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A Big Cat Weekend to Remember

By on May 27th, 2013 in Football 5 Comments »

Jordan Hare in the morningToday we reach another milestone. With Memorial Day being celebrated across the country, the unofficial start to summer is here. That means college football is just around the corner.

While many of us were kicked back with the grill going and a cold one in our hand, Auburn’s coaching staff held another Big Cat Weekend on campus. With the long weekend not over yet; the event has already produced two big commitments.

Opelika tight-end Jakell Mitchell took everyone by surprise when he committed during player introductions on Saturday.

“We started introducing ourselves, and when it was my turn to go I just made the announcement in front of everyone,” Mitchell said. “I was trying to give us some momentum, to help recruit some more guys.”

Mitchell figured his commitment early in the day would get things going.

“It went crazy in there and everyone was excited,” he said. “And I really think it was a big step for Auburn and this weekend.”

He picked Auburn over Alabama, Florida, Florida State and LSU.

A short while later, Atlanta-area defensive back Nick Ruffin followed. Walking out onto Pat Dye Field was all it took.

“It was definitely a big decision, and I felt that it needed to be made,” Ruffin said. “I couldn’t really hold it back anymore. I stepped on the field, and I fell in love instantly.”

Auburn was number one on Ruffin’s list since A-Day, but no one expected a decision this fast. He has offers from Alabama, Georgia, LSU South Carolina, Tennessee and Vanderbilt.

Players say Big Cat Weekend is different from other recruiting trips.

“I enjoyed how the coaches interacted with the kids,” said Cortez McDowell, a safety from Locust Grove, Georgia.

“That’s one thing about Auburn from the other places, the other coaches didn’t really hang around the kids, it was strictly business.”

While there was some business, the majority of the weekend focused on fun with activities such as water balloon fights, pie eating contests and scavenger hunts.

Gus Malzahn has made it clear that he doesn’t intend on having a drop off in recruiting. With assistants who can coach as well as they recruit, you can’t help but be excited about what lies ahead.

It’s enough to make this Memorial Day Weekend an extremely optimistic one.

Now back to the grill.


  1. domaucan1 domaucan1 says:

    Here’s a big “WAR EAGLE” to all our military, alive or dead, on this Memorial Day.


    WAR EAGLE !!!

    GO BIG BLUE !!!

  2. MyAuburn MyAuburn says:

    Happy to see Ruffin come in. We need defensive players more than offense.

  3. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..Exciting news, to be sure. I really like how coach Malzhan has maintained his visibility. He’s always out there, brightening up any occasion. And the grill… yeah. I couldn’t wait. I fired mine up as soon as I got off work Friday evening. I guess I really started my weekend Thursday night, when I started cutting up the lemons and onions to cook up the BBQ sauce!

  4. MyAuburn MyAuburn says:

    Just announced. The AU baseball team was left out of the regionals. Could this be the last gasp for Paws?

  5. buddy Ro buddy Ro says:

    Happy Memorial Day. Great weekend for our Tigers. Love the personal stories of BIG CAT commitment epiphany,… Auburn certainly had that impression on me as a 19 year old…

    Auburn’s greatest asset is, and always has been,… Auburn; that really simple pleasure filled feeling you get … ‘stepping onto the field’ is something you can’t describe in a brochure or package up and distribute. I do love how Auburn has worked thru the Chizik era to distinguish itself as Family focused and I suspect the smart and open minded players understand it quite clearly as Auburn’s simple offering when given the opportunity to step onto the field.