Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Get to Know Your SEC Football Players

In a never-ending quest to seek as much information as my brain can store, it's time to get to know a little bit more (or just anything at all) about one of the Southeastern Conference's football players. Now when this player succeeds, massively fails or is shown milling around in the background of a TV shot, you'll know that his greatest off-the-field accomplishment involves the sale and transportation of hobos. Or something like that.

The team of the player selected is chosen through a super-secret process which I cannot reveal, however, the number of the player is randomly chosen by visiting and using whatever number is spat out from its random-creating machine.

Today's number: 20
Today's team: South Carolina

#20 Jay Spearman, CB, South Carolina

And how about one with helmet on:

Some background information: Jay is a redshirt sophomore hailing from the once-visited-by-Gray city of Greenville, South Carolina (and I can't even remember why I was there, but know that it happened). He spent 2008 wearing a redshirt (literally, at all times he wore one) and in 2009 saw limited action on special teams in large part due to shoulder surgery, which caused him to miss all of fall practice. The smaller part may have been that he just wasn't good enough. Who knows.

Greatest on-field accomplishment: Outside of winning a state championship in high school, he has yet to experience any accomplishments on a collegiate football field. Of course, just making it to Division I is something we can all celebrate (Cue NBC's shooting star and "The More You Know" music).

Greatest off-the-field accomplishment: This is a close one. First, he, or someone at his high school, created nearly 18 minutes worth of video of him being faster and more athletic than everyone else, complete with non-cheesy soundtrack (prepare for disappointment, Petra and Three Doors Down fans).

Second, some South Carolina message board warriors devote an entire six pages to discussing the signing of Spearman way back in 2007. Topics discussed include his work ethic, speed, what position he will play and a confirmation among themselves that Jay is indeed a fine young man.

And finally, Jay received his very own 90 second segment on a local news station's sports portion of the nightly news. Personally, this is my choice for this category.

Way(s) in which he has embarrassed himself, his family, team and school: He has and continues for forge ahead on the straight and narrow.

Strengths: Speed, athleticism and according to his profile on the South Carolina website, "tests well in the weight room." So there.

Weaknesses: As this spring practice report states, Spearman gets the dreaded "oft-injured" label slapped on him. Not sure if that's fair since he's been hurt once since he's been in Columbia, but I'm not going to question those who know 5,000% more about South Carolina football than I do.  And let's throw in lack of experience.

What to expect in 2010: The same spring practice report mentions that Jay is probably in line for a back-up position at one of the cornerback spots, but will get some consideration for the starting job. What this means for you, the TV viewer, is that you'll see number 20 on the field some and when he's not, he'll be standing next to the defensive coach on the sideline responsible for getting players in and out of the game. Also, he could be in one of those shots of a South Carolina defensive player celebrating on the sideline after a touchdown. You know, the kind where everyone is out of breath but keeps yelling things at the camera and you can't really tell what anyone is saying, then after six or seven seconds of noise confusion the director of the broadcast finally orders the cutaway. If I had to bet, I believe Jay will yell something about Greenville.

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