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Seven things we learned at SEC Media Days


HOOVER, Ala. -- New Florida coach Jim McElwain got more than enough of a look at one son of a former NFL Pro Bowler in spring practice, and not enough of another.

As such, he has a pretty good idea of what to expect from running back Kelvin Taylor, the son of former Jacksonville Jaguars star and ex-Gator Fred Taylor, but isn't yet sure what to make of Bryan Cox, Jr., who spent the spring rehabilitating from an injury.

"Kelvin, he ended up taking a ton of reps because (of) the lack of numbers at the position, and has done an outstanding job, especially in the pass protection part of it, which is something that we're going to need out of him moving forward," said McElwain, who takes over the Gators after a 10-3 season at Colorado State. "Bryan is coming off an injury, and yet has done a great job from the rehab standpoint. We're excited to get him back out come the start of fall camp."

Taylor rushed for 565 yards last year on 116 carries in support of starter Matt Jones, who was chosen in the third round of this year's NFL draft by the Washington Redskins. Taylor should have every chance to be the Gators' full-time starter this fall for the first time in his career.

Cox underwent hip surgery after the season and missed UF's bowl game against East Carolina after making four sacks and six tackles for loss at defensive end. His father made 51.5 career sacks in a 12-year NFL career and is now an assistant coach with the Atlanta Falcons.

Here are six other things we learned from the first day of SEC Media Days:

2.*Never covered?* In his final year at Auburn, wide receiver "Duke" Williams is primed for a big season. New quarterback Jeremy Johnson described him this way: "When he's covered, he's open." Cornerback Jonathan Jones, who has the task of dealing with the 6-2, 225-pound Williams in practice, was a bit more detailed:

"He's a physical receiver, and he's faster than what people think," said Jones, who is on the watch list for the 2015 Jim Thorpe Award as the nation's top defensive back. "He mixes that speed with a great knowledge of route-running to make a great receiver."

3. Vernon the Quotable I. Florida cornerback Vernon Hargreaveshad plenty to say Monday in his turn at the SEC Media Days mic, and didn't hesitate when asked who was the toughest receiver he had to cover last season. Answer: Alabama's Amari Cooper, the eventual No. 4 overall pick of the Oakland Raiders who burned UF for 10 catches, 201 yards and three touchdowns last season. "He could do anything. He's fast, strong, can catch, can break tackles. He's extremely tough. I'm definitely glad he's gone."

4. Vernon the Quotable II. Hargreaves was also asked about the best trash-talker he's seen in the college game, and harkened back to his freshman season in 2013 for that answer: the Miami Dolphins' Jarvis Landry, who faced Hargreaves when he played for LSU. "My freshman year, he broke me in. I was kind of nervous walking in there, I knew I had to cover Odell (Beckham) and Jarvis," Hargreaves said. "I got in to press Jarvis one time on the outside, and he caught a back shoulder ball on me and he just let me have it."

5. Sleeper to watch. Vanderbilt pass rusher Caleb Azubike (6-4, 275) is one of the best SEC athletes you likely have never heard of. Commodores second-year coach Derek Mason, however, said the senior could be primed for a breakout season.

"I moved Caleb to outside 'backer a year ago, and really in the 3-4 structure, he's not an outside 'backer. What he is is a 5-technique," Mason said. "But I do know this, now understanding a year later who he is and what we are defensively, it allows me to get him more one-on-one matchups. I can move Caleb from the 3- to the 5-technique, and right now he's about 275 (pounds). So I'm excited about what he is and where he is. This guy can have a tremendous year as an end."

Azubike has made four sacks in each of his first three seasons at Vandy.

6. Not yet ready. Florida linebacker Antonio Morrison, one of the SEC's top defenders, won't be ready for full contact when the Gators open preseason practice in three weeks.

7. Lesson: Don't assume. Georgia coach Mark Richt won't rumble through SEC Media Days until Thursday, but the Bulldogs nevertheless made the internet rounds Monday as the team's media guide was distributed with quarterback Brice Ramsey listed as the starter. That's more than Richt had to say when spring drills broke, so the listing raised its share of eyebrows. Enough that Richt found it necessary to douse the flames via Twitter:

*Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter **@ChaseGoodbread*

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