HOOVER, Ala. - Missouri redshirt sophomore quarterback Maty Mauk wouldn't cast his ballot for the hardest-hitting defender in the SEC, but he quickly recalled the hardest hit he's ever sustained.
"The hardest I've been hit was definitely the South Carolina game," Mauk said, pausing before describing the play in which South Carolina linebacker Skai Moore - a freshman at the time - clocked him after a pass attempt in USC's 27-24 victory at Missouri last October.
Moore's hit, which can be viewed here, knocked Mauk clean off his feet shortly after he released a pass.
Oddly enough, the hit wasn't determined to warrant a flag by an official who clearly saw it.
Perhaps even odder, Mauk recalled at SEC Media Days the exact play, down and time in the game the hit occurred.
"I watch it on film all the time," Mauk said.
SURRATT WANTS REVENGE. South Carolina defensive tackle J.T. Surratt hates losing.
He racked up four tackles against Georgia last season when the Gamecocks lost 41-30 in Athens.
And he was there in Neyland Stadium, his arms hanging at his sides after South Carolina's devastating 23-21 loss to Tennessee.
Not coincidentally, Sept. 13, when South Carolina plays host to Georgia, and Nov. 1, when the Gamecocks take on Tennessee, are already circled on Surratt's calendar for the upcoming season.
"I'm a really bad loser," Surratt said on Tuesday at SEC Media Days. "So the teams that we lost to this past year, I've got a really big chip on my shoulder for Georgia and Tennessee.
"Those are the teams that I'm looking forward to the most this year."
SURRATT LOVES PLAYING THE TIGERS. Surratt also harbors a strong distaste for South Carolina's instate rival, Clemson.
Surratt was asked on Tuesday at SEC Media Days what non-conference opponent he looks forward to facing the most.
"Every year, there's only one non-conference opponent that I look forward to, and that's Clemson," Surratt said. "It doesn't matter where we play, if it's in the middle of the night, if it's snowing, raining. I'm always ready to play that game.
"I'm pretty sure y'all know how our rivalry is, and every year, it fuels us to play the game and win that state championship."
South Carolina senior guard A.J. Cann shared that distaste when asked the same question.
"It's always Clemson, he said.
THOMPSON NOMINATED FOR GOOD WORKS. South Carolina senior quarterback Dylan Thompson was one of 12 SEC players nominated for the 2014 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team.
The Good Works Team honors players with outstanding charitable involvement and community service.
The 12 SEC players nominated were Landon Collins (Alabama), Sammie Coates (Auburn), Mark Herndon (Florida), Chris Conley (Georgia), Max Godby (Kentucky), Jamie Keehn (LSU), Deterrian Shackleford (Ole Miss), Dak Prescott (Mississippi State), Dylan Thompson (South Carolina), Curt Maggitt (Tennessee), Josh Lambo (Texas A&M) and Andrew East (Vanderbilt).
A record 182 nominees were announced overall, but only 22 will receive a spot on the team.
A&M BROUGHT A PUNTER. Soak it in, Drew Kaser.
The Texas A&M punter was one of three Aggies to attend SEC Media Days on Tuesday, though it will be his last time basking in the warmth of the spotlight if his coach has anything to say about it.
"Everybody that's been around me knows I can't stand to punt," said Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin. "We brought him here. He was a finalist for the Ray Guy (award) last year. I wanted to make sure everybody knew who he was. I hope you don't see him again for the rest of the year. We don't like to use him.
"But when we do use him, he is a fabulous punter, one of the best in the country."
Kaser, who punted 44 times for an SEC-best 47.4-yard average, said he himself was surprised to be invited to SEC Media Days, despite his role as one of the team's leaders.
"I think the punter is not the most glorious position to play, and a lot of people shun it, but I think it's an honor to be a punter," Kaser said, adding later than it was an honor to be invited to SEC Media Days.