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Tide LB Mack Wilson gives hilarious response to tweet from Vols QB

Mack Wilson-Alabama football-Guarantano response

Jarrett Guarantano just can’t win with Mack Wilson. Everywhere the Tennessee quarterback turns, there’s the Alabama linebacker waiting to make his life more difficult.

First, it was Wilson’s team handing Guarantano’s another loss on the football field — making it 11 in a row. To make matters worse, the 45-7 beatdown included an interception from Guarantano.

Which Alabama defender managed to secure that interception? Well, that would be Mack Wilson, of course.

RELATED: Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa receives parade in hometown

Any situation surrounding these to players seems to be a little lopsided in Wilson’s favor. That concept didn’t change on Sunday night, either. Guarantano made a seemingly harmless tweet after the Golden State Warriors beat the Houston Rockets 126-85 in Game 3 of the NBA Playoffs, and Wilson came out of nowhere with the metaphorical right hook.

Then you hate winning. https://t.co/pVkgKaf9wC — Lyndell “Mack” Wilson (@iam__mw3o) May 21, 2018

RELATED: The $76 million team: Alabama football leads all programs in 2018 NFL Draft contracts

Ouch. Did Wilson really have to bring up any issue with Guarantano winning right after a 4-8 season that included no SEC wins?

Maybe it’s just a little payback for Tennessee stealing Alabama’s defensive coordinator this offseason. It seems like this rivalry isn’t going away anytime soon, that’s for sure.

The post Tide LB Mack Wilson gives hilarious response to tweet from Vols QB appeared first on SEC Country.

Florida softball: Aleshia Ocasio’s no-hitter sends Gators to NCAA Super Regionals

Florida softball-Florida Gators-Florida-Ohio State-NCAA regionals-box score-stats

The Florida softball team is one step further, one step closer in its push for a national championship.

The Gators, the No. 2 overall seed, swept through the NCAA Regionals, closing it out Sunday with a 4-0 win over Ohio State at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium to move on to the super regionals.

Senior Aleshia Ocasio played the starring role this time, throwing a complete-game no-hitter with 12 strikeouts and 3 walks.

The only thing that could slow Florida (53-8) down this weekend was a seven-hour rain delay that pushed the regional championship game from the early afternoon to the evening.

Ohio State (36-16) earned a rematch with the Gators after losing the the teams’ first winners bracket showdown on Saturday, but the second showdown didn’t go any better for the visitors.

The Gators will now host either Texas A&M or Baylor, who are still playing Sunday night, in the next round.

Florida didn’t get its first hit until the top of the sixth inning, but the hosts took advantage of some other opportunities along the way.

The Gators went up 1-0 in the top of the first when Nicole DeWitt was hit by a pitch, Kayli Kvistad walked, Ocasio was hit by a pitch two batters later and Hannah Adams drew a two-out, bases-loaded walk.

Kvistad and Jordan Matthews led off the fifth with back-to-back walks and advanced on a passed ball. Pinch-runner Alex Voss then scored on Ocasio’s fielder’s choice groundout to make it 2-0.

And then the offense broke through in the sixth. Jaimie Hoover led off the frame with a triple and Amanda Lorenz brought her home with a double. Ocasio added a sacrifice fly RBI later in the inning to make it 4-0.

With that, the senior standout accounted for half of Florida’s RBI while also dominating on the mound. She issued 2 of her walks in the seventh, but she struck out Taylor Stevens to strand runners on first and third and end the game.

The post Florida softball: Aleshia Ocasio’s no-hitter sends Gators to NCAA Super Regionals appeared first on SEC Country.

Florida softball: Aleshia Ocasio’s no-hitter sends Gators to NCAA Super Regionals

Florida softball-Florida Gators-Florida-Ohio State-NCAA regionals-box score-stats

The Florida softball team is one step further, one step closer in its push for a national championship.

The Gators, the No. 2 overall seed, swept through the NCAA Regionals, closing it out Sunday with a 4-0 win over Ohio State at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium to move on to the super regionals.

Senior Aleshia Ocasio played the starring role this time, throwing a complete-game no-hitter with 12 strikeouts and 3 walks.

The only thing that could slow Florida (53-8) down this weekend was a seven-hour rain delay that pushed the regional championship game from the early afternoon to the evening.

Ohio State (36-16) earned a rematch with the Gators after losing the the teams’ first winners bracket showdown on Saturday, but the second showdown didn’t go any better for the visitors.

The Gators will now host either Texas A&M or Baylor, who are still playing Sunday night, in the next round.

Florida didn’t get its first hit until the top of the sixth inning, but the hosts took advantage of some other opportunities along the way.

The Gators went up 1-0 in the top of the first when Nicole DeWitt was hit by a pitch, Kayli Kvistad walked, Ocasio was hit by a pitch two batters later and Hannah Adams drew a two-out, bases-loaded walk.

Kvistad and Jordan Matthews led off the fifth with back-to-back walks and advanced on a passed ball. Pinch-runner Alex Voss then scored on Ocasio’s fielder’s choice groundout to make it 2-0.

And then the offense broke through in the sixth. Jaimie Hoover led off the frame with a triple and Amanda Lorenz brought her home with a double. Ocasio added a sacrifice fly RBI later in the inning to make it 4-0.

With that, the senior standout accounted for half of Florida’s RBI while also dominating on the mound. She issued 2 of her walks in the seventh, but she struck out Taylor Stevens to strand runners on first and third and end the game.

The post Florida softball: Aleshia Ocasio’s no-hitter sends Gators to NCAA Super Regionals appeared first on SEC Country.

Does Alabama still have chance with nation’s No. 1 JUCO LB after Tennessee commitment?

Alabama football-Alabama recruiting-Alabama Crimson Tide-Lakia Henry

Welcome to  SEC Country’s daily Roll Tide-ings , a rundown of everything happening in Alabama Crimson Tide recruiting with Chris Kirschner. In this edition, we talk the latest with the nation’s No. 1 junior college linebacker. 

Lakia Henry commits to Tennessee on Sunday

Lakia Henry, the nation’s No. 1 junior college linebacker out of Dodge City (Kan.) Community College, committed to Tennessee after visiting Knoxville for the first time last weekend. Henry called the Volunteers his leader after visiting, which culminated in his commitment on Sunday.

“It was my first Division I visit that I have ever been on, so they kind of won me over with that,” Henry told SEC Country. “They have really nice facilities. They have really nice people and Knoxville is a nice city. I really enjoyed the whole coaching staff when I was there.”

Henry, who’s one of Alabama’s top inside linebacker targets in the 2019 class, visited Nebraska and Ole Miss this weekend, but those trips just didn’t match what he felt at Tennessee.

He said he felt like Tennessee was the place for him after he put on the Vols jersey for the first time last weekend. He walked out on Neyland Stadium’s field, and it felt right to him.

Alabama’s staff reached out to Henry shortly after last weekend’s trip to Knoxville. Henry said the coaches were just asking him when he was going to set his visit to Tuscaloosa. The plan was for him to visit Tuscaloosa this summer, but that’s now up in the air.

“I don’t know if I am going visit, honestly,” Henry said.

Inside linebacker is one of the Tide’s most important needs in the 2019 class. Alabama signed one inside linebacker in the 2018 class, 3-star prospect Jaylen Moody.

Dylan Moses and Mack Wilson are the likely starters heading into this season. Moses showed he’s bound for stardom in his freshman season while Wilson is likely the next Tide linebacker who’s going to get selected early in the NFL draft. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see him leave after this season. Outside of Moses and Wilson, there are unknowns. Ben Davis hasn’t developed the way we thought he would coming out of high school and Markail Benton hasn’t played yet.

There are question marks after Moses and Wilson, so that’s why the Tide are trying to sign several at the position.

“They just keep telling me that I can come in and make an immediate impact,” Henry said of Alabama’s message. “They have told me that I am one of their top priorities. Nothing has changed with them.”

Nick Saban spoke with Henry last month and relayed the same message to him as his primary recruiter, defensive line coach Craig Kuligowski, and inside linebackers coach Pete Golding. Henry likes the fact the depth chart at inside linebacker is open because he only has two years of eligibility remaining, so he has to make an immediate impact.

The good news for Alabama is Henry’s recruitment is still in its infant stages because last weekend’s trip to Tennessee was the first visit he had made to an FBS program, so the emotions have been running high for Henry since then. But with him not being sure if he’s going to visit Tuscaloosa, it seems like the coaches will have to work hard to change his mind.

Now what for Alabama at inside linebacker? 

Alabama has a commitment from 4-star prospect Shane Lee. The Crimson Tide are in the mix for 5-star prospect Nakobe Dean and 4-star prospects Christian Harris, Kalen Deloach, Mohamoud Diabate and Kane Patterson. There’s also a good possibility of the Tide starting to pursue 4-star, in-state inside linebacker Vonta Bentley more.

I think the Tide are in good position for both Dean and Harris, who are the team’s top targets at ILB. Dean has visited Tuscaloosa around five times already, but he is strongly considering numerous schools and isn’t close to narrowing his choices yet. Harris has been close to committing to Alabama a couple of times now. It wouldn’t come as a surprise to see him on Alabama’s commitment list before the start of the season.

Miss a previous edition? Find every post of SEC Country’s daily Roll Tide-ings recruiting notebook  right here .

The post Does Alabama still have chance with nation’s No. 1 JUCO LB after Tennessee commitment? appeared first on SEC Country.

Report: Texas A&M’s Tyler Davis to remain in NBA draft, hire agent

Tyler Davis-NBA Draft-NBA mock draft-texas A&M basketball-robert williams

Texas A&M big man Tyler Davis has reportedly made his NBA draft decision.

Davis will sign with an agent and remain in the draft pool, according to a report from basketball insider Adam Zagoria.

Zagoria cites sources saying Davis is prepared to attempt to make a team as an undrafted free agent, should he go unpicked on draft night.

The move isn’t shocking, even though Davis isn’t currently expected to be picked. The Aggies will likely start a rebuilding process next season, so staying around in College Station may not have helped his draft stock all that much.

Even if Davis doesn’t land in the NBA, he shouldn’t have trouble finding a home playing professional ball in Europe. Davis averaged 14.9 points and 8.9 rebounds last season.

A&M will now have to replace three of its top four scorers from a season ago. Robert Williams and D.J. Hogg have each also committed to staying in the draft.

The post Report: Texas A&M’s Tyler Davis to remain in NBA draft, hire agent appeared first on SEC Country.

LSU AD Joe Alleva salutes Billy Cannon as program’s gold standard

lsu football-billy cannon

BATON ROUGE, La. — LSU has produced some of the most electrifying and colorful athletes in American sports history, with figures such as Pete Maravich and Shaquille O’Neal becoming household names. But on the LSU campus, no name has surpassed that of Billy Cannon in the 58 years since he left.

“I think he’s equal to them or surpasses them,” LSU athletic director Joe Alleva said of Cannon’s spot with Maravich and O’Neal on LSU’s figurative Mount Rushmore. “With what he was able to do as a Heisman Trophy winner as an unbelievable college athlete. And he had a great life after football too. He was a really special man.”

Cannon died Sunday morning at the age of 80.

“You never want this day to come, but it happens to us all at some point,” Alleva said. “I visited him two or three weeks ago. He didn’t suffer at all, so thank God for that.”

Alleva, who spoke to SEC Country at LSU’s softball regional championship game, said Cannon would have been able to play in any era. Cannon was 6-foot-1 and 225 pounds in an era where the average lineman was between 230-240 pounds.

“With his size and speed, he still could have been a running back today,” Alleva said. “He was bigger than a lot of linemen in his day.”

Cannon remains the lone player in LSU history to win the Heisman Trophy, which he did in 1959. He will also become the first LSU football player to have a statue built outside of Tiger Stadium. Alleva said the hope is for the Cannon statue to be erected by the end of 2018 season.

And though it seems sad that Cannon won’t be there to see it in person, it turns out he already knew exactly what it will look like.

“What really is cool is that Billy and his family had input on the design of the statue,” Alleva said. “He’s seen it. He was involved with the whole process.

“Our goal was to have it up this football season and we still may be able to pull that off. Unfortunately he won’t be here, but he approved it.”

The post LSU AD Joe Alleva salutes Billy Cannon as program’s gold standard appeared first on SEC Country.

LSU softball escapes Louisiana-Lafayette, advances to Super Regional

lsu-lsu softball-shemiah sanchez

BATON ROUGE, La. — Louisiana-Lafayette took LSU softball to the brink for the second straight year, but the Tigers won the deciding game of the Baton Rouge regional 3-1 to advance to Super Regionals for the fourth straight season.

Shemiah Sanchez scored the go-ahead run from first base in the bottom of the sixth, coming all the way around on a Michaela Schlattman double. Sanchez appeared to have been tagged out at the plate by Cajuns catcher Lexie Comeaux, but was called safe by home plate umpire Leah Daume.

“I think if anyone in the world looks back at the replay, they’ll know exactly what the right call was,” Comeaux said.

ULL coach Gerry Glasco was ejected shortly thereafter for arguing with the umpires.

“At that moment I needed to fight for my team. It is what it is,” Glasco said. “We’ll find out later whether I was right or wrong. It’s been a long, hot day for me and them both.”

Allie Walljasper (18-6) earned the win for LSU, allowing 1 run on 3 hits with no walks.

ULL forced a winner-take-all final game by beating the Tigers 5-4 in Sunday’s first game. The Ragin’ Cajuns stormed back from a 4-0 deficit to tie the game in the bottom of the sixth, then beat the Tigers in the 10th inning.

Long gone

Catcher Michaela Schlattman provided the big blast in Game 1 with a two-out, two-run home run over the left-field wall to put LSU up 3-0 in the top of the fourth inning.

Schlattman’s moonshot seemed to travel as high as it did far, reaching high enough at its apex to clear the top of the foul pole.

GONE! What a blast from Michaela Schlattman to put two more runs on the board for @LSUSoftball! #NCAASoftball pic.twitter.com/9nhN2gX3Qt — NCAA Softball (@NCAAsoftball) May 20, 2018 Player of the day

Schlattman, who drove in 3 RBI in the two games, including the go-ahead tally in Game 2.

What’s next for LSU softball?

The No. 11 national seed Tigers head to Tallahassee, Fla. for the second straight year to take on No. 6 Florida State. LSU is seeking its fourth straight trip to the Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City. The Tigers beat the Seminoles in three games last year.

The post LSU softball escapes Louisiana-Lafayette, advances to Super Regional appeared first on SEC Country.

LSU priority RB target John Emery Jr. inching closer to decision

john emery-lsu-lsu tigers-recruiting

Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Eye on the Tigers, a rundown of everything happening in LSU Tigers recruiting , with Sam Spiegelman. Today, we discuss Louisiana’s top-ranked running back, John Emery Jr., who after visiting each school on his top-8 list is inching closer to a commitment. The LSU target recaps his most recent stop in Baton Rouge and when he could make a decision.

John Emery Jr. has a commitment timeline in mind

DESTREHAN, La. — At the start of spring football practice, Louisiana’s No. 1 running back was beginning to lean in one direction in his recruitment. It’s funny what can change in a matter of weeks.

John Emery Jr., the No. 5-ranked tailback in the country, played only a handful of snaps Wednesday night in Destrehan High School’s spring game, which lured college coaches from all over to Wildcats Stadium.

The LSU, Alabama, Georgia, Florida and Southern California staffs were represented, including a pair from LSU and Georgia to see Emery live in action.

Emery released a top-8 list at the start of the spring and is slowly chipping away at that group in the hopes of making a decision as early as June. Whether it’s June or July, Emery is aiming for a summertime decision, a process that a month ago seemed somewhat easy but is now growing more difficult with each day, each conversation and each visit.

“It’s still close,” Emery told SEC Country. “I’m still waiting, trying to take some more visits and still scheduling things out, but I plan on committing in June. It’s nothing specific, just sometime in that month.”

john emery-lsu-lsu tigers-recruiting
Four-star Louisiana running back John Emery Jr. has taken visits recently to LSU and Georgia. He is tentatively planning to make a commitment in June and says the race is still close. (Sam Spiegelman/SEC Country)

Emery made an unofficial visit to Georgia over the weekend, bringing along his mother for the return trip for the weekend scavenger hunt. The visit followed an appearance from running backs coach Dell McGee and area recruiter Cortez Hankton at the 4-star running back’s spring game.

The 6-foot, 200-pound back’s return to Athens, Ga., followed a significant visit to LSU in late April in which Emery sat down with running backs coach Tommie Robinson about his potential fit in the Tigers offense.

“It was great,” Emery said of the visit to LSU. “I had a great time with coach Mickey Joseph and T-Rob. It felt like home. I actually chilled with a couple of guys from Destrehan like Justin Jefferson. I had a great time. I always have a good time when I go to LSU. It’s just like home.”

Before the visit to LSU, Emery admitted that he had a school in mind. That thought process was quickly altered in Baton Rouge.

The conversation with Robinson provided Emery with an in-depth look at his specific role in the offense. The Tigers will lose senior Nick Brossette following the 2018 season and are in dire need of quality backs to replenish the depth in the backfield. Emery was all ears in the meeting room.

“It was positive. We have never sat down to talk about how he could utilize me in the offense and I saw myself doing things there in the future,” he said. “It pushed it. It was amazing, but it’s going to be a hard decision. It made me realize the schools I’ve got on my mind right now — and LSU is one of them — it’s going to be hard going back up there.

“This time when I went up there and sat down with Coach T-Rob, we talked about me in the offense and that’s what made it different. That’s what made it hard for me. Thinking in the future, it’s going to be hard for me to pick a school, weigh out the different schools because the schools in my top [group] right now are all great.”

Tentatively, Emery wants to put a bow on his recruitment in about a month’s time. A return visit to Georgia and a two-coach presence at the spring game is a likely sign that the Bulldogs are LSU’s biggest threat for the elite running back. More visits are expected, and that includes LSU before Emery finalizes his plans.

When asked how close the schools at the top are at this moment, Emery offered this response: “It’s still close. It does [make things hard]. LSU is home and the connections I could have there … it’s going to be a hard decision for me.”

Miss a previous edition? Find every post of SEC Country’s daily Eye on the Tigers recruiting notebook right here .

The post LSU priority RB target John Emery Jr. inching closer to decision appeared first on SEC Country.

South Carolina recruiting: The latest on 5-star DE Zacch Pickens

South Carolina recruiting-Zacch Pickens-Gamecocks football

Whenever Will Muschamp lands a commitment, the South Carolina coach drops a #SpursUp on Twitter. Come to SEC Country for the latest news, notes and observations in South Carolina recruiting.  For previous editions of SpursUp Surveillance, check out the link.

5-star update

After he stopped by Irmo (Columbia, S.C.) High School for the EPT (Elite Position Training) Showcase, 5-star defensive end Zacch Pickens (Anderson, S.C.) tweeted a series of pictures, which documented a Saturday visit to Georgia. Pickens, who’s ranked as the top 2019 prospect from the state of South Carolina, is believed to be closely considering the Bulldogs, along with both in-state programs.

The Georgia trip was his first college visit since he went to South Carolina in April.

“It was really good,” Pickens said of his visit with the Gamecocks. “I really enjoyed myself.”

What stood out?

“Everything really,” he said. “I got to see a lot.”

The message from Muschamp and the rest of South Carolina’s coaching staff is simple.

“They just really want me there,” Pickens said. “[Muschamp and I] have a pretty good relationship. We talk here and there, but that’s about it.”

Pickens likes the progress he’s seen from South Carolina in the first two seasons under Muschamp.

“How they [are] coming as a team. How they work as a team. At the end of the day, they’re going to be a big family,” Pickens said.

Pickens doesn’t have any summer visits plans, though it was previously reported that he would return to South Carolina for an official visit during the first weekend in June. He plans to spend most of his summer working alongside his teammates from T.L. Hanna High School.

Brief words on Clemson and Georgia

Though he has a “good bit” of contact with Clemson, it’s “been a little while” since his last visit to the school. Defensive coordinator Brent Venables serves as his lead recruiter.

As for Georgia, Pickens said, “They’re really good, too. I like their program.”

He enjoys “a pretty good relationship” with coach Kirby Smart.

Primary factors

The 247Sports composite ranks Pickens (6-4½, 268) as the No. 13 overall prospect in the Class of 2019. According to his 247Sports profile, he has 17 offers, but it’s probably safe to assume that number is a little low.

Pickens keeps a relatively low profile. He doesn’t do many interviews. The quotes provided above were from a conversation he had with The State and TheBigSpur while his mom stood nearby.

Their measured approach to the recruiting process makes it a little challenging to get a read, though 62 percent of the eight predictions on the 247Sports Crystal Ball have him as a South Carolina lean. Clemson is second at 32 percent. The biggest factor in his recruitment is no different from many other prospects.

“Somewhere I feel at home really, that treats me like T.L. Hanna,” Pickens said.

For more South Carolina recruiting notebooks, check out the link.

The post South Carolina recruiting: The latest on 5-star DE Zacch Pickens appeared first on SEC Country.

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