My first taste of SEC Media Days came in 1999 and at that time Lou Holtz was the highlight of the event. Still in his prime as a public speaker and storyteller, Holtz captivated what was a growing audience of media members. That was also Tommy Tuberville's first foray in the event, something Gus Malzahn will have to deal with on Wednesday.
The coaches are usually the center of attention at the event with Steve Spurrier and Nick Saban two of the largest draws each year in Hoover. On a rare occasion a player can overtake the coaches and become the main attraction. It happened with Tim Tebow and this year it will happen again with Johnny Manziel.
Coming out of nowhere to lead Texas A&M to 11 wins on the way to the Heisman Trophy last season, Manziel captivated the country with his play on the field. Since that time however he's captivated the country with his news off the field. Whether it has been about online classes or jet-setting across the country to attend sporting events and concerts, Manziel has definitely enjoyed his moment in the sun after winning one of the most prestigious awards in all of sports.
The biggest question for Manziel is how he will handle the pressure of doing it again. That starts when he takes the mic on Wednesday in front of hundreds of media members from around the country, but that's just the beginning for him. Now defenses will be gunning for him and the Aggies and without whiz kid offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury the jury is out on how well he'll do as a sophomore.
Ford's Moment In The Sun
Auburn fans know what a great ambassador Dee Ford is for the Tigers' program, but next week people around the country will find that out for themselves. A character with more than enough personality to keep the media entertained in Hoover, Ford should be one of the best interviews of the week out of the 42 players in attendance. Expected to be a top defender for Auburn this season with an opportunity to play his way into the NFL Draft, SEC Media Days could just be the start of a dream senior season for the speedy defensive end.
Harris Is A Gem
No matter what decision he makes on Aug. 18, Brandon Harris is headed for success in my opinion. A talented quarterback on the field, Harris is just as impressive off the field with the way he's handled the recruiting process.
Going from a prospect with only a handful of offers to one of the top players at his position in the country, Harris has kept his drive to be successful. That was only helped when he failed to make the Elite 11 finals even though many onlookers thought he was one of the top performers in his qualification camp. Using it as more fuel to keep working on his craft, Harris has bigger trophies in mind and after getting to know him I wouldn't bet against the Louisiana native one bit.
Dorms A Big Hit
It's hard to imagine anything having as much impact on Auburn's recruiting in the coming years as the new South Donahue Residence Hall will have once completed. A massive structure that will be state-of-the-art with flat screen TVs in each room and luxury accommodations, located just across the street from the athletic complex makes it convenient for student-athletes. When current players are excited about moving back on campus to live in the new structure that shows just how impactful it can be on Auburn's athletics moving forward.