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Monday, August 14, 2017

Officially: Jarrett Stidham Named Starter at Auburn

Jarrett Stidham has been named the starting QB for the 2017 football season. Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn tweeted the news today after meeting with the three QB's that battled for the starting job this spring.

Stidham arrived at Auburn via the JUCO route, after transferring from Baylor when embattled head coach Art Briles was released. 

Interestingly for Gus Malzahn, the normal tendency was to recruit a true dual-threat QB that could run all of the zone and power read plays in the offense. Only occasionally passing the ball when a defense had forced Auburn to throw. Think Cam Newton, or Nick Marshall.

Stidham is much more a pocket passer, that has the ability to run if need be. This subject has been debated many times. Can Gus Malzahn field a successful offense that has a much more proficient passer, than runner? Before you go all ballistic, I know Chip Lindsey is the Offensive Coordinator, and will have "complete control" of the offense. 

Malzahn has stated on several occasions that he "trusts Chip." 

Let us not forget Lindsey spent time in Auburn in 2013 as an offensive analyst to Coach Malzahn. It's not like Gus hired someone to come to Auburn and scrap "his" offense.

I have every reason to believe we will see an offense that closely resembles a mixture of the run heavy Auburn offense under Gus, and the pass happy Tulsa offense that was also led by Gus.

Now that Auburn has settled on its starter at QB, the team can focus on winning lots, if not all of their games.


Stidham To Lead Tigers in Opener

Jarrett Stidham works under the watchful eye of Gus Malzahn . Photo by: Unknown Source

The other day,I predicted that by Tuesday, Jarrett Stidham would be named the starter for the first game of the upcoming football season. Since that happened, and because of my less than stellar prognostication ability, I can assure you, the starter will not be named on Tuesday. I will say at some point, Gus will name Stidham his starter. 

The vibe coming from the players as they are asked about QB's is the same each time. Their responses feel, and sound, a lot like "This is what they told me to say." 

Sean White did an admirable job as Auburn's starter last season. I don't want to seem ungrateful for his efforts. 

I have carefully studied his film prior to getting injured.  During that 6 game winning streak, White performed very well. A couple of issues I noticed were his throwing mechanics slipping as the season progressed. Plus, he was having trouble moving his feet while running the offense at times.

The fact that the offense overall was astounding has not slipped my memory. Quite the opposite. I wanted to see just how good Sean was when he was healthy verses when he wasn't. 

Let us not forget about his coach this season. Chip Lindsey is heralded as a tough, smart coach with a proven record of coaching up quarterbacks . This being the case, we should see a remarkable improvement in White's footwork, and passing mechanics. 

This begs the question: How long will it take for White to change his bad habits into better performances? White was among the nation's best at one point last season.

["He has a 77 percent completion rate over the last three games, and his overall 69.7 percent rating and 9 yards-per-pass average leads the SEC and is the eighth best in the country." ] from Track 'Em Tigers by AubTigerman

Durability, and mechanics may be in question when it comes to White. what you can't underestimate any longer are his leadership, and willingness to do whatever it takes to win. Even if it means playing with a broken arm. These mean more to his team than any perceived flaws. 


Friday, August 11, 2017

Daniel Carlsons' Legacy

Not since Sebastian Janikowski at FSU has a kicker been so dominant in college football. This season, college football will witness the best kicker, maybe ever! 

I'm talking about Daniel Carlson of Auburn University. There is Single Season:

Carlson will break many if not all of the previous Auburn football records as a kicker. 

Plus, Carlson is tied with Auburn & NFL great Al Del Greco in single game FG's made with 6 each.

Auburn Tigers: 2017 Hype

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

At A Glance: Defensive Line

Defensive Line/Associate Head Coach Rodney Garner

I've seen enough game film to say this; Auburn Football will have a very good defensive line. 

Much has been made about the loss of notable talent. With good reason. Carl Lawson, Montravius Adams, Maurice Swain Jr., and Devaroe Lawrence, all left to pursue their NFL dreams. 

That's a lot of experience. 

Coach Garner has a reputation of "hard nosed" coaching. It's true. He can be really tough on these guys. Coach Garner also has a habit of rotating many guys along the defensive line during games.  

When we add the recruiting that this staff has managed to accomplish, we begin to see there is plenty of game experience and talent in this group. No less than 13 names are on the official roster along the defensive front. At least 7 of those men have previously played. 

Here is the group of fine young men who will carry on the tradition:
Marlon Davidson
Derrick Brown
Byron Cowart
Paul James III
Tashawn Manning
Jaunta'vius Johnson
Andrew Williams
Nick Coe
Alec Jackson
Tyler Carter
Tyrone Truesdale
Dontavius Russell
Gary Walker


Friday, August 4, 2017

"Faith" & Auburn Football

Traditions at Toomer's Corner

With the release of the Amway Coaches Poll this week, we find that Auburn is ranked inside the Top 15 at #13.

For some, expectations are through the roof. Others aren't sold on the Tigers. 
Earlier this week, Lauren Shute of SEC Country quoted Andy Staples of Sports Illustrated. Staples said: "The team we seem to be putting the most faith in, without evidence, is Auburn."

It's easy to understand the "faith" part of that statement when we read an article by Andrew Lopez of The Times Picayune &

"Probably the biggest thing that's standing out to me about this team is that they're hungry," Malzahn said at SEC Media Days on Thursday. "They're hungry and they've got something to prove. And really the last time I felt this was 2013. So that's a good comfort for me."

Another reason for "Faith" is the QB situation at Auburn this season. With the transfer of QB Jarrett Stidham, comes an undeniable presence of talent at the QB position. 

Take a look at these highlights. A video created by the artist known simply as "Footballer."

First thing I noticed is the timing on the crossing routes. Where Stidham has to complete his pass to a receiver running across the field, rather than down the field along the sidelines.
Nearly all of the throws are on the money. Jarrett seems to have a quicker release than Sean White has shown thus far in his time at Auburn. 
The upside to the arrival of Stidham? Whether he wins the job or not, Auburn has quality experienced depth at this position for the first time since Gus Malzahn has been named head coach.

One thing is sure. Auburn football is just around the corner. It's going to be an exciting season. I have faith in that.


Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Prayers For Players

Prayers 4 Players- What is it all about?

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12

This post will stray from the normal posts on this site. You may have seen some tweets hashtagged #prayers4players and wondered what it meant. I teach at a high school in rural south Mississippi although I live in Alabama. About 9 years ago, we had a football player killed in an incident. Before the 2012 season when Auburn football players were killed at a party, I knew it was going to be a rough ride for the Auburn football team. It took my school and the football team years to recover emotionally. The first game of the next season, the opposing team took a knee on the first play to honor our player and our boys were emotional wrecks after that. The player was in the 11th grade and highly recruited.  It was by far the worst day and week of my teaching career- even worse than 9/11. I knew our Auburn players were going to need prayer.  I was praying for the friends and teammates of the players when God spoke to me about what could happen if someone prayed individually for each Auburn football player at least once a week. I had previously prayed fervently for Zac Etheridge. If you were watching that game on television or were at the game, then you probably did as well. God moved so powerfully with Zac that it sparked a thought in my head. Isn't it funny the way God speaks to us sometimes? The way God spoke to me was unusual because He used the movie Facing the Giants.  The 2012 season was rough, but during that season, there were 5 people who agreed with me and committed to praying for the players as well. My intention was never for the outcome to be wins on the football field. I believe that we have prayed protection over our players for many situations. We have interceded on their behalf. As the group has grown, we have added sports. Over the years, we have developed a mission statement and a focus verse:

We are a group of people committed to praying for student athletes. We do not pray for victories on the field, but for victories in the students' lives. We are focused on praying for the safety, well-being, health, education, and spiritual lives of the student-athletes. We believe that prayer is the best way to support the athletes.

Focus Verse:

 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight,  so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God. Philippians 1:9-11

Over the last few years, we have had many more people join the group. We have added several sports, including football, basketball, softball, baseball and gymnastics. I am praying that we will eventually have enough people to add more sports. Our players are human beings- they face incredible issues daily. It is not just on the field. They need prayer warriors going before them. My hope is always that it will make a difference in the locker room and in their lives. 

We currently are in need of a few members. If you are interested in praying for the players, you can message me on twitter @tatershell or email me at 

If your experience has been anything like mine, it will change you. I found that once I started fervently praying for the athletes, it became much harder to criticize them. If you are unsure or hesitant, please feel free to contact me with questions. There is not a lot of pressure. If you just want one or two, we can do that too. What is required? You will get a list of players. Those will be "your players." We ask that you commit to praying for each player at least once during the week. Some of the things that we pray for with them is protection and safety during practice and games, for them to be a good influence on the team, for their families. Sometimes we follow the players on social media and connect with them that way. They will occasionally post about something specific that they are going though. I try to send mine a message occasionally that I am praying for them. If you feel you can only do a few players, we can work with you on that. The current list is about 5-7 football players apiece. Some folks participate in all the sports and others just want to stick with football. That is ok, too. My hope is that eventually we have enough who will pray for all of the sports teams at Auburn. We also have become "friends" with one another and often we will email the group to ask for prayers of each other. One of my favorite songs is the song "How Great is Our God" by Chris Tomlin, especially the version where it is in Spanish and English. It reminds me that one day we will all praise God and the language barrier will not matter between us. If you are interested in being a part of this ministry, please email me or message me on twitter. 

If you have not ever watched Facing the Giants, I will refer to it often. This is a scene that really spoke to me. It is the part where Mr. Bridges is touching all of the lockers in the school, praying for each student as he passes the locker. 

Monday, July 3, 2017

Football Ramblings

Next week sometime the SEC Media Days will kick off. That's generally when I get excited. I know that one event is the start of football season in Auburn.

I have a few thoughts that I'd like to share. Let's see what you think in the comments, or on the social media pages where we tend to lurk.

1.) Auburn will play 3 QB's on opening day, and it will be glorious!
   I know, you're having cold shivers thinking back to opening day of 2016. Not to worry. This year the Tigers start with Georgia Southern. Coming off a 5-7 season with a second year head coach, the "Bald Eagles" from the gnat capital of the world, won't present this Auburn team much more than a glorified scrimmage. If it's anything other than that, it will be a long year on The Plains. 
Clemson awaits our visit in the second week.

2.) Jarrett Stidham will be the starter at QB, and Kamryn "Bubba" Pettway may well win the Heisman Trophy. If these two things happen, Auburn will surely be in the College Football Playoffs.

3.) Auburn's defense will be better than any in recent memory. There are no true super stars the media can latch onto, and that makes for better team chemistry. The fact is, this may be the most talented defense in the past decade. Two of which have played for the championship trophy. 

If you have any comments on these points, or any others feel free to leave them here. We are also on Facebook:
& don't forget Twitter:


Saturday, June 10, 2017

My Auburn Story: Emily Carosone

Updated Roster

Auburn University recently unveiled it's football roster for the upcoming football season. 

No.NamePos.Ht.Wt.Yr.Hometown (Last School)
1Big Cat BryantBuck6-5224FRCordele, Ga. (Crisp County)
3Nate Craig-MyersClick here to hear itWR6-2213SODade City, Fla. (Tampa Catholic)
3Marlon DavidsonClick here to hear itDL6-3282SOGreenville, Ala. (Greenville)
4Jeff HollandClick here to hear itOLB6-2249JRJacksonville, Fla. (Trinity Christian)
4Jason SmithClick here to hear itWR6-1186SRMobile, Ala. (Mississippi Gulf Coast CC)
5Derrick BrownClick here to hear itDL6-5316SOSugar Hill, Ga. (Lanier)
5John Franklin IIIClick here to hear itWR/QB6-1184SRFt. Lauderdale, Fla. (East Mississippi CC)
6Devan BarrettRB6-0185FRTampa, Fla. (Tampa Catholic)
6Carlton DavisClick here to hear itDB6-1203JRMiami, Fla. (Miami Norland)
8Jarrett StidhamQB6-3214SOStephenville, Texas (McLennan CC)
9Byron CowartClick here to hear itDE6-3283JRSeffner, Fla. (Armwood)
9Kam MartinClick here to hear itRB5-10182SOPort Arthur, Texas (Memorial)
10Paul James IIIClick here to hear itLB6-3260SRMiami, Fla. (Copiah-Lincoln CC)
11Kyle DavisClick here to hear itWR6-2213SOLoganville, Ga. (Archer)
12Jamel DeanClick here to hear itDB6-2215SOCocoa, Fla. (Ohio State)
12Eli StoveClick here to hear itWR6-0183SONiceville, Fla. (Niceville)
13Javaris DavisClick here to hear itDB5-10186SOJacksonville, Fla. (Ed White)
13Sean WhiteClick here to hear itQB6-0211JRBoca Raton, Fla. (University Nova South)
14Stephen RobertsClick here to hear itDB5-11189SROpelika, Ala. (Opelika)
14Malik WillisQB6-1202FRAtlanta, Ga. (Roswell)
15Jordyn PetersDB6-1185FRMuscle Shoals, Ala. (Muscle Shoals)
16Devin AdamsQB6-3244JRMobile, Ala. (Mississippi Delta CC)
16Malcolm AskewDB5-11182FRMcCalla, Ala. (McAdory)
17Marquis McClainClick here to hear itWR6-2226RS FRCrestview, Fla. (Crestview)
17Chandler WootenLB6-2237FRAcworth, Ga. (North Cobb)
18Jayvaughn MyersClick here to hear itDB6-1192RS FRDade City, Fla. (Pasco)
19Noah IgbinogheneWR5-11186FRTrussville, Ala. (Hewitt-Trussville)
19Nick RuffinClick here to hear itDB6-0202SRDuluth, Ga. (St. Pius X)
20Jeremiah DinsonClick here to hear itDB6-0186RS SOMiami, Fla. (American)
21Kerryon JohnsonClick here to hear itRB6-0212JRHuntsville, Ala. (Madison Academy)
21Traivon LeonardDB6-0191FRWest Palm Beach, Fla. (Oxbridge Academy)
22John Broussard Jr.Click here to hear itDB5-11172SOPhenix City, Ala. (Central)
23Ryan DavisClick here to hear itWR5-9175JRSt. Petersburg, Fla. (Lakewood)
24Daniel ThomasDB5-11203SOMontgomery, Ala. (Robert E. Lee)
25Alex MedaryFB6-0186FROrlando, Fla. (Lake Highland Prep)
27Chandler CoxClick here to hear itFB6-1239JRApopka, Fla. (Apopka)
28Tray MatthewsDB6-1209SRNewnan, Ga. (Georgia)
28JaTarvious WhitlowWR6-0216FRLaFayette, Ala. (LaFayette)
29Tyler StovallH6-0213SRHokes Bluff, Ala. (Hokes Bluff)
30Tre' WilliamsLB6-2225SRMobile, Ala. (St. Paul's Episcopal)
31Sage LedbetterClick here to hear itK/P6-0181RS FRAuburn, Ala. (Auburn)
32Malik MillerClick here to hear itRB5-11225SOHuntsville, Ala. (Madison Academy)
32Sam SherrodDB5-11198RS FRBirmingham, Ala. (Briarwood Christian)
33K.J. BrittLB6-0239FROxford, Ala. (Oxford)
33Will HastingsWR5-10167JRLittle Rock, Ark. (Pulaski Academy)
35James Owens MossWR5-9184RS FROpelika, Ala. (Opelika)
36Kamryn PettwayClick here to hear itRB6-0235JRMontgomery, Ala. (Prattville)
36Michael SherwoodClick here to hear itDB5-9175SRAtlanta, Ga. (Creekside)
37Logan RiceClick here to hear itWR6-0208JRRome, Ga. (Darlington School)
38Daniel CarlsonClick here to hear itK6-4223SRColorado Springs, Colo. (Classical Academy)
39Robert MuschampFB6-1244SORome, Ga. (Darlington)
39Conner SibleyLB5-10203SOAthens, Ga. (Prince Ave. Christian)
40Eugene GovanRB5-7186SOGrovetown, Ga. (Grovetown)
41Josh FrenchLB5-11209FRBirmingham, Ala. (Shades Valley)
41Aidan MarshallP5-11163FRWinchester, Va. (Handley)
42Keenan SweeneyFB6-0237JRSnellville, Ga. (Brookwood)
42Tre' ThreatLB6-1244SOMobile, Ala. (Spanish Fort)
43Cedric ChambersRB5-7187SOValley, Ala. (Valley)
43Ian ShannonClick here to hear itK/P6-3222SOMarietta, Ga. (Marietta)
44Rawlins ClevelandFB5-11231FRAuburn. Ala. (Auburn)
44Raymond LesterDB5-11171SOMarietta, Ga. (Marietta)
45Chase CramerFB5-10205SOOrlando, Fla. (The First Academy)
45Jacob RogersDB5-11205RS FRGoodwater, Ala. (Benjamin Russell)
46Devin GuiceDB5-8160RS FROpelika, Ala. (Opelika)
46Caleb KingTE6-3218SRHuntsville, Ala. (Mercer)
47John Samuel ShenkerTE6-3235FRAlbany, Ga. (Colquitt County)
48Montavious AtkinsonClick here to hear itLB6-1218JRFairburn, Ga. (Langston Hughes)
48C.J. TolbertRB5-7187JRDadeville, Ala. (Harding)
49Darrell WilliamsClick here to hear itLB6-2244JRHoover, Ala. (Hoover)
50Casey DunnOL6-4292SRTrussville, Ala. (Jacksonville State)
50Chase RitterLB5-10205SRWetumpka, Ala. (Saint James)
51Richard McBrydeClick here to hear itLB6-1237SOTroy, Ala. (Charles Henderson)
52Nick BrahmsOL6-3276FRNavarre, Fla. (Navarre)
53Clarke SmithClick here to hear itLS6-3226RS FRLeeds, Ala. (Leeds)
54Kaleb KimOL6-4293SOBuford, Ga. (Mill Creek)
55T.D. MoultryLB6-2240FRBirmingham, Ala. (Jackson-Olin)
56Tashawn ManningDL6-3320FRApopka, Fla. (Wekiva)
57Deshaun DavisClick here to hear itLB5-11246JRPrichard, Ala. (Vigor)
58Josh ShockleyLB5-10224JRLocust Grove, Ga. (Eagle's Landing Christian Acad.)
59Brodarious HammOL6-5344FRGriffin, Ga. (Spalding)
60Bill TaylorLS6-3227FRNorthport, Ala. (American Christian Academy)
61Ryan MeneelyOL6-2322SOMcDonough, Ga. (Eagle's Landing Christian Acad.)
62Jaunta'vius JohnsonClick here to hear itDL6-2324SOLincoln, Ala. (Lincoln)
63Peyton NanceOL5-11318FRRainbow City, Ala. (Etowah)
64Mike HortonClick here to hear itOL6-4318SOAtlanta, Ga. (Lakeside)
65Tucker BrownOL6-3288JRTrussville, Ala. (Hewitt-Trussville)
66Bailey SharpClick here to hear itOL6-5300SOMarietta, Ga. (Sprayberry)
67Tyler CarrOL6-5316SOSouthside, Ala. (Southside)
68Austin TroxellOL6-6292FRGurley, Ala. (Madison Academy)
69Ike PowellLS6-3267SRTifton, Ga. (Tift County)
70Calvin AshleyOL6-6350FROrlando, Fla. (St. John's College)
71Braden SmithClick here to hear itOL6-6303SROlathe, Kan. (Olathe South)
72Prince Micheal SammonsOL6-7292RS FRBlanchester, Ohio (Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy)
73Austin GolsonClick here to hear itOL6-5312SRPrattville, Ala. (Ole Miss)
74Wilson BellOL6-5355SRMobile, Ala. (Florida State)
75Trent KelleyOL6-5280FRPhenix City, Ala. (Central)
76Prince Tega WanoghoClick here to hear itOL6-7301SOMontgomery, Ala. (Edgewood Academy)
77Marquel HarrellOL6-3308SOFairburn, Ga. (Creekside)
78Darius JamesClick here to hear itOL6-4324SRKilleen, Texas (Texas)
79Andrew WilliamsClick here to hear itDL6-4286JRMcDonough, Ga. (Eagle's Landing Christian Acad.)
80Sal CannellaTE6-5228SOSchaumburg, Ill. (Scottsdale CC)
81Darius SlaytonClick here to hear itWR6-2190SONorcross, Ga. (Greater Atlanta Christian)
82Pete BerrymanTE6-3221JRBirmingham, Ala. (Mountain Brook)
84Jaylen McGriffWR6-0207JRBrentwood, Tenn. (Savannah State)
85Jalen HarrisClick here to hear itTE6-4252JRMontgomery, Ala. (St. James)
87Pace OzmintWR6-1181RS FRGlencoe, Ala. (Glencoe)
89Griffin KingClick here to hear itWR5-10180SOAtlanta, Ga. (Marist School)
91Nick CoeClick here to hear itDL6-5270RS FRAsheboro, N.C. (Asheboro)
92Alec JacksonDL6-5280FRMontgomery, Ala. (Jefferson Davis)
93Tyler CarterDL6-1270SODecatur, Ala. (Decatur)
94Tyrone TruesdellDL6-2338FRAugusta, Ga. (Lucy Laney)
95Dontavius RussellDL6-3310JRCarrollton, Ga. (Carrollton)
97Gary WalkerClick here to hear itDL5-11270SOToccoa, Ga. (Stephens County)
99Spencer NighFB6-0270SOMagnolia, Texas (Magnolia)
Gus Malzahn - Head Coach
Rodney Garner - Associate Head Coach
Kevin Steele - Defensive Coordinator
Chip Lindsey - Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach
Kodi Burns - Co-Offensive Coordinator/Receivers
Greg Brown - Assistant Coach
Herb Hand - Assistant Coach
Tim Horton - Assistant Coach/Special Teams Coordinator
Larry Porter - Assistant Coach/Recruiting Coordinator
Travis Williams - Assistant Coach
Ryan Russell - Strength and Conditioning Coach