Safety Markell Boston committed to Auburn today. (photo:the playbook.com)
With National Signing day less than 40 hours away Gus Malzahn and his staff appear to be closing in on another strong class of recruits. Auburn’s 2014 class is already ranked in the top 10 of every recruiting service.
The Tigers are looking to add 23-25 players and presently have 21 committments with today’s addition of 3-4 star Safety Markell Boston from Newnan, Georgia.
Boston took an official visit to Auburn on Jan. 24 and came away impressed. When Auburn extended the offer today, he accepted; choosing the Tigers over offers from Nebraska, East Carolina, Indiana and University of Central Florida.
The 6-foot-2, 200-pounder made 87 tackles this year, returned two interceptions for touchdowns, and was named Georgia’s Region 3-AAAAAA Defensive Player of the Year.
Auburn has several other top rated recruits still on the board including 4-star safety Steven Parker from Oklahoma, 5-star Outside Linebacker Rashann Evans from Auburn, and 4-star Defensive End Andrew Williams out of McDonough, Ga.
Williams just finished a good visit to UGA this weekend but is said to have a good relationship with Coach Malzahn and is friends with fellow Georgians Carl Lawson and Montravius Adams.
Could one or more of these recruits choose Auburn? We won’t know the answer to that question till Wednesday. Although most of the Tigers’ class seems to be complete, you never know what surprises may pop up as those National Letters of Intent start rolling off the fax machine in the AU Athletic offices.
Be sure to join us here at Track ‘em Tigers Wednesday as we will have our annual coverage and Open Thread discussion of Auburn’s 2014 signing class.
It’s time for Alabama people to face the facts. Their fan base is the laughing stock of college athletics. Clay Travis over at Outkick the Coverage.com recently named them the dumbest fans in America. And now the school’s student body president has confirmed it.
In case you missed it, Alabama SGA president Jimmy Taylor, citing travel concerns, decided to skip Thursday’s basketball game with Auburn where he was scheduled to present the Foy-ODK Sportsmanship Trophy to Auburn football players and sing the school’s fight song.
Tradition says the losing school makes the trek across state each year for the ceremony.
Somehow the Alabama basketball team made it to Auburn – in a bus no less. The trophy also arrived safely in another vehicle. Maybe Mr. Taylor drives a Pinto or a Yugo. Or maybe he’s just didn’t want to face the music.
Judging from reaction on both sides, I think we know the answer. Paul Finebaum called him a loser on Friday’s show.
On game day, I drove across Alabama, nearly 200 miles to a meeting with others from all parts of the state including Birmingham and Huntsville. Not one person cited travel concerns. All were in attendance.
It’s time for Taylor to man up.
To make matters worse, he claims to have shot a video at a local Tuscaloosa television station where he congratulates Auburn and sings the fight song.
Somehow that video never played at Auburn Arena. Maybe it’s stuck in a ditch on I-65.
Jimmy, it’s time for you to do the right thing. You have embarrassed your school. I know you are young, but you look pretty bad today. You don’t want to forever be remembered as “that guy.” To make matters worse, this is bigger than you.
The last thing your school needs is what happened on Thursday. For a fan base that’s received more bad publicity than Richard Sherman, they desperately need something good to happen.
Jimmy, If you really feel bad about not making it down to Auburn (like you told the media), let me remind you that we play Kentucky on February 12th at Auburn Arena. I’m sure school officials will carve out some time for you to redeem yourself.
Loosen up those vocal chords and come on down. Make an honest man of yourself. If you need a ride, give me a call.
“Suffering has been stronger than all other teaching, and has taught me to understand what your heart used to be. I have been bent and broken, but – I hope – into a better shape.”
Estella, inGreat Expectations, by Charles Dickens
2013 was only possible because of the depths of what Auburn experienced in 2012. Part of the charm of last season was that the level of expectation was so far below the level of achievement. By mid season most fans were in a continuous state of euphoria after every game. We were then treated not just one but two fantastic once in a generation endings to rivalry games that sent fan excitement into the stratosphere.
But what about next year? What can we expect out of this coaching staff and players after the success of 2013? Is it fair to set the expectation of the 2014 SEC championship and inaugural College Football Playoff on the shoulders of this team or are we courting disappointment by giving in to unbridled optimism?
Using My Cafe Malzahn analysis, I’ve gone back in time to see what this coaching staff is capable of by comparing what they have achieved in previous situations when they coached a second year with the same team.
On this day in 1856 Auburn University was born. The school was established as the East Alabama Male College and 16 years later became the first land grant college in the south.
Today Auburn is recognizes as one of the nation’s preeminent comprehensive land-grant universities. Although she has one of the most recognizable brands in college sports – she is so much more than athletics. From Astronauts to business men to school teachers to scientist to governors – she has made her mark on the world.
However, she is still more than the sons and daughters that have walked her plains. There is a constant quality about Auburn that has remain unchanged throughout her 158 years … that intangible quality Auburn men and women call the “Auburn Spirit.”
Former Athletic Director and unofficial Auburn historian, David Housel, may have said it best in a September 20, 1980 article in Auburn Football Illustrated titled: “Spirit(s) of Auburn”:
“What is Auburn?
Far be it from me to try to answer that question. There are as many definitions of Auburn as there are Auburn men and women.
It would be safe to say, however, that Auburn is much more than a football game. It is much more than winning and losing.
It is a spirit. It is an attitude. It is a way of looking at life and at one another. It is, almost, a way of living. Unless you have experienced it, you will never know what it is; you will never understand it. Once you have experienced it, you will never be the same. A part of you will, forevermore, be an Auburn man or an Auburn woman.”
And today, because we believe in Auburn and love it, we say ….
(photo:Tracy Wilcox, Golfweek) We have lost another family member.
Auburn Womens Golf Team Director of Golf Operations Danielle Downey was killed in a car crash Thursday. Danielle was an accomplished golfer in her own rite and played on the Futures Tour and the LPGA tour. When Kim Evans was stricken with cancer Danielle held the golf team together and led them to numerous wins.
Women’s Golf has been a force at Auburn since Kim Evans arrived. Those of you you who don’t follow it like I do have missed some great moments. During the PGA Championship Kim starred in a series of promo spots for the PGA of America teaching young people with Danielle at her side.
My favorite spot was when she held up a golf ball to a number of young girls and asked it they could hit this; which was met with groans and negative responses. Then she held up a tennis ball and asked the same question. The response was much more positive. Next she held up a beach ball and asked again. The response was big yesses from everyone and that led to a great teaching experience. Danielle had a part in all of the above.
Here’s a link to an al.com article about Danielle – you must check it out. ‘ Just like other times when you lose a member of the AU Family you feel a sadness and a personal loss. Our prayers goes out to the family of Danielle and her team.
Before craziness took on a whole new meaning in 2013, there was September 17, 1994. Auburn coach Terry Bowden put his nearly two-year unbeaten streak on the line when his Tigers welcomed LSU to Jordan-Hare Stadium. For more than three quarters it was a nightmare for Auburn fans. Trailing 23-9 well into the fourth quarter, many had already headed for the gates when the Auburn defense took over. In a span of a few minutes, the Auburn defense returned three interceptions for touchdowns on the way to an improbable 30-26 win. The Auburn offense produced no touchdowns that day and managed only 18 yards of total offense in the second half. On the afternoon, the Tiger defense forced eight turnovers and kept Bowden’s 14 game winning streak intact. The game easily ranks among the top five most improbable wins in Auburn history.
Auburn players celebrate win over Bama with the student section. (photo:Julie Bennett,al.com)
Chris Denson and KT Harrell scored a combined 55 points tonight to help Auburn end their losing streak and defeat arch rival Alabama. The two Auburn guards matched the total points scored by the Tide as the Tigers broke the streak over the Pachyderms backs with a 19 point blow out 74-55 victory.
Auburn has had five close SEC losses this season – all coming in the last couple of minutes. However, it didn’t come down to the last few minutes this time as the Tigers dominated Bama, jumping out to a 12-0 lead right out of the gate.
Chris Denson had a career evening pouring in 32 points on the night; and he and Harrell pulled down 18 rebounds to boot. Bama was never in the game. It was a truly great way to end the team’s losing streak, especially coming against the Tide.
The highlight of the night came when Football Coach Gus Malzahnalong with the team received the Foy-ODK Sportsmanship Trophy for winning this year’s Iron Bowl. The team was given a standing ovation by a full house.
Gus Malzahn told the fans, “I’m here to tell you, this trophy, it’s going to be around here a while. War Eagle!” His speech was 38 seconds, which was 37 seconds longer than it took to beat Bama back in November.
Traditionally the SGA president of the losing school in the Iron Bowl is present to sing the winning school’s alma mater during the trophy presentation. However, Alabama’s SGA president, Jimmy Taylor, was said to not be able to make the trip due to weather conditions. Not sure about that one myself. But hey, I wouldn’t have wanted to be there either … not after the 34-28 gut wrenching loss Bama suffered two months ago today.
His absence didn’t take away from the celebration though as the fans and the players sang the fight song together.
The victory over the Pachyderms brings Auburn’s overall record to 9-9 and 1-6 in the SEC while the Tide fell to 9-11 overall and 3-4 in the league. What a great night … Our trophy comes back home and the Tide suffers an embarrassing 19 point whipping. You can’t ask for much more than that.
The top returning quarterback in the SEC. (Photo by Acid Reign.)
War Eagle, everybody! Today, the icy state of Alabama thaws out, and we look forward to spring football. With the state shut down, I had plenty of time to catch up on my reading. One thing that really struck me was that nationally and even around the SEC, Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall is getting little mention. What little ink the Auburn passing game gets is to repeat that Auburn has a defensive back throwing the ball, and that the passing game is an afterthought.
Occasionally, some of these writers ought to look at the facts. If one were to actually check some national numbers, it turns out that Nick Marshall finished 9th in the FBS nation in adjusted quarterback ratings. He finished ahead of such luminaries as A. J. McCarron, Braxton Miller, Connor Shaw, and Tajh Boyd. Of the 8 guys ahead of him, Johnny Manziel, Aaron Murray, Zach Mettenberger, and Clint Chelf do not return in 2014. My question is this: how is the 5th best returning quarterback in the nation left off all the preseason Heisman watch lists?
The Auburn passing game was interesting to watch develop in 2013. It looked very shaky in the season opener, as there were a number of missed throws, and dropped balls. I think folks tend to remember the drops and overthrows from September, but those largely went away as the leaves turned last fall. Today, we’re going to take a look back, and see how the Auburn passing game developed week to week during the 2013 season.