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August 2, 2013

Five-star in-state RB Racean Thomas commits to Auburn

BY RYAN BLACK | rblack@ledger-enquirer.com

@wareagleextra

AUBURN, Ala. — Auburn was able to keep one of the best players in Alabama inside the state’s borders.

“Officially committed to the … Auburn Tigers,” Racean Thomas tweeted from his personal Twitter account on Friday. The 2014 running back prospect is one of the most highly-touted players in his class. Scout gave Thomas a five-star rating, while both Rivals and 247Sports awarded him four stars. All three sites have him among the top-10 running back prospects in 2014.

Thomas ran for 1,768 yards and 24 touchdowns last year along with nearly 200 yards receiving and two touchdowns.

The 5-foot-11, 198-pound running back becomes the 14th commitment of the Tigers’ 2014 recruiting class.

AUBURN CLASS OF 2014 COMMITS

  • Deshaun Davis, LB (Vigor High School, Prichard, Ala.)
  • Raashed Kennion, DE (First Coast High School, Jacksonville, Fla.)
  • Devaroe Lawrence, DT (Georgia Military College, Milledgeville, Ga.)
  • Chris Laye, TE (Lambert High School, Suwanee, Ga.)
  • Jakell Mitchell, TE (Opelika High School, Opelika, Ala.)
  • Derrick Moncrief, S (Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Perkinston, Miss.)
  • Kamryn Pettway, RB (Prattville High School, Prattville, Ala.)
  • Nick Ruffin, CB (St. Pius X, Atlanta, GA)
  • Racean Thomas, RB (Oxford High School, Oxford, Ala.)
  • Justin Thornton, DE (Vigor High School, Prichard, Ala.)
  • Stanton Truitt, ATH (Monroe Area High School, Monroe, Ga.)
  • Sean White, QB (University School, Miami, Fla.)
  • D’haquille Williams, WR (Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Perkinston, Miss.)
  • Tre Williams, LB (St. Paul’s Episcopal School, Mobile, Ala.)

July 29, 2013

4 at 4: Catching up on the weekend with some links

BY RYAN BLACK | rblack@ledger-enquirer.com

@wareagleextra

AUBURN, Ala. — Luckily for me, it was a slow news weekend. Why was that good, you ask? Well, when trying to move into a new place, the last thing you want is for a major story to break to prevent being able to get your life unpacked. But I’m ready and rarin’ to go now, and thankfully, things will pick up soon enough, as Auburn players report on Thursday and open fall camp on Friday.graphics4

Until then, we’ll be doing something similar to “7 at 7,” just in a shortened version.

I give you, good readers, “4 at 4.”

1. It appears former Auburn running back Michael Dyer’s landing place has now been uncovered. On Monday afternoon, Jonathan Lintner of The Courier-Journal in Louisville reported that Dyer might be joining the Cardinals, noting that “the school’s registrar’s office has Michael Dyer in its database, but the 2011 BCS MVP not yet admitted/enrolled.” Lintner’s article says the team can’t comment on Dyer’s situation yet, but that he has until Aug. 26 to register for the fall semester.

2. Could Stephen Davis Jr. follow in his father’s footsteps and become a Tiger? It’s definitely a possibility, the linebacker/defensive back out of Dutch Fork High in Irmo, S.C., told AL.com on Friday. Along with Auburn, Davis Jr. holds offers from Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, Clemson, Vanderbilt, Missouri and North Carolina. His father might have to work on him a little more, since the younger Davis noted Georgia, Florida, Vanderbilt and Tennessee are the schools that appeal most to him at the moment, and that he still “has to think” more about Auburn. He’s got a lot of time, though, since he doesn’t graduate until 2016. (The article includes a full video interview where Davis Jr. addresses all of these topics.)

3. Count former Auburn (and current Carolina Panthers) quarterback Cam Newton as a supporter of testing for human growth hormone in the NFL. The league and its players union are trying to iron out an agreement on testing for HGH that is both safe and not overly invasive, since it would likely involve drawing blood from players. It doesn’t bother Newton, since he said it “wasn’t a big deal” and that he’d “be prepared” to do any test the NFL requires.

4. After I linked to an article last week which reported Auburn’s Police Department had an aggressive ticket “quota” system in place, it’s only fair to link to the response to the accusations from the police chief at the time, Tommy Dawson. The City of Auburn also released a statement in regard to Tracy Oppenheimer’s piece for Reason.com.

CLASS CHECK-IN: Auburn’s 2014 recruiting class (so far)

BY RYAN BLACK | rblack@ledger-enquirer.com

@wareagleextra

AUBURN, Ala. — It’s been a week since Auburn added any new commits to its 2014 recruiting class. Within moments of each other on July 21, the Tigers got pledges from a pair of junior college prospects in reciever D’haquille Williams and defensive tackle Devaroe Lawrence.

That being said, this lull in the action gives the War Eagle Extra blog time to update the 13 commitments the Tigers have received up to this point from Class of 2014 prospects. (It was once at 14, but Mobile offensive lineman Joshua Casher decommitted last week to give himself more time to decide. According to Steve Mask, his head coach at St. Paul’s Episcopal School, Auburn is still in the running to sign Casher. It just means Casher is now looking at Alabama, Florida, Florida State and Ole Miss as well.)

This doesn’t mean I’ll be breaking any news of commitments or decommitments — that will happen rarely, if ever. That’s the specialty of the folks over at Rivals, Scout and 247. However, each time a new player declares that he’s “going to be an Auburn Tiger,” it will be posted here, with each article including a running tally of those already committed at the bottom.

AUBURN CLASS OF 2014 COMMITS

  • Deshaun Davis, LB (Vigor High School, Prichard, Ala.)
  • Raashed Kennion, DE (First Coast High School, Jacksonville, Fla.)
  • Devaroe Lawrence, DT (Georgia Military College, Milledgeville, Ga.)
  • Chris Laye, TE (Lambert High School, Suwanee, Ga.)
  • Jakell Mitchell, TE (Opelika High School, Opelika, Ala.)
  • Derrick Moncrief, S (Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Perkinston, Miss.)
  • Kamryn Pettway, RB (Prattville High School, Prattville, Ala.)
  • Nick Ruffin, CB (St. Pius X, Atlanta, GA)
  • Justin Thornton, DE (Vigor High School, Prichard, Ala.)
  • Stanton Truitt, ATH (Monroe Area High School, Monroe, Ga.)
  • Sean White, QB (University School, Miami, Fla.)
  • D’haquille Williams, WR (Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Perkinston, Miss.)
  • Tre Williams, LB (St. Paul’s Episcopal School, Mobile, Ala.)

July 22, 2013

Tigers add two more commits for 2014 recruiting class

BY RYAN BLACK | rblack@ledger-enquirer.com

@wareagleextra

Chalk up Sunday as another busy day on the recruiting trail for Auburn.

The Tigers got two more pledges for its 2014 recruiting class almost simultaneously on Sunday, getting commitments from wide receiver D’haquille Williams and defensive tackle Devaroe Lawrence. Their commitments were first reported by the three major recruiting sites (Rivals, Scout and 247) that cover Auburn.

Williams is a huge get for the Tigers, since he’s widely considered the top junior college wideout in the country. Last year at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Williams reeled in 67 receptions for 1,295 yards with 17 touchdowns. Though he committed to LSU in May, he reneged on that decision shortly after. He announced his commitment to the Tigers while on his official visit this weekend. Williams is set to join his teammate and friend from Mississippi Gulf Coast, safety Derrick Moncrief, who committed to Auburn this spring.

The Tigers’ other pick-up on Sunday comes from Georgia Military College. Very little is known about Lawrence, a 6-foot-3, 280-pound defensive tackle. He redshirted at GMC last season after joining the team late in the fall, but with five seniors on Auburn’s defensive line set to graduate at the end of this season, Lawrence could potentially figure into the rotation on the Tigers’ 2014 defensive line immediately.

With Williams’ and Lawrence’s commits, Auburn now has 14 players pledged for its 2014 recruiting class.

July 17, 2013

Auburn snags third commit in two days with DE Raashed Kennion flipping from Cincinnati

BY RYAN BLACK | rblack@ledger-enquirer.com

@wareagleextra

HOOVER, Ala. — While most people who follow Auburn had their eyes trained on the Tigers’ appearance at SEC Media Days on Wednesday, yet another recruit committed to the team.

Raashed Kennion, a three-star prospect defensive end from Jacksonville, Fla., flipped his commitment from Cincinnati — and former Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville — to the Tigers, making the announcement on his personal Twitter account.

“To all my Auburn fans thank you for the greetings,” he tweeted. “I already feel the love. I’m too excited right now lol.!!! #WarEagle #Auburn.”

Kennion plays at First Coast High School, where he tallied 54 tackles and six sacks as a junior last season. The rangy, 6-foot-7, 220-pound defensive end  joined athlete Stanton Truitt, who also pledged to the Tigers on Wednesday, as well as quarterback Sean White, who committed to Auburn on Tuesday.

Auburn now has 12 commits in its 2014 recruiting class.

Auburn picks up commitment from Class of 2014 athlete Stanton Truitt

BY RYAN BLACK | rblack@ledger-enquirer.com

@wareagleextra

For the second straight day, Auburn added a prospect to its 2014 recruiting class. On Tuesday, quarterback Sean White pledged his commitment to the Tigers via Twitter. On Wednesday, athlete Stanton Truitt of Monroe, Ga., did the same.

“I have officially committed to Auburn University!!!” he tweeted.

Truitt ran for 1,448 yards and scored 28 total touchdowns and threw for another 812 yards en route to winning the Region 8-AAAA Athlete of the year award at Monroe Area High School last season. He projects to play as a receiver and wildcat quarterback in Tigers coach Gus Malzahn’s offensive scheme. Truitt is a 3-star prospect according to 247sports.com, and grades out at 0.8755 in the 247 Composite ranking. According to Rivals.com’s Justin Hokanson, Truitt has a 3.3 GPA and plans to graduate early to be able to enroll at Auburn in January.

With Truitt’s pledge, the Tigers now have 11 players committed for 2014.

July 16, 2013

Tigers get commitment from Elite 11 QB Sean White for 2014 class

BY RYAN BLACK | rblack@ledger-enquirer.com

@wareagleextra

HOOVER, Ala. — Though Auburn is still a day away from making its appearance at the Wynfrey Hotel for Day 2 of the SEC Media Days, the Tigers made some news on Tuesday when they picked up therir first quarterback commit for the 2014 recruiting class. Like many others seem to do in these days of social media, Sean White announced the news himself on his personal Twitter account.

“”I have just committed to Auburn University! WAR EAGLE!!!!!” White tweeted.

White, who plays for University School in Hollywood, Fla., was an Elite 11 camp participant, winning MVP honors at the annual quarterback gathering. He passed for 3,348 yards and 40 touchdowns (against six interceptions) as a junior. He put up those stats playing at Chaminade-Madonna, a college preparatory school also located in Hollywood, last season. White, a pro-style quarterback considered a three-star prospect by most, is known for his accuracy after completing on 69.3 percent (183-for-264) of his attempts last year.

White became the 10th pledge of Auburn’s 2014 recruiting class. Class of 2015 quarterback prospect Tyler Queen of Kennesaw, Ga., gave his commitment to the Tigers last week.

July 13, 2013

2013 WR signee Earnest Robinson fails to qualify academically

BY RYAN BLACK | rblack@ledger-enquirer.com

@wareagleextra

According to multiple reports floating around Friday night, one receiver from Auburn’s 2013 recruiting class won’t be on the team this fall.

As first reported by Auburn’s Scout.com (AUTigers.com), Rivals.com (AuburnSports.com) and 247 (AuburnUndercover.com) sites, four-star prospect Earnest Robinson failed to qualify academically. In light of this revelation, Robinson will reportedly enroll at East Mississippi Junior College in Scooba, Miss. Robinson had 51 receptions for 900 yards and 12 touchdowns last season at Pinson Valley High School in Pinson, Ala. During his prep career, the 6-foot-2, 200-pound receiver reeled in 106 catches for 1,976 yards and 33 touchdowns.

Robinson is the second of the Tigers’ 24 signees in 2013 to fail to meet academic requirements. Jason Smith, a skilled athlete who played at quarterback for McGill-Toolen High School in Mobile, Ala., and won MVP honors at the Alabama-Mississippi High School All-Star Classic last December as a receiver, will enroll at Fork Union Military Academy in Virginia this fall.

July 10, 2013

Quarterback Tyler Queen becomes first commit of Tigers’ 2015 class

Auburn picked up its first commitment for 2015 on Wednesday, as North Cobb (Ga.) High School quarterback Tyler Queen made an announcement on his personal Twitter account.

“I’ve made my decision. I’m an #Auburn Tiger!!! #committed,” Queen tweeted.

The 6-foot-2, 229-pound signal-caller threw for 2,607 yards and 23 touchdowns as a sophomore last season, and was equally impressive with his feet, rushing for 925 yards and 20 touchdowns.

The Tigers signed three quarterbacks in their 2013 class (freshmen Jeremy Johnson and Jason Smith along with junior college transfer Nick Marshall) and have nine commitments for 2014, though none are quarterbacks.

Queen, considered a four-star prospect, also held offers from Clemson, Georgia and Alabama, among others.

May 10, 2013

Juco safety Moncrief is 2014 commit No. 6

Staff report

Dameyune Craig is spending the week in the Gulf Coast area, and the Auburn coaching staff continues to clean up with class of 2014 recruits.

Junior college safety Derrick Moncrief offered his verbal commitment to the Tigers Friday, according to the web sites that cover Auburn recruiting.

At 6-foot-3, 226 pounds, Moncrief could be a future candidate to play “star” in Ellis Johnson’s defense, making him a combination safety and linebacker.

Moncrief will play the fall at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, joining Auburn next year. He was originally out of Prattville High School, just outside Montgomery.

He had offers from Oklahoma State and Kentucky, according to AUTigers.com.

Moncrief is joined in his class by middle linebackers Tre Williams and DeShaun Davis, tight end Chris Laye, center Joshua Casher and running back Kamryn Pettway.