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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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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