Auburn Family News: June 2016

Thursday, June 30, 2016

W. Equestrian. McFarlin Captures NRHA Collegiate Reining Championship Title

Auburn rising sophomore Blair McFarlin captured the Collegiate Reining Championships at the 2016 National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Derby Thursday in Oklahoma City, Okla.

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Swimming & Diving. Lawrence and Lazor qualify for 200 breaststroke finals at Olympic Trials

Micah Lawrence and Annie Lazor are both one swim away from a spot on Team USA and a berth in the Rio Olympics.

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College Football Countdown: 5 Most Crucial Games for Auburn in 2016

We are now just nine weeks away from the start of the college football season on Thursday, September 1, and two days after that Auburn will host Clemson on Saturday, September 3 at 8 p.m. CT. Cal and Hawaii actually kick the season off a week earlier on August 26, but that doesn’t really signify […]

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Quick Update on Auburn’s 2016 NFL Rookies

  Several Auburn players were signed to NFL teams earlier this year, and here’s a quick update on what each has been up to as we get closer to the kickoff of the 2016 NFL season. Camps will be starting soon, check back here for more updates on your favorite Tiger and their NFL team. […]

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Auburn Dream Golf Foursome: Who Is Yours?

  CBS Sports has recently been giving out their “Mount Rushmore” for different college programs. It is a great idea that brings a lot of debate – who belongs, who doesn’t belong, what about players that left early – and everyone is going to have differing opinions on what four people should represent their school. […]

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Alabama's Greatest Players: Frank Gatski put Auburn in the Pro Football Hall of Fame

Frank Gatski came in 21st in AL.com's ranking of the greatest 100 players with Alabama football roots. He almost didn't make the list at all.

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Auburn Basketball Looking for Quick Turnaround

After a top 25 basketball recruiting class that saw Auburn basketball pull in it’s highest recruit ever in Mustapha Heron, Bruce Pearl is backing that up with a 2017 class that currently ranks third in the nation by 247Sports. Pearl is doing what many thought was impossible for the Auburn basketball program, and he’s looking […]

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Eighty-Four Tigers on First-Year SEC Academic Honor Roll

Auburn boasted 84 student-athletes from all 17 sports on this year’s First-Year SEC Academic Honor Roll list, the conference office announced Thursday.

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Baseball. Deas and Johnson enjoying summer in Ohio

Lima, Ohio, a municipality located nearly 700 miles away from Auburn, may seem like an unlikely destination for a pair of Auburn baseball’s young players to spend the summer, but for redshirt freshmen Jeremy Johnson and Daino Deas that is just the case.

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General News. Eighty-Four Tigers on First-Year SEC Academic Honor Roll

Auburn boasted 84 student-athletes from all 17 sports on this year’s First-Year SEC Academic Honor Roll list, the conference office announced Thursday.

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Track & Field, Cross Country. Eighty-Four Tigers on First-Year SEC Academic Honor Roll

Auburn boasted 84 student-athletes from all 17 sports on this year’s First-Year SEC Academic Honor Roll list, the conference office announced Thursday.

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Swimming & Diving. Eighty-Four Tigers on First-Year SEC Academic Honor Roll

Auburn boasted 84 student-athletes from all 17 sports on this year’s First-Year SEC Academic Honor Roll list, the conference office announced Thursday.

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W. Volleyball. Eighty-Four Tigers on First-Year SEC Academic Honor Roll

Auburn boasted 84 student-athletes from all 17 sports on this year’s First-Year SEC Academic Honor Roll list, the conference office announced Thursday.

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W. Tennis. Eighty-Four Tigers on First-Year SEC Academic Honor Roll

Auburn boasted 84 student-athletes from all 17 sports on this year’s First-Year SEC Academic Honor Roll list, the conference office announced Thursday.

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Softball. Eighty-Four Tigers on First-Year SEC Academic Honor Roll

Auburn boasted 84 student-athletes from all 17 sports on this year’s First-Year SEC Academic Honor Roll list, the conference office announced Thursday.

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W. Soccer. Eighty-Four Tigers on First-Year SEC Academic Honor Roll

Auburn boasted 84 student-athletes from all 17 sports on this year’s First-Year SEC Academic Honor Roll list, the conference office announced Thursday.

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W. Gymnastics. Eighty-Four Tigers on First-Year SEC Academic Honor Roll

Auburn boasted 84 student-athletes from all 17 sports on this year’s First-Year SEC Academic Honor Roll list, the conference office announced Thursday.

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W. Golf. Eighty-Four Tigers on First-Year SEC Academic Honor Roll

Auburn boasted 84 student-athletes from all 17 sports on this year’s First-Year SEC Academic Honor Roll list, the conference office announced Thursday.

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W. Equestrian. Eighty-Four Tigers on First-Year SEC Academic Honor Roll

Auburn boasted 84 student-athletes from all 17 sports on this year’s First-Year SEC Academic Honor Roll list, the conference office announced Thursday.

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W. Basketball. Eighty-Four Tigers on First-Year SEC Academic Honor Roll

Auburn boasted 84 student-athletes from all 17 sports on this year’s First-Year SEC Academic Honor Roll list, the conference office announced Thursday.

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M. Tennis. Eighty-Four Tigers on First-Year SEC Academic Honor Roll

Auburn boasted 84 student-athletes from all 17 sports on this year’s First-Year SEC Academic Honor Roll list, the conference office announced Thursday.

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M. Golf. Eighty-Four Tigers on First-Year SEC Academic Honor Roll

Auburn boasted 84 student-athletes from all 17 sports on this year’s First-Year SEC Academic Honor Roll list, the conference office announced Thursday.

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Football. Eighty-Four Tigers on First-Year SEC Academic Honor Roll

Auburn boasted 84 student-athletes from all 17 sports on this year’s First-Year SEC Academic Honor Roll list, the conference office announced Thursday.

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Thursday Football & Basketball Tiger Tidbits

News and notes from Auburn football and men's basketball are featured in Thursday's edition of Tiger Tidbits from Inside the Auburn Tigers/AUTigers.com.

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East's Baker's Dozen In 2018 Scout 100

In the inaugural class of 2018 Scout 100, there are 13 members from the East, and Scout takes a look at each of them, and where ther recruitment stands.

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Auburn News And Notes: June 30

Taking a look at some Auburn news and notes heading into July 4th weekend. It is the Thursday before a long weekend of barbecue, some libations, and celebrating our independence. But does the Auburn news ever stop? Heck no! Here are a few news and notes to ponder over while you try to grill the […]

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Offensive Tackle Signee Brodarius Hamm Has Enrolled at Auburn

This is outstanding news for a kid who had such a wrench thrown into his future plans.

Ordinarily, I would not do a full article on a signee arriving at Auburn. The Tigers have had a few late additions and are still waiting for a few more from the 2016 recruiting class to arrive.

Brodarius Hamm's situation is a bit different, though. Back in March, Hamm, a 6'5, 320 lbs offensive tackle from Spalding High School in Griffin, GA, was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma. He was the second Auburn signee to be diagnosed with cancer in this recruiting cycle.

With that, his future became unclear. He was always going to have the scholarship offer at Auburn, but when he would play football again should his cancer treatment be successful was the question.

Hamm will not play football this season, of course, but he has arrived on campus and is enrolled in classes at Auburn University according to Kieth Niebuhr of 247Sports and confirmed by Brandon Marcello of SECcountry.

His fight with cancer isn't done, yet, but it's fantastic to know he's healthy enough to be in school at Auburn. We wish him all the best in his continued to fight and hope his story - and Tashawn Manning's - will rival Shon Coleman at Auburn for overcoming cancer and still reaching their dreams.

Welcome to the Loveliest Village, Brodarius. War Eagle!



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Cancer fighter Brodarious Hamm enrolls at Auburn

Hamm was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma in March.

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Auburn Defense 16 For 16: Darrell Williams

We continue our breakdown of the 2016 Auburn football Tigers with a look at linebacker Darrell Williams.

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Link sAUsage: 30 June 2016

News and notes from the Auburn corners of the Internet

ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT

Jay Jacobs says his biggest concern is "doing what's right" as opposed to achieving any great longevity as Auburn's Athletic Director. Why did this topic come up? Well, primarily because Jeremy Foley is stepping down at Florida after 25 years.

105 student-athletes across all of Auburn's sporting teams earned a spot on the SEC's Spring Academic Honor Roll. I'm curious about what portion of the total number of athletes that is and how it compares with the number of total students at Auburn who would reach that same academic level, but that's just the nerd in me.

GOLF

There's been a promotion on the men's staff as Corey Maggard was promoted to Associate Head Men's Golf Coach.

FOOTBALL

AU_Jonesy continued his Auburn Football Film School series where he examines one specific big play in a big moment in Auburn history. This time, it's the Inverted Veer and how it played into the 2010 LSU game.

ESPN examines the "X-Factor" for each SEC team this season. Auburn's is a defensive player who will be so vitally important to the defense being successful, and yet we really don't talk about him all that much.

Speaking of that player, he shared a video of the defense having fun and putting in work in the offseason weight room.

AL.com's VIP is on #10, the "best cornerback," who is also a rising true sophomore. Yes, he had an offseason issue, but I doubt he misses any time.

SECcountry is on #7, the anchor of the Tigers' interior line, Big 'Ole #1. It's his senior year, and hopefully, he is a force on that interior line.

How are former Tigers doing in the CFL? See how they did in Week 1, and you can watch some of Week 2's games, tonight!



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Young Point Guard "Fun" to Coach

Class of 2019 hoops prospect Ashton Hagans from Newton High School is a point guard with excellent potential.

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Auburn VIP 20: The Tigers' best cornerback checks in at No. 10

Who will determine Auburn's success or failure in 2016? AL.com continues its countdown of the 20 most important people for the Tigers this season with No. 10.

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Alabama's greatest 100 football players: Nos. 21 to 40

The countdown of the 100 greatest players with Alabama football roots continues with the stars ranked 21st through 40th. The unveiling of the list will conclude with the final 20 players on Friday.

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Thunderstorms today!



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Rested Tigers Host the Razorbacks! (Previewing Arkansas vs. Auburn.)

Arkansas Preview

Austin Allen takes the reins this year.
(Beth Hall-USA TODAY Sports)

     War Eagle, everybody! It’s time now for another Auburn football preview! On October 22nd, the Auburn Tigers host the Arkansas Razorbacks, after a bye weekend. Exactly 6 weeks into the schedule, the break could not come at a better time. Last season, Arkansas seemed loaded up with a veteran offense and a questionable defense. Early on, the offense could not get out of its own way, and the defense was shredded by good passing times. After a terrible 2-4 start to the season featuring losses to Toledo and Texas Tech, Arkansas turned the corner in an overtime win against Auburn, and finished the season 8-5.

     This year, roles are reversed on the team. It’s the offense that’s depleted and unproven, while most defensive starters return. Auburn starts with a five game home stand this season. The Tigers open with Clemson, then regroup with Arkansas State, then Texas A&M, LSU and homecoming against Louisiana Monroe, before traveling to Mississippi State. A bye week precedes this Arkansas game at Jordan Hare Stadium. Arkansas opens with Louisiana Tech, then goes to Ft. Worth to battle a tough TCU team. Texas State follows as a tune up, then the Razorbacks go to Arlington for a showdown with Texas A&M. October begins with another tune-up against Alcorn State, then a brutal stretch follows. The Razorbacks host Alabama and Ole Miss, then travel to Auburn. After playing the Tigers, Florida, LSU and Mississippi State follow. Ouch.

     After a slow start, Arkansas fielded a respectable offense last season, that averaged 35.9 points per game. Admittedly, there were multi-period overtime games against Auburn and Ole Miss figured into that average. This season, most of the players that produced those numbers are gone, as well as 3 starting offensive linemen. Brandon Allen’s younger brother Austin Allen takes over at quarterback, and the Razorbacks will turn to an oft-injured pair of younger runners to carry the ball this season. Receivers Keon Hatcher and Jeremy Spinkle should bring a bit of stablility to the receiving corps, having plenty of experience.

     The Arkansas defense returns most of its starters, but it is a unit that was shredded at times in the passing game, last season. Former Iowa State head coach Paul Rhoades has been brought in to shore up a leaky secondary, and if the Arkansas spring game is any indication, the Razorbacks will at least look back for the ball in the air, this year. A pretty salty run-stopping unit is pretty much assured.

     Last season, Arkansas was pretty average on special teams, and spotty kicking for points. This year’s spring game featured a lot of work on kicking field goals, and the team combined for just 13 good kicks out of 21. The Razorbacks were decent in coverage last season on both units, but hope this season to get more distance on punts, and more touchbacks on kickoffs.

Unit matchups, after the jump!

Auburn defensive line vs. Arkansas offensive line: Auburn brings a deep and talented defensive line into this game, a line that finally looked healthy this spring, after a couple of years of problems. Junior defensive end Carl Lawson and senior tackle Montravius Adams could have been drafted by the NFL last spring, had they gone out. Sophomore tackle Dontavius Russell really came on late last year, and was a force in Auburn’s spring game. Auburn’s end situation on the strong side is still a bit unsettled. Sophomore Byron Cowart was the heir-apparent this past spring, but it was true freshman phenom Marlon Davidson who started on A-Day, and he was impressive. Auburn has depth at both positions, and the team plans to rotate frequently up front. All eyes in this matchup will be on redshirt freshman left tackle Colton Jackson, who will have the unfortunate task of trying to slow Lawson down. Senior Dan Skipper will hold down the right tackle spot. A pair of sophomores will likely start at guard, Hjalte Froholdt and Brian Wallace. Junior Frank Ragnow gets the nod at center. In the spring game, the Arkansas starters had trouble running the ball, even working against the second-team defense. Advantage: Auburn.

Auburn linebackers vs. Arkansas backs: I think I’ll pencil junior Tre’ Williams and incoming senior transfer T. J. Neal in as starters, and I think we’ll see sophomore Deshaun Davis if Auburn uses 3 linebackers. There is talent behind those guys, although most of it is unproven. Senior Kody Walker and sophomore Rawleigh Williams III figure to be the go to guys in the Arkansas backfields. Leading the way will be sophomore fullback Kendrick Jackson. Advantage: Even.

Auburn corners vs. Arkansas receivers: Auburn will be talented, if a bit young at corner this season. Sophomore Carlton Davis is locked in at one starting spot, after a stellar freshman campaign. A battle is still on for the other spot, between redshirt freshman Jamel Dean, senior T. J. Davis, freshman John Broussard, and redshirt freshman Javaris Davis. One could also see senior Joshua Holsey at corner, if necessary. All of these guys showed great things this spring. Arkansas will go at receiver with senior Keon Hatcher, a talented guy who was banged up last season. Hatcher will be joined by Dominique Reed. Seniors Drew Morgan and Cody Hollister round out this unit. Even with Hatcher missing most of the season, these guys combined for 108 catches last season. Advantage: Even.

Auburn safeties vs. Arkansas secondary receivers and quarterback: I’m going to put senior starting Auburn nickelback Jonathan Ford here with the safeties, and it’s really not certain at this time who’ll be back there with him. Senior Joshua Holsey and junior Tray Matthews are veterans, but both are coming off surgery. Junior Stephen Roberts came off the bench last season to replace the fallen, and he looked good this spring. Junior Nick Ruffin held down the other safety spot this spring. Auburn should have a good bit of depth, here. Senior tight end Jeremy Sprinkle is the guy to watch, here, after catching 27 balls last season in a reserve role. Arkansas will also use an array of screen passes to running backs. Junior quarterback Austin Allen takes over the starting job this season, after being the primary backup the past two years. He looked decent this past spring, running the top offense against the twos in the Arkansas spring game. Advantage: Even.

Punting: Senior Kevin Phillips returns to punt again for Auburn, but he is being challenged by redshirt freshman Ian Shannon this summer. Phillips averaged 41.0 yards on 55 punts, with 5 touchbacks and 17 balls killed inside the 20. Auburn gave up only 7 returns all last season for a 12.4 yard average, but one of them was an average-inflating 53 yard touchdown. Senior Marcus Davis handled all Auburn punt returns last season, for a healthy 11.9 yard average. Last season for Arkansas, senior punter Toby Baker managed a 41.2 yard average, with 2 touchbacks and 23 balls killed inside the 20. Arkansas gave up 18 punt returns for just 6.9 yards per return. Junior Jared Cornelius returned punts last season for a 13.3 yard average. Advantage: Arkansas.

Kickoffs: Daniel Carlson was very good kicking off last season, notching 49 touchbacks on 69 kickoffs. When other teams did return the ball, the Auburn coverage held them to 21.2 yards per return. Auburn was dangerous returning the ball, averaging 27.9 yards per return, despite not having one go for a touchdown. Jonathan Ford and sophomore Kerryon Johnson return, here, sporting last season averages of 28.6 and 27.6, respectively. Junior Lane Saling takes over kickoff duties this season for the Razorbacks, after kicking off 9 times last season with 3 touchbacks. The Razorbacks gave up 19.5 yards per return. A rotating cast of return men averaged just 20.6 yards per return last season. The Razorbacks hope to get a spark this season with redshirt freshman T. J. Hammonds dropping deep. Advantage: Auburn.

Place kicking: Auburn junior Daniel Carlson is the man for Auburn. Carlson was 23 of 27 on field goals, and perfect on extra points last season. For Arkansas, sophomore Cole Hedlund appears to have the nod as the place kicker. Last season, Hedlund hit 9 of 15 field goal attempts, and all of his extra point attempts. Advantage: Auburn.

Auburn offensive line vs. Arkansas defensive line: The Tigers retool this year under new line coach Herb Hand. They’ll go with junior Austin Golson at left tackle, senior Alex Kozan at guard, senior Xavier Dampeer at center, junior Braden Smith at right guart, and senior Robert Leff at right tackle. This should be a veteran, dominating bunch. Arkansas counters with a veteran bunch up front. Seniors Taiwan Johnson and Jeremiah Ledbetter will start at tackle spots, and the end spots will be manned by senior Deatrich Wise, Jr. and junior Tevin Beanum. There is a bit of veteran depth behind these guys. Last season, the starters combined for 144 tackles, 13.5 sacks, and 30 tackles for loss. Advantage: Even.

Auburn backs vs. Arkansas linebackers: Senior Jovon Robinson looks to be Auburn’s feature-back next season, after coming on strong down the stretch last season. He’ll be joined in the backfield by a brutal tandem of H-backs, in sophomores Kamryn Pettway and Chandler Cox. Both of those guys are a threat with the ball in their hands, also. Pettway and Cox may also be featured as tailbacks behind Robinson. Last season, senior linebacker Brooks Ellis and sophomore Dre Greenlaw led the Razorbacks in tackles, and should be solid again. Finding a 3rd linebacker was a problem, and Arkansas used mostly a nickel defense in response. Advantage: Auburn.

Auburn receivers vs. Arkansas corners: Auburn appears set at the outside receiver spots coming out of spring, with senior Marcus Davis and junior Jason Smith as starters. The Tigers could be helped by an influx of talented true freshmen this fall. The rest of the group really didn’t impress, on A-Day. Arkansas will go with seniors Jared Collins and D. J. Dean on the outside. Advantage: Even.

Auburn secondary receivers and quarterback vs. Arkansas safeties: Auburn has potential threats here, in Darius Slayton, Logan Rice, and Ryan Davis. Tight ends will likely be used more, this season, and freshman Landon Rice reportedly has good hands. Still, none of these guys has much experience. Auburn is still unsettled at quarterback, having not named a starter coming out of spring drills. Tallying up the various rumors has sophomore Sean White at the top of the heap, but this decision won’t be made till fall. Sophomore Santos Ramirez and junior Josh Liddel seem to have the top spots at safety, while junior Henre’ Toliver will be the nickelback. Last season, Sean White carved this secondary up, and would have had a career day, if not for a ton of dropped passes by his receiving corps. Advantage: Auburn.

     I think this game shapes up to be pretty tough for the Razorbacks. With an inexperienced backfield and a rebuilt offensive line, I think a road trip to Auburn will be daunting. Last season, the Razorbacks sold out to stop the run, and I think they’ll do that again. Against any sort of passing game, they Razorbacks had trouble, and returns the same cast of players on defense this season.

     Most pundits pick both of these teams near or at the bottom of the division. I can definitely envision a year where the loser of this game will not go bowling. Those picking against Auburn in this one are figuring on Auburn having a second bad year in a row at quarterback, something that would be a first in head coach Gus Malzahn’s career. Meanwhile, expecting a new batch of running backs and quarterback to equal last season’s output by Brandon Allen, Alex Collins and Hunter Henry seems very unlikely.

Prediction: A tough year for the Razorbacks continues under the October skies in Auburn. The Tigers take care of business, and defeat Arkansas 38-17.

The post Rested Tigers Host the Razorbacks! (Previewing Arkansas vs. Auburn.) appeared first on Track 'Em Tigers, Auburn's oldest and most read independent blog.



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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Auburn Football Playoff of Greatest Teams in Tiger History

Since there is little to no hope from media outlets that Auburn football will reach the College Football Playoffs in 2016, let’s take a look at what a college football playoff among the four greatest Auburn football teams of all-time would like. The Tigers have put together some great teams over the years with National Championship […]

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Auburn Football: Special Teams, Defensive Line Best Units in 2016

As we get closer to the start of college football season it’s time to look at the strongest position units for Auburn football, which is the special teams and defensive line units. According to Phil Steele’s magazine, Auburn has the second best special team’s unit in the SEC and sixth best in the country thanks […]

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Highly recruited Spanish Fort stars Thomas Johnston, Justin Thomas focused on repeat

Neither Thomas Johnston nor Justin Thomas have narrowed their college choices

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Auburn Football Film School: The Inverted Veer Shreds LSU

Auburn Represented As CFL Season Begins

As the 2016 Canadian Football League season gets underway, several former Auburn players and coaches are involved in the action north of the border

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Alabama's Greatest Players: Of the ones who got away, Philip Rivers may be No. 1

The Decatur native and Athens High product starred at NC State, and he's still starring for the San Diego Chargers as one of the top passers in NFL history.

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Football. Auburn Represented As CFL Season Begins

As the 2016 Canadian Football League season gets underway, several former Auburn players and coaches are involved in the action north of the border

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General News. Auburn with 105 Student-Athletes on SEC Spring Honor Roll

A total of 105 Auburn student-athletes were named to the 2016 Spring SEC Academic Honor Roll, the conference office announced Wednesday.

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W. Tennis. Auburn with 105 Student-Athletes on SEC Spring Honor Roll

A total of 105 Auburn student-athletes were named to the 2016 Spring SEC Academic Honor Roll, the conference office announced Wednesday.

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Softball. Auburn with 105 Student-Athletes on SEC Spring Honor Roll

A total of 105 Auburn student-athletes were named to the 2016 Spring SEC Academic Honor Roll, the conference office announced Wednesday.

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W. Golf. Auburn with 105 Student-Athletes on SEC Spring Honor Roll

A total of 105 Auburn student-athletes were named to the 2016 Spring SEC Academic Honor Roll, the conference office announced Wednesday.

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M. Tennis. Auburn with 105 Student-Athletes on SEC Spring Honor Roll

A total of 105 Auburn student-athletes were named to the 2016 Spring SEC Academic Honor Roll, the conference office announced Wednesday.

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M. Golf. Auburn with 105 Student-Athletes on SEC Spring Honor Roll

A total of 105 Auburn student-athletes were named to the 2016 Spring SEC Academic Honor Roll, the conference office announced Wednesday.

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Baseball. Auburn with 105 Student-Athletes on SEC Spring Honor Roll

A total of 105 Auburn student-athletes were named to the 2016 Spring SEC Academic Honor Roll, the conference office announced Wednesday.

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Scout's July Premium Recruiting Scoop

Scout's Inside Recruiting Scoop is the latest on key targets such as Addison Gumbs, Anthony McFarland, Robert Beal and Drew Singleton among other big topics in the month of July.

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Scout's Class of 2018 Five-Star Prospects

Scout's team of national football recruiting analysts countdown the Top 10 five-star prospects in the Class of 2018...

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M. Golf. Corey Maggard promoted to Auburn associate head men’s golf coach

Corey Maggard has been promoted to Auburn associate head men’s golf coach, head coach Nick Clinard announced on Wednesday. Maggard is entering his third season at Auburn as the Tigers had the fourth best NCAA Championship finish in school history by finishing 12th in 2015 in his first season.

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Swimming & Diving. Auburn at the USA Swimming Olympic Team Trials Day 4 Recap

There were just three prelims events on the schedule on Wednesday morning at the USA Swimming Olympic Team Trials in Omaha, Neb. Auburn had a representative swim in each of the men’s 100-meter freestyle, the women’s 200-meter butterfly and the men’s 200-meter breaststroke.

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Kellen Mond Decision Has No Impact On Malzahn’s Future at Auburn

On Monday night highly rated class of 2017 quarterback Kellen Mond chose Texas A&M over Auburn as his eventual college destination, and it sent Tigers message board posters into a tailspin of despair — unnecessary and mistaken despair. There is no getting around it, it is definitely a hit to Auburn’s 2017 class to miss […]

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Auburn, UConn Agree To Home-And-Home Series

The Tigers will visit Storrs in December of 2016 while the Huskies will make a trip to the Plains in 2017. Auburn basketball fans better bring out a map and find where Storrs, Connecticut is, as the Tigers have agreed to a home-and-home series with the Connecticut Huskies starting this season. The Tigers will travel […]

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Wednesday Football & Basketball Tiger Tidbits

Reports from Auburn football and men's basketball are featured in the Wednesday edition of Tiger Tidbits from Inside the Auburn Tigers/AUTigers.com.

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Jay Jacobs 'concerned with doing what's right,' not longevity as Auburn's athletic director

When Florida's Jeremy Foley retires Oct. 1, Auburn's Jay Jacobs will be one of only two SEC athletic directors to have been around for at least a decade.

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Auburn Offense 16 For 16: Alex Kozan

We continue our look at the 2016 Auburn Tigers with left guard Alex Kozan.

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'Sky is the limit' for Paul Bryant rising junior receiver Seth Williams

When Eldrick Hill took over the Paul Bryant football program before the 2014 season, he knew there was work to be done.

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Video: Cam Newton throws at IMG 7v7 Nationals

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Cam Newton has had a busy offseason but he still coached his two 7-on-7 clubs during the IMG National Championship over the weekend, with some passes and a reception sprinkled in.

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News and notes from the Auburn corners of the Internet

PAT SUMMITT

Auburn coaches discussed Pat Summitt, her career, her legacy, and what they meant to her. That includes current and former coaches like Joe Ciampi who coached against her.

Speaking of Ciampi and coaching against Summitt, Tuco wrote about one of the greatest games in Auburn Women's Basketball history when an undefeated Tennessee came to face an undefeated Auburn.

BASKETBALL

I didn't get to write about this last night, but Auburn has set up a big non-conference home-and-home with UConn. Bruce Pearl definitely isn't afraid to schedule the best, that's for sure.

SOFTBALL

Here's a story on the two Snow sisters who are heading to Auburn. One as a freshman, the other as a transfer. Let's hope they know something; unlike Jon.

FOOTBALL

Do you want a crazy statistic? Auburn, even with how bad last year's offense was, is still Top 5 in the nation (or, at least, Gus is) when it comes to getting touchdowns in the red zone. So, I wrote about why that is (2013 was so crazy good), what's changed, and what Auburn needs to do to get back to that.

SECcountry ranks Auburn's non-conference opponents that we know about. I'm still dreading that 2017 match-up against Georgia Southern. Assuming I'm still writing on these here Internets, I'm going to do once crazy Q&A with myself on that one.

So, the whole "Auburn does best when people think we'll be horrible" thing still exists. The inverse is also still something that will be talked about all the time. Especially after last season. SECcountry discussed 17 times Auburn has proved experts wrong.

The VIP 20 is on to Auburn's returning leading tackler and a starter in the defensive backfield. He'll probably swap between nickel and safety.



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Why John Franklin III Needs to Be Auburn's Starting QB from Day 1

"We're going to name somebody. Hopefully sooner rather than later once we start fall camp."

Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn said in May at the College Football Hall of Fame that he was going to stay true to his roots and not let his three-man quarterback battle linger into the season.

That race—which features last season's opening day starter Jeremy Johnson, last season's backup-turned-starter and former Elite 11 MVP Sean White and former junior college backup John Franklin III—was three-wide heading into the back stretch of the offseason when spring practice ended.

Once fall camp starts, somebody needs to separate from the pack.

It needs to be Franklin.

The former Florida State and East Mississippi Community College signal-caller threw for 733 yards and seven touchdowns and rushed for 451 and nine scores in a backup role behind Wyatt Roberts for EMCC last year, and he has the jets to be a major weapon in an offense that needs a dynamic running threat from the quarterback spot.

Malzahn has had the most success as a college head or assistant coach when he gets running production from his quarterback.

Since taking over as Auburn's offensive coordinator prior to the 2009 season, Malzahn is 44-10 (.815) in seasons in which his primary starting quarterback rushes for more than 400 yards on the season. In seasons in which the primary starting quarterback doesn't top 400 rushing yards, Malzahn is 23-16 (.590).

Even in 2014, when Auburn finished 8-5 with a mobile quarterback in Nick Marshall taking the snaps, it was in the thick of the national title race before the wheels came off in an early November home loss to Texas A&M.

Auburn needs wheels under center, and Franklin can provide those wheels, as he showed on Twitter earlier this spring when Auburn's players ran the 40-yard dash:

The biggest concern with Franklin is his weight.

He's listed at 186 right now, but said after the spring game that he wants to bulk up just a bit prior to the season in order to take the pounding that comes with being a dual-threat quarterback in the SEC.

"I got here [in January], and I was 170," Franklin said after the spring game. "So I've put on about about 15 pounds. I'm going to continue to gain weight. That's not a real concern of mine. The one thing I have [that others don't] is that I can run away from people.

"I want to get within 190 to 195. This is the biggest I've ever been. As long as I keep my speed and am able to move with the weight, I'm fine. It's going to come. I'm not really worried about it too much. I've been small all of my life, and it hasn't bothered me yet."

If Franklin can get to 195 pounds and keep that 4.28 speed—which was recorded after spring practice concluded—intact, he should be the starting quarterback for the Auburn Tigers in the season opener against Clemson and beyond.

There's a massive difference between 195 pounds and 170. While Franklin's ideal weight isn't close to where Marshall was when he took the snaps on the Plains (he was a well-put-together 210), it's still big enough for Franklin to be effective as long as he learns how to protect himself when danger is closing in.

As ESPN Insider's Phil Steele told The Opening Drive on WJOX in Birmingham, Malzahn needs to roll the dice and go with Franklin—the least experienced of the trio contending for the job:

Johnson doesn't have Franklin's wheels and isn't the bruiser that former Tiger Cam Newton was between the tackles. White is a prototypical dropback passer who, while talented, isn't a threat to take off on the ground.

What's more, it's imperative for the Tigers to get off to a great start in the opener versus Clemson and in Week 3 against Texas A&M. Auburn's offense is essentially an open book with Johnson or White at the helm. By going old-school and using a similar offense to the one Malzahn was successful with in 2013 and 2014 with a mobile quarterback, it will be difficult for the early-season opponents to properly prepare for what Franklin brings to the table.

The element of the unknown at quarterback can work in Malzahn's favor.

Franklin is Auburn's best shot to be an SEC West contender thanks to his playmaking ability on the edge, which will serve as a complement to the ability of running back Jovon Robinson to soften up defenses between the tackles. 

If Auburn wants to make a big splash, Malzahn needs to go with Franklin.

 

Quotes obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. Statistics courtesy of cfbstats.com unless otherwise noted. Recruiting information courtesy of 247Sports.

Barrett Sallee is the lead SEC college football writer and national college football video analyst for Bleacher Report as well as a host on Bleacher Report Radio on SiriusXM 83. Follow Barrett on Twitter @BarrettSallee.

Read more Auburn Football news on BleacherReport.com



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Q&A With AU Freshman Mustapha Heron

Mustapha Heron, a 2016 Auburn basketball signee, talks about starting his college basketball adventure with the Tigers.

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Dye-Gest: Baseball's Playoff System Works

College Football Coach Pat Dye writes about why he prefers the way college baseball chooses its national champion compared to the current football format.

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Auburn VIP 20: The leading tackler who's back for more is No. 11

Rudy Ford will be relied on more than ever as a senior

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Alabama's greatest 100 football players: Nos. 41 to 60

The countdown of the 100 greatest players with Alabama football roots continues with the stars ranked 41st through 60th. The unveiling of the list will continue 20 players at a time through Friday.

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Thunderstorms today!



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County Auburn club holds annual meeting at casino - Atmore Advance


County Auburn club holds annual meeting at casino
Atmore Advance
The special guest speakers were Director of Athletics Jay Jacobs, Butch Thomas head baseball coach, and Greg Williams, equestrian team head coach. ... The equestrian team's head coach spoke of how much he has seen the sport grow at the university.



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Baylor's Chris Johnson reportedly transferring to Houston - NBCSports.com


NBCSports.com

Baylor's Chris Johnson reportedly transferring to Houston
NBCSports.com
On Twitter overnight, Kam Martin announced that he has committed to play his college football for the Auburn Tigers. The running back's decision came shortly after the ... Martin was one of five 2016 Baylor signees who were granted releases by the ...

and more »


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Is Carl Lawson Key to Restoring Auburn Pass Rush to Championship Level ?

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Some prognosticators believe the 2016 Auburn defensive line may be the best since Nick Fairley helped the Tigers win the 2010 National Championship. For that to happen, the Tigers will have to have to have two things going for them: one, plenty of depth and two, keep Carl Lawson healthy the entire season.

The Tigers may well have the best depth since the 2013 SEC Championship season. And Lawson is healthy once again. However, he suffered a hip injury in last year’s opener that caused him to miss half of the season and he hasn’t completed a full year since 2013 due to injuries. Nevertheless, he’s already receiving recognition for the upcoming year.

He was named earlier to Athlon’s preseason ALL-SEC Team and yesterday Pro Football Focus placed him on their Top 101 Best Players in College Football for 2016. Despite his history of injuries, PFF is high on the Auburn senior, naming him their 17th highest rated player.

In a release, Pro Football Focus said that …

“When he’s been on the field, he’s shown versatility along the defensive line, capable of holding up against the run while creating pressure both on the edge and from the interior … Last season he picked up three sacks, two QB hits, and 23 hurries on 196 pass rushes, so there’s some projection to his being this high on the list. Lawson joins the plethora of edge rushing talent in the SEC as they compete for All-American honors and NFL draft status in 2017.”

While Lawson was ranked No.17 overall, he was ranked fourth among SEC defensive ends, behind Texas A&M’s Myles Garrett (No. 2), Tennessee’s Derek Barnett (No. 4) and Missouri’s Charles Harris (No. 13). The entire list can be viewed here.

If Carl Lawson can complete his first non injury marred year, there’s no doubt he will be a key cog in restoring the Auburn pass rush to championship caliber level.

The post Is Carl Lawson Key to Restoring Auburn Pass Rush to Championship Level ? appeared first on Track 'Em Tigers, Auburn's oldest and most read independent blog.



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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Auburn Basketball To Face UConn

Auburn has added another big name to its non-conference schedule in basketball with the UConn Huskies scheduled to face the Tigers the next two seasons.

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M. Golf. Auburn’s Johnson, Gilchrest to play in PGA Tour’s Barbasol

Auburn All-American Michael Johnson and rising senior All-SEC Matt Gilchrest have received sponsor’s exemptions in The Barbasol at Grand National’s Lake Course July 14-17.

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Auburn signee Marlon Character Jr. still has academic work to do

An update on the safety from Atlanta

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ESPYS Includes Several Auburn Tigers This Year For Major Awards

Voting for the ESPYS has opened with four Auburn Tigers being nominated for six different awards, including the Best MLB Player and Best NFL Player awards. Former Auburn football quarterback and National Championship winner Cam Newton has been nominated for two ESPYS, including Best NFL Player and Best Male Athlete. Cam won the league’s MVP […]

ESPYS Includes Several Auburn Tigers This Year For Major Awards - Fly War Eagle - Fly War Eagle - An Auburn Tigers Fan Site - News, Blogs, Opinion and more.



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Auburn Coaches, Representatives Honor Life Of Pat Summitt

Auburn coaches and representatives took time to honor legendary Tennessee coach Pat Summitt upon her death on Tuesday. Pat Summitt and her Tennessee women’s basketball teams were a thorn in Auburn’s side, but the rivalry between her and former head coach Joe Ciampi is one that makes the SEC great. Following the passing of Summitt […]

Auburn Coaches, Representatives Honor Life Of Pat Summitt - Fly War Eagle - Fly War Eagle - An Auburn Tigers Fan Site - News, Blogs, Opinion and more.



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Track & Field, Cross Country. Johnson and Ryan named USTFCCCA First-Team All-Americans

Fourteen Auburn track and field athletes were named All-Americans by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association for their accomplishments at the 2016 NCAA Outdoor Championships.

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Nice to see Auburn and Penn State put a little college back in college football

Who wouldn't rather visit Happy Valley for the first time than Atlanta or Dallas again? This is still college football, where there's no place like home-and-home.

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Jerraud Powers talks Auburn fandom, Ravens and putt-putt golf

The Decatur High product and new Baltimore Raven will host a charity putt-putt event in his hometown Saturday.

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Olympics: Current and Former Auburn Swimmers on Display

As we prepare for the Summer Olympics in Rio that start on August 5, there are plenty of former and current Auburn Tigers that will be competing in the swimming and diving competitions. The USA Swimming’s Olympic Trials began on June 26 with Auburn sending 23 current, former and incoming athletes to Omaha, Neb. for […]

Olympics: Current and Former Auburn Swimmers on Display - Fly War Eagle - Fly War Eagle - An Auburn Tigers Fan Site - News, Blogs, Opinion and more.



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Rolando McClain and Nick Fairley: Heisman-worthy defenders

I'll never regret putting two of this state's greatest defensive players on my Heisman ballots in 2009 and 2010. Alabama and Auburn don't win those titles without them.

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The Night Pat Summitt Came to Town: 1989 Auburn vs Tennessee Women's Basketball

Auburn 67 Tennessee 59 in the biggest basketball game in Auburn history.

Pat Summitt was a legend.  Tributes to her, her contributions to Tennessee, and her contributions to women's basketball have filled the internet.  Rather than rehash those, I wanted to tell the story of the time her Lady Vols played Joe Ciampi in the biggest women's athletic event that's ever happened at Auburn.

In the late 1980s, Auburn's football team was in the middle of a three-peat of SEC titles.  The men's basketball team was in a stretch where they went to five straight NCAA tournaments.  Arguably, the two programs were never better than they were at that time.  But they both paled in comparison to the best program on Auburn's campus at that time, Joe Ciampi's Lady Tigers. Auburn won either the SEC regular season crown, the SEC tournament, or both from 86-87 through 89-90.  They appeared in three straight NCAA final games, falling painfully short in each.

On January 6, 1989, Auburn opened the SEC schedule at home against their biggest rival, Pat Summitt's Lady Vols.  Both teams came into the night undefeated.  Auburn was 13-0 and ranked #3 in the nation.  The Lady Vols were 11-0 and ranked #1.

Pat Summitt was already a legend in 1989.  Tennessee had won the national title in 1987 and most of the SEC crowns Joe Ciampi didn't claim.  She had incredible charisma on the sideline.  The students treated her like they would Wimp Sanderson.

Auburn's 1989 team was loaded led by Vikki Orr, Ruthie Bolton, and Carolyn "CJ" Jones who went on to be Olympians.  The Vols were led by Bridgette Gordon, who won gold for USA basketball in the previous summer's Olympic games.

The game was the biggest event in the history of Auburn basketball be it men's or women's.  I was part of the record 7,150 into Beard Eaves that night.  To this day, it is the third-largest Auburn home crowd in the history of Women's Basketball.

It was a great game.  All night, Auburn would build a lead and Tennessee would erase it.  Auburn won that night, 67-59.  The game was put out of reach with three minutes to play when Patrena Scruggs finished an old-fashioned three point play to put the Tigers up 62-56.  Jones and Orr scored 18 each for the Tigers.  Orr battled Gordon all night in the paint and the Tigers outrebounded the Lady Vols 41-37.

The win catapulted Auburn to #1.  They remained undefeated until Pat Summitt got revenge at the SEC Tournament and again in the NCAA finals. That year, Summitt won one of her eight national titles.

While this night is unique in my memory, I bet most programs in the SEC could tell a similar story about a night Pat Summitt came to town.  Her teams were always great and wherever the Lady Vols went, record crowds went to watch.  Summitt goes on the list along with other coaches who transcended their sport like Bear Bryant and Vince Lombardi.  She will be missed.



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St. Paul's 4-star defensive end Ryan Johnson ready to narrow recruitment down

St. Paul's four-star defensive end Ryan Johnson named a top 12 recently, highlighted by in-state schools Alabama and Auburn. Now, the 6-foot-3, 253-pound Johnson is ready to trim that list.

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Swimming & Diving. Auburn at the USA Swimming Olympic Team Trials Day 3 Recap

Auburn had just three swims during Tuesday’s action at the USA Swimming Olympic Team Trials in Omaha, Neb.

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Auburn Ranks Top 5 in Red Zone Touchdown Percentage Since 2013

According to the website CoachingSearch.com, Gus and Rhett (whom they don't credit) are two of the best in the red zone.

If you're looking for a fun talking point on a lazy summer day, try this one: in spite of the struggles last season, Auburn is still in the top 5 in the nation when it comes to scoring touchdowns in the red zone since 2013. They only credit Gus Malzahn in this, though, not even mentioning offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee. They're intending to focus on play callers, though, which Gus has been the primary play-caller during the games from what we know.

It's convenient for Auburn fans that this list starts with 2013 since that was Gus Malzahn's first year as head coach. It also just goes to show how potent that 2013 offense was. It also shows the necessity to maintain that potency. The Tigers were ranked #2 in red zone touchdown percentages in Gus' first year. Guess who was #1? The team that defeated the Tigers in the BCS Championship Game.

Of course, Auburn's decline in offensive production is clearly visible, here, as well. From #2 in the nation in 2013, the Tigers fell to 22nd in 2014 (I honestly thought it would be much lower than that) and then were unranked last season. Red zone struggles have been the biggest complaint I've read about Gus' offense during that time. Field goals or failing to convert at all instead of touchdowns inside the 20 had a huge effect on multiple games in both 2014 and 2015.

What Gets It Done Inside the 20?

There is one very big takeaway for me in that Top 5. Four of them were run-heavy teams over the last three seasons. Three of them were triple option teams (the Service Academies and Georgia Tech), and Army would be included in the list above Auburn if they'd had a consistent coaching staff (Monken & Company took over in 2014).

It appears from this list that inside the 20, the philosophy of RUN THE DANG BALL is what gets it done. I don't have the stats to see what percentage Western Kentucky at #4 ran vs passed inside the 20, but given that they scored 30 rushing touchdowns to 58 passing touchdowns, I'm guessing they eschewed the pass for the run inside the 20 quite a bit, too.

Conclusion? Ban the fade. No, really, it rarely works. You're wasting a down. Just run the dang ball. Auburn fans can attest to that from last season when the Tigers would ride Barber or Robinson deep into the opponents territory and then for some reason attempt too many passes and have to settle for a Daniel Carlson field goal.

This is likely one reason Gus went with the Wildcat so often in the red zone. Our passing was struggling so much that he wanted the option there to confuse the defense. It worked a few times when the ball was handed off to Jason Smith around the end. However, it allowed the defense to key in on two people with zero threat of a pass. That's why the QB as a rushing threat can be so devastating to a defense in the red zone. Suddenly the run-pass option is there, too.

How Can Auburn Get Back To The Top In Red Zone Touchdowns?

Run. The. Dang. Ball. If there's one major argument for JF3 to win the starting job this fall, it's that threat to run. It's hard to say what really could have happened, last year, though, as Sean White was never really allowed to throw too much in the red zone, and Jeremy Johnson's passes were extremely curtailed once he returned as the starter.

Along with the lack of a running quarterback, there was the fact that the offensive line didn't get as much of a push in 2015 as it had, before. Alex Kozan wasn't back to 100%, Austin Golson got hurt, he had no backup with Xavier Dampeer hurt, and the relative inexperience of the H-backs didn't help, either.

For the Tigers to be successful, the offensive line needs to improve to at least the 2014 level with running the ball, and the running game overall needs to improve (or actually be used) inside the red zone. It doesn't have to be the zone read, either. There are plenty of other running plays that Gus Malzahn can use. Some of them were staples during his time at Tulsa. So, there are multiple ways in which the hiring of Herb Hand could result in the best coaching hire of anyone, this fall.



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Auburn Football: Phil Steele Projects Auburn to Finish 4th in SEC West

Phil Steele, author of one of the most popular and accurate college football preview magazines, has Auburn football finishing fourth in the SEC West. He has them finishing ahead of Arkansas, Mississippi State and Texas A&M. In saying that, I’m guessing that Steele believes Auburn will win all three of those games, which means the […]

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Tuesday Auburn Football & Other Tiger Tidbits

Tuesday's edition of Tiger Tidbits from Inside the Auburn Tigers features reports on Auburn football, basketball and golf.

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W. Basketball. Statements from Auburn coaches on Pat Summitt

Statements from Auburn head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy and former head coach Joe Ciampi on the passing of former Tennessee coach Pat Summitt.

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W. Basketball. Auburn fondly remembers legendary Pat Summitt

Bruce Pearl and Joe Ciampi remember Pat Summitt as a great basketball coach, a competitor who brought out the best in people -- and a good friend. Summitt, the legendary coach of the Tennessee women's basketball team, died at age 64 Tuesday.

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Markale Hart denied immunity in murder of former Auburn player Jakell Mitchell

Markale Hart was denied immunity under Alabama's Stand Your Ground law for the 2014 shooting death of former Auburn H-back Jakell Mitchell and will stand trial for murder.

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Bishop Talks Tigers, Sets Commitment Date

Longtime Auburn football recruiting target Tray Bishop talks about his recent visit, playing quarterback and his plans for a decision on a college choice.

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Accused shooter denied immunity in football player's death (The Associated Press)

A judge has denied immunity to a man who tried using Alabama's ''stand your ground'' law to avoid prosecution in the death of an Auburn University football player. Lee County Circuit Court Judge Christopher Hughes issued an order Monday denying 24-year-old Markale Hart immunity from prosecution. Authorities have said 18-year-old Jakell Mitchell was shot after an argument outside a party at an apartment complex in December 2014.

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Auburn Defense 16 For 16: Dontavius Russell

We continue our breakdown of the 2016 Auburn football Tigers with a look at defensive tackle Dontavius Russell.

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Auburn Football Recruiting: Tigers' Top Targets to Watch at The Opening

As a recruiting powerhouse in college football, Auburn is naturally going to have an influence on the prospects descending on Nike's campus in Beaverton, Oregon, next week for The Opening.

While none of the Tigers' 10 current commitments for the class of 2017 are headed to the massive recruiting combine on July 8-10, several of their biggest remaining targets will be in Beaverton to showcase their skills. Auburn fans wanting a possible glimpse at the future of the program will want to stay tuned to coverage of The Opening.

Auburn's targets at The Opening Finals include a trio of the highest-rated offensive tackles in the entire country, a handful of recruits from its familiar stomping grounds of Georgia and several players at major positions of need for the current class. Some of these targets will even announce their commitments at the event.

Here are 10 of the top Auburn targets who will be at The Opening next week. The rankings used here are the 247Sports composite rankings, which combine several of the industry's top ratings into one standard.

Begin Slideshow



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News and notes from the Auburn corners of the Internet

BASKETBALL

Auburn basketball has been a bit of a revolving door the last few seasons with transfers in and out. Bruce Pearl says that's starting to slow and he's finally getting stable depth settled, which should help the Tigers tremendously on the court. See more of what he had to say during the SEC Basketball Summer Teleconference, here.

One of those incoming players who looks to be a big part of the team is Jared Harper. He's small at 5'10, but his size has never been an issue for him (and didn't stop him from being a 4* prospect who picked up a ton of interest not long after he committed to Auburn).

I'm sure, by now, you've seen the news about Pat Summitt. Bruce Pearl spent a good bit of time in Tennessee alongside her and shared his thoughts about her.

FOOTBALL

Auburn announced a scheduling addition yesterday, with a home-and-home series against Penn State in 2021 and 2022. The Cal home-and-home has been pushed back to 2023-24. Either way, I like the home-and-home stuff.

The Tigers still need a P5 opponent in 2018 and 2020, though. I took a stab at trying to figure out what teams out there didn't already have a P5 opponent and were possibilities for the Tigers to play either in a one-off game or a home-and-home series.

ESPN analyzed Auburn's 2016 schedule. It's basically the same thing we've been seeing all offseason.

Brandon Marcello gives us five reasons why Auburn can put an end to Clemson's national title hopes right from the start. He makes some good arguments. It's going to come down to how well the offense can execute, though, and take advantage of a very inexperienced Clemson defense.

SECcountry's MIT 25 is on #9, and yet another new wide receiver. This one has been on campus for a while and has already been learning from wide receiver coach Kodi Burns through spring practice.

The VIP 20 from AL.com is on #12, one of - if not THE best - placekickers in the nation. #Legatron.

In former Tiger stories, AL.com profiled Carnell "Cadillac" Williams and how he was the recruit in the early 2000s that set Auburn off on its run of success against the Tide. On top of that, they also talk about the slew of running backs in the late 70s and early 80s that gave Auburn the nickname "Running Back U."



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Tony Richardson part of Kansas City's love of players from Alabama

As part of AL.com's countdown of Alabama's 100 greatest football players, we look at Tony Richardson's place in Kansas City lore.

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Pearl Working On Blending In AU's Newcomers

Auburn's Bruce Pearl talks about his team, having so many new players and the challenge of putting together a team that will rely on freshmen and transfers.

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Auburn VIP 20: No. 12 is one of nation's best kickers

Who will determine Auburn's success or failure in 2016? AL.com continues its countdown of the 20 most important people for the Tigers this season with No.12.

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Alabama's greatest 100 football players: Nos. 61 to 80

The countdown of the 100 greatest players with Alabama football roots continues with the stars ranked 61st through 80. The unveiling of the list will continue 20 players at a time through Friday.

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Thunderstorms today!



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Auburn announces home-and-home series with Penn State - Alabama's News Leader


Alabama's News Leader

Auburn announces home-and-home series with Penn State
Alabama's News Leader
"This is another great opportunity for our players and fans to be part of something special," Auburn athletics director Jay Jacobs said in a release through the school. "Bringing together elite programs rich in tradition is what college football is all ...
College football: Penn State, Auburn agree to home-and-home series for 2021, 2022NCAA.com
Auburn, Penn State to play home-and-home series in footballDothan Eagle
Auburn, Penn State agree to 2021, 2022 football gamesAnniston Star
FBSchedules.com
all 59 news articles »


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Looking Ahead to the 2017 Auburn Softball Season

Tiffany Howard (1) is greeted by teammates after hitting her first grand slam. Jacksonville State vs Auburn softball in Auburn, Ala., on Sunday, May 22, 2016 during the NCAA Softball Regionals. Kris Sims/Auburn Athletics

Now that the historic 2016 season has been wrapped up, it’s time to start looking ahead to next season. Questions abound for the 2017 program. Who will be that four- or five-tool player to replace Emily Carosone? Who will step in and be the big-time slugger that Jade Rhodes became in her last two seasons? Who will lead off for the Tigers come February and be the .400 hitter that Tiffany Howard embodied as a four-year starter? Will Auburn remain a pitch-by-committee team? And finally, will Auburn reload as many elite teams seem to do?

Auburn loses some significant players to graduation. While all schools experience roster turnover, perhaps none lose players who meant so much to the program as Auburn does. The departing players were not recruited by coach Clint Myers but were developed by him. They include Emily Carosone, Auburn’s all-time highest drafted player, and Jade Rhodes, who will join her on the pro circuit. Rhodes was picked up as a free agent, but she will be a steal for any team as she was a record setter in 2015 with her 18 home runs before hitting another 20 in 2016.  

Tiffany Howard’s place on Auburn softball’s Mount Rushmore is nearly assured. She was a four-year starter and batted a career .362 with a .441 on base percentage in the leadoff slot. Though she is the prototypical hard slapping lefty lead off, she will always be remembered for her over-the-wall snag catch that may be the best play in the 2016 Women’s College World Series.

You don’t lose players like that without worrying about next year’s team, but there are replacement options on the current roster plus a Top 10 recruiting class.

Rest assured, Tiger fans. Auburn may not start out as hot as either as the last two seasons, but they will finish at or near the top in 2017. Let’s take a look at how they may keep the success going.

Jade Rhodes’ departure means more to Auburn than just her long-ball capability.

She was a pretty solid first baseman. Is it possible to fill her place in the lineup and on the diamond with a single player, or will the team have to make up for her loss by other means? To meet or exceed Rhodes’ production, the next player will have to …

play better at first base. Rhodes was a good first baseman but not a great one and had problems with bad throws at times. She had moments where she couldn’t corral bad throws. Some of that comes from the basic fact that Rhodes is a righty playing a position built for lefties. Ideally, the next player to fill the 3 slot would be a lefthander. Additionally, Auburn will miss her bat. Auburn will also need to replace her power hitting to add fear behind Kasey Cooper.

Is there someone who can fill the need for extra power hitting?

Perhaps. Most likely, Auburn recruit Justus Perry will step right in. The long-bombing lefty plays first base and was described by Scout as, “The most sought after 2016 power hitter in the sport. She has a combination of size, strength and fluid mechanics you can’t find anywhere else.” Her high school statistics include a .560 batting average, .636 OBP, 14 homers and 59 RBI’s. That’s as close to a drop in single player replacement that can be found.

However, being an outstanding high school players is no guarantee of success at the next level. One can compare and contrast Perry to Rhodes, but it bears understanding that Rhodes has done what she has done whereas Perry MAY do it. 

Who could replace Tiffany Howard as the leadoff hitter and lockdown left fielder?

The loss of Howard is big, and one of the main reasons Auburn was the top scoring offense in the country was her ability to get on base and score. That isn’t a player remaining on the roster who can hit her numbers nor is it realistic that a freshman could come in and do so.

It’s doubtful that anyone could really ‘replace’ Howard. Possibilities include Sydne Waldrop, Bree Fornis, or Morgan Podany. With about the same at bats, Fornis had more hits and a higher batting average than Podany, and each had a single homer. Podany had more RBIs than Fornis, but Fornis had a slightly higher OBP. Fornis may have an edge due to her speed, but since both are right handers, it is doubtful that either would go to the leadoff position. Waldrop is a lefty, but she has a long way to go in terms of production. A wildcard might be Casey McCrackin, who hit .310 in 29 at bats with a homer and seven RBI’s. 

An incoming recruit could possibly replace Howard. Auburn’s Top 10 incoming class contains several outfield prospects (KaitlynCrocker, Carmyn Greenwood, and Brittany Maresette) as well as some utility players. All three of the outfielders are lefties, which is something to watch.

Auburn will have to turn to a veteran.

Kasey Cooper will be asked to do even more than she has in the past two years. It seems almost impossible for her to have a third straight year of big production, but if she does, she’ll become Auburn’s best career hitter. She led almost every category for Auburn in 2015 as well as career numbers. And she’s in a position to  overtake Emily Carosone’s career mark of 284 hits and has already shattered the home run record. 

Who will fill the designated player role?

Courtney Shea will likely remain the designated player while spelling catcher Carlee Wallace. In the event that Shea starts and Wallace is rested, Jenna Abbott will likely fill in as the DP.

Auburn losses three senior pitchers.

The Tigers’ staff was very good in 2016 but not great. Lefty Rachael Walters and right handers Lexi Davis and Marcy Harper are gone, leaving the capable duo of Makayla Martin and Kaylee Carlson. Perhaps the most important piece being added to the staff, and the team as a whole, is recruit Ashlee Swindle. As both a hitter and a pitcher, she is one of the top players in the country. Her official Auburn bio states she,”Played at Curry High School for head coach Phillip Smith and played travel ball for the Birmingham Thunderbolts. Selected as a 2015 Junior All-American, Swindle put together a 43–5 record as a pitcher with 327 strikeouts, a 0.22 ERA and 26 shutouts. She was also selected as MaxPreps All-American Second Team, USA Today’s Top Player in the nation, and AHSAA Class 4A Player and Pitcher of the Year.” Swindle is exactly the type of ‘ace’ Auburn needs.

The biggest question facing the Tigers: Who will replace Emily Carosone at 2nd?

Carosone will go down as perhaps Auburn’s best all-around player and replacing her will be no small task. Her offense will be missed, and her ability to get on base and score was often the catalyst to wins. She was right behind Cooper in most offensive categories, and Auburn must have a consistent hitter behind Cooper to either force opposing pitchers to serve her meatballs to hit or walk her.

In the field, a related question is at shortstop, where two good players who have been past starters battle. Haley Fagan started for Auburn in 2015 before tearing an ACL in the preseason. Kelsey Bogaards filled in but suffered a serious injury before the 2016 season began, and Whitney Jordan became Auburn’s starting shortstop. While Jordan did an admirable job, she wasn’t quite the player that Fagan had been nor was she the hitter, having the lowest batting average of any starting player. Fagan and Bogaards will battle at short, and Jordan could move to 2nd and, with some improvement at the plate, secure a starting job over the talented incoming recruits.  

In summation …

Auburn’s roster losses are fairly devastating. The Tigers lose their ability to consistently load the bases and have power in the middle of the lineup. However, Clint Myers brought in a terrific recruiting class and has the best player in the country returning while adding a pitching ace (in Swindle). Expect the Tigers to be a more talented team, but also one that needs to learn to win in tight spots. Only time will tell if Auburn can reload, but 2017 looks promising. 

The post Looking Ahead to the 2017 Auburn Softball Season appeared first on Track 'Em Tigers, Auburn's oldest and most read independent blog.



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Monday, June 27, 2016

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Kameron Martin to Auburn: Tigers Land 4-Star RB Prospect

The Auburn Tigers added another running back Sunday, as 4-star rusher Kameron Martin committed to the program.

Martin, a former Baylor Bears signee, announced the decision on Twitter. He is ranked as the seventh-best all-purpose back in the nation and the 268th-best overall prospect in the 2016 class.

After visiting the campus for the first time this weekend, Martin pulled the trigger and committed to the Tigers.

He emphasized the family atmosphere at Auburn after his visit, per AL.com's Wesley Sinor.

"It was amazing," he said. "They treated me like family. ... The guys really want me and they feel like I can fit real good in their offense. They feel like I can come in there and play running back. My thing is, I just want to go somewhere where I can compete at the highest level. The SEC is the highest level."

With Martin's addition, Auburn now has the ninth-ranked 2016 recruiting class in the nation.

Martin was one of five Baylor signees to be granted releases after former head coach Art Briles' controversial departure, according to ESPN.com's Gerry Hamilton and Mark Schlabach.

Hamilton provided an update on each player:

Per Auburn's official website, head coach Gus Malzahn has produced 12 1,000-yard rushers as a head coach or offensive coordinator. That could be tougher this season, as the team lost last season's top rusher, Peyton Barber, to the NFL draft, and former 5-star recruit Roc Thomas transferred from the program in May.

Jovon Robinson will be the top back moving forward, with versatile sophomore Kerryon Johnson also set for a significant role. Yet Martin should be able to find some time as a change-of-pace runner who can help on third down. He is quick, which could also translate into a role on special teams.

SEC Country's Brandon Marcello echoed those sentiments following the commitment:

Take a look at the highlight reel Baylor posted:

Normally explosive under Malzahn, Auburn finished 80th in total offense last season, so it needs any help it can get. Martin is unlikely to play a major role this fall, but he may show some flashes of brilliance with his blazing speed.

 

Recruiting information is courtesy of 247Sports.

Statistics are courtesy of ESPN.com.

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