Voluntary workouts heating up throughout Southeastern Conference

By David Moorman  |   Friday, June 05, 2009  |  Comments( 1 )

College Football
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Preseason college football practice doesn’t officially start until August, but voluntary summer workouts already are being conducted for those Southeastern Conference schools that have begun their summer academic sessions.

Arkansas sophomore quarterback Ryan Mallett apparently has become the first casualty of these drills, too. Mallett hurt the ring finger on his throwing hand last week while weightlifting. At least the injury to his right hand doesn’t appear serious and it didn’t happen during the regular season when it could have adversely affected the Razorbacks.

Mallet is expected to be sidelined two to three weeks but won’t need surgery, head coach Bobby Petrino said. As soon as he’s able, Mallet also figures to rejoin his teammates in their voluntary workouts.

A Michigan transfer who redshirted last season, Mallett was listed as the starting quarterback on Petrino's post-spring depth chart. As a true freshman at Michigan in 2007, Mallett played in 11 games and completed 61-of-141 passes for 892 and yards and seven touchdowns with five interceptions. He started three games for the injured Chad Henne and threw for a personal-best 245 yards with three touchdowns against Wisconsin.

While there were questions about the SEC’s production at quarterback last season, Mallett is among the league’s celebrated passers this year.

None more so than Florida senior Tim Tebow, who has reaped preseason recognition after guiding the Gators to BCS national titles in 2006 and 2008.

Tebow was one of five Gators named to Phil Steele’s 2009 Preseason All-America first team. Joining Tebow were junior defensive end Carlos Dunlap, junior cornerback Joe Harden, senior linebacker Brandon Spikes and senior kick returner Brandon James.

The Sporting News named Tebow as college’s best player in a list that included Ole Miss junior quarterback Jevan Snead at 20th.

Like Mallet, Snead was a transfer who redshirted one season. If Snead’s success is any indication of what is to come, Mallett can expect to prosper this fall.

In his first action after transferring from Texas, Snead finished second in the SEC in touchdown passes (26), and third in passing average (212.5 yards per game) and pass efficiency (145.5).

SEE YOU LATER: Georgia redshirt sophomore free safety John Knox is transferring to Georgia Military College because of academics concerns.

Knox recorded eight tackles in 12 games last season. He is expected to begin classes at GMC later this month.
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About David Moorman

Dave Moormann is an award-winning journalist, who has covered LSU athletics since 1980. He began his coverage with the Baton Rouge Advocate, where he was a writer and editor from 1980-98. In 1996, he authored a book on the history of LSU football entitled, "Fighting Tigers Handbook: Stories, Stats...
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