War Eagle Extra has moved!

You should be automatically redirected in 10 seconds. If not, visit
http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/wareagleextra
and update your bookmarks.

January 31, 2012

Martin Luther King safety Jordan Moore chooses TCU

For those who have taken a look at the blog as the recruiting cycle has wound down, most know that Martin Luther King safety Jordan Moore was scheduled to announce his decision between Auburn and TCU following tonight’s Hawks game.

Moore, whose stock shot up after he played safety the last three games of Martin Luther King’s season, chose TCU, leaving Auburn with 15 commitments on the eve of national signing day. Originally a receiver, Moore’s tape on a safety sent his stock soaring, but he stuck with the two schools he chose at first, and ended up going with TCU, a team that had paid him a lot of attention right from the start.

Moore was a three-star safety, and Auburn still has eight more targets scheduled to make decisions in the morning.

Moore’s announcement came not long after the Hawks game finished, but the blog experienced a maddening loss of Internet shortly before the Hawks game ended. Luckily, it’s back up and running now, and there should be no problems on national signing day in the morning.

For all of the national signing day announcements, follow the blog on Twitter and Facebook. I’ll be up at the Auburn Athletic Complex bright and early to bring all the news and signees as the faxes roll into Auburn.

Signee profile: LB Javiere Mitchell

Javiere Mitchell, a 6-foot-2, 215-pound linebacker from Leeds, Ala., enrolled on the first day of the spring semester, which means he will be eligible to participate in spring practice.

A defensive end in high school, Mitchell may need the head start to get a jump on making the position switch to outside linebacker. Frighteningly fast, Mitchell made 112 tackles, 19 sacks and 33 tackles-for-loss for Leeds this season.

Mitchell is also recovering from a torn labrum suffered in Leeds’ opening-round playoff game, an injury that will need to heal before he can begin practice. He may be ready for spring ball. Redshirt linebacker Kris Frost had surgery for the same injury in July of 2011, and he was healthy in time for bowl practices. Mitchell has roughly the same amount of time.

A teammate told the Birmingham News in August that Mitchell clocked 40-yard dash times lower than 4.5 seconds at a camp in Starkville, Miss., last summer.

Follow the blog on Twitter and Facebook.

  • Committed: Nov. 21, 2011
  • Recruited by: Tommy Thigpen
  • Also considered: Georgia, Mississippi State, Tennessee
  • Rivals: 25 position, 12 state
  • Scout: 46 position
  • ESPN: 82 position, 33 state
  • Notable: Mitchell was named al.com’s NorthEast Lineman of the Year despite not being able to play in the playoffs. His middle name is Lebron.
  • Quotable: “The coaches at Auburn, they know you by the name, they know your middle name.”

 

Signee profile: OT Shane Callahan

Shane Callahan, a 6-6, 285-pound offensive lineman from Chaparral High in Parker, Colo., enrolled on the first day of the spring semester. By enrolling early, Callahan became eligible to go through spring practice with the Tigers.

Callahan, a four-star recruit, played in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

A right tackle in high school, Callahan has the long frame coaches look for in offensive tackles, but like many offensive linemen, he may need some time to add strength.

Callahan could play either tackle spot, but with Greg Robinson on the left and his experience on the right, he could stay there.

Putting himself on campus early gives him a head start on building muscle and extra size.

Follow the blog on Twitter and Facebook.

    • Committed: May 28, 2011
    • Recruited by: Jeff Grimes
    • Also considered: Arizona, Colorado, Michigan
    • Rivals: 212 national, 22 position, 4 state
    • Scout: 33 position
    • ESPN: 28 position, 4 state
    • Notable: Callahan was selected to play for the USA in the International Bowl on Feb. 1 in an exhibition football game.
    • Quotable: ” I definitely made the right choice of where to go.”

A scouting report on Callahan from Scout.com’s Scott Kennedy:

A right tackle as a junior for his Chaparral team, Callahan has an excellent frame. He has strong hands and can manhandle a smaller defensive lineman once he’s made initial contact. He has good quickness, but needs to improve on his drop step and lateral movement to maximize his ability to pass protect. Quick enough to pull and/or get to the second level without much trouble.

Signee profile: QB Zeke Pike

For the beginnings of national signing day, it’s roughly 12 hours away from when I will take my seat at the Auburn Athletics Complex to settle in for a long day that promises to be plenty crazy, given how many Auburn targets are expected to announce their decision on Sunday.

For the breakdown of Auburn’s Signing Day festivities, take a look at the following blog post from Monday night.

To get things started, though, I’m going to finish off Tuesday night — save for Martin Luther King safety Jordan Moore’s announcement — with the recruiting profiles of the four Auburn players that have already enrolled on campus.

Four-star quarterback Zeke Pike, a 6-foot-6, 225-pound product from Dixie Heights High in Fort Mitchell, Ky., enrolled in January to get a head start on learning new offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler’s offense. Because he enrolled early, Pike will be able to go through spring practice with Auburn.

Pike passed for 1,964 yards, 13 touchdowns and 14 interceptions as a senior at Dixie Heights, and he added 728 yards and 16 touchdowns on the ground. He also was suspended for his school’s first-round playoff game for a violation of team rules.

He might have had a better season as a junior. During the 2010 season, Pike passed for 2,218 yards and 18 touchdowns and rushed for 1,072 yards and 17 scores.

Follow the blog on Twitter and Facebook.

  • Committed: April 20, 2011
  • Recruited by: Trooper Taylor, Gus Malzahn
  • Also considered: Tennessee, Arkansas, Purdue, Michigan.
  • Rivals: 16 position, 2 state
  • Scout: 16 position
  • ESPN: 38 position, 3 state
  • Notable: His dad, Mark, played at Georgia Tech and spent 12 seasons in the NFL with the Buffalo Bills as a linebacker and defensive end.
  • Quotable: ““I can sit in the pocket and throw the ball, but I can also use my feet and make a play. I’m a pro-style quarterback that has good speed.”

And here’s a scouting report by Scout.com’s Allen Trieu:

Pike has excellent size, but he is not a statue. He can move and throw on the run very well. He has the arm to make all the throws and easily gets the ball down field. Having only started one season, he just needs to gain experience and improve on some of the little things like going through progressions and making quick reads. From a physical standpoint, he has it all and he’s a hard worker who has put the time in towards getting better.

January 30, 2012

Previewing Auburn’s Signing Day schedule

By now, any Auburn fan paying attention to recruiting knows that Feb. 1 could make or break this class. Right now, the Tigers have 15 commits — 16 commits if new Tigers fullback Jay Prosch, a transfer from Illinois, is counted — and plenty of room to add many more of the dozen or so recruits the Tigers are still targeting.

But the schedule for signing day is something that can be hard to pin down, and the blog has gotten a few requests from fans for a heads-up on when the recruits plan to announce their decisions. No recruits are expected to announce tonight, but I’ve tried to compile the schedule for Auburn’s crazy ride to the finish.

Right now, this the final dead period before signing day. Coaches are not allowed to do any more home visits, although they can call. Auburn may have other offers in the works, but I tried to hit as many of the known targets as possible.

For more from Auburn’s push to national signing day, follow the blog on both Twitter and Facebook.

Tuesday

  • Jordan Moore, S, 3-star, Martin Luther King HS, Lithonia, Ga. — post-Hawks game, Fox Sports South. (Auburn, TCU)

Wednesday

  • JaQuay Williams, WR, 4-star, Sandy Creek HS, Ga. — 8:45 a.m. ET. (Committed to Auburn. Considering Georgia)
  • Will Adams, OG, 3-star, Sandy  Creek HS, Ga. — 8:45 a.m. ET. (Considering Auburn, Georgia Tech)
  • Eddie Goldman, DT, 5-star, Friendship Collegiate Academy, Washington, D.C. — 10:05 a.m. ET, ESPNU. (Auburn, Alabama, Florida State, Miami)
  • Leonard Williams, DE, 4-star, Mainland HS, Fla. — 11 a.m. ET.
  • Kwon Alexander, OLB, 4-star, Oxford HS, Ala. — 11:05 a.m. ET, ESPNU. (Auburn, Alabama, LSU)
  • Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Hutchinson Community College, Kan. — 11:30 a.m. (Auburn, LSU, Georgia, Tennessee, Ole Miss)
  • Ricardo Louis, WR, 4-star, Miami Beach HS, Fla. — 1 p.m. ET (Auburn, Florida State)
  • Avery Young, OL, 4-star, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. — 2 p.m. ET, ESPNU. (Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Miami)
  • Ronald Darby, CB, 5-star, Potomac HS, Oxon Hill, Md. — 2:30 p.m. ET, ESPNU. (Auburn, Clemson, Florida State, Notre Dame)

Friday

  • Jordan Diamond, OL, 4-star, Simeon HS, Chicago, Ill — 8 p.m. ET (Arkansas, Auburn, Michigan, Ohio State, Wisconsin)

Feb. 10

  • Stefon Diggs, WR, 5-star, Our Lady of Good Counsel, Olney, Md — (Auburn, Florida, Cal, Maryland)

Sources — Atlanta Journal-Constitution, ESPN.com, AuburnSports.com, AuburnUndercover.com, Inside the Auburn Tigers.

Taking a look back: Reviewing the 2011 Auburn recruiting class

Photo by Todd Van Emst

Two days remain before national signing day, and those two days promise to be very quiet for Auburn. All but one of the Tigers’ top targets still left on the board are expected to sign Wednesday or later, and Martin Luther King safety Jordan Moore of Lithonia, Ga. will announce on Tuesday night on Fox Sports’ recruiting show.

That being said, there is still one part of the three-part series I started last week that we still have to finish. So far, I’ve already taken a look at the first two recruiting classes brought in by Gene Chizik. For those recaps, simply click on the links below.

With those two classes already completed, only one remains from Gene Chizik’s first three years at Auburn, and it’s by far the most difficult to read following the 2011 season. What can be drawn from the class is that sometimes a recruiting class’s highest-rated players — at least in terms of the recruiting rankings — aren’t always the guys who make the most impact right away. To truly judge this class, however, it’s going to take a couple of years to see how everybody develops and fits into Auburn’s lineup. As the blog’s first two installments in this series have already illustrated, a player’s impact as a freshman isn’t always an accurate predictor of future production.

For more on Auburn’s push to national signing day, follow the blog on both Twitter and Facebook.

Auburn’s 2011 Recruiting Class

Angelo Blackson, DL, Red Lion Christian Academy (Bear, Del.)

Rated as a three-star recruit coming out of Delaware, Blackson earned playing time behind the starters at defensive tackle as a freshman and showed promise getting penetration into the backfield. He only made six tackles, but he also had two tackles-for-loss and a blocked punt in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.

Quan Bray, ATH, Troup County (LaGrange, Ga.)

Listed as the No. 5 athlete in the country by both ESPN.com and Scout.com after playing some quarterback, running back and receiver in high school, Bray appears to have found a home as a wide receiver and punt returner for the Tigers after starting slow as a freshman. Given a chance when Trovon Reed was injured early, Bray made 17 catches for 93 yards and came up with a 62-yard punt return in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.

Sammie Coates, WR, Leroy (Ala.)

A rangy, tall prospect with a lot of upside, Coates had foot surgery in August and was forced to redshirt the season. He returned to the practice field for bowl practices.

Jaylon Denson, WR, Hoover (Ala.)

Another tall, rangy receiver prospect who wasn’t highly-regarded by the recruiting services, Denson did not contribute much on offense, but he had two tackles on special teams during his freshman season.

Reese Dismukes, C, Spanish Fort (Ala.)

Dismukes enrolled early at Auburn after being ranked the No. 1 center in the country and didn’t disappoint. Dismukes beat out Blake Burgess for the starting center job in training camp, started all 13 games and played well enough that he was named to both the All-SEC Freshman Team and to a pair of Freshman All-American teams. He should lock the center position down for a while.

Erique Florence, S, Valley (Ala.)

Rated a consensus top-five safety by the recruiting services, Florence is the heir apparent to Neiko Thorpe at safety and saw plenty of time at the position this season. Used in a rotation with Thorpe, Florence appears to have big-play ability after making 23 tackles, had a sack, forced a fumble and broke up a deep ball against Ole Miss.

Kiehl Frazier, QB, Shiloh Christian (Springdale, Ark.)

Touted as Auburn’s future at quarterback, Frazier, who was the Gatorade Player of the Year and the USA Today Offensive Player of the Year, could not beat out Barrett Trotter or Clint Moseley for the starting quarterback job, but he rushed for 327 yards, a 4.3 average and three touchdowns as Auburn’s Wildcat quarterback, and he was 5-of-12 passing. Frazier is expected to battle for the starting spot in the spring.

Kris Frost, ATH, Butler (Matthews, N.C.)

A five-star prospect who could have played both linebacker and wide receiver in college, Frost tore his labrum in the summer before the season started and was forced to redshirt the year. He got healthy again for bowl practices, and he could make a run at a starting spot in next year’s lineup.

Brandon Fulse, TE, Fort Meade (Fla.)

Fulse, a four-star tight end coming out of high school, served as Philip Lutzenkirchen’s backup at tight end as a freshman, but he failed to make a major impact on the offense. He caught two passes for 12 yards in Lutzenkirchen’s absence during the Florida Atlantic game, but he also had a couple of key drops.

Justin Garrett, LB, Tucker (Ga.)

A three-to-four star recruit, Garrett played mostly on special teams, but he got a start against Samford and came up with five tackles and one tackle-for-loss. A little undersized coming out of high school, Garrett spent most of his freshman season putting weight on a frame that was 185 in high school.

Keymiya Harrell, DE, Dallas County (Plantersville, Ala.)

Harrell, touted by the recruiting services as a raw player with high potential, redshirted his first season at Auburn.

Chris Landrum, LB, Sweet Water (Ala.)

Landrum, a big outside linebacker who was regarded as a mid-level prospect, redshirted his first season at Auburn.

Tre Mason, RB, Park Vista (Lake Worth, Fla.)

A four-star recruit coming out of high school, Mason made an immediate impact with a 99-yard kickoff return against Utah State, and he served as a top-flight kick returner in the SEC most of the season. He averaged 26.4 yards-per-return on 24 returns. Limited to only 19 carries in the regular season behind Michael Dyer and Onterio McCalebb, Mason had a breakout performance with nine carries for 64 yards and a touchdown in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. He had 161 yards and a 5.8 yards-per-carry average as a freshman.

Jabrian Niles, DL, Davidson (Mobile, Ala.)

A four-star or three-star depending on the recruiting service, Niles redshirted his freshman season at Auburn.

Thomas O’Reilly, OL, Pope (Marietta, Ga.)

Ranked the No. 8 guard by ESPN, O’Reilly enrolled early, but injuries derailed his development and forced O’Reilly to redshirt.

Greg Robinson, OT, Thibodaux (La.)

Ranked as a consensus top-10 guard coming out of high school, Robinson is Auburn’s future left tackle after redshirting his freshman season. Both players and coaches alike have said that Robinson possesses freakish athleticism, and by the time bowl practices rolled around, outgoing tackle A.J. Greene said Robinson could have started if need be.

Jonathan Rose, CB, Leeds (Ala.)

Rated a consensus top-15 cornerback, Rose never cracked the defensive backfield rotation after enrolling early, although he did make two tackles on special teams as a freshman.

Devaunte Sigler, DL, B.C. Rain (Mobile, Ala.)

Originally projected as a defensive tackle after playing linebacker at B.C. Rain, Sigler saw limited playing time at the position early, but by the end of the season he had been moved to strongside defensive end, a position that suits him better. By the end of the season, he had 10 tackles, a sack and two tackles-for-loss, and defensive line coach Mike Pelton expects big things from Sigler in the future.

Anthony Swain, S, Gadsden City (Ala.)

A tweener who could play either linebacker or safety, Swain redshirted his freshman season and could find a permanent position with Auburn’s new defensive coordinator on campus.

Robenson Therezie, DB, Miami Jackson (Miami, Fla.)

Therezie was rated as a top-20 safety coming out of high school, but he expects to play the boundary corner in college, where he can take advantage of his physical nature. He faced a steep learning curve after being allowed to roam freely in high school and sometimes could get caught out of position, but he’s also a special-teams ace who had 17 tackles overall and is known for big hits.

C.J. Uzomah, ATH, North Gwinnett (Suwanee, Ga.)

Brought in as a tight end/H-back prospect after playing quarterback in high school, Uzomah was used mostly on trick plays, and he finished 1-for-3 passing with a touchdown and an interception. His future going forward is likely at tight end in new offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler’s offense.

Christian Westerman, OL, Hamilton (Chandler, Ariz.)

Ranked as a consensus top-five offensive lineman and a player Auburn flipped after he committed to Texas early, Westerman failed to crack the lineup and redshirted the season. Going forward, Westerman projects as a left guard who plays next to Robinson. He could start as soon as 2012.

Jermaine Whitehead, DB, Amanda Elzy (Greenwood, Miss.)

Rated as a top-25 cornerback, Whitehead got flipped from Mississippi State with a late push after Auburn lost Marcus Roberson to Florida, and he turned into Auburn’s most productive freshman defensive back this season. Whitehead announced his presence with a 25-yard interception return against Florida Atlantic, and he found a home as Auburn’s nickel back at the end of the season with his combination of toughness and cover ability. He finished the year with 31 tackles, three pass breakups and the interception.

Gabe Wright, DL, Carver (Columbus, Ga.)

Called the top defensive tackle in the country by Auburn head coach Gene Chizik on signing day, Wright was hampered in training camp by injuries, and he got off to a slow start to the 2012 season. By the time the season ended, though, Wright made three straight starts and flashed some pass-rush ability with a sack in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. Wright finished the season with 12 tackles, three tackles-for-loss and a sack, and he should battle Kenneth Carter for the starter’s job again next year.

Auburn still chasing several recruits as national signing day approaches

Going into the final couple of days before national signing day, Auburn still has 16 commits, but the Tigers are counting on a big push to Feb. 1 to bring in the type of haul they have posted the last two seasons, when Auburn brought in two top-five classes.

On Sunday, though, two linemen who had Auburn as a finalist decided to go elsewere.

Arik Armstead, a five-star defensive lineman from Pleasant Grove, Calif., chose Oregon from a final group that included Notre Dame, Cal, USC and Auburn. Armstead was ranked No. 6 in the nation at strongside defensive end and the No. 61 player overall by Rivals, a five-star and the No. 4 athlete by 247sports.com and the No. 1 offensive tackle by Scout.com and a five-star recruit.

Both 247Sports.com and Scout.com based their lofty rankings of Armstead on his ability to project to the next level as an offensive tackle, but Armstead wants to play defensive end or defensive tackle in college. At 6-8, the big-bodied forward also wants to play basketball, and the basketball coaches from every school recruiting Armstead had a hand in his recruitment.

And late in the day, three-star offensive guard Alex Kozan chose Iowa over Auburn and Michigan. Kozan, a 6-4, 295-pounder from Valor Christian High School in Castle Rock, Colo., was ranked 12th at his position and a four-star by Rivals.com,  16th by Scout.com and the No. 47 offensive tackle by 247Sports.com.

Auburn was the only SEC school on Kozan’s radar. The rest of the programs recruiting him were Big Ten schools, and he narrowed his choice down to Iowa by late Sunday night.

The Tigers still have a dozen or so targets left on their board, but most aren’t expected to announce their decisions until signing day or after. Four-star tackle Jordan Diamond plans to announce his decision Feb. 3, and five-star wide receiver Stefon Diggs, one of the top wideouts in the nation, will not announce until Feb. 10.

With two days remaining before Signing Day, here’s a look at Auburn’s list of freshman commitments. For purposes of the class — because he’s also an incoming player — most sites are counting Illinois transfer Jay Prosch, an All-American fullback, as part of Auburn’s 2012 Class.  For more on Auburn’s push to signing day, follow the blog on Twitter and Facebook. When anybody commits, it’ll be up on Twitter and the blog as soon as I can get it there.

Auburn 2012 Commits

  • Shane Callahan, OL, 6-6, 277, Parker, Colo. (Chaparral High), 4-star/4/3*
  • T.J. Davis, CB, 6-0, 180, Tallahassee, Fla. (Godby High), 3-star/3/4
  • Joshua Holsey, CB, 5-9, 171, Fairburn, Ga. (Creekside High), 4-star/4/3
  • Darrion Hutcherson, ATH, 6-7, 245, Dadeville, Ala. (Dadeville High), 3-star/4/3
  • Jonathan Jones, CB, 5-10, 165, Carrollton, Ga. (Carrollton High), 3-star/3/3
  • Robert Leff, OL, 6-6, 270, Fairhope, Ala. (Fairhope High), 3-star/2/3
  • Cassanova McKinzy, LB, 6-3, 220, Birmingham, Ala. (Woodlawn High), 4-star/4/4
  • Patrick Miller, OT, 6-7, 260, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. (Dwyer High), 4-star/4/4*
  • Javiere Mitchell, LB, 6-2, 215, Leeds, Ala. (Leeds High) 4-star/3/3*
  • Tyler Nero, DT, 6-2, 290, Atmore, Ala. (Escambia County High), 3-star/4/4
  • Ricky Parks, TE, 6-3, 230, Hogansville, Ga. (Callaway High), 4-star/4/4
  • Zeke Pike, QB, 6-5, 220, Fort Mitchell, Ky. (Dixie Heights High), 4-star/4/4*
  • Gimel President, DL, 6-3, 240, Mt. Pleasant, S.C. (Wando High), 3-star/3/3
  • Jovon Robinson, RB, 6-1, 218, Memphis, Tenn. (Wooddale High), 4-star/4/4
  • JaQuay Williams, WR, 6-3, 204, Tyrone, Ga. (Sandy Creek High), 4-star/4/4
Note: Illinois fullback Jay Prosch is also a newcomer to the team and being counted by most publications as part of the class.

* — Already enrolled at Auburn.

 

January 29, 2012

Josh Harris has turned into the top long snapper in the 2012 NFL Draft.

For Sunday’s paper, as mentioned on the blog a day ago, I put together a story on Auburn long snapper Josh Harris’s bid to make the NFL. Harris is rated the top player at his position in the 2012 NFL Draft, and although he probably will not be selected, he has a chance to play in the NFL for a long time if he hooks on with the right time. For a teaser, here’s how Sunday’s story on Harris starts.

The motion is always the same.

Josh Harris wraps his right hand around the ball like he’s going to throw it.

Holding it in his fingertips as he bends over, Harris rotates his hand under the ball and places his left hand on top, his middle finger stretched along the seam.

Some guys snap without looking through their legs. Harris always looks. He wants to see his target. At the snap, Harris’ arms flash back, his hands rotating outward. The ball comes flying out of his hands in a tight spiral, right into his teammate’s waiting hands.

Harris has repeated that motion thousands of times.

And it might land him in the NFL for the next decade. Harris, a former walk-on who has been Auburn’s long-snapper the past three seasons, is the top-rated snapper in the 2012 NFL Draft.

“It would be awesome to get that opportunity,” Harris said. “If you can establish yourself as a reliable guy, they keep them around for a good bit.”

David Binn snapped for the San Diego Chargers for 17 years, Joe Zelenka of the Falcons has been in the NFL for 13 years, and the 49ers’ Brian Jennings is a 12-year veteran.

Patrick Mannelly, the Chicago Bears’ long-snapper for the last 13 years, has played in 200 games, a team-record for a franchise that has been around since 1919.

Mannelly’s agent, Brooks Henderson of International Sports Advisors, also represents Harris, the highest-rated snapper in the draft. Saturday, he played in the Senior Bowl, and he is the only snapper invited to the NFL Combine.

“I think the way it sets up for Josh, playing in the Senior Bowl and the Combine gives him a huge leg up on the other guys,” Henderson said. “Hopefully, he’s got a bright future.”

To read the rest of the story, click the following link: Tigers long-snapper Josh Harris goes from long-shot walk-on to NFL prospect. Be sure to follow the blog on both Twitter and Facebook as national signing day approaches on Wednesday.

Beyond the Arc: Tennessee 65, Auburn 49

Photo by Todd Van Emst

Following another road loss, the easiest culprit to point to regarding Auburn’s SEC problems is the Tigers’ inability to win on the road. Eight of Auburn’s nine losses have come on the road, and the Tigers are only 1-8 away from Auburn Arena this season. Considering that Saturday’s loss moved Auburn to 12-9, 2-5 in the SEC, the Tigers’ road problems are starting to loom large.

But Auburn’s problems on offense are a much bigger issue. The Tigers opened the game against the Vols playing it close, but Tennessee pulled away with an 18-3 run at the end of the first half. Over the final 9:42 of the first half, Auburn failed to make a field goal, and the Tigers never came back.

Put simply, Auburn lacks a true scorer, a player who can create points even when everybody else is struggling. Frankie Sullivan is at his best when he catches and shoots, but if a team focuses on limiting his touches, Sullivan has a hard time creating points. Kenny Gabriel led the Tigers with 13 points, but he, too, is at his best when he gets his points in the flow of the offense, and Rob Chubb has struggled to put together consistent offensive performances, although he came back with 10 points against Tennessee.

For more on Auburn basketball and football, follow the blog on Twitter and Facebook.

  • Getting Chubb a couple of shots early in the game seemed to get the big center involved in the offense. Earlier in the week, he said he needed to get a couple of shots to fall to get set on offense, and Auburn fed the ball to him a lot early against Tennessee. Chubb came back from scoring one point in two games with 10 points Saturday.
  • Chubb, Gabriel and Adrian Forbes got beaten soundly on the boards. Tennessee’s Jeronne Maymon pulled down 19 rebounds, more than Auburn’s three big men combined, and the Vols outrebounded Auburn by a whopping 23 boards. Being unable to rebound will not get the Tigers turned around in SEC play.
  • Varez Ward came back from a quadriceps injury suffered against Arkansas to score 12 points, a development that has to make Auburn head coach Tony Barbee feel better about his offense going forward. Before Saturday’s 12-point performance, Ward had been locked in a slump that had taken him out of the starting lineup and dropped his scoring average three full points.
  • Josh Langford did not play due to the concussion he suffered against Arkansas. In his absence, Allen Payne got the start, and Noel Johnson returned after a hand injury.
  • Auburn’s defense kept up its trend of shutting down opposing offenses. The Tigers’ grind-it-out style held the Vols to just 34.5 percent. On the other hand, Auburn has struggled to protect the ball and rebound, and that has led to extra possessions and easy points for their opponents.
  • Sullivan has to start finding a way to get good shots when teams focus on him. After pouring in 17.7 points-per-game over the last four, he struggled mightily due to a bad shooting night. Sullivan finished 2-of-12 with five points.

Josh Harris named a captain for South at Senior Bowl

Auburn long snapper Josh Harris was named a captain for the South team at Saturday’s Senior Bowl.

The North won the game 23-13 behind an MVP performance from Cincinnati running back Isaiah Pead, who had 98 punt-return yards and 31 rushing yards on the day.

But Harris did his job well, and his time at the Senior Bowl gave him a leg up on the rest of the long-snapping competition entering the draft. He talked to several teams over the course of the week, including the Minnesota Vikings. He is the only long snapper invited to the NFL Combine in February.

Harris’s appearance in the Senior Bowl marks the 45th straight season that Auburn has had a player in the game. The last time Auburn did not have a player in the game goes all the way back to the 1967 season.

For more on Harris, take a look at my story for the Sunday edition of the Ledger-Enquirer. From walk-on to scholarship and now to the NFL Draft process, Harris has an impressive story.

Auburn right tackle Brandon Mosley was invited to the Senior Bowl, but he was forced to pull out due to illness.