Desoto County Sports

College football analyst McElroy speaks to Memphis Touchdown Club 

Photo: Greg McElroy (center) is flanked by (from left) Harold Graeter and Greg Cotton prior to McElroy’s appearance at the Memphis Touchdown Club on Monday, May 13. Graeter is a board member and Cotton is president of the club. (Bob Bakken/  

Greg McElroy, a former quarterback at the University of Alabama and college football analyst for ESPN, spoke to the Memphis Touchdown Club on Monday evening, May 13.

McElroy talked about the off-season projections for Ole Miss and Mississippi State football ahead of his dinner appearance.

Regarding Ole Miss, McElroy said Lane Kiffin’s program has become a huge destination for the portal transfer talent and has made major moves over the years to improve defensively.  

“Look at some of the players that they’re attracting defensively,” McElroy said. “They’re a very real football team, not just within the SEC but nationally. I think hiring Pete Golding a couple years ago was massive as the defensive coordinator. He has proven to have the ability to develop talent and get them to the NFL.”  

McElroy feels the Ole Miss schedule this year is favorable for them.  

“Of all the teams that are truly SEC contenders, theirs is probably the most manageable with who they avoid and where their games are going to be played,” he said.  

As far as Mississippi State is concerned, McElroy said the Bulldogs may be the biggest unknown in the SEC this fall, with Jeff Lebby starting his first year as coach on the sidelines at Starkville.  

“I think he has a great offensive mind and I think he does an amazing job,” McElroy said. “They’re still going to be a tough blue collar chip on the shoulder type of outfit, but to blend that now with the offensive identity that Jeff is bringing to town is huge.”

While the Bulldogs may not be at championship level this year, McElroy believes they’re going to be a team those at the top won’t welcome having them on the schedule.  

“I think they’re going to be one of those teams this year that’s a real problem to play,” ne noted. “I just don’t know if they’re going to be a player yet really at the top of the conference, but they would be a team that a team at the top of the conference wouldn’t really want to mess around with, especially in Starkville.”

And McElroy agreed that Memphis could be a player in postseason playoffs with the expansion of the number of teams the support that’s been built around Ryan Silverfield’s program.  

“I think Memphis is in a great spot,” McElroy said. “They clearly have done a pretty good job in the portal and it’s not often you see a guy who is going to be a starter at Tennessee transfer to Memphis and play linebacker. They have support in the NIL avenue and I think the beauty of the 12-team playoff is that there’s so much access now.”

Former Tennessee linebacker Elijah Herring this week transferred to play in Silverfield’s program at Memphis.