By Russell Lorentz, for Vandy Insider
Vanderbilt’s Webb, Shurmur, and Burks to attend SEC Media Days
The 2017 SEC Media Days attendees for the Derek Mason led Commodores were made official by the conference office Wednesday afternoon. The annual event is held July 10-13 in Hoover, Alabama.
Three Vanderbilt marquee players: Senior Oren Burks, Senior Ralph Webb, and Junior Kyle Shurmur will be alongside Mason, July 11, when the group is scheduled to begin a three-hour period of scheduled interviews, slated for a 9 a.m. start inside the Hyatt Regency Birmingham. Mason is scheduled to be the last of four coaches to hold a media session among a host of media to be seen on SEC Network on Tuesday.
Florida coach Jim McElwain, Georgia’s Kirby Smart, and Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen round out the foursome.
Webb, hailing from Gainesville, Fla., is the most heralded running back in Commodore history. He enters his final season with 3,342 rushing yards in just three seasons as Vanderbilt’s all-time leader. Webb can become the second leading rusher in the history of the Southeastern Conference, needing just 653 yards to reach the 4,000-yard mark, and 1,249 yards to pass former Arkansas Razorback great Darren McFadden for second all-time. Herschel Walker leads all SEC running backs with 5,259 career yards.
Burks was featured in the “Star” linebacker role in 2016, playing closer to the line of scrimmage. Burks finished the season by establishing new career highs with 59 total tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 quarterback sacks, an interception, and team-high 6.5 quarterback hurries.
Burks looks to headline the Commodore defense following the departure of All-American Linebacker Zach Cunningham, a Second Round Selection in the NFL Draft by the Houston Texans.
Shurmur was thrown into the fire, starting against Missouri as a true freshman in 2015, but threw for 1,305 yards, six touchdowns against four interceptions and completed 59.2 percent of his passes in the ‘Dores final five contests in 2016. Shurmur turned in his best performances in wins against Ole Miss and rival Tennessee, which propelled the Commodores into bowl season. Those two wins were the Commodores’ highest scoring output in SEC games to date with Shurmur behind center.
The preseason SEC poll and All-SEC team will be released Friday, as the ‘Dores are eying a return to the postseason in 2017.
Full SEC Media Days Attendees:
Arkansas: Coach Bret Bielema, Austin Allen (Sr., QB), Frank Ragnow (Sr., OL), Kevin Richardson II (Sr., DB).
LSU: Coach Ed Orgeron, D.J. Chark (Sr., WR), Derrius Guice (Jr., RB), Christian LaCouture (Sr., DE).
Tennessee: Coach Butch Jones, Emmanuel Moseley (Sr., DB), Jashon Robertson (Sr., OL), Kendal Vickers (Sr., DL).
Florida: Coach Jim McElwain, Duke Dawson (Sr., DB), Marcell Harris (Sr., DB), Martez Ivey (Jr., OL).
Georgia: Coach Kirby Smart, Nick Chubb (Sr., RB), Sony Michel (Sr., RB), Roquan Smith (Jr., LB).
Mississippi State: Coach Dan Mullen, Donald Gray (Sr., WR), Dez Harris (Sr., LB), Martinas Rankin (Sr., OL).
Alabama: Coach Nick Saban, Bradley Bozeman (Sr., OL), Minkah Fitzpatrick (Jr., DB), Calvin Ridley (Jr., WR).
Kentucky: Coach Mark Stoops, Mike Edwards (Jr., S), Stephen Johnson (Sr., QB), Courtney Love (Sr., LB).
Missouri: Coach Barry Odom, Eric Beisel (Sr., LB), Drew Lock (Jr., QB), J’Mon Moore (Sr., WR).
Texas A&M: Coach Kevin Sumlin, Christian Kirk (Jr., WR), Koda Martin (Jr., OL), Armani Watts (Sr., DB).
Auburn: Coach Gus Malzahn, Daniel Carlson (Sr., K), Tray Matthews (Sr., DB), Braden Smith (Sr., OL).
Ole Miss: Coach Hugh Freeze, Javon Patterson (Jr., OL), Shea Patterson (So., QB), Breeland Speaks (Jr., DT).
South Carolina: Coach Will Muschamp, Jake Bentley (So., QB), Hayden Hurst (Jr., TE), Deebo Samuel (Jr., WR).