So much for conventional wisdom. After an off-season of unproven allegations, yellow journalism, armed robbery and the poisoning of the Toomer’s trees, the Auburn football program has rebounded quite nicely over the past few weeks – thank you very much.
In fact, this has been one of the program’s most successful months ever and not one snap was taken from behind center. For Auburn detractors this has to come as a tremendous disappointment.
In a span of two weeks Auburn has held court with the President of the United States, gained commitments from three of the nation’s top 100 players, seen its coaching staff become the highest paid in college football, launched an ultra cool marketing campaign, and as of last night, delivered national championship rings to its players.
Can things get any better for Auburn football?
For many, the best news is what’s taking place on the recruiting trail. It’s not unusual for teams to get a bump in recruiting following a national championship. In Auburn’s case it’s turning into a tidal wave.
In the span of a week, Auburn has gained commitments from the nation’s top tight end, the state’s top running back and one of the top five wide receivers in the country. And the best part: Alabama wanted them all real bad.
“I think Auburn is the hottest team right now coming off that week,” said 247 Sports national recruiting analyst Barton Simmons to Auburn Undercover. “These three commitments really make a major statement. Now we’re seeing some really heavyweight guys coming into this class that we’ve expected for a while coming off that national championship.
“This is as big of a week we’ve seen from anyone as far as getting three 4-star kids. I think Auburn is recruiting as well and anyone right now.”
With all the flurry of recruiting activity on campus, the strangest story is that of former North Carolina State quarterback Russell Wilson. According to reports Wilson has narrowed his choices to Auburn and Wisconsin. He made a visit to Auburn’s campus several weeks back.
While this story remains a national one, it seems all but non-existent in the state of Alabama. Auburn fans appear split on whether they want last year’s top quarterback in the ACC.
With each passing day without a decision, Wilson looks more and more like a prima donna. There’s even talk that he may stay in baseball, despite being given little chance of making it past Double A ball.
According to former quarterback Chris Todd, the odds of Wilson picking up Gus Malzahn’s offense at this late date is near zero. At this point in the year, he may be becoming more of a distraction than a possible asset.
Here’s a funny story that’s been making the rounds on the message boards. New Houston Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips was asked recently about his defense. While he said he was confident in his front seven, the secondary gave his cause for concern.
Phillips specifically mentioned last year’s first-round draft pick, former Alabama player Kareem Jackson.
“I think technique-wise he needs a lot of work,” Phillips told John McLain ofThe Houston Chronicle. “I guess he was able to play at Alabama without a lot of technique without worrying about staying low enough or moving his feet, those kinds of things. I think that caught up with him. I think we can coach him. We’ll drill him enough that we’ll go over and over and over.”
Who coaches the Alabama secondary? None other than Nick Saban.
Have a great week!