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January 31, 2011

Highly-ranked cornerback Marcus Roberson commits to Auburn; Tigers up to 23 commitments

Two days before National Signing Day, Auburn added a commitment from one of the top cornerbacks in the country.

Marcus Roberson, a four-star recruit Rivals ranks as the No. 2 cornerback nationally, became the Tigers’ 23rd commitment for 2011, announcing his intentions to sign with Auburn on his Facebook page.
“I (committed) to Auburn,” he wrote. “(I) appreciate every school for recruiting me and (I) think all of them (are) great places.”
The 6-foot-1, 170-pound Roberson is from St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale.
He is ranked as the No. 2 cornerback nationally by Rivals and the No. 37 player overall. Scout lists him as the No. 4 safety in the country, while ESPN has him at No. 9.
Roberson committed earlier this month to Texas Tech, where his uncle, Otis Mounds, is a defensive graduate assistant.
But he maintained his commitment was open. With offers from Florida, Georgia and USC, among others, he chose Auburn, which he had visited in September.
He is the fourth defensive back to commit to the Tigers for 2011. Jonathan Rose of Leeds, Ala., is already enrolled in school. Anthony Swain of Gadsden, Ala., and Robenson Therezie of Miami, Fla., are also defensive backs who intend to sign with Auburn. Rose and Roberson are expected to play corner, while Swain and Therezie will begin at safety.
With Roberson’s commitment, the Tigers’ 23-member class is ranked third nationally by Scout, sixth by Rivals and eighth by ESPN.
Auburn can sign up to 28 players on Wednesday but can enroll only 25 in August.
Two four-star players announcing on signing day — Columbus tackle Gabe Wright and Valley, Ala., safety Erique Florence — are considered to be strong Auburn leans.
Roberson is Auburn’s 23rd commitment for 2011. Teams can sign up to 28 on National Signing Day and enroll 25 in August.
Here’s an updated list (rankings are by Rivals):
  • Angelo Blackson, DL, 6-5, 289, 3-star, Bear, Del. (Red Lion Christian Academy)
  • Quan Bray, ATH, 5-11, 178, 4-star, LaGrange, Ga. (Troup County High)
  • Brent Calloway, RB/LB, 6-1, 210, 4-star, Russellville, Ala. (Russellville High)
  • Sammie Coates, WR, 6-3, 170, 3-star, Leroy, Ala. (Leroy High)
  • Jaylon Denson, WR, 6-3, 190, 4-star, Hoover, Ala. (Hoover High)
  • Reese Dismukes, C, 6-3, 272, 4-star, Spanish Fort, Ala. (Spanish Fort High)
  • Kiehl Frazier, QB, 6-3, 215, 4-star, Springdale, Ark. (Shiloh Christian)
  • Kris Frost, LB, 6-3, 210, 5-star, Matthews, N.C. (Butler High)
  • Brandon Fulse, TE, 6-4, 247, 4-star, Fort Meade, Fla. (Fort Meade High)
  • Justin Garrett, OLB, 6-2, 185, 3-star, Tucker, Ga. (Tucker High)
  • Keymiya Harrell, DE, 6-5, 235, 3-star, Plantersville, Ala. (Dallas County High)
  • Chris Landrum, LB, 6-2, 215, 3-star, Sweet Water, Ala. (Sweet Water High)
  • Tre Mason, RB, 5-10, 190, 4-star, Lake Worth, Fla. (Park Vista High)
  • JaBrian Niles, DE, 6-2, 270, 3-star, Mobile, Ala. (Davidson High)
  • Thomas O’Reilly, OL, 6-3, 315, 3-star, Marietta, Ga. (Pope High)
  • Greg Robinson, OL, 6-5, 296, 4-star, Thibodaux, La. (Thibodaux High)
  • Marcus Robersson, CB, 6-1, 170, 4-star, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (St. Thomas Aquinas)
  • Jonathan Rose, CB, 6-2, 170, 4-star, Leeds, Ala. (Leeds High)
  • Devaunte Sigler, DE, 6-4, 250, 3-star, Mobile, Ala. (B.C. Rain High)
  • Anthony Swain, S, 6-3, 215, 3-star, Gadsden, Ala. (Gadsden City High)
  • Robenson Therezie, DB, 5-10, 180, 4-star, Miami, Fla. (Jackson High)
  • C.J. Uzomah, TE/HB, 6-5, 230, 3-star, Suwanee, Ga. (North Gwinnett High)
  • Christian Westerman, OL, 6-5, 290, 4-star, Chandler, Ariz. (Hamilton High)

Recapping the recruiting weekend that was

The final recruiting weekend before Wednesday’s National Signing Day is in the books.. Here’s a brief wrapup of what happened on the Plains.

Hat tips the HABOTN and the Gold Mine, two friends of the blog who staked out ‘cruits on Sunday morning. Their work is top notch:
  • Columbus defensive tackle Gabe Wright also made another visit to the Plains, what he estimated was about his 30th trip to Auburn. The Carver standout, who ESPN ranks as the No. 3 defensive tackle, made his final official visit. He’s down to Auburn, Alabama and Tennessee. From the sounds of it, the Tigers have a pretty good chance for the 6-foot-3, 285-pound recruit. His words Sunday: “I was always told to put your favorite school last so you get the best last so you can make all the necessary choices.” Auburn lost Lombardi Award-winner Nick Fairley to the draft, but also bid adieu to senior tackles Zach Clayton and Mike Blanc. Rising sophomores Jeffrey Whitaker and Kenneth Carter are the next two players on the projected depth chart, so immediate playing time is possible. The only other Auburn commit in 2011 listed as a tackle (by Rivals, at least) is Angelo Blackson of Bear, Del. Wright will announce his school at 1:30 p.m. ET on signing day, doing it at the same time as Carver teammate and highly-coveted running back Isaiah Crowell, who is down to Georgia and Alabama.
  • Another weekend visitor, cornerback Jermaine Whitehead of Greenwood, Miss., decommitted from Mississippi State. He is considering Auburn, Ole Miss and Mississippi State. Rivals lists him as a four-star recruit and the No. 24 cornerback in the country.
  • As noted on the HABOTN, Nashville, Tenn., offensive lineman Antonio Richardson and Hamilton, Ga., defensive lineman LaMichael Fanning also made visits. Richardson, Rivals’ No. 1 player in Tennessee, is down to Auburn, Georgia, LSU, Miami and Tennessee. Fanning is an Alabama commit, but some think Auburn might still be in the mix.
  • Meanwhile, Alabama-turned-Auburn commit Brent Calloway, who pulled the switcheroo earlier this month because of an opportunity to play running back with the Tigers, visited Tuscaloosa last weekend instead of coming to the Plains. Calloway is the No. 1 recruit in the state. Apparently his flip-flop to Auburn didn’t sit well with his father. Calloway’s adoptive dad — Harland “Peaches” Winston – told the Times Daily that whatever school his son chooses, he’s “behind it 100 percent.” A source told the paper that the Russellville star remains “100 percent” solid on Auburn. Nothing’s finalized until Wednesday, however.
  • Another announcement on Wednesday is Valley safety Erique Florence, who will make his decision known at 9:15 a.m. He’s considered a strong Auburn lean, although, according to various recruiting websites, USC has made a push late in the process.
  • Auburn has 22 commitments for 2011. Although ESPN lists 23, including offensive tackle Shon Coleman, a signee last year who enrolled just recently after undergoing successful chemotherapy treatments for leukemia last spring. Not sure yet exactly when Coleman, who intends to redshirt next season, will count on Auburn’s scholarship numbers. The Tigers can sign up to 28 on Wednesday but can admit only 25 in August. Three of its 2011 recruits — Dismukes, O’Reilly and cornerback Jonathan Rose — are already enrolled in school.

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January 29, 2011

Tigers get into SEC win column, knock off South Carolina 79-64 in Columbia

Auburn coach Tony Barbee earned his long-awaited first SEC win Saturday, as the Tigers pulled away for a surprising 79-64 victory against South Carolina in Columbia, S.C.

The Tigers (8-13, 1-6 SEC), who had lost their first six SEC games, got career highs from Rob Chubb and Josh Wallace, who finished with 18 and 17 points, respectively.
Earnest Ross had 10 points and 7 rebounds. Chris Denson added 10 points and Kenny Gabriel 13 rebounds.
Auburn went into halftime ahead 33-28 and grew that lead to double digits in the second half.
The Tigers, who hadn’t shot better than 38 percent in any SEC game this season, shot 41.3 percent from the floor (26-for-63). The SEC’s worst free throw shooting team went 26-for-34 from the line.
South Carolina (12-7, 3-3 SEC) went just 7-for-33 from 3-point range.
Auburn is in action again Thursday at home against Tennessee. Tipoff is 9 p.m. ET.

January 27, 2011

Four-star tight end Brandon Fulse commits to Auburn; Tigers up to 22 commitment for 2011

Four-star tight end Brandon Fulse said on ESPNU Thursday that he’ll sign with Auburn on National Signing Day next week.

The 6-foot-4, 247-pound Fulse is the Tigers’ 22nd commitment for 2011.
“When I went up there it just felt like home and I really felt comfortable around the coaches,” Fulse said.
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Fulse went to the same high school in Fort Meade, Fla., as current Auburn running back Onterio McCalebb.
“When I get up there he can teach me the ropes and everything he’s done,” Fulse said.

ESPN lists him as the No. 5 tight end nationally. Rivals has him as the No. 10 tight end and No. 162 player overall. Scout ranks him as the No. 13 tight end.
He picked Auburn over Tennessee, North Carolina and Miami.
Fulse had 43 receptions for 730 yards and 10 touchdowns his senior year. He also had eight sacks on defense, according to Scout.
Fulse is Auburn’s second tight end commitment for 2011, joining C.J. Uzomah of Suwanee, Ga. Uzomah, who played quarterback his final season of high school, is a versatile athlete who might play a variety of roles on offense.
The Tigers’ class is now ranked third nationally by Scout, sixth by Rivals and ninth by ESPN.
Here again is an updated commitment list for 2011 (star ratings are by Rivals):
  • Angelo Blackson, DL, 6-5, 289, 3-star, Bear, Del. (Red Lion Christian Academy)
  • Quan Bray, ATH, 5-11, 178, 4-star, LaGrange, Ga. (Troup County High)
  • Brent Calloway, RB/LB, 6-1, 210, 4-star, Russellville, Ala. (Russellville High)
  • Sammie Coates, WR, 6-3, 170, 3-star, Leroy, Ala. (Leroy High)
  • Jaylon Denson, WR, 6-3, 190, 4-star, Hoover, Ala. (Hoover High)
  • Reese Dismukes, C, 6-3, 272, 4-star, Spanish Fort, Ala. (Spanish Fort High)
  • Kiehl Frazier, QB, 6-3, 215, 4-star, Springdale, Ark. (Shiloh Christian)
  • Kris Frost, LB, 6-3, 210, 5-star, Matthews, N.C. (Butler High)
  • Brandon Fulse, TE, 6-4, 247, 4-star, Fort Meade, Fla. (Fort Meade High)
  • Justin Garrett, OLB, 6-2, 185, 3-star, Tucker, Ga. (Tucker High)
  • Keymiya Harrell, DE, 6-5, 235, 3-star, Plantersville, Ala. (Dallas County High)
  • Chris Landrum, LB, 6-2, 215, 3-star, Sweet Water, Ala. (Sweet Water High)
  • Tre Mason, RB, 5-10, 190, 4-star, Lake Worth, Fla. (Park Vista High)
  • JaBrian Niles, DE, 6-2, 270, 3-star, Mobile, Ala. (Davidson High)
  • Thomas O’Reilly, OL, 6-3, 315, 3-star, Marietta, Ga. (Pope High)
  • Greg Robinson, OL, 6-5, 296, 4-star, Thibodaux, La. (Thibodaux High)
  • Jonathan Rose, CB, 6-2, 170, 4-star, Leeds, Ala. (Leeds High)
  • Devaunte Sigler, DE, 6-4, 250, 3-star, Mobile, Ala. (B.C. Rain High)
  • Anthony Swain, S, 6-3, 215, 3-star, Gadsden, Ala. (Gadsden City High)
  • Robenson Therezie, DB, 5-10, 180, 4-star, Miami, Fla. (Jackson High)
  • C.J. Uzomah, TE/HB, 6-5, 230, 3-star, Suwanee, Ga. (North Gwinnett High)
  • Christian Westerman, OL, 6-5, 290, 4-star, Chandler, Ariz. (Hamilton High)

January 26, 2011

Running back Tre Mason commits to Auburn

Auburn continued its recruiting surge in late-January, adding a commitment from Lake Worth, Fla., running back Tre Mason.

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel first reported the news earlier this afternoon. Mason announced more officially later in the afternoon during a press conference at his high school.
The 5-foot-10, 190-pound running back had narrowed his finalists to Auburn and Ole Miss.
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Rivals and Scout both rank Mason as a four-star recruit. Rivals has him as the No. 14 running back in the nation. Scout lists him as No. 29.
Mason ran for 1,643 yards and 24 touchdowns as a senior. In his final two seasons at Park Vista High, he ran for 3,103 yards and 46 touchdowns.
He is Auburn’s second potential running back in the class. Four-star recruit Brent Calloway switched from Alabama to Auburn because he said he’ll get a shot at running back. Calloway is listed as the No. 5 linebacker recruit in the country by Rivals.
Mason is the Tigers’ 21st commitment for 2011, joining Mobile defensive end Devaunte Sigler, who committed earlier Wednesday.
Auburn can sign up to 28 players on National Signing Day a week from today. Per NCAA rules, it can only enroll 25 in August.
Here is an updated commitment list for 2011 (star ratings are by Rivals):
  • Angelo Blackson, DL, 6-5, 289, 3-star, Bear, Del. (Red Lion Christian Academy)
  • Quan Bray, ATH, 5-11, 178, 4-star, LaGrange, Ga. (Troup County High)
  • Brent Calloway, RB/LB, 6-1, 210, 4-star, Russellville, Ala. (Russellville High)
  • Sammie Coates, WR, 6-3, 170, 3-star, Leroy, Ala. (Leroy High)
  • Jaylon Denson, WR, 6-3, 190, 4-star, Hoover, Ala. (Hoover High)
  • Reese Dismukes, C, 6-3, 272, 4-star, Spanish Fort, Ala. (Spanish Fort High)
  • Kiehl Frazier, QB, 6-3, 215, 4-star, Springdale, Ark. (Shiloh Christian)
  • Kris Frost, ATH, 6-3, 210, 5-star, Matthews, N.C. (Butler High)
  • Justin Garrett, OLB, 6-2, 185, 3-star, Tucker, Ga. (Tucker High)
  • Keymiya Harrell, DE, 6-5, 235, 3-star, Plantersville, Ala. (Dallas County High)
  • Chris Landrum, LB, 6-2, 215, 3-star, Sweet Water, Ala. (Sweet Water High)
  • Tre Mason, RB, 5-10, 190, 4-star, Lake Worth, Fla. (Park Vista High)
  • JaBrian Niles, DE, 6-2, 270, 3-star, Mobile, Ala. (Davidson High)
  • Thomas O’Reilly, OL, 6-3, 315, 3-star, Marietta, Ga. (Pope High)
  • Greg Robinson, OL, 6-5, 296, 4-star, Thibodaux, La. (Thibodaux High)
  • Jonathan Rose, CB, 6-2, 170, 4-star, Leeds, Ala. (Leeds High)
  • Devaunte Sigler, DE, 6-4, 250, 3-star, Mobile, Ala. (B.C. Rain High)
  • Anthony Swain, S, 6-3, 215, 3-star, Gadsden, Ala. (Gadsden City High)
  • Robenson Therezie, DB, 5-10, 180, 4-star, Miami, Fla. (Jackson High)
  • C.J. Uzomah, TE/HB, 6-5, 230, 3-star, Suwanee, Ga. (North Gwinnett High)
  • Christian Westerman, OL, 6-5, 290, 4-star, Chandler, Ariz. (Hamilton High)

ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. talks about the NFL Draft and when Auburn’s players might be selected

ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. was kind enough to have a teleconference this morning about the upcoming NFL Draft.

He talked at length about what Cam Newton and Nick Fairley have to do to impress teams in the next three months.
Kiper currently has Fairley going No. 1 overall to the Carolina Panthers. He had Newton going No. 10 the Washington Redskins.
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I’ll have a full story tomorrow, but here are some raw quotes on both players. On Newton, who he said “has all the upside you could want”:

“I think Cam Newton, the interview process, the due diligence that teams go through over the next two to three months with every prospect is going to be important. Intangibles is a word you’re going to hear a lot about. That’s going to define whether Newton is a top-10 pick or if (Ryan) Mallett is even a first-round pick, for that matter. So I think intangibles are going to be critical. They’re going to be checked out in the next couple months. It’s still three months before draft day and between now and then Cam Newton is either going to be in the top 10 or he’s going to slide into the late first round. It’s going to be a very fluid grade depending on how that goes.

“And remember, he’s only got 14 starts and people are going to be looking at that Florida situation and what went on there, what went on in the recruiting controversy with Mississippi State and Auburn and look into all that. And if they feel he is worthy of being the face of an organization, worthy of getting a lot of guaranteed money and a guy you want to move forward with as your quarterback, then Cam Newton, based on what I saw this year, on his performance and his upside, I think he’s worthy. If all that falls into place, he’s certainly worthy of being a top-10 pick.”
Kiper had similar things to say about Fairley, who had one dominant season in college:
“He went from one and a half sacks to 11. From three and a half tackles for a loss to 24. From 28 tackles to 60 in one year. The dramatic improvement was obvious. i think there were some games here he kind of paced himself. He didn’t go all out on every play and attack on every play and in the NFL you’ve got to adjust to that. That’s the case for a lot of defensive tackles. That’s why I think the comparisons to Ndamukong Suh I think are overrated. Suh had a higher grade with me. Suh was my No. 1 player all year last year. He played all out every play and he was a dominant player for two, three years. Really, it was a great performance for three years because he was out there making his presence felt. Fairley was only doing it for one year, so there’s a big difference between Suh and Fairley and their body of work. So that’s why I don’t give Fairley nearly the grade I gave Suh.
“But I think in terms of being the No. 1 overall pick, Carolina needs a defensive tackle more than it needs an end. I know Da’Quan Bowers will be in the discussion. But I think Fairley could win out. If the interviews go well and they’re solid on him, he was a guy who was a one-year wonder, but he’s got so much talent, so much ability that we’re going to forget about the fact that he only dominated for one year.”
Kiper expects WR Darvin Adams, OL Lee Ziemba and LB Josh Bynes to be taken on the third day of the draft (rounds 4-7). Right now — and this an extremely early projection — he had Adams going early on the third day, Ziemba in the middle and Bynes late.
Of the three, he had the highest interest in Adams, who he called “intriguing … just because of the talent he showed in a number of games that I watched this year.”

B.C. Rain’s Devaunte Sigler commits to Auburn

Devaunte Sigler, a defensive end/linebacker from Mobile, Ala., announced his intention to sign with Auburn in a week on National Signing Day.

AuburnSports.com, Inside the Auburn Tigers and AuburnUndercover.com reported the news first.
Sigler, a 6-foot-4, 250-pound recruit, played outside linebacker in B.C. Rain’s 3-4 scheme but expects to be a defensive end at the college level.
He picked Auburn over Mississippi State and LSU.
Rivals and Scout both list him as a three-star recruit. Rivals has him as the No. 64 outside linebacker in the country, while Scout ranks him as the No. 44 defensive end.
Sigler is Auburn’s 20th commitment for 2011. The Tigers could get another this afternoon when Lake Worth, Fla., running back Tre Mason makes his announcement. The South Florida Sun-Sentinel says Mason-to-Auburn is already a done deal.
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Second half shooting slump too much for Auburn to overcome in 73-64 loss at Arkansas

Auburn missed 22 straight shots to start the second half Tuesday night in Fayetteville, Ark., digging too deep of a hole in a 73-64 loss to Arkansas at Bud Walton Arena.
The Tigers (7-13) dropped to 0-6 in SEC play for the first time since the 1993-94 season.
Arkansas (13-6, 3-3 SEC) turned a four-point halftime lead to 24 with a 21-1 run to open the second half.

Rotnei Clarke and Julysses Nobles both had 16 for Arkansas. Marshawn Powell added 13 points and 11 rebounds.
The Tigers managed to get as close as six with less than a minute to play, but they couldn’t get any closer.

Earnest Ross led Auburn with 15. Freshmen Allen Payne (13 points) and Adrian Forbes (11) also reached double figures.

Auburn plays again Saturday at South Carolina at 1:30 p.m. ET.
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January 25, 2011

Auburn’s BCS title celebration at Jordan-Hare condensed to 30-minute show on CSS

The Auburn football’s teams BCS national championship celebration that took place at Jordan-Hare Stadium last Saturday will be shown in a 30-minute program Tuesday night on CSS.

The show — “Auburn Football 2010 National Champions: The Celebration” — will air at 10:30 p.m. ET. It is produced by the Auburn Sports Newtork from IMG College.
It features highlights from the celebration, with speeches from Cam Newton, Nick Fairley, Lee Ziemba, Kodi Burns, Gene Chizik and Jay Jacobs, among others.
It also has these rebroadcast times (all times ET):
  • Wednesday: 4 p.m. on Cox Sports
  • Friday: noon on CSS
  • Friday: 5 p.m. on Cox Sports
  • Saturday: 9:30 p.m. on CSS
(Check your local listings for other stations which may choose to rebroadcast the show as well.)

Auburn seeks answer for offensive woes

Auburn will try to get off the SEC schneid tonight at Arkansas. Here’s how today’s story starts:

AUBURN, Ala. — The effort is there. The offense is not.
At 0-5 in SEC play, Auburn’s has a long list of shortcomings in Tony Barbee’s first season as head coach, but none have been more striking than the Tigers’ inability to score.
“This isn’t baseball,” said Barbee, whose Tigers travel to Arkansas tonight at 9 (ESPNU). “You are not going to pitch many shutouts in college basketball.

“At the end of the day, you have to score the ball, and the team with the most points wins. We struggle to score, and it is what it is.”

Auburn is averaging only 62.5 points a game this season, something that hasn’t happened on the Plains since the 1961-62 season, more than two decades before the introduction of the shot clock and 3-point line in the college game.
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