NCAA Fought Mike Slive and Slive Won

By Posted on: July 19th, 2014 in Football, News 3 Comments »
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                                                                                                                                  (photo:AP,Butch Dill)
In his opening remarks at SEC Media Days, SEC Commissioner Mike Slive stared down the NCAA in a game of chicken and the NCAA blinked. Speaking at the opening of the media event, Slive reiterated the Big 5 Power Conferences’ threat to break a way from the NCAA and start a new collegiate governing body if the NCAA did not grant their wishes.

The NCAA steering committee was scheduled to meet August 7, to consider the Five’s request for authority to govern themselves. However, the NCAA Board was apparently listening when Slive said, “I think when push comes to shove, it will pass;” because after his latest “push,” the NCAA announced Friday a restructuring plan that would essentially give the big boys what they want – autonomy.

The Steering Committee will still meet on Aug. 7 to vote on it but the restructuring plan assures its passing is a forgone conclusion. The move will give the Big Five (SEC, Big 10, PAC 12, ACC, Big12) more power to run their own affairs without much of a threat of being voted down by the rest of the membership.

Had the other (smaller) Division I schools not overrode their proposal of a $2,000 player stipend three years ago, this may have never happened. Now the new super majority will be able to implement their wishes with near impunity.

The immediate impact of all this will be that “cost of full attendance” scholarships (paying players) will go in to effect before the 2015 football season and possibly within the next six months. In addition we can look for changes in the transfer rules, increasing the number of scholarships, revising of recruiting rules, as well as any number of concerns of the Big Five.

To be sure it was political hard ball, by Slive and his fellow commissioners, and it paid off. If the conferences had not gotten their way, it may have ultimately meant the demise of the parent organization altogether.

Nick Marshall Receiving More Pre-Season Recognition

By Posted on: July 18th, 2014 in Football, News Comment »
Nick Marshall has been on the cover of several pre-season football magazines.

Nick Marshall has been on the cover of several pre-season football magazines.

Despite his recent troubles, Nick Marshall continues to have his name selected for various pre-season honors. It was announced today that Nick has been placed on the list for the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award.

A frequent mention in Heisman discussions, he was named a pre-season First Team All-SEC quarterback and picked as the SEC Player of the Year at SEC Media Days.

This past week he landed on the Maxwell Award list which goes to college football’s top player as well as the Davey O’Brien Award which recognizes the nation’s best quarterback.

Last year the Auburn senior became the fourth quarterback in SEC history to rush for 1,000 yards in a season. He threw for 1,976 yards, combining for 26 touchdowns while leading his team to an SEC Championship and berth in the National Championship game.

There still remains a question of whether he will miss any playing time due to Gus Malzahn’s statement to the media that Marshall will have to face consequences for his misdemeanor citation in Reynolds, Ga.

The winner of the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award will be announced on Dec. 11. at the Home Depot College Awards ceremony.

A Rebel Road Trip.

By Posted on: July 18th, 2014 in Football 5 Comments »
Ole Miss Preview

Can the Tigers overpower the Ole Miss front again?
(Photo by Acid Reign.)

     War Eagle, everybody! It’s time now for another Auburn opponent preview. On November 1st, the Tigers head to Oxford, Mississippi to take on the Ole Miss Rebels. After a couple of winning seasons under third year head coach Hugh Freeze, many Rebel fans are expecting to take the next step, and compete for a division title this year. Back to back top ten recruiting classes fuel this optimism, but Ole Miss plays in the SEC Western Division, and will have to run a gauntlet that includes 3 teams that have been to the BCS Championship game in the past 5 years.

     If the Rebels are to win 10 games or more this season, the schedule will be a big reason. The Rebels draw Vanderbilt and Tennessee from the East, arguably the two worst teams in that division this year. The Rebel season opens in Atlanta on a late August Thursday night, against Boise State. This could be a dangerous game, as Georgia found out in a loss 3 years ago. The Rebels then travel to Vanderbilt, then host Louisiana Lafayette before a bye week. After the bye, it’s Memphis for a tune-up, then a five week grind. The Rebels have Alabama at home, Texas A&M on the road, Tennessee at home, LSU on the road, then Auburn at home. Auburn gets the Rebs at a good time, after 5 straight SEC games. Auburn will have played Arkansas and San Jose State at home, Kansas State on the road, Louisiana Tech for homecoming, then LSU. The Tigers have a bye week, then South Carolina at home before traveling to Oxford.

     The Rebel offense looks to become more consistent in 2014, with one of the few returning starting quarterbacks in the league in Bo Wallace. Wallace captained one of the more prolific offenses in Ole Miss history last season, but there were dry spells at bad times. The Rebels lose leading receivers Donte Moncrief and Ja-Mes Logan, as well as the dangerous runner Jeff Scott. More concerning is shuffling and youth on the offensive line. The Rebels have recruited talent on the line, it’s just a matter of getting this unit to gel. A low-scoring 15-12 spring game seems to indicate that there were still issues at the end of the spring game. Wallace will have some speed and talent around him, including returning receiver Laquon Treadwell and the top two rushers I’Tavius Mathers and Jalen Walton.

     The Ole Miss defense was decent in 2013, and figures to be better in 2014, as they lose only linebacker Mike Marry and corner Charles Sawyer in terms of significant players. The Rebels have a deep secondary that picked off 13 balls last season, while allowing only 10 touchdown passes. Where the Rebels had difficulty was with the pass rush. Last year, the Rebels tallied only 20 sacks in 13 games. By comparison, Auburn had 32. The Rebels hope to shore up the outside rush with incoming signees Fadol Brown and Marquise Haynes.

     Like Auburn, Ole Miss loses both kickers, and will have to reload this season. The Rebels were respectable in coverage last year, but generated very little in the return game. Jeff Scott was the primary punt returner last season, and the Rebels have no one returning with any significant experience. The Rebels have some work to do in the coming months on special teams.

Unit matchups, after the jump!

Auburn defensive line vs. Ole Miss offensive line: Auburn’s final starting lineup next fall is a bit up in the air, at this point. I’d expect senior Gabe Wright to start somewhere, either at tackle or end. Expect tackles Angelo Blackson, Jeffery Whitaker, Montravius Adams, and Ben Bradley to all play prominent roles. LaDarius Owens will likely anchor the run-stopping end spot, with Elijah Daniels now the likely rush end starter. Carl Lawson is coming off spring knee surgery, and the latest word is that he might or might not play at all, in 2014. There is room for newcomers to make an impact at end, especially on passing downs. Talented sophomore Laremy Tunsil will again start at left tackle for the Rebels, after being thrown to the wolves last season. The interior of the Ole Miss line is one of the heaviest in football, with juniors Aaron Morris and Justin Bell at guards, and junior Ben Still at center. Morris and Bell tip the scales at 345 and 352 pounds, respectively. One has to ask, though, is all of this good weight? Sophomore Robert Conyers is penciled-in at right tackle, but coaches are hoping JUCO transfer Fahn Cooper will compete there right away this fall. With three new Rebel starters here, it’s Advantage: Auburn.

Auburn linebackers vs. Ole Miss backs: Auburn’s starting linebackers coming out of spring drills are juniors Kris Frost and Cassanova McKinzy. Both are veteran, athletic SEC players, looking to make the next move up. Ole Miss has its top two rushing leaders back, juniors I’Tavius Mathers and Jalen Walton. Mathers is a typical 190-pound SEC back, while Walton is only around 160. Auburn contained both of those guys pretty well last season on defense. Advantage: Auburn.

Auburn corners vs. Ole Miss receivers: Auburn is again fairly deep at corner, with veteran Jonathan Mincy hopefully locking down one spot, and either junior Joshua Holsey or junior Jonathan Jones at the other spot. Senior converted wide receiver Trovon Reed also looked pretty good in spring drills here. Auburn should be able to run with any receiving corps, and play physical run defense on the edges. Sophomore Laquon Treadwell led Ole Miss with 72 receptions last season, many of them on quick screens. He looks to be the headliner, this year. Right now, the other side looks to be manned by seniors Vince Sanders or Collins Moore. The Rebels do have some talented newcomers reporting in August. Advantage: Auburn.

Auburn safeties vs. Ole Miss secondary receivers and quarterback: Senior Jermaine Whitehead anchors one spot here, and Auburn will feature either junior Joshua Holsey, or JUCO transfer Derrick Moncrief at the other position. Moncrief was a beast in spring drills, this year, and Holsey is a veteran. At tight end, sophomore Evan Ingram is a quick one, and difficult to guard one on one. The Rebels have moved sophomore Quincy Adeboyejo to the slot receiver spot, and he’ll be spelled by junior Quintavius Burdette. Bo Wallace was dangerous last season as both a thrower and runner, when he was healthy. Against Auburn last season, he had a knack for throwing to covered receivers, and placing the ball where the Ole Miss receivers could still make the catch. Ole Miss did try to have Wallace keep up the middle against Auburn a dozen or so times last season, and that tended to kill drives. Advantage: Even.

Punting: Auburn must start a new punter, here, going with redshirt freshman Jimmy Hutchenson, who had a really solid A-Day game. Tyler Campbell is gone from the Rebel roster, and the new starting punter is redshirt freshman Will Gleeson, who reputedly has a very strong leg. Auburn gave up only 5 returns all last season, for 35 yards. Ole Miss gave up 17 for an 8.3 yard average. Both teams are still trying to find punt returners. The Rebels have listed junior Carlos Davis as their top guy, while Auburn’s most experienced returning punt returner is senior Quan Bray. Advantage: Auburn.

Kickoffs: Auburn must replace veteran kicker Cody Parkey, and will do it with redshirt freshman Daniel Carlson. Ole Miss replaces Andrew Ritter with sophomore Nathan Noble on kickoffs. On coverage, Ole Miss gave up 21.9 yards per return, while Auburn gave up 25.8. Auburn senior Corey Grant ripped off 5 returns for a 32.0 yard average for Auburn as the top guy coming back. Jalen Walton handled 25 kick returns last season for Ole Miss, for a 20.6 yard average. Advantage: Even.

Place kicking: Auburn redshirt freshman Daniel Carlson is the man for Auburn. He hit a monster 51 yard field goal this year in the Auburn A-Day game, but also missed an extra point. Ole Miss will call upon senior Andrew Fletcher this season for place-kicking. Advantage: Even.

Auburn offensive line vs. Ole Miss defensive line: Auburn returns 4 starters on a road-grading, violent offensive line. Greg Robinson moves on to the NFL, but Auburn has talent to replace him. From left to right, it’s sophomore Shon Coleman, sophomore Alex Kozan, senior all-SEC Reese Dismukes, senior Chad Slade, and sophomore Avery Young, with junior Patrick Miller still in the hunt to perhaps unseat one of the tackles for a starting job. Inside, Ole Miss could be scary this season, if talented sophomore tackle Robert Nkemdiche stays healthy. At the nose tackle spot, juniors Issac Gross and Woodrow Hamilton are neck and neck. Likely defensive end starters are sophomore Fadol Brown and junior C. J. Johnson, with young talent coming in to add to the mix. Advantage: Auburn.

Auburn backs vs. Ole Miss linebackers: Although Auburn lost Heisman finalist Tre Mason early to the NFL draft, Auburn should be fine here with seniors Cameron Artis-Payne and Corey Grant. Grant was this year’s A-Day star, looking even more explosive and unstoppable. Add in a corps of talented newcomers, and it’s no secret Auburn will be able to tote the rock again this season. H-back is a bit thinner. Senior blocking specialist Brandon Fulse moves from end/receiver to take over the starting nod, but depth behind him is questionable. Senior Deterrian Shackelford gives Ole Miss a veteran presence in the middle, and senior Serderius Bryant is experienced on the outside. At the Rebel Huskie spot will be sophomore Tony Conner. Look for junior Denzel Nkemdiche to play a lot, also. Advantage: Last season, the Ole Miss defense hemmed in Tre Mason pretty well, but had no answer for the zone-read keeper with Nick Marshall. Advantage: Even.

Auburn receivers vs. Ole Miss corners: Auburn juniors Sammie Coates and Ricardo Louis developed into one of the more dangerous receiving duos in the SEC, last season. Add in monster transfer D’haquille Williams, and this unit became downright scary this spring, with lots of depth behind the big three. Senior Senquez Golson has played a lot of ball for Ole Miss, and they’ve got a competition at the field spot between sophomore Derrick Jones and junior Mike Hilton. Jones has pretty good size, but the other two guys will be at a height disadvantage against Auburn’s trio. Advantage: Even.

Auburn secondary receivers and quarterback vs. Ole Miss safeties: Auburn senior tight end C. J. Uzomah is a nightmare for safeties to cover. When Auburn needed to go to him late in games last season, C. J. was there every time to haul in the score. Auburn also has senior Quan Bray in the equation, who’s been the career quick screen guy. When guys start to clamp down on him, he can get open down the field. Auburn returns senior quarterback Nick Marshall, and he’s easily the most dangerous guy returning at the position in the SEC this fall. With a spring spent working on a shaky passing game, the sky’s the limit this fall. Marshall was devastating running the zone-read option last fall, and put up 140 rushing yards on the Rebel defense. Ole Miss is talented at safety, and will start junior Trae Elston and senior Cody Prewitt. Prewitt was second on the team last season in tackles, and had 6 interception. Marshall will have to know where Prewitt is at all times! Advantage: Even.

     This is a dangerous game for Auburn, make no mistake. The Tigers haven’t had an easy time in Oxford in decades. However, I think the Rebels may be a bit beat up by this point of the season, and will be fresh off a trip to Baton Rouge. I feel like Auburn on defense can win most position battles with Ole Miss, but they’ve got to keep Rebel receivers from making the catch and turning short balls into big plays. Ole Miss matches up with Auburn on defense as well as any team Auburn will have faced to date.

     I’m tempted to pick a lower-scoring outcome in this game, but recent history has Auburn and Ole Miss combining for 50 or more points the past 5 seasons. Not since Tommy Tuberville and Houston Nutt prowled the sidelines has this game been a defensive struggle. This will be an important game for both teams. A loss to Auburn would likely be the third or fourth of the season for Ole Miss, and would definitely end any division hopes. Auburn hopes to win the West again, and any loss would be trouble in a very competitive division.

Prediction: Auburn controls the line of scrimmage on defense, and the secondary does a better job playing the ball than last season. The Tigers grind out a 27-20 victory on the road.

Auburn Places Most Players on Preseason All-SEC Team

By Posted on: July 17th, 2014 in Football, News 7 Comments »
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            Gabe Wright was named 1st Team pre-season All-SEC by the media. (photo:Auburn media file)

The SEC Media Days pre-season All-SEC Team was announced Thursday morning, along with the predicted order of finish in the conference.

Auburn had the most players (13) making the list including four on the First Team; yet was picked by the media to finish second in the conference. However, the Tigers proved last year they only need ‘one’ second to change the predicted outcome. Here’s the media’s picks:

2014 PRESEASON MEDIA DAYS ALL-SEC TEAM

OFFENSE:
First-Team
QB Nick Marshall, Auburn (241)
RB T.J. Yeldon, Alabama (281)
RB Todd Gurley, Georgia (280)
WR Amari Cooper, Alabama (282)
WR Sammie Coates, Auburn (207)
TE O.J. Howard, Alabama (188)
OL La’el Collins, LSU (231)
OL Arie Kouandjio, Alabama (188)
OL Laremy Tunsil, Ole Miss (183)
OL Cedric Ogbuehi, Texas A&M (174)
C Reese Dismukes, Auburn (226)

Second-Team
QB Dak Prescott, Mississippi State (118)
RB Mike Davis, South Carolina (240)
RB Alex Collins, Arkansas (126)
WR Laquon Treadwell, Ole Miss (182)
WR Malcolm Mitchell, Georgia (71)
TE C.J. Uzomah, Auburn (141)
OL A.J. Cann, South Carolina (166)
OL Vadal Alexander, LSU (112)
OL Alex Kozan, Auburn (112)
OL Corey Robinson, South Carolina (107)
C Ryan Kelly, Alabama (126)

See who else made the list, after the jump:


Third-Team
QB Bo Wallace, Ole Miss (94)
RB Corey Grant, Auburn (52)
RB Keith Marshall, Georgia (44)
WR Jameon Lewis, Mississippi State (67)
WR Marquez North, Tennessee (66)
TE Hunter Henry, Arkansas (72)
OL Austin Shepherd, Alabama (106)
OL Chad Slade, Auburn (101)
OL John Theus, Georgia (96)
OL Chaz Green, Florida (94)
C Evan Boehm, Missouri (77)

DEFENSE:
First-Team
DL Robert Nkemdiche, Ole Miss (239)
DL Dante Fowler, Jr., Florida (212)
DL A’Shawn Robinson, Alabama (208)
DL Gabe Wright, Auburn (192)
LB Trey DePriest, Alabama (253)
LB A.J. Johnson, Tennessee (186)
LB Ramik Wilson, Georgia (147)
DB Landon Collins, Alabama (274)
DB Vernon Hargreaves, III, Florida (243)
DB Cody Prewitt, Ole Miss (210)
DB Deshazor Everett, Texas A&M (183)

Second-Team
DL Trey Flowers, Arkansas (181)
DL Chris Jones, Mississippi State (150)
DL Alvin “Bud” Dupree, Kentucky (134)
DL Markus Golden, Missouri (125)
LB Benardrick McKinney, Mississippi State (143)
LB Jordan Jenkins, Georgia (137)
LB Denzel Nkemdiche, Ole Miss (116)
DB Robenson Therezie, Auburn (144)
DB Tre’Davious White, LSU (141)
DB Damian Swann, Georgia (127)
DB Tony Conner, Ole Miss (116)

Third-Team
DL Ray Drew, Georgia (102)
DL Montravius Adams, Auburn (94)
DL Carl Lawson, Auburn (87)
DL Jermauria Rasco, LSU (79)
LB Kwon Alexander, LSU (112)
LB Cassanova McKinzy, Auburn (82)
LB Serderius Bryant, Ole Miss (76)
DB Jon Mincy, Auburn (99)
DB Corey Thompson, LSU (86)
DB Rashard Robinson, LSU (84)
DB Brison Williams, South Carolina (81)

SPECIALISTS:
First-Team
P Drew Kaser, Texas A&M (221)
PK Marshall Morgan, Georgia (224)
RS Christion Jones, Alabama (262)
AP Christion Jones, Alabama (130)

Second-Team
P Sam Irwin-Hill, Arkansas (136)
PK Colby Delahoussaye, LSU (142)
RS Andre Debose, Florida (97)
AP Terrence Magee, LSU (111)

Third-Team

P Jamie Keehn, LSU (81)
PK Andrew Baggett, Missouri (103)
RS Marcus Murphy, Missouri (72)
AP Trey Williams, Texas A&M (89)

SEC Player of the Year
Nick Marshall, Auburn

SEC Champion
Alabama -154
Auburn – 75
South Carolina – 32
Georgia – 19
LSU – 9
Ole Miss – 2
Arkansas-1
Mississippi State – 1

West Division Predicted Finish
1. Alabama
2. Auburn
3. LSU
4. Ole Miss
5. Mississippi State
6. Texas A&M
7. Arkansas

East Division Predicted Finish
1. South Carolina
2. Georgia
3. Florida
4. Missouri
5.Tennessee
6. Vanderbilt
7. Kentucky

2014 – A Historic Year for SEC and College Football?

By Posted on: July 16th, 2014 in Featured Article, Football, News 9 Comments »
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                                                                                                                      (photo:Mark Gentry,USAToday)
If you didn’t get a chance to see SEC Commissioner Mike Slive’s opening remarks at SEC Media Days, you missed what is probably the most important news that will come out of the Hoover meetings this year. Commissioner Slive said 2014 was going to be “a historic year” for the conference.

He wasn’t talking about more success on the courts or on the gridiron. For sure he spent some time going over the usual litany of success stories the conference has enjoyed in recent years. But it was Slive’s harden stance on autonomy for the so called Power Five Conferences that was the significant news.

The Commissioner reiterated the position he took in the league’s June meetings that if the NCAA fails to grant the Big Five their wishes, he and his fellow commissioners are prepared to secede and start a new collegiate governing body.

In an apparent reference to the Ed O’Bannin case and the Northwestern NLRB decision, Slive said, “We are not deaf to the din of discontent across collegiate athletics that has dominated the news.” He said the NCAA “must be willing to make appropriate changes.” Translation – give the Power Five conferences autonomy to make their own rules (The Power Five includes the SEC, Big 10, Pac 12, Big 12, and the ACC).

What is significant is Slive’s apparent confidence that the NCAA’s steering committee will pass the recommendation when it votes on the demands-request in August. The Commissioner said:

“If we do not achieve a positive outcome under the existing big tent of Division I, we will need to consider the establishment of a venue with similar conferences and institutions where we can enact the desired changes in the best interests of our student‑athletes.” He added, “I think when push comes to shove, it will pass.”

Mike Slive is widely recognized as the most influential commissioner in college athletics and when he talks (just like the old EF Hutton commercials) people listen. So it’s almost a certainty that there will be a new separate division for the Power Five. And that’s why 2014 will be a historic year in collegiate athletics.

Once that takes place it will open the door for everything those conferences may wish to pass  – full cost of attendance scholarships (which is a synonym for paying athletes) transfer rules, increasing the number of scholarships and a host of other things. In reality there will not be anything the five can’t consider when it comes to reforming the rules they presently operate under. It will be historic alright.

Maybe this is what it will take to get the kind of reform so long needed with the bureaucracy of the NCAA. Yet there are those that have complained in recent years about the disparity between the have’s and the have not’s of college football. Such a move, in the short run, may well widen that gap. However, The restructuring could also be the first step in reforming all of the NCAA from top to bottom.

And if that happens, it could in the long run, be the best thing for college athletics since Walter Camp revised the rules of the game in the early 1880s.

C.J. Uzomah – “We’ll Get Back on Track”

By Posted on: July 15th, 2014 in Featured Article, Football 7 Comments »
29906170001_3674748964001_video-still-for-video-3674693780001- Uzomah

                                                                                                                                      (photo:USAToday file)
Gus Malzahn had to face the media Monday after what had to be  a very distressing two weeks, starting with the death of former player Phillip Lutzenkirchen and ending with Friday’s disappointing actions of his starting quarterback. Despite those problems, anyone watching him at SEC Media Days could see he showed the same steely eyed determination that has made his persona famous among the fans.

Malzahn quickly stated yesterday that Nick Marshall will have to pay for his mistake. Although he didn’t volunteer any specifics on what the punishment might entail, it was comforting to hear that a contrite Marshall had stood before the team Sunday night and apologized for letting them down.

His teammates in return have rallied around the senior signal caller. Tight End C.J. Uzomah who replaced Marshall in Hoover fielded a question about the team’s feelings on Marshall:

“As a team we were extremely disappointed, but at the same time we know that he’s going to learn from this mistake … Our trust in him hasn’t faltered at all, and our faith in him is as strong as it’s been. He made a mistake, and Coach Malzahn addressed it, and we’ll get back on track.”

Yet there is still the question of whether Marshall could receive suspension from playing time? That’s a possibility that could easily be read into Malzahn’s remarks to the media, “From our standpoint, we have high expectations. Our quarterbacks are the face of our program.” Gus went on to say, “The good news is we have a guy in Jeremy Johnson that could start for most teams around the country.”

Of course that doesn’t necessarily mean Marshall will be sat down for a game or two. But it may mean that he’ll have to compete all over again with Johnson to get his starting position back. That in itself could be humbling for a guy who has been touted in the off season as a possible Heisman candidate.

Events like what the 2014 Tigers have already had to go through can serve to splinter or bring a cohesiveness to a football team. That intangible quality of team chemistry is a hard enough quality to achieve without having to overcome obstacles like this weekend. The good thing though is there is a lot of senior leadership on this team. Marshall has their support.

Hopefully he will do his penitence and gain back the trust of his coaches as well.  And the Tigers will get back on track toward the goal of successfully defending their SEC Championship.

Sammie Coates Nominated for Biletnikoff Award

By Posted on: July 15th, 2014 in Football, News Comment »
(photo:Anthony Hall,AUTigers.com)

(photo:Anthony Hall,AuburnTigers.com)

The Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation announced today that Auburn Wide Receiver Sammie Coates has been named to the Biletnikoff Award Watch List.

Coates was the Tigers’ No. 1 receiver last year, catching 42 passes for 902 yards and seven touchdowns; a number good enough to finish third in the country at nearly 22 yards per catch. And he is also on the watch list (along with Nick Marshall) for the Maxwell Award, an honor which goes to the nation’s top player. 

With an emphasis this year on the passing game, Sammie may just wind up a finalist for the Biletnikoff. The winner of this year’s award will be announced at the Home Depot College Football Awards show on Dec. 11, 2014. Good luck to the Tigers’ top receiver!

Dismukes Continues to be Honored With Pre-Season Award Watch List

By Posted on: July 15th, 2014 in Football, News Comment »
9468207-Todd Van Ernst

                                                                                                     (photo:Tood Van Ernst,Auburn media))
Reese Dismukes was selected by the Rotary Lombardi Award Committee for their pre-season watch list on Monday. It was the third pre-season list the Auburn Center has been named to this year. The award recognizes the nation’s top college down lineman on offense or defense.

Reese has also made the Watch List for the Rimington Trophy. A finalist last year, it is the third consecutive year for Reese to be selected as one of the college football’s best centers.

Last Thursday he was joined by Guard Alex Kozan and Defensive Tackle Gabe Wright on the Outland Trophy Watch List. The Outland goes to the nation’s top interior lineman.

Dismukes anchored a line last season that paved the way for Auburn to have the number one rushing offense in the country. It was an All-SEC year for Reese who graded out above 90 percent and had 124 knockdown blocks. So 2014 expectations are naturally high for the Auburn senior.

Congratulations Reese and War Eagle!