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Summer work in the SEC

Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low

The spring is behind us, and the start of voluntary summer workouts is just around the corner.

That means freshmen start rolling in, and players still recovering from surgery in the spring are sprinkled back into the mix.

Here are three teams that need to make the best use of the summer months:

1. Auburn -- The Tigers still need to find a quarterback. Coach Gene Chizik said earlier this week that the race between Kodi Burns and Neil Caudle could easily go into late August. Neither has established himself as the starter, and neither has established himself as the leader of this team. These next few months are sure to provide a few more answers. Whoever wins the most trust among his teammates will likely emerge as the starter, and Chizik also isn't ruling out the two freshmen -- Tyrik Rollison and Clint Moseley. If they're genuinely going to compete for the job in the fall, they have to make big strides this summer in terms of learning the offense and getting a feel for their teammates.

2. Georgia -- We know A.J. Green can play, and we know he's one of the best playmakers in the league. But where are all the other plays for the Bulldogs going to come from on offense? Running back Caleb King still has a lot to prove to a lot of people after a so-so spring. Richard Samuel should be able to do more this summer after missing the spring with a wrist injury, and is Carlton Thomas as good as he looked in the spring? Green's best friend next season may well be freshman receiver Marlon Brown, who arrives on campus this summer. The tight end position, especially with Bruce Figgins' six-game suspension, could also use some immediate help. Freshman Orson Charles had better be ready to go once he steps onto campus.

3. Ole Miss -- Outside of Florida, Ole Miss probably has the fewest holes to fill among the SEC teams. Depth and talent won't be the Rebels' issue. But these next couple of months will go a long way toward determining whether Ole Miss is going to be a genuine contender in the SEC race next season. The championship teams police themselves. The championship teams push themselves, and the championship teams do the little things right. Does this team have the kind of leadership and maturity that it takes to make a run at a title? Does this team buy into the hype, or does it buy into hard work? Houston Nutt has his hands full. This is a completely different challenge than he faced a year ago at this time, and he knows as well as anybody how critical the summer months will be in establishing the right kind of mindset entering the most anticipated season at Ole Miss in decades.