A Big Cat Weekend to Remember
Today 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.