|Gabe Wright and Dee Ford pose with the SEC Championship Trophy. Photo by Todd Van Emst|
The prime time college football awards show on ESPN the other night was somewhat enjoyable. Certainly Auburn football received some noteworthy love from the network, and rightfully so. Tre Mason, and Gus Malzahn each were spoken highly of by the hosts. Tre was dubbed a "Manimal, half Man and half animal" by FSU defensive back Lamarcus Joyner. My personal favorite is the "Kick Six" by the Auburn special teams winning the "Play of the Year" award. Naturally Chris Davis gets the attention, but we all know it takes a team effort every play. Seldom mentioned is that Ryan Smith was removed from that safety position, and had one of the break away blocks on that return by Davis.
I evidently do not grasp the criteria of some of the awards given annually to the best players at each position. The questions I keep asking are being met with silence. Why was Steven Clark, Auburn's punter not mentioned for the Ray Guy Award, when he was once a finalist? His numbers were better, so what gives? Same for Cody Parkey, the touchback king of the SEC. He even kicked a few of his kickoffs thru the uprights! During the SEC Championship game, he hit the crossbar of the uprights and Verne Lundquist exclaimed "Doink! There's another touchback from Parkey."
Away from the awards show Auburn is still getting some love. Tre Mason was invited to the Heisman Awards show, where the consensus is he will not be named the winner. Still, all this puts Auburn in a positive light, and can only help Gus Malzahn and company with their recruiting efforts. Which is a great way to segue into our next topic.
Recruiting has come to a halt as the dead period, which according to the NCAA regulations means:
"During a dead period a college coach may not have face-to-face contact with college-bound student- athletes or their parents, and may not watch student-athletes compete or visit their high schools. Coaches may write and telephone student-athletes or their parents during a dead period."
Currently the Tigers have 19 verbal commits. The mid-year JUCO athletes may sign as early as December 18th. For all those coming out of High School the date that these potential student-athletes may sign their National Letters -of-Intent is on February 5th, 2014. The signing period runs thru April 1st, 2014 for them.
Current estimates have Auburn with 5 more spots open to fill. Depending on whether or not some of the current roster decides to try their luck in the NFL Draft.