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What Can Auburn Expect from Byron Cowart: A Scouting Report

By on July 31st, 2015 in Football 10 Comments »
High School Football: Under Armour All-America Game

photo: Jonathan Dyer/USA TODAY Sports

Byron Cowart became the highest ranked recruit in Auburn’s modern recruiting history, capping off a push by the last three Auburn coaching staffs to crest the hill into “elite” recruiting territory that is typically reserved from landing a top recruit. Many of you have read my past articles on my own blog, and know that I am typically skeptical of the modern age of recruiting. Games aren’t won and lost by stars. They are won by the recruits who are sometimes overshadowed by their rankings, who can be coached, and who fit a system. Sometimes I think that even the coaches fall victim to the recruiting services, recruiting players for a mythical NSD Championship instead of recruiting another, less highly ranked kid who fits the system. 

While Nick Saban has revolutionized the art of recruiting, and it’s hard to deny his prowess in churning out lots of wins and NFL-picks, it hasn’t directly translated NSD championships to National Championships. If that were the cast, he would have six or seven rings to show for his efforts. 

Instead, there are plenty of five-star busts who never achieve their goals or live up to their lofty billing. And, there are plenty of three-stars that win National Championships and go on to NFL careers. It’s interesting to note that there wasn’t a single five-star recruit on either of the NFL teams represented in the last Super Bowl. Just think about that for a second.

But, if you want to win, you do need the best players you can get, those who can be coached and fit your particular system. But how do they stand up to those mythical rankings?

Don’t misunderstand. I am not a professional scout. Aside from playing high school ball, getting whipped in flag football every fall by college kids, and watching my TV, that’s really the extent of my qualifications. So, read this post and try not to roll your eyes and think “This guy.” 

One of my habits in the off-season has been to watch video on these recruits. While it helps me pick out exactly for whom to wait in line at A-Day for an autograph, it is also educational and prepares my expectations. 

As we noted, Cowart is the highest ranked recruit in Auburn history, and he will probably hold that ranking for some time. As an Auburn fan (or a rival fan?), some of you are undoubtedly satisfied that, based upon his high school ranking and priority within the coaching staff, this guy is an immediate impact player and future star. But some of you may not be sold.  Some of you may be skeptical. Many of you are interested in exactly what Auburn is getting. I’d like to weigh in on the topic. 

Eleven different thoughts after the jump:

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Can Auburn Regain Defensive Competence?

By on July 30th, 2015 in Football 7 Comments »
Defense A-day 8inthebox A-Day was great. But they were allowed to stack 8 in the box and blitz...      War Eagle, everybody! July is nearly at an end, and fall camp starts in about a week. By all accounts, there's been a sense of urgency in Auburn this summer, and the players should be in prime condition as fall drills begin.      After six p... Read Full Story

“Weagle, Weagle, War Damn Eagle!”

By on July 29th, 2015 in Football, Memories, Other Sports 12 Comments »

A look at the background of one of AU's great cheers reveals the Marching Band is the surprising source of one of our cherished Auburn traditions.

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Best Offensive Units in the SEC

By on July 28th, 2015 in Football 5 Comments »

Okay. So, let's talk some real football. Let's not do over/under win totals. Let's not talk about divisional championships. Let's talk position groups. As in, who has the best? This article includes a position by position breakdown of the best offensive units in the SEC.

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Byron Cowart Keeps Things Quiet

By on July 27th, 2015 in Football 4 Comments »
byron cowart Almost lost in the buildup to this season is Auburn’s highest ranked recruit in school history. Little is written these days about Byron Cowart, the defensive end that ESPN and Rivals calls the top incoming freshman for 2015. Although he’s the Tigers future, Jeremy Johnson and Co. are the here and now. Cowart has kept his h... Read Full Story

The Legend of Lutz: Honoring 43

By on July 24th, 2015 in Football Comment »
Auburn-Kentucky SEC Football gameSEC FOOTBALLAU GAME TWELVEAU-28, ALA-27

Today marks 43 days until Auburn tees it off against Louisville. #43 isn’t a hard one to put a number with a face, is it? I’d venture a guess that besides Bo and Cam, Lutz may be the most remembered face in modern Auburn football. Last year on the week of his death, I wrote this article. Take a read …

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Why Jeremy Johnson Doesn’t Have to Run and Why We Shouldn’t Care That He Won’t

By on July 24th, 2015 in Football 8 Comments »
jeremy-johnson,USATODAY Has anyone else noticed the amount of articles being posted on social media pertaining to Jeremy Johnson and his running/lack of running ability? I have. And it's getting pretty old and played out. People say he can. People say he can't. People say he should. People say he shouldn't. And, Gus and Jeremy sometimes weigh in on th... Read Full Story

Best 5 Questions I Would Have Asked Malzahn at SEC Media Days

By on July 23rd, 2015 in Football 3 Comments »

SEC Media Days are gone. Did you hear all you wanted to hear? I didn't. As usual, the questions were either softballs or didn't pertain to football at all. If I were there, here is what I would have asked!

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Scary Halloween in Jordan Hare! (eighth in a series of AU opponent previews)

By on July 23rd, 2015 in Football 3 Comments »
Ole Miss Halloween Preview The most talented Ole Miss team in years visits Auburn.(Photo by Acid Reign.)     War Eagle, everybody! It's time now for another Auburn opponent preview. On October 31st, Auburn will host the Ole Miss Rebels. These two teams have fought close battles the past two seasons, and this one should be no exception. The Rebels retu... Read Full Story

Tradition, Tradition…TRADITION!

auburn-tiger-walk-in-knoxville-901d15533359eb2a “War Eagle!” “Roll Tide!” “Sic 'Em!” “Hotty Toddy!” “Two Bits!” We all hear those and other phrases in Jordan-Hare Stadium, as well as other venues, as those gladiators of the gridiron in Orange and Blue take on the teams lined up against them. Even as those contests play out on the green, green grass bel... Read Full Story

Malzahn is Right – College Football Playoff Needs to be Expanded

By on July 22nd, 2015 in Football 8 Comments »
-85256d443867e0ac Gus Malzahn made the rounds on ESPN's annual coaches summer Car Wash tour on Tuesday. The Auburn coach appeared on the SEC Network Roundtable, SportsCenter, College Football Live, the Russillo Show, and the Championship Drive podcast.Malzahn was asked how he felt about his team being picked at SEC Media Days as the favorite to w... Read Full Story

Welcoming High Expectations!

By on July 21st, 2015 in Football 8 Comments »
Johnson All SEC

There has been some Auburn hand-wringing over Auburn's lofty expectations, to be sure. It’s been well documented that Auburn doesn’t tend to do well when ranked high in July and August. I think that this is the year that the Tigers will break through! And here's why ...

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Here We Go Again: Auburn and the Expectation Game

By on July 20th, 2015 in Football 4 Comments »
gus malzahn media days Salt and pepper. Peanut butter and jelly. All words that go together. Auburn and expectations? Not so much. When the inevitable news broke last week that Auburn was the media pick to win the SEC title, all kinds of bad memories came flooding back. Dating back to 1984 when Auburn began the year atop the polls only to be derailed... Read Full Story

Dufner Watch for the British Open

By on July 18th, 2015 in Other Sports 4 Comments »
635724071867647968-USP-PGA-THE-144TH-OPEN-CHAMPIONSHIP-PRACTICE-ROUN-74477844 The British Open, or as the Brits call it, The Open, is this week and our boy 'The Duf" is there and doing OK. Conditions are brutal, and if this weather was in the US no golfer in their right mind would hit the links. Torrential rain, cold, and wind gusts up to 40 mph are pounding the home of golf, St. Andrews. The locals embr... Read Full Story

SEC West Dominates Media All-SEC Team – (Auburn places 10 on the list)

By on July 17th, 2015 in Football, News 3 Comments »
Carl+Lawson+SEC+Championship+Missouri+v+Auburn+2yRIKLB3GC9l The Southeastern Conference released its preseason All-SEC teams today and not surprisingly, the SEC Western Division placed nearly 71 percent of the total players (55 of 78) on the three teams. The list wAS voted on by the media at this week's SEC Media Days. Auburn had 10 players make the list, including First Team selection,... Read Full Story

D’haquille Williams Keeps Hauling Them In – Honors That Is

By on July 17th, 2015 in Football 1 Comment »
1411103297000-D-haquille-Williams-2-USA-TODAY D'haquille 'Duke' Williams has long been considered one of the best players in the SEC, and after this week of preseason honors, the Duke has been recognized as possibly one of the best in the nation. Last week the Auburn wide receiver was named to the Maxwell Award Watch List which recognizes the best player in the nation. Thi... Read Full Story

Auburn Picked to Win SEC by Media – or did they pick another team? (with reader poll)

By on July 17th, 2015 in Football 5 Comments »

Auburn was picked by the media at SEC Media Days to win the Southeastern Conference while Alabama was picked to win the Western Division. Nevertheless, the media are not the only ones who can cast votes for their favorite to win the SEC. So can our readers.
Take our poll and tell us what your vote would be if you were given a ballot at SEC Media Days.

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Jeremy Johnson on Davey O’Brien Award List

By on July 16th, 2015 in Football 1 Comment »
635616915095062062-USP-NCAA-FOOTBALL-FLORIDA-ATLANTIC-AT-AUBURN-59427836 Auburn starting quarterback Jeremy Johnson has been named to his second preseason award watch list. The Davey O'Brien Award committee placed the junior quarterback on their watch list today. The award is given to the nation's top collegiate quarterback. The O’Brien National Selection Committee based the selections on player p... Read Full Story

One Small Step,…

huella-apolo-11-armstrong Oftentimes first steps are small, even for the great ones among us. Beethoven's first symphony is more an homage to Mozart and Haydn than an expression of unique style that his later works would display, most especially in his dramatic Fifth. Mark Twain's Tom Sawyer is a witty humorous novel, but is in no way comparable to th... Read Full Story

Will New SEC Rule Change Affect Pace of Play?

By on July 15th, 2015 in Football 5 Comments »
635724668573983032-SEC-Media-Days-Footba-init-5- As fans follow every word spoken by their team's coaches during SEC Media Days and watch their favorite players be interviewed by the press, this writer always looks forward to the statements made by the head SEC official.On Tuesday Steve Shaw, the Coordinator of SEC Officials, delivered his annual address on rule changes comin... Read Full Story

“He’s Got Everything it Takes to be a Very Successful Quarterback”

By on July 14th, 2015 in Football 5 Comments »
635723981494929211-AP-SEC-MEDIA-DAYS-FOOTBALL-74474930 He arrived in Auburn with high expectations. After all he was the 2013 "Mr. Alabama Football." A four-star recruit out of Carver Montgomery, the 6’ 5” quarterback threw 45 touchdowns for 5,625 yards the last two seasons at Carver. Thirtyone of those TD’s came during his senior season.However, those expectations were put on... Read Full Story