

Once he got to the smaller rooms, he got a question about his role in an upcoming independent film. He made sure to give his line.

There was some talk about LSU football, mostly surrounding running back Leonard Fournette. LSU cornerback Tre’Davious White talked about going against Fournette in practice, saying he’s chased him down a few times but it’s tough to bring him down.

The All-American running back is set too be one of the frontrunners for the Heisman this year but he still wants to improve on last season. Fournette says he needs to work harder and that his only goal is to win a national championship.

Ole Miss Going For Three in a Row

Hugh Freeze has made Ole Miss into a prestigious football program again. They’ve defeated the SEC Champions in the past two seasons but have yet to make too much noise by the end of the season. Still, the focus for the Rebels on Thursday was how they have played against the Crimson Tide.

“Well I think our coaching staff does a good job of getting us prepared,” Rebel quarterback Chad Kelly said. “It comes down to execution during the game, and we just have better execution than they do.”

There’s no question that Ole Miss has had great games against Alabama the last two seasons but some fans may still argue that it was a little luck rather than execution that led to a win in Tuscaloosa last season. Kelly may think so too.

Kelly was not the only one to face questions about beating Alabama. Coach Freeze said that he likes the challenge of playing against the nation’s best programs and he makes sure his team has the same mindset.

“I think that’s competing in the SEC and that’s why it’s so successful,” said Ole Miss tight end Evan Engram. “The competition and the way teams push each other.”

Muschamp’s First Season in Columbia

Will Muschamp is the new head coach at South Carolina and comes in to try to improve on a team that went 3-9 last season, which might have some coaches to ask for more leniency in their first season.

“I’m extremely excited about it,” Muschamp said. “There is no three-year plan, five-year plan. They plan to win now. Okay? That’s my mentality.”

The former Auburn defensive coordinator continued to speak highly of his team’s chances in 2016. He was asked on a couple of occasions about what lesson he learned from his time as the head coach of Florida and if he would do anything different for this job.

“It comes back to offense,” Muschamp said. “From a practice standpoint, to make sure we’re practicing the right way, whether it’s staff, scheme, decision-making, whatever, but that falls on my shoulders.”

South Carolina players Marquavius Lewis and Deebo Samuel both spoke about the intensity that Muschamp brings into practice. Lewis said he wants to be sure each player is doing everything correctly.

“It’s been more technical than anything,” the senior defensive end said. “Knowing your keys, knowing your assignments, doing the little things.”

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