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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Auburn Gymnastics 360: Episode 6

Looking Forward: (missed) Kick Return Teams

Game changer...
Momentum changer...
Back breaker...
History maker...

These are all accurate ways to describe kick return teams at every level of football competition. No season in the storied history of Auburn football has ever seen the focused attention that the Tigers kick return teams of 2013 achieved. All for good reason. Lets see why, as if you don't already know.

 Kickoff return
Auburn started off the season with Tre Mason returning kickoffs. Mason established early that the Tigers were going to be very different in 2013, in that a true focus on getting good field position was a primary concern for a fledgling offense. Mason got everything started on the right foot with a performance that included this gem:

The Heisman finalist from Auburn wasn't the only player that scored from the kickoff return team. Against Tennessee, Corey Grant let it be known, that more than one Auburn man had the ability to score from way back. That game vs. the Volunteers made Auburn history as the first time ever that a kickoff and a punt were returned for a TD in the same game. 

The punt return for a TD against the Vols was by none other than Chris Davis. A foretelling of events to play out on a Saturday to remember, and with a single play, forever known as "Kick 6" 

From a coaching standpoint, I am sure that Gus Malzahn would like to never see a kickoff return that wasn't meant to start a half of play. That is unrealistic though, and as long as this is a part of the game, I will be watching more intently, and with the anticipation that anything could happen.

Auburn returns Corey Grant and Quan Bray to the kick return teams. Bray was mainly used as a punt return specialist. The Tigers earned 866 total yards on Kickoff returns and 341 yards on punt returns totaling just 29 punts.

Whoever the coaches choose to place at these return positions has the bar set before them. I can't wait to see what happens next.


Tre Mason at the NFL Combine

Auburn Women's Tennis Report: February 25

Monday, February 24, 2014

Auburn Softball Report: February 24

Auburn Gymnastics Report: February 24

Looking Forward: Kicking Teams

Cody Parkey and Ryan White will both be missed in AU's kicking game
 photo by Todd VanEmst

The play of the special teams unit has long been an essential part of any good football team. Most think of these units as either Field Goal team, or Kicking team. Let's breakdown each phase of the Tigers special teams, and see what we have to look forward to in 2014.

Before we get started, I must add here that Auburn will have to replace two very good players from their special team units. Kicker Cody Parkey has been very solid, and sometimes brilliant in his career at Auburn. Ryan Clark has been a Ray Guy finalist, and was a deadly weapon this past season when it came to placing his punts inside the opposing teams 20 yard line. They will both be missed. 

Kickoff teams have one very specific job to do. Get down field quickly and tackle the man with the ball. When Cody Parkey was doing the kicking, there were very few times that anyone was able to return the ball. The one fatal exception happened during the final BCS Championship game when FSU return man Levonte Whitfield burnt the Tigers coverage team for a 101 yard TD on a kickoff. Until that moment, Auburn had not allowed a return for a TD all season. During the season, the Tigers had scored 69 TD's only had 24 Kickoff's returned, and allowed only 550 total yards of returns. 

While not truly a weak part of this team, kick coverage is essential to keeping any scoring momentum Auburn has, and proper kick coverage can help keep the opponent from gaining any momentum of its own in a game. This 2014 Auburn unit looks to improve, and will likely need to, with a first year kicker coming in for the Tigers.

Punt Coverage teams have basically the same job as the Kickoff team. Get off your block, and get down field, either to down the ball or to tackle the man with the ball. This unit had little worry about anyone returning punts in 2013. 

Steven Clark was a dynamic weapon for the Tigers in 2013. He punted the ball only 50 times all season with a 42.5 yard average. Clark would send the ball skyward and the results would be 23 fair catches, 21 times the ball was downed inside the opponents 20 yard line, and all of this with only 4 touch backs. Auburn's opponents this past season only returned a grand total of 5 punts for a measly 7.0 yard average. Amazing!

Replacing Parkey and Clark will be a priority this spring. Who ever the coaches pick, has some big shoes to fill, and will need to step up when their name is called. Special teams at Auburn have long been a source of pride and excellence. that trend will need to continue if the Tigers hope to return to the championship game in the coming season.


Friday, February 21, 2014

Looking Forward: Offense Part 2

Nick Marshall on the big screen in Pasadena. 
photo by Klell Lawrence

Last we spoke, we were deep into the running game, and trying to look at what the future holds for Auburn's rushing attack this coming football season. Now it's time to look at the passing game.

For every pass, someone has to be there to catch the ball. Auburn has plenty of returning talent, and  some very high quality recruits coming in. The undisputed leader of the wide receivers group? Sammie Coates. Coates plays with a physical presence not seen at Auburn since Courtney Taylor terrorized SEC defenses.

Joining Coates next season is Trovon Reed, Quan Bray, Dominic Walker, Ricardo Louis, Tony Stevens, Mark White, B.J. Trimble, Marcus Davis, Melvin Ray, Cade Hoffman, Dimitri Reese, Gray King, and Jaylon Denson. The new recruits are Stanton Truitt and D'haquille Williams.

The Tight Ends are involved in the passing game as well. Sometimes they are lined up at H-Back, although they are utilized at many positions in Gus Malzahn's offense. Auburn returns both of the key figures at this position from last year in C.J. Uzomah, and Brandon Fulse. Others include Wade Norberg, Spencer Smith, Michael Clifton, and Wirth Campbell. The new recruit here is Chris Laye.

** Editors note: I would like to correct the mistake of not adding Ricky Parks name to the list of H-Back/Tight End. Parks was highly touted, and is back with the team after being away for a short time. He will be a factor going forward.

Last season as a whole was the best as far as performance goes for the receivers since the 2010 campaign which also led Auburn to the BCS Championship game.With a second year of conditioning and return of such a talented group, look for the passing game at Auburn to be improved next season. Hard to argue that anyone in the country will return more talent at these two positions in the entire country next fall.

All of this talent is worthless if Auburn can't throw the ball accurately, and that leads us to the Quarterback position. Nick Marshall has been named the undisputed starter for next season at Auburn. That takes all of the anxiety away from Marshall, and allows him to work on any of his deficiencies, while also improving what he did well last season. 

Malzahn has already stated that this is his first year, as a college coach, to have a returning starter at the QB position. Using that as a standard, then Marshall should be night and day improved as a passer by the fall campaign. That's not to say that Nick was a bad passer, not at all. Lets look at his numbers from 2013, shall we?

 Passing           gp effic    comp-att-int pct   yds   td   lg   avg/g
Nick Marshall 12 144.04 128-212-5   60.4 1759 12   88   146.

Here are the stats from Marshall's backup, Jeremy Johnson

Passing             gp   effic      comp-att-int   pct    yds  td  lg   avg/g
Jeremy Johnson 6   195.73   29-41-2          70.7  422  6   67  70.3

Clearly, Auburn has a more than capable backup QB. From what we have seen, Johnson only lacks SEC experience as a starter on the road. He will pass that with flying colors when his number is called, I have little doubt.

Taking a look at the running ability of Marshall, we reveal a true dual threat to any defense. Nick proved he can run the zone read as well as any QB in the country. His size and speed are assets that serve him well. He's listed as 6' 1" and 210 pounds, and has cat quick bursts that leave most linebackers in the wind.

In summary, Auburn has a lot of returning pieces in the offense. Only one player at the line of scrimmage is gone, and replacing Tre Mason may not be as big a factor as most are making it out to be. Auburn won't need someone to carry the ball as many times as Tre did last season. 

The need will be for one of the backs to be a good blocking back during passing plays. That is not to say that Auburn won't run the ball. The passing game of the Tigers, mostly Nick Marshall, will be much improved, and thus taking the pressure off of the running game by making the defense play pass defense much more so than last season.

A seasoned QB, with ample talent at RB, and the most talented WR corps in the country should be able to put explosive numbers up on defenses behind that heralded offensive line. I would not be surprised at all to see this Auburn team have two 1,000 yard receivers along with two 1,000 yard rushers. 

My prediction is based solely on Auburn staying healthy. If that happens look for at least 3,000 yards passing and 3,000 yards rushing. Auburn will be one of the most difficult teams to stop for any defense they face. This offense should be able to score on anyone, and set a bunch of records before it is all said and done.


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Unstoppable

Malzahn Speaks On Rule Proposal

We have two different videos from Auburn beat writers. One from and the other from Ryan Black of the Columbus Ledger Enquirer

Looking Forward: Offense Part 1

Auburn in the final BCS Championship. photo by Klell Lawrence

We started this series by looking at Auburn's head coach Gus Malzahn, and what he has accomplished in his short time here on the Plains. Now we turn our thoughts toward the offense, and try to predict just how well our Tigers will perform on the field, when they have possession of the football.

The coaches in charge of this side of the ball are:
Offensive Coordinator - Rhett Lashlee
Co-Offensive Coordinator/Wide Receivers - Dameyune Craig
Running Backs - Tim Horton
Tight Ends/Special Teams - Scott Fountain
Offensive Line - J.B. Grimes

Gus Malzahn's offense is mostly described inaccurately as a spread offense. Reality is, it's a downhill rushing attack based off the old "Wing T" that has formation wrinkles, and the addition of speeding up the pace of play. 

The formation wrinkles create leverage for blocking on these designed run plays, and try to draw the defense into the "box". Meaning, he wants to have defenders creeping closer to the line of scrimmage, so that it will open up the passing game for passes down field.

We will look at that rushing game from a personnel perspective, and try to peer into the future to see what to expect in the upcoming season.

Auburn lost three starters from an offense that led the entire country in rushing average per game at 328.29 yards per game, and a 6.30 yards per carry, while scoring 48 TD's on the ground. The heart of that rushing attack starts on the line, and then is carried out by the Running Backs.

The three Auburn starters that won't be returning are directly related to that production. H-Back Jay Prosch was the bulldozer and left tackle Greg Robinson was a monster on the field. Robinson has earned very high marks from the NFL scouts and draft guru's and is picked to be drafted as high as first overall in the April draft. 

Tre Mason, who became a Heisman finalist despite any real push by the athletics department, was the work horse for the ground attack. Mason broke the SEC Championship rushing record, and set an all time Auburn yardage record at 1,816 yards along with 23 TD's.

All is not lost however, as the returning starters, and second team players will be more than talented enough to get the job done. In addition some JUCO help has been added to insure that their is zero drop off in talent. 

Two members of the Tigers 2010 offensive line class that are still with the team are Shon Coleman and Chad Slade. From the 2011 class Reese Dismukes. From the 2012 class Will Adams, Shane Callahan, Jordan Diamond, Alex Kozan, Robert Leff, Patrick Miller, and Avery Young. This group was ranked as the best offensive line class in the country for 2012. Add to that the 2013 class of Devonte Danzy, and Deon Mix. 

All of these guys have a full year under their belts in the offensive system, and the rigorous strength and conditioning program at Auburn under Ryan Russell  The Tigers have a very solid group to lead this rushing attack in the coming season.

The newest members of the offensive line are Xavier Dampeer, and Braden Smith.

Auburn has impressive depth at Running Back as well. Normally losing a player the caliber of Tre Mason to the draft is a recipe for rebuilding, but not at Running Back University! 

Returning players at this position include Cameron Artis-Payne, Corey Grant, the QB Nick Marshall, and Iron Man Johnathan Ford. Combine their numbers, and it looks more like a video game than a college rushing attack. 

Marshall had 1,162 yards, Grant had 650 yards with a 10 yard average per carry. Artis-Payne had  609 yards with a 6.8 yard average, and Ford had only 73 yards but a 12.2 yard average in only one half of one game.

The expected workhorse for next season is thought to be Cameron Artis-Payne at tailback, but don't forget about the redshirt Freshman Peyton Barber. Barber has family that has played in the NFL, and was thought to be under valued in the recruiting process. the coaches expect really good things from Peyton Barber.

Add to the mix the newest Tigers at this position the bruiser from Prattville, AL Kamryn Pettway, and highly touted Racean (Roc) Thomas. Thomas is the highest rated RB to choose to play for Auburn in the last six years. To say there is excited anticipation to see this young man in Orange and Blue is an understatement.

The Tiger offense also utilizes several wide outs to carry the football, and this is likely to remain a staple in the future. There were no losses in the WR corps, and a couple of talented athletes were brought in with the latest recruiting cycle. We will dig deeper into this with our next installment that covers the passing game in more detail. 

Look for the offense to excel at running the ball once again next season. I wouldn't be surprised to see another duo of 1,000 yard rushing performances, with maybe a third added to the mix depending on how far Auburn goes into the new playoff system in place for next season.

War Eagle!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Auburn Softball Tiger Invitational Recap

Alabama at Auburn Gymnastics highlights

Dubbed the "Iron Bowl of Gymnastics" Auburn hosted
arch rival Alabama on Valentines Day. Alabama had won this match 107
straight times. Auburn was ready though, and performed at a level not
seen on a team wide scale in years.

While they did not win, the Tigers set many season and career high marks. 

"They had to be at their best to beat us, and they did it, but we were pretty darn good, too...

 I look at it is we came in and we were ranked 12thand they were ranked
5th, and if we have Bri at the end we're within a couple of tenths of
them. I think it says a lot for our team. I think it says we're
under-ranked. Yeah, we didn't upend No. 5, but we take a lot of
confidence from it...

 We were about as good as we can be.. We were hitting some
landings and getting pretty sharp on some stuff. I was pretty impressed,
and even with Bri's fall at the end, it was still one of the best
nights we've had in a couple of years." - Coach Jeff Graba via the AUfficial Auburn web site


Sunday, February 16, 2014

Missouri at Auburn WBB highlights

Amazing Day of Sports

Let the records show, that on this date February 15, 2014 America had a great day in sports.

The United States Men's hockey team defeated Russia 3 - 2 in an Olympic match that went down to 8 innings of a shootout. 

NASCAR started it's long season with the first weekend of practice sessions leading up to the Daytona  500.

The Auburn Men's basketball team defeated Miss St at home by the score of 92 - 82. We have the video highlights below.

The most amazing thing we saw in sports yesterday happened at the Auburn Arena. Patrick Birch was selected randomly to putt for a car during one of the breaks in the action of the Men's basketball victory. The event was sponsored by Lynch Toyota of Auburn.
Here is how that went for Patrick.

Game Highlights:

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Of Rules and Nursery Rhymes

Little Miss Muffet

Sat on a tuffet,

Eating her curds and whey;

Along came a spider,

Who sat down beside her,

And frightened Miss Muffet away. - Dr. Seuss

These playful rhymes are to teach our children valuable lessons about life. The more complex our thought process becomes, the more we are able to read into, and understand these youthful tales.  So it is with the NCAA rules committee.

In case you have lived under a rock for the past 96 hours or so, click on this link to see what you have missed. You can then click HERE for the opposing view points. My views are such that even a consideration of this proposal shows a sign of weakness, and lack of intelligent judgement, unless ALL of the facts are properly put in front of you.

I first want to comment that this proposal is proposed in myth, and not remotely connected to fact. I give you two great items to peruse, so that you can be much more informed about this matter than the governing body of college athletics appears to be. First look at this from College Football Matrix. There seems to be some evidence that the intentions on which this proposal was based, are indeed false. Then, I want to give you some more food for your brain with this tidbit from Stat Tiger:

During the 2013 season FBS offenses avg 71.9 snaps per game. During the 2000 season, it was 70.9. Gee...we need to slow these offenses down.

That is a 14 year window. More than enough data to disprove that the popularity of the so called Hurry Up No Huddle (HUNH) offense really hasn't changed the average number of offensive plays per season in college football.

All of this is to disprove the true reasoning of this proposal, and in fact uncover the outright lie that has been perpetrated by the very people that have proposed the rule change to begin with. 

Years ago the NFL was suffering from poor attendance, and an overall downward view of the game and how it was being played. After reaching out to the fans, the NFL learned some very interesting  things about what fans want from their overall game experience. The biggest surprise? You guessed it, the fans wanted more scoring. More offense. Yes they love to see great defensive play, they just were no longer enamored with three yards and a cloud of dust offense. The NFL acted quickly and changed rules to enhance the offensive ability to be creative thus score more points.

This prompted the NFL to create an entire division of its organization to keep up with the needs of their fans.  

Now, to the meat of the issue. How will this change college football? That, after all, is the true issue, is it not?

The rules committee of college football's governing body, the NCAA, is on the verge of undoing all that has been accomplished by college football in the last decade. The absolute king of college sports, and runner up to only a couple of professional sports in total viewership. I can guarantee significant changes will happen to the overall game experience for college football fans.

Longer game times, and the insufferable wait between each play will be lengthened. Already longer than it should ever take, the game would turn into a 5 hour game. Attendance will suffer, and viewership will fall off drastically.

 Facts being facts, one of the so called pace teams this past season had more fans attend games than any other team in college football. That team is Auburn. Auburn plays in a stadium that has not seen expansion in years, and seats around 87,000. Imagine if their stadium had over 100,000 capacity for it's home games like some of the teams that don't run a HUNH offense. 

Little Miss Muffet was scared away from an enjoyable meal, by an annoying little insect. You know how this goes. You get up and move away from the spider, then you look back to check if it's still there. If it is, you will then set down your perfectly enjoyable meal and find something to squash that bug. 
This proposal and the people behind it are exactly that. Annoying little insects, that will cause us the college football fan, to get up and walk away.  We have the squashing device in our hands. Our television remotes. We will simply turn from the channel we were watching, to something else. Bug. Squashed.

These proposed rule changes are ridiculous at their very best. That they are based in lies, is devious, and harmful. If we wanted to watch the same repetitive thing over and over, Bowling would be our #1 sport in attendance and viewership.

We need to collectively send the NCAA our thoughts on this. Contact them thru social media and tell them how you feel about this. On Twitter you can reach them @NCAA . On Facebook they are here:

To write them or call:
The National Collegiate Athletic Association
700 W. Washington Street
P.O. Box 6222
Indianapolis, Indiana 46206-6222
Phone: 317/917-6222
Fax: 317/917-6888

Let them know how you feel about this proposal before it's too late.
Then pass this along to everyone you know, so they too have all the information needed to make the right decision.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Basketball-All About Recruiting: Sam Logwood Interview

Logwood: "Winning is more important than stats.."

In the link below I had around a ten minute phone interview with Sam Logwood, 2014 SF from La Porte, Indiana. Sam is 6'7 and 205 pounds, very quick and certainly has hops. ESPN has him at the #30 SF in the country and #6 in the state. (ESPN Recruiting Nation Basketball: Sam Logwood) He plays hard and gets to the rim. Compares his style of play to Dwayne Wade. Auburn really did a great job of picking a player and athlete up like this. Big things to come for Sam in the future alongside a younger Auburn team.
.Sam Logwood (Photo: David Dixon)
Photo: David Dixon
Here are a few YouTube videos of what Logwood will be bringing to the table.

Want to see a poster? Check this one out: Sam Logwood Dunk via MaxPreps High School Sports

Here is the interview. The videos above don't serve him justice. Just go on YouTube and type in Sam Logwood and get ready to be amazed.

Be sure to follow me on Twitter at @austin_preiss19 for more Auburn, SEC, and much more. Also feel free to keep sending in questions for all these guys and send in more names for the players you want to hear from next. You can also follow Sam at @SL III. Thanks and WAR EAGLE!

Women s Basketball Highlights at Vanderbilt

A great win for the team. A signature win for the coaching staff. Congratulations Ladies and War Eagle!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Looking Forward

photo by Randy Comer

  As we head into spring, which will be sooner rather than later, we hope, our thoughts turn to our annual A Day game. That will be when we get our first glimpse at our newest version of Auburn football. Many changes usually accompany a new season, yet, this coming season will feature many of the same faces that took the 2013 Tigers to the final BCS Championship.

 We will take a look at those familiar faces, and try to forecast what lay in store for the 2014 season. First we will look at the coaches, and their contributions that made the difference in the biggest turn around in college football history.

  Instead of stamping his mark on our football program, Auburn's head coach Gus Malzahn made his mark and is making it stick like the proverbial tattoo. Auburn indeed played with an attitude, and aggression unseen on both sides of the ball since the departure of Tommy Tuberville's teams in the early 2000's. Most fans agree, that is when Auburn last had an edge on the field. That is when we as fans last felt that if you played Auburn, you would know you had been in a fight. 

*editors note:For a better look at the Tuberville years, we recommend Orange is Our Color by Josh Dowdy

 It takes an attitude to keep your head about you when you fall behind in a game, and keep fighting to get the win. Auburn first did that at home, then pulled that feat on the road at Kyle Field vs. Texas A & M. Those two wins gave the team the confidence that they could really do good things if they kept working. Thanks to Coach Malzahn and his staff.

 Everything starts with preparation. It's the same with football. That preparation started with off season workouts. Coach Ryan Russell did an amazing job getting a team that had floundered the previous year, to commit to getting better. They got much better! 

 Then the unenviable task of turning around the players. Their thought process, their practice habits, and their off the field habits were all addressed by this coaching staff. For the most part, it worked like a charm. 

 In our next post, we will look at the offense, and those coaches. We will also take a stab at where we think the improvements will be on offense. Until then...


Auburn Head MBB Coach Tony Barbee

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Football-All About Recruiting: Interview With Zach Wade

Auburn Football just wrapped up another top 10 recruiting class, and is on the rise for many more great athletes in the coming classes. 

In this edition of "All About Recruiting", I talked to Bremen, Georgia's own, Zach Wade. Zach is a long snapper who is starting his college career as a preferred walk-on with Auburn.

Listed as 6-1, 210 pounds Zach has collected some really high praise for his footwork and balance; as well as, being a good listener and learner. When I spoke with Zach you could clearly see and hear that he loves Auburn.
He is very well spoken, and is ready to be a part of the Auburn Family. 

A huge thanks to Zach for taking the time to talk with me and let you guys in on what Auburn Football is getting when they are getting Zach Wade.
Player Photo 

Also Check out this video from Kohl's Kicking on Zach.

Be sure to follow me on Twitter at @austin_preiss19 for more on Auburn, and the SEC. 

Also if there is anyone else you guys want to here from just let me know. Check back next weekend as I dip into a little basketball recruiting as I talk with Sam Longwood. 


Auburn Gymnastics at Air Force Highlights

Thursday, February 6, 2014

A Creative Look at 2014 Signees

There is no need for us to just repeat what most of the other Auburn beat writers have said about this year's recruiting class signed by Coach Malzahn and company. So, I decided to give you a few links to some of the better reviews..

The first one of course is  from the AUfficial Auburn web site. It's a great look at the class, broken down into two parts. Phillip Marshall looks at the defense in one post and the offense in another

The next look at our new Tigers is by Ryan Black at the Ledger Enquirer. Ryan takes a different approach where he offers his analysis, and is complete with twitter handles.

I will add that this class has some real potential to provide Auburn fans with plenty of enjoyment in the coming years. This class as a whole is talented, and deep in athleticism. They are a physical bunch, and will be something to behold by the time they become upperclassmen. I also believe they will stay almost totally intact as a group throughout their respective careers at Auburn.

The following is courtesy of and
  • 247Sports Composite Ranking

  • National Rank: 6
  • SEC Rank: 4
  • Avg Rating: 0.9023

Name Pos Interest
  • Rating
  • NTL
  • POS
  • ST

Enrollees (5)

D'haquille Williams D'haquille Williams
Mississippi Gulf Coast C.C. (Perkinston, MS)
D'haquille Williams Videos (Early Graduate)

Derrick Moncrief Derrick Moncrief
Mississippi Gulf Coast C.C. (Perkinston, MS)
Derrick Moncrief Videos (Early Graduate)

Stanton Truitt Stanton Truitt
Monroe Area (Monroe, GA)
Stanton Truitt Videos

Chris Laye Chris Laye
Lambert (Suwanee, GA)
Chris Laye Videos (Early Graduate)

Xavier Dampeer Xavier Dampeer
Copiah-Lincoln C.C. (Wesson, MS)
(Early Graduate)

Signed Letter of Intent (18)

Roc Thomas Roc Thomas
Oxford (Oxford, AL)
Roc Thomas Videos

Tre' Williams Tre' Williams
St. Paul's Episcopal (Mobile, AL)
Tre' Williams Videos

Braden Smith Braden Smith
Olathe South (Olathe, KS)
Braden Smith Videos

Nick Ruffin Nick Ruffin
St. Pius X (Atlanta, GA)
Nick Ruffin Videos

Justin Thornton Justin Thornton
Vigor (Mobile, AL)
Justin Thornton Videos

Kalvaraz Bessent Kalvaraz Bessent
Camden County (Kingsland, GA)
Kalvaraz Bessent Videos

Stephen Roberts Stephen Roberts
Opelika (Opelika, AL)
Stephen Roberts Videos

Sean White Sean White
University School (Fort Lauderdale, FL)
Sean White Videos

Dontavius Russell Dontavius Russell
Carrollton (Carrollton, GA)
Dontavius Russell Videos

DaVonte Lambert DaVonte Lambert
Georgia Military College (Milledgeville, GA)
DaVonte Lambert Videos

Andrew Williams Andrew Williams
Eagle's Landing Christian (Mcdonough, GA)
Andrew Williams Videos

Kamryn Pettway Kamryn Pettway
Prattville (Prattville, AL)
Kamryn Pettway Videos

Jakell Mitchell Jakell Mitchell
Opelika (Opelika, AL)
Jakell Mitchell Videos

De'Shaun Davis De'Shaun Davis
Vigor (Mobile, AL)
De'Shaun Davis Videos

Myron Burton Myron Burton
Peachtree Ridge (Suwanee, GA)
Myron Burton Videos

Devaroe Lawrence Devaroe Lawrence
Georgia Military College (Milledgeville, GA)
Devaroe Lawrence Videos

Markell Boston Markell Boston
East Coweta (Sharpsburg, GA)
Markell Boston Videos

Raashed Kennion Raashed Kennion
First Coast (Jacksonville, FL)
Raashed Kennion Videos

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Recruiting Etiquette

As most of you know, tomorrow is National Signing Day (NSD). It's a day of celebration for many families, or at least it should be. Everyone of these future superstars has been fed a long line of promises. Mostly by some of the most zealous coaches in the business. Most of the coaches are selling what these potential student athletes will be able to accomplish "if" they sign with each respective school. Others may be a little more over the top.

All of that was to tell you, these kids have been thru enough already. The last thing any of them need is to be ridiculed by any fan of a school they may not  have chosen to play for. Let's take a moment to look at some of the things you should, and should not do on NSD.

Should Not
A. Never call out a recruit for choosing another school to attend, instead of your favorite school.
B. Never call out a family member of a recruit for the same reason as above.
C. Never state opinions as facts when pertaining to the recruitment process. This applies to the coaches, and players of each school.
D. Never under any circumstance wish any player nothing but the very best in their college choice.

A. Thank a player, after it is official, that They have chosen to play for your school.
B. Thank the families of each player for their patience during the recruiting process.
C. Welcome each member of this signing class and their family to our family.
D. Make sure to tell each new Tiger that we are Auburn University, and we are a family. That we will support you thru thick and thin.

We understand how easy it is to get caught up in this whole process called recruiting. It is a long and winding road for the players, and their respective families. Each of us needs to realize that this is the first really big decision that these young people make that will have overriding repercussions that guides them in their  future. Your understanding of this is key to future recruiting classes.


Sunday, February 2, 2014

Get To Know the Recruits

photo by

We will take a look at some of the recruits committed to Auburn leading up to NSD ( National Signing Day ). 

 Our first look is a relatively unknown recruit who plays at a critical position for special teams. His name is Zach Wade. He is a long snapper, and a darn good one at that!  Here is what was written about Zach after he attended the Kohl's Kicking and Snapping Camp:

 Zach connected on 11/15 LS at the 2013 Underclassman Challenge with 8 traveling through the target. He finished camp with an average snap time of .71 seconds. Zach was a competitor at the 2012 Southern Showcase Event in December where he finished 4th overall and 3rd amongst the 2014 class. He scored 38/45 points and finished with an average snap time of .71 seconds with his camp best of .67 seconds coming on snap #1. Zach made 8/15 snaps through the target while scoring on 12/15. He is a full bodied snapper which allows for maximum velocity on his snaps and stays consistent from snap to snap. Zach also finished camp by winning the snap competition by connecting on 2/2.

Young Mr. Wade went on to earn a 5 star rating from the camp. If everything goes to plan, Zach will sign with Auburn on Feb 5th, and become a Tiger!

Revisiting the Past

Shon Coleman will figure heavily in who plays right tackle this year. photo from Google images

I had an idea pop into the vast open space that is my mind, and this is what I got out of it.

Good or bad, there are some similarities from the BCS Champion 2010 Auburn football team and the upcoming version for this next season. 

The first area where such a similarity exists is the offensive line. In 2010 Auburn's offensive line would return 4 starters. The core of this group started at the exact same time, against a very good Florida team. That start would prepare them for the pressures of that Championship run in 2010. 

In 2014 Auburn will start a core group of linemen with plenty of experience as well. Their accomplishments went quite a bit higher their first season, than the "O" line class of 2010, where they came within a few seconds of winning the Championship.

Let's go back in time and see what we posted about that then upcoming offensive line group. 

From the ATB files. March 19th, 2010:

 I don’t know if this falls under cautious optimism or just plain drinking the Kool Aid….
Auburn’s offensive line returns some of the best talent in the conference and maybe in the country. These young men are experienced, proven, and reliable. Let’s first look at who they are, and then, how having an experienced line helps Auburn’s team this coming season.

Looking at them from the Quarterbacks view, from left to right, we’ll start with left tackle Lee Ziemba.

Left Tackle Lee Ziemba  6’ 8” 308 Senior     
Left Guard Mike Berry 6’ 3” 311 Senior         
Center Ryan Pugh 6’ 4” 289 Senior       
Right Guard Byron Isom 6’ 3” 291 Senior        
Right Tackle To Be Determined

There are a number of variables here that we as fans don’t have first hand knowledge of. One of which, is how and if the existing group will be moved to make room for the open spot. It is possible that Bart Eddins is named right guard and Byron Isom is moved to right tackle.

And of course the usual suspects of incoming players, red shirt freshmen, and underclassmen that improve dramatically to fill in the open spot.
The one sure thing this coaching staff has proven, that they will play whomever is the best for this team.

How does an experienced line help the Auburn Tigers this season?
On many levels, some listed above, it’s a huge advantage for this coaching staff. Four starting seniors is the recipe for the making of a special group.

At the Quarterback position, knowing the linemen have been there and done that, together makes learning the job much easier. That’s where Auburn is, in the QB spot. Learning and executing the complicated, and often spectacular, Gus Malzahn offense, with precision and fierceness, is the order of the day for Auburn’s quarterback.

At the running back position it’s the biggest blessing you could imagine to have this group in front of you. You can bet this group of backs knows how valuable an experienced line can be to production. Look for another 1,000 yard rushing performance from an Auburn running back this season. Coach Chizik has penciled in the name of Mario Fannin as the heir apparent to Ben Tate’s spot, vacated by graduation. He will have to earn the spot though.

As you can see, the offensive line is a primary reason for Auburn’s offense to succeed this coming season.
Making things easier for all the other players to complete their tasks on each play, having confidence that these senior linemen will do their part.

The future is now! Auburn has an opportunity to excel on the field this fall; with all the right pieces in place a special season is ahead for our Tigers.


Saturday, February 1, 2014

Georgia at Auburn MBB highlights and post

Cam Newton Game Show Contestant

In an appearance in New York promoting the new Pizza Hut slogan "Go For Greatness." It's a funny bit, and a really great surprise for all Auburn fans at the end. 

This video is originally posted by Dan Rubenstein. You can follow him on twitter @DanRubenstein

"That's alright, they do"