Friday Ramblings: Basketball, Football & more….
The Kenny Gabriel Show….
During the Final Four Auburn wonder kid Kenny Gabriel participated in the Dunk portion of the State Farm Slam Dunk & Three Point Contest. Gabriel finished second, with a couple of really nice slams. One that impressed me was where his partner switched the ball to the opposite hand underneath his legs, bounced it of the side of the backboard, and then KG caught the pass, and did a 360 degree rotation to finish with the slam DUNK!
Kenny has been a an Auburn basketball favorite since his arrival on the Plains. The event was televised on ESPN at 9pm Eastern Time, last night, so they may show a replay sometime soon.
Continuing Auburn Basketball….
K.T. Harrell, formerly a Virginia Cavalier, has decided to transfer to Auburn and finish his college basketball career on the Plains. With the departure of two scholarship athletes from the Tigers squad earlier this year, Mr. Harrell is a welcome addition according to Coach Barbee.
“He based his decision to go to Virginia more on his relationship with Coach Bennett than the system,” his father, Rodney, said. “K.T.’s always been an aggressive guard, very versatile.”
Thanks to the War Eagle Extra for the quote, and story.
An “Auburn Fan Favorite” follows former coach….
Zac Etheridge came to Auburn in 2006 and was redshirted seeing limited action, then became a second team Freshman All-American in 2007. By 2009 against Ole Miss Etheridge had 33 consecutive starts, during that game against the Rebels, he suffered a traumatic neck injury. Most folks counted him lucky just to be able to walk after that, but Zac had different intentions. After fulfilling his Auburn football career, Zac has now been tabbed by Ted Roof as a Graduate Assistant at Penn State.
We would like to wish Zac the very best, and hope he continues to be an inspiration to everyone he coaches and mentors.
What did you do during spring Break?….
Clint Moseley, along with Coach Gene Chizik, and Auburn team Chaplain Chette Williams, and several other players, went for a little ride. All the way to Liberia. Moseley called it a trip of a lifetime.
“She had to walk about two miles to get water from the well in the village and then go sell it, hope to sell it, just to have one meal for her and her grandmother a day,” said Moseley, Auburn’s junior quarterback. “Sometimes they don’t get it. She was just telling us that, not crying or wanting pity”.
Williams, also known as “Brother Chet” talks about his time at Auburn, and what it has meant to him and the players he has counseled.
“A championship game is just a moment in time. What we are trying to do is help these guys be productive throughout their lives. I love to win, but to have a young man’s life changed, that’s way more important than a game.”- Chette Williams
For all the grief that Tommy Tubberville gets, he should be praised for the starting of this program at Auburn.
Dark horse candidates….
Earlier this week we found out that Kiehl Frazier is listed as one of the dark horse candidates to win the Heisman Trophy this year. I don’t mind telling you that I was dumbfounded by this, considering he hasn’t won the starting job at Auburn. Although Frazier could very well win the job outright, I wonder how many prospective candidates started the year as potential second string or backup in their position.
There are a lot of analogies, and outright punch lines in this story. I just want to know who picks these candidates? Do they pay attention to the news reports? Do they know something we don’t?
Let us first see if young Mr. Frazier actually wins the job of starting QB at Auburn before we go throwing the Heisman Trophy at him.
Auburn’s coaching staff has been on a smoking hot recruiting pace lately. Gaining commitments from 3 of the rivals.com top 100 list on defense. The good news turns great when you see just where these recruits are positioned on the field.
The first of this trio to commit was Dee Liner, a 4 star strongside defensive end out of Muscle Shoals, AL, Liner is ranked the 4th highest at his position and the 42nd overall athlete in the nation. Then came Trey Johnson, a Lawrenceville, GA Linebacker who is the highest ranked Inside Linebacker in America, and 36th overall athlete nationally. To top this segment off, AU garnered a solid verbal from Carl Lawson, another strongside defensive end out of Alpharetta, GA. Lawson is rated as the 8th best at that position in the country, and the 91st overall athlete.
After a couple of years of seeing the highest ranked players being the offensive firepower that should be on display this coming season, I for one welcome bunches of highly regarded defensive players choosing Auburn.
We could be witnessing the most complete mixture of top tier talent ever assembled at Auburn at any one time.Take into consideration the two consecutive top 5 classes with the top 10 class added this year, and the fantastic start to next years recruiting class, and it’s hard to argue against that notion.
We are still a very long time from signing this next group of prospects, at least in their time lines, although the trend nationally is for most of the top talent to get their commitments out of the way early, so that they can focus on their last season as high school athletes.
The long hours of studying film, assessing these players talents, and getting them to camps, so that they can start to mold these young guns is all very time consuming. Fortunately for us, Auburn has some of the best recruiters in the country. I for one hope it stays that way.
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