Auburn Family News: July 2016

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Get a Glimpse of John Franklin, III in Last Chance U

john franklin iii

When fall camp opens Wednesday, all eyes will be on the quarterback position. It’s something Auburn people have grown accustomed to over the years. Picking a new quarterback each season is about as regular as the leaves changing on the trees.

What we’ve learned from past experience is the person who emerges from camp as the starter doesn’t always end that way. It seems like the clubhouse leader right now is Sean White. Why? Because most fans can’t fathom Jeremy Johnson taking another snap and John Franklin, III was shaky during his A-Day performance.

That’s hardly enough to make White the leader, but that’s all fans have to work with right now. As to whom the coaches believe will emerge, well that’s anyone’s guess.

If you are looking for some insight into Franklin, may I recommend the recently released Netflix documentary, Last Chance U. First off, let me say the six-part series is excellent. If you want to see what life’s like at the junior college level, this is it.

It chronicles the 2015 season of East Mississippi Community College and its quest for a third straight national title. The series spotlights several players, including Franklin, who played quarterback there last season.

There are a couple of takeaways from watching Franklin. One, he’s just a kid, something we all forget about with these players. He has flashes of maturity along with periods of acting like a knucklehead—kind of like all of us in college—the part we leave out when talking to our own children.

More than anything, Franklin shows he’s a leader and a winner when he puts his mind to it. There’s plenty of self-confidence between his ears. It can sometimes be obnoxious, but it’s also a requirement for quarterbacking in the SEC. The kid wants to win as badly as anyone.

Like many fans, the coaches worry about his throwing ability in the early episodes, but they also note there’s something special with the way he runs the football. If you think this is Nick Marshall and déjà vu all over again, then you may be right.

In the series, you see a lot of Marshall similarities in the former Florida St. quarterback. The powerhouse Mississippi program most recently produced Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly.

With camp closed, it’s a good time to check out the program. Who knows, you may be getting a glimpse of Auburn’s starting quarterback.

The post Get a Glimpse of John Franklin, III in Last Chance U appeared first on Track 'Em Tigers, Auburn's oldest and most read independent blog.



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Auburn Defense 16 For 16: Carlton Davis

We continue our breakdown of the 2016 Auburn football Tigers with a look at cornerback Carlton Davis.

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Auburn Camper Racking Up Early Offers

Devontae Dobbs talks about his visit to Auburn and recruiting as he heads into the 2016 football season.

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All SEC Top six for blue chip DE LaBryan Ray

LaBryan Ray is one of the most sought after defensive linemen in America and he named a top six Sunday, detailing each with Scout.

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Who Will be the MVP for Auburn Football in 2016?

The 2016 season for Auburn football is one that is very difficult to predict with several players at key positions being big question marks entering the year. Being optimistic, Auburn football has very talented players at those key positions, and if they play to their ability then this will be a very exciting season. We […]

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PUP, NFI, DNR, injuries: Slow starts at training camp for some state stars

Injuries, conditioning issues and mystifying absences kept some players who starred at Alabama high schools or colleges from starting training camp on time in the NFL over the past few days.

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Stultz’s Five Questions Entering Auburn’s Fall Practice

Taking a look at my five questions as Auburn enters fall practice for the 2016 football season. Get the pads out, make sure your helmet still fits, and take some Aspirin for the coming bumps and bruises because fall practice is upon us. Not going to lie: I do not feel sorry for our Tigers […]

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James Clemens star DE LaBryan Ray narrows recruitment down to top 6

The top defensive end has a top six.

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Big Week, Big Results For Auburn Football Recruiting

The final week of July proved to be enormous for Auburn as two extremely promising top 100 national recruits pledged to the Tigers football program. Tray Bishop (No. 98/247Sports) of Dawson, Ga., committed to Auburn on Monday and gives Gus Malzahn his likely quarterback for the 2017 class. Landing one of the better pure athletes […]

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Will Auburn target, 4-star LB Will Ignont carry the ball this season?

Ignont was a 1,000-yard rusher earlier in his career.

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What Is Going On With Tre Mason?

Former Auburn running back Tre Mason failed to report to the Los Angeles Rams training camp. What exactly is going on? What is going on with Tre Mason? Auburn fans are asking that right now. The former Auburn running back has not reported to the Rams training camp, and questions of why are being thrown […]

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Auburn has all major contributors back on special teams

A review of Auburn's specialists heading into fall camp.

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Devan Barrett to Auburn: Tigers Land 4-Star RB Prospect

Widely expected to become a Gator throughout his recruiting process, 4-star running back Devan Barrett stunned Florida fans on Thursday, committing instead to SEC adversary Auburn. 

In an announcement on Twitter, Barrett showed himself wearing a Tigers jersey and explained his decision:

Barrett, who is heading into his senior season at Tampa Catholic, is the 17th-ranked running back in the class of 2017, per 247Sports. He's No. 222 nationally and No. 35 in the state of Florida.

For most of his recruitment, Barrett was expected to attend Florida. At one point, 247Sports' crystal ball gave him a 100 percent chance of landing in Gainesville. South Carolina and Auburn were also among the early favorites. 

Listed at 6'1" and 190 pounds, Barrett busted out with a huge junior season. He rushed for 1,891 yards and 21 touchdowns and hauled in 15 receptions for 218 yards. Deceptive with his quick feet and upfield burst, Barrett makes most of his moves with his vision and home run skills.

"It's nothing really to it, if I see it, I'm just going to take it," Barrett said, per Anthony Brown of The Left Bench. "I don't really have power in me. With my elusiveness, speed and vision, I try to get in and out of there."

The next level will be a transition, mostly because Barrett needs to add weight. He's not going to dominate SEC play with his current body type. If Auburn is looking for him to play as a freshman, it'll probably be in a limited third-down role.

Luckily, Barrett is a bit of a late bloomer. He wasn't a full-time starter at running back until last season and may rocket up recruiting boards with a big senior season. As it stands, coach Gus Malzahn has another young talent to add to his stable and an early piece to his recruiting class in 2017.

Malzahn is the mastermind of a run-heavy, uptempo Tigers offense, which should be in good hands with improved quarterback play and a steady influx of ball-carriers like Barrett.

Read more Auburn Football news on BleacherReport.com



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M. Basketball. 'Auburn now has become a national player' - national experts impressed with Bruce Pearl's basketball program

Before coaching his first game at Auburn, Bruce Pearl made a splash on campus, taking a turn in a dunk tank for a fraternity's philanthropy.

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63 Alabama high schools, 11 state colleges have players in NFL training camps

With training camps open, almost 6 percent of the players on NFL rosters have Alabama football roots.

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Thunderstorms today!



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Tre Mason 'has made a decision not to communicate' with Rams, coach says

Los Angeles Rams coach Jeff Fisher said he has not spoken to running back Tre Mason since the end of the 2015 NFL season, despite numerous attempts to do so.

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Saturday, July 30, 2016

Brahms Putting On Recruiting Hat For Auburn

Auburn commitment Nick Brahms talks about being back on campus recruiting for the Tigers.

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Auburn Football 16 For 16: Xavier Dampeer

We continue our breakdown of the Auburn Tigers with a look at center Xavier Dampeer.

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Auburn Shouldn’t Worry About An A&M Fiasco Under Malzahn

The assistant coaches at Texas A&M have been nothing but a headache for Kevin Sumlin this offseason. Gus Malzahn doesn’t have that problem. It continually amazes me how many coaches seemingly live by the code “Do as I say, not as I do.” This proved to be the case once against at Texas A&M this […]

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Tre Mason fails to report for Los Angeles Rams' training camp

The Los Angeles Rams have placed former Auburn star Tre Mason on the reserve/did not report list.

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Can H-back Chandler Cox be the next Jay Prosch for Auburn?

Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn said at SEC Media Days that Cox reminds him of the former Auburn H-back, who is currently with the NFL's Houston Texans.

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How often will Auburn's H-backs, tight ends get the ball in 2016?

A review of Auburn's H-backs and tight ends entering fall camp

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Greg Robinson out to 'prove something' in Rams' return to Los Angeles

Auburn offensive tackle Greg Robinson was the second player picked in the 2014 NFL Draft, and he wants to play up to that billing in his third season with the Rams.

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Auburn Football: Early Preview of Ole Miss Game

We are exactly five weeks away from the start of the Auburn football season, so we will continue to do an early preview of each SEC game this season with Ole Miss. Gus Malzahn is 2-1 against Ole Miss since taking over as the head coach of Auburn football in 2013 with his first lost […]

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Partly Cloudy today!



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Auburn's NFL training camp roster: Bucs reload on Tigers

NFL training camp rosters include 41 former Auburn players.

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Friday, July 29, 2016

Stephen Davis Junior Will Start at Auburn on July 31st

Stephen Davis Jr. recently committed to Auburn. This normally wouldn’t make the news. After all, the preseason camp is just around the corner, and commitments that programs receive during this inopportune time are rarely worth talking about. However, as most college football expert picks would attest, Davis is more than just another recruit and Auburn have every reason to be excited.

Davis, who is the son of a former Auburn Star Tailback, will be part of the school’s 2016 recruiting class. Davis’ arrival at Auburn won’t merit many surprises. After all, the player was attached to Auburn for quite a long time.

It wasn’t until February of this year, National Signing Day that Davis refused to sign a National Letter of Intent. This decision came after Davis had renounced his previous intention of committing to the Auburn program.

Clearly, something has changed since then because Davis told 247Sports.com that he would be reporting to the School on the 31st of July.

Davis’ name has been synonymous with Auburn for a long time. In fact, many considered him to be a Legacy recruit, at least until he renounced his commitment, declining to honor the pledge he made to the school in 2014.

Members of the Auburn 2015 defensive staff moved to the staff of Davis’ home state school this past offseason. It was the express mission of this team to recruit Davis to Auburn.

When Davis refused to sign in February, he left a lot of people feeling confused and flabbergasted. His decision to not sign anywhere also created an air of mystery around him. Rumors started to swirl, with some experts certain that he would eventually attend Auburn while others thought that he might try his chances with a junior college with the purpose of improving his stock after two years.

Davis recently took to Twitter to address all the speculation surrounding the decisions he has made for the last year or so. He thanked God for all the blessings he had received in his life.

He was also grateful to his parents and siblings for all the support they had given him over the years, not only when he was recovering from injuries but during the periods of indecisiveness that overtook him with regards to figuring out the best direction for his life.

He spoke of all his close friends, coaches, teammates and everyone who had continued to stand by his side over the last few months. This was before he officially announced that he would be attending Auburn University, giving fans and analysts the answers they have been waiting for all year long.

Davis was the 17th best athlete in the country. He was also the Number six prospect in South Carolina for this year’s recruiting class. Auburn is always on the lookout for the services of talented players that can contribute to the future of football.

According to Auburn, more than merely molding athletes, they endeavor to create a brotherhood, a place within which their players can thrive, not only athletically and socially but academically as well.

Considering the tumultuous end of his senior season, Davis will be looking forward to the strength and support that Auburn promises.



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Auburn’s Defense Will be the Best this Season, Says Gus Malzahn

In his career, Gus Malzahn has been praised for his abilities to revamp the offenses of the teams he has coached. His offensive prowess has impressed many fans, and he believes his offensive legacy will help Auburn to strengthen their defense this fall as well. According to Malzahn, he believes Auburn will produce one of the best defenses to improve their college football odds. Technically, this would not be an uphill task for the players because the last three years have seen them work with high defensive standards.

In his tenure as the head coach of Auburn, the last three seasons have seen the Southern Conference ranking the Tigers at the bottom places when it comes to their major defensive statistical categories. The same trend also reflects their national rankings. It was his first season as Auburn coach in 2013 when Malzahn fielded his best defensive unit to win the SEC Championship Game. The Tigers went 12-2 and failed to clinch the national title with 13 seconds.

In the same season, Auburn ranked 31st nationally with 33 sacks, 13th with a conversion rate of 33% on third downs and 12th when it comes to limiting opponents to touchdowns with 50% of red-zone trip. Their defense ranked 87th with 420.7 yards per game, 63rd in rushing defense with 163 YPG, 47th in scoring defense with 24.7 YPG, and 102nd in passing defense with 257.7 YPG. Only the passing defense has seen an improvement every season, while other categories have deteriorated.

Auburn’s defense struggled last season to end up in the 80th position in rush defense and ranking 102nd with 19 sacks nationally. In terms of third downs, Auburn ranked 110th with 44.95% conversion rate nationally for opponents. Furthermore, the defense allowed over 400 YPG twice in three seasons.

Kevin Steele is Auburn’s third defensive coordinator, and Malzahn confidence points towards some few reasons. Defensively, Auburn’s defensive lineup has experienced players who played excellently in the second half of last season. Most of the players still exist in the team, which is an important aspect. According to Malzahn, he has a chance of building up the best defenses since he arrived in Auburn.

Auburn’s defensive abilities improved tremendously in the second half of last season, especially after Carl Lawson returned from a prolonged hip injury. They had the best unit in the last few games of 2015 leading to finest victories against Memphis in the Birmingham Bowl. Even the exit of Muschamp and Travaris Robinson, their former defensive backs coach to South Carolina did not affect them. When Carl Lawson played, Auburn’s defensive numbers upgraded tremendously. The strength of the Tigers defense lies with Dontavius Russel, Montravius Adams and Lawson among the six starters who seem to be at their best in many years.

Malzahn’s confidence remains intact with the signing of three new coaches: Kevin Steele (defensive coordinator) Travis Williams (linebackers coach) and Wesley McGriff (defensive backs coach). In addition to their defensive response in spring practices, Malzahn believes his team will show substantial progress this fall. The defenders have experienced significant transition because both Muschamp and Steele use similar ideas and terminology in their desired defensive patterns.

According to Malzahn, the sense of being on the same page can be felt in the defensive staff room. Currently, it remains a feeling but Malzahn instincts also remain high that Auburn’s defense will deliver the greatest performances since he arrived. He believes that the defense will stay healthy and earn it, especially with the fact that they played tremendously in the second half of last season.



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Prince Tega Wanogho Switches Positions at Auburn

Auburn Tigers football team will have a change of position this offseason for the defensive end Prince Tega Wanogho. Many football fans may have not anticipated such a move, as the redshirt freshman has decided to switch positions to offensive line. College football predictions indicate that this shift of positions will take effect after completing his spring practice and he will start focusing his energies as an offensive tackle when Auburn open camp next month in fall.

According to Gus Malzahn, the head coach of Auburn, Prince is a player that everyone eels can do better in the offensive line. He praised Prince on Monday during SEC Media Days in Hoover saying that even though he has been playing tremendously at defensive line, they feel he can make a huge impact with the proper depth by developing him at offensive tackle. Malzahn added that Price has already developed a positive attitude toward the unexpected change, and working with him to improve his prowess in the offensive line, along with coach Herb Hand.

As soon as Wanogho left Edgewood Academy last year, he signed with Auburn and spent his entire freshman year at defensive end. Surprisingly, Prince came to Auburn as a progressive prospect, and a player who was relatively green to football. He still needed ample time to develop himself well and learn the ins and outs of playing perfectly at the Southeastern Conference level, especially along the defensive line.

Prince only had one-year experience of playing football after arriving in Auburn, with all the experience gained while playing at Edgewood for his senior season. It was in 2015 when Wanogho redshirted to allow him advance his development and understanding of football. Wanogho has already added 32 pounds from the time he arrived in Auburn, increasing his weight from 282 from 250 this summer.

Even his teammates have praised him for his prowess, with Devaroe Lawrence, the senior defensive tackle saying Prince is strong as an ox and runs like a gazelle. The defensive end Carl Lawson also noted that Wanogho is a raw player because he struggled to make a mark in the defensive line rotation during spring trainings.

Since Wanogho has already made good progress in the defensive end position in Auburn, his role in the offensive end give him a perfect opportunity to show his strength, speed, and athleticism in the new position. According to Malzahn, Prince possesses a respectable attitude, making him a fast learner who is easily coachable. His coach also added that his athleticism separates him from the rest of his teammates.

At the moment, college football fans are eager to see what he has to offer at offensive tackle this season, even though he already has his duties outlined for him in his new position. As he goes into fall camp, Auburn already have their tackle well established. Robert Leff and Austin Golson are ready to start at right tackle and left tackle respectively. Tyler Car and Darius James are positioned behind them at right tackle and left tackle respectively. Malzahn admits that even though it may be a challenge in the first few games, working with Prince will bear fruit if he plays when ready.



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Cam Newton 'couldn't wait' for Carolina Panthers to start training camp

At quarterback Cam Newton's first press conference of the Carolina Panthers' training camp on Friday, his hat and the blond hair in his goatee had the potential to divert the attention from what he had to say.

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Court rejects appeal in fatal shooting of 2 former Auburn football players

The judges on Friday declined to rehear the case of Desmonte Leonard. The same court upheld his murder conviction and life sentence earlier this month.

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John Franklin Featured in Netflix’s ‘Last Chance U’

John Franklin III has been on Auburn’s campus for many, many months now, and will be squarely in the middle of quaterback battle when Auburn’s 2016 Fall practice starts next week.

This time last year, he was in another quarterback battle at East Mississippi Community College, and a film crew was there to record it. Netflix’s ‘Last Chance U‘ follows JF3 and a few other athletes that started at a big school, transferred to EMCC, and tried their best to get out.

The 6-episode docu-series has been released today, and you can watch the preview below. I’ve watched a few episodes and it’s definitely heavy on John Franklin III and it’s definitely heavy on the language. Think MTV’s Two-A-Days without the beeps and with college athletes.



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Jamel Dean Listed as Breakout Candidate for 2016

In a recent article from Bleacher Report, Auburn defensive back Jamel Dean was listed as a potential player to have a breakout season in 2016. Jamel Dean was listed as a 4-star cornerback out of high school before committing to play with the Ohio State Buckeyes. However, after re-injuring the meniscus in his knee during […]

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Auburn Defense 16 For 16: Montravius Adams

We continue our breakdown of the Auburn Tigers with a look at defensive tackle Montravius Adams.

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Caldwell's Friday Auburn Mailbag

Talking all things Auburn in the latest edition of the Mailbag.

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Big 2018 RB One To Watch

Big and athletic, Mountain Brook standout Harold Joiner talks about camps at Auburn and Alabama with video included.

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Commitment Analysis: Devan Barrett

We take a look at what Auburn is getting in talented four-star Devan Barrett with a breakdown from Scout's Corey Bender.

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Thursday Auburn Tiger Tidbits

Talking Auburn football recruiting, football, baseball and baseball in this edition of Tiger Tidbits.

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Auburn Offense 16 For 16: Jovon Robinson

We continue out breakdown of the Auburn Tigers with a look at running back Jovon Robinson.

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No Looking Back for Auburn Commitment

A class of 2017 football prospect explains why he feels good about his decision to play for the Auburn Tigers.

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Junior LB Developing Relationship With Auburn

Class of 2018 football prospect Matthew Flint camped at Auburn, which has offered him a scholarship.

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Florida's Top-Ranked Athlete Is Auburn-Bound

Florida's top-ranked athlete on Scout and 2017 Tampa (Fla.) Catholic star, Devan Barrett, has seen enough and verbally commmitted to Gus Malzahn and the Auburn Tigers.

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Auburn opponent early scouting report: Georgia

An early look at this year's meeting of the Deep South's Oldest Rivalry

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Which Underclassmen Will Have An Impact On Auburn’s Defense in 2016

The other day, we discussed the underclassmen who could play a big role in Auburn’s 2016 offense. Today, let’s talk about the defense.

The defense is going to be a bit different. We know there will be a few big contributors. One, Carlton Davis, is obvious. There’s a lot more upperclassmen depth on the defensive side of the ball, though, so while I expect some of the younger guys to make an impact, it might not be quite as large.

Defensive Back

Carlton Davis is locked in as a starter, so we know he’ll have a huge part in Auburn’s 2016 defense. Aside from him, I’d bet Jamel Dean plays a big role, as well. The rest of the starters and major contributors will likely be juniors and seniors, though. There’s always the chance for someone with speed like Javaris Davis to earn a role, too, but I still see most of the work being done by the older guys with the exception of Davis and Dean.

Defensive Line

There are three seniors and three juniors on the defensive line. Everyone else are underclassmen. This is a spot where the younger guys can and will see a lot of playing time. We know Auburn likes to rotate the defensive line, and in order to do that, the young guys have got to play.

Dontavius Russell was a starter last year as a redshirt freshmen. I expect him to see a lot of time with Adams, Swain, and Devaroe Lawrence in the interior. Antwuan Jackson JR will make an argument for early playing time, and we’ve yet to see what incoming 5* Derrick Brown may do. The interior is filled with depth, but there’s a lot of talent that the Tigers can rotate to keep fresh legs.

Byron Cowart will hopefully reach his potential and maybe snag a starting end job. He’s going to have to beat out early enrollee Marlon Davidson, though. Davidson had an extremely impressive sprng. Whichever earns the primary role, there will be an underclassmen starting on the end opposite Carl Lawson.

Linebacker

We know T.J. Neal and Tre Williams will start at linebacker. If the Tigers stick to a more Nickel look than 4-3, there won’t be as much chance for the new guys to play. I do expect to see Jeff Holland, Darrell Williams, and Deshaun Davis on the field a good bit, though. They are all sophoores. Redshirt freshman Richard McBryde is someone to watch, too.

This is the one position where I just don’t know how much time the younger guys will get. That is mostly due to not knowing how often the Tigers will play 2 or 3 linebackers. Then there’s the face Holland could play the Buck behind Lawson more than a linebacker role.

Overall

The defense is definitely not as young as the offense. However, there’s a lot of talent among the younger players that it’s going to be hard to keep them off the field. I don’t see the underclassmen - other than the starters - having as much of an impact on defense just because of the rotations. Auburn will want to keep the same personnel on the field on offense, but not so much for the defense.



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Auburn Football Adds to Group of Young Running Backs with Barrett

What a huge week it has been for Auburn football recruiting as they picked up two huge commitments from 4-star players with running back Devan Barrett being the latest on Thursday night. Barrett was Auburn’s best chance at picking up a high level running back in the 2017 class, and they were able to grab […]

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Link sAUsage: 29 July 2016

News and notes from the Auburn corners of the Internet

SOFTBALL

What a run Kasey Cooper has had over the last few months. College World Series Finals, numerous highlights on  national TV, winning the Elite90 fan vote award, a finalist for the Softball Player of the Year, and now a gold medal winner with USA Softball at the World Championships.

FOOTBALL

We have the ability to do things that the beat writers can't... like write things that are off the wall, often make no sense, and are just all around goofy fun. So, I highly recommend you check out WarRoom Eagle's "Three Bone Chilling Questions for Auburn Football Before Fall Camp" if you haven't already.

The 2017 recruiting class is coming together nicely as Auburn picked up a commitment from 4* RB Devan Barrett, yesterday. Watch his highlight films. He's the type of back you dream of. No wasted movements, just let the hole develop and then use your speed to burst through it.

It's a bit ahead, but the 2018 ESPN rankings are out and Auburn QB commit Joey Gatewood is the 12th ranked player in the nation and #1 Dual-threat QB. Gatewood has been a strong recruiter for Auburn, too. It was reported by 247Sports that he even reached out to Devan Barrett after his commitment, yesterday.

Braden Smith is rated the SEC's most efficient pass blocking guard according to ProFootballFocus. Smith will be entering his junior, and surely final, season on the Plains this year hoping to dominate his way to a 1st round NFL draft choice.

Will a deeper defensive line improve for Auburn following 2015? Probably. It better, anyway. There is so much talent and depth at that position that it's hard to see the Tigers' DL not being the best we've seen in years.

More early opponent scouting! Now it's Vanderbilt, who will have a tough defense. Vandy made some strides last season under Derek Mason on the defensive side of the ball. If they'd had an offense, they might have been pretty good.

So after saying over and over that there's no way the College Football Playoff would move away from its planned New Year's Eve schedules... it is moving away from the New Year's Eve schedules. That will start in 2018. The only other CFB Playoff games to be played on NYE in the future are when that is the Friday federal holiday.



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Will deeper Auburn defensive line improve following poor 2015?

A review of Auburn's defensive line entering fall camp.

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14 players who are competing for starting spots in NFL training camps

For some NFL players, training camp is a tune-up for the regular season. For others, it's a fight to earn a spot on the final 53-player roster. In between are the players battling to earn the starting positions that are up for grabs.

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Friday Ramblings From The Plains – (Kevin Greene edition)

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Despite not playing collegiately till his junior year, Kevin Greene is one of Auburn football’s most famous sons. He’s definitely Auburn’s most famous walk-on. Playing linebacker in just eight games as a senior, he led the SEC in sacks in 1984 and won Auburn’s Zeke Smith Award as the team’s best defensive player.

With just two thirds of a season under his belt, he was drafted 5th round in the 1985 NFL Draft by Los Angeles Rams. Greene felt confident he would make the team during training camp because of the way he was trained at Auburn. “It was a blessing to play under Pat Dye and his staff,” said Greene. “What we went through down on the Plains in the early 80s literally lasted me a lifetime in the NFL.”

He went onto a 15 year career with the Rams, Steelers, Panthers, and 49’ers finishing his career leading all linebackers with 160 sacks and playing in five Pro Bowls. Now after being a five time Hall of Fame finalist, Greene will be the second Auburn player to ever be inducted into the NFL Hall. He will be joining former center Frank “Gunner” Gatsi in the NFL’s exclusive club.

Greene said, “To think that I’m one of the few that have received this honor is just humbling. It’s humbling … (and) All because of what I went through down at Auburn.”

The NFL Network will televise The Gold Jacket Dinner on Thursday, Aug. 4 and  ESPN and the NFL Network will broadcast the NFL Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony on Saturday at 7 p.m. EDT.

Auburn may have a future hall of famer on campus this year. According to analytics company ProFootballFocus (PFF), Braden Smith was the best offensive guard in the SEC last season. PFF rated the senior as the most efficient pass blocker in the nation’s toughest conference.

Gus Malzah echoed their confidence in Braden. “He’s one of the better overall offensive lineman in our league,” said Gus. “He’s a good pass protector, a good run blocker and he’s got experience. Very athletic, he’s very strong and competitive and smart. He’s got everything you want.”

Because of Smith and left guard Alex Kozan, PFF also ranks Auburn’s offensive line at No. 8 nationally.

Speaking of rankings, Auburn’s 2017 recruiting class has been on an increasingly upward spiral. In the spring, the Tiger class was rated 45th but with Thursday’s commitment of Devan Barrett, the top athlete in Florida (Tampa Catholic), the Tigers have moved up to 12th.

The four star athlete is the third running back to commit to the Tigers; choosing Auburn over Florida, Florida State, Tennessee and Notre Dame.

Basketball coach Bruce Pearl thinks this may be the year he takes the Tigers to the post season. “I thought last year we had a chance to get to the middle of the league and be more competitive (but). I think this year we can take another step and be a postseason team,” Pearl said. “In my third season at Auburn, I believe we should get to the NCAA Tournament and advance.”

Finally Football college football teams will have fewer days of live-contact practices this fall after a recommendation by the Division I Football Oversight Committee. Teams are currently allowed two contact practices per week but will see that number reduced to once per week.

When I first heard of the new rule, I thought, “Here we go again. The NCAA is passing more rules just to be passing rules.” However, the committee said their intent is to improve player safety by reducing the incidence of concussions – and that’s a good thing.

Until next time …

The post Friday Ramblings From The Plains – (Kevin Greene edition) appeared first on Track 'Em Tigers, Auburn's oldest and most read independent blog.



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Thunderstorms today!



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Auburn lands all-around running back in Tampa standout Devan Barrett

Commitment analysis for RB Devan Barrett to Auburn

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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Tre Mason's status for Los Angeles Rams' training camp 'to be determined'

No date was set on Thursday for Los Angeles Rams running back Tre Mason's trial on the charges stemming from a traffic stop and his subsequent arrest in March. He's supposed to report to training camp on Friday.

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Softball. 'Something I'll never forget' - Auburn's Kasey Cooper wins gold with USA Softball at World Championship

Auburn's Kasey Cooper is heavily invested in the result of an upcoming election that could largely determine the course of her next four years.

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Devan Barrett to Auburn: Tigers Land 4-Star RB Prospect

Widely expected to become a Gator throughout his recruiting process, 4-star running back Devan Barrett stunned Florida fans on Thursday, committing instead to SEC adversary Auburn. 

In an announcement on Twitter, Barrett showed himself wearing a Tigers jersey and explained his decision:

Barrett, who is heading into his senior season at Tampa Catholic, is the 17th-ranked running back in the class of 2017, per 247Sports. He's No. 222 nationally and No. 35 in the state of Florida.

For most of his recruitment, Barrett was expected to attend Florida. At one point, 247Sports' crystal ball gave him a 100 percent chance of landing in Gainesville. South Carolina and Auburn were also among the early favorites. 

Listed at 6'1" and 190 pounds, Barrett busted out with a huge junior season. He rushed for 1,891 yards and 21 touchdowns and hauled in 15 receptions for 218 yards. Deceptive with his quick feet and upfield burst, Barrett makes most of his moves with his vision and home run skills.

"It's nothing really to it, if I see it, I'm just going to take it," Barrett said, per Anthony Brown of The Left Bench. "I don't really have power in me. With my elusiveness, speed and vision, I try to get in and out of there."

The next level will be a transition, mostly because Barrett needs to add weight. He's not going to dominate SEC play with his current body type. If Auburn is looking for him to play as a freshman, it'll probably be in a limited third-down role.

Luckily, Barrett is a bit of a late bloomer. He wasn't a full-time starter at running back until last season and may rocket up recruiting boards with a big senior season. As it stands, coach Gus Malzahn has another young talent to add to his stable and an early piece to his recruiting class in 2017.

Malzahn is the mastermind of a run-heavy, uptempo Tigers offense, which should be in good hands with improved quarterback play and a steady influx of ball-carriers like Barrett.

Read more Auburn Football news on BleacherReport.com



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College Football Countdown: 5 Burning Questions For Fall Practice

In one week Auburn football will begin fall practice on August 4, and just five weeks from now college football season will begin on Thursday, September 1, with Auburn hosting Clemson just two days after that on Saturday, September 3 at 8 p.m. CT. Cal and Hawaii actually kick the season off a week earlier […]

College Football Countdown: 5 Burning Questions For Fall Practice - Fly War Eagle - Fly War Eagle - An Auburn Tigers Fan Site - News, Blogs, Opinion and more.



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Auburn Basketball Schedule Shows Direction of Program

As Bruce Pearl tries to change the narrative for Auburn basketball going forward, he has scheduled a lot of primetime, marque games for the Tigers this upcoming basketball season. Last season in out-of-conference games Auburn basketball took on UAB, Colorado, Middle Tennessee State, Xavier, New Mexico and Harvard. All very good teams that gave Auburn […]

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2017 Four Star Running Back Devan Barrett Commits to Auburn Football

The Tigers added another offensive weapon to the 2017 recruiting class.

Auburn’s football recruiting has been on a bit of a roll, lately. The Tigers have gotten a number of commitments and rocketed up the boards of the 247Sports composite from just barely in the Top 50 to pushing the edge of the Top 10 over the last 2-3 months.

This evening, it got a bit better. 4* Running Back Devan Barrett (6’1, 190 lbs) from Tampa Catholic High School in Tampa, FL announced he is committing to the Auburn Tigers. Barrett has been high on the Tigers for quite some time. He’s visited quite a bit this year. Auburn’s biggest competitors for him were Florida, North Carolina, and Tennessee.

His recruiting profile is quite interesting, to say the least. According to the 247Sports Composite, he’s the 18th ranked running back in the nation. He’s ranked 13th and a 4* by Scout, 5th and a 4* by Rivals, 24th and a 4* by ESPN, but 48th and a 3* by 247Sports. It will be interesting to see how his rankings adjust during his senior season.

HIGHLIGHTS

I like him. A lot. You know what I like most? No unnecessary movements. If there was one thing that worried me about Roc Thomas in all of his highlights it was the jump cuts and spins. Trovon Reed was the same way. Barrett sees a hole, he runs for the hole. He doesn’t try to make anything look flashy, he just threads through what is there and uses his speed to get into open field. In the SEC, anything that slows you down will allow a defender to close. Barrett just keeps focused on the end zone and runs for it.

THE CLASS

Auburn only jumps up one spot with Barrett’s commitment, but that’s not surprising now that we’re approaching the top of the rankings. The Tigers are now 12th in the nation and 6th in the SEC. That’s still one of the highest rankings for a team with only 13 commitments. Two of those commitments are a 2* long snapper and a 2* place kicker. This is a very good class, right now.

There are now three players committed who could fall into the category of "running back." That’s definitely a position of need, so that’s good. The Tigers’ offensive needs are being filled with a 4* QB/ATH, #1 JUCO RB, 4* RB, and a 4* ATH. They still need a few more linemen, a tight end, and a WR or two for the offense to be complete.



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Auburn picks up commitment from 4-star running back Devan Barrett

Barrett chose Auburn over Florida, Tennessee, Notre Dame and North Carolina.

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Auburn Thoughts, Takes, And Tangents – July 28

July is ending and August is about to begin. Here are some Auburn thoughts, take, and tangents heading into the month. Woah! Monday is the beginning of August. Who say that coming (besides the people who came up with the calendar)? This summer has flown by, full of sunburnt legs and near accidents on jet […]

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Auburn's Braden Smith rated SEC's most efficient pass blocking guard

Football analytics company ProFootballFocus ranked Auburn right guard Braden Smith as the most efficient pass blocking guard in the SEC last season.

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New Year's Eve 1, CFB Playoff 0 but don't celebrate just yet

Because the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl still own New Year's Day, there will be years when the national title game will be played 16 days after the semifinals.

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Will Ignont talks Auburn recruitment, Alabama decommitment

The four-star linebacker has narrowed his list of choices to four.

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Kevin Greene: Walk-On at Auburn to NFL Hall of Fame

Technically, you could have called Kevin Greene an NFL Hall of Famer as early as February 6, when he was officially elected part of the 2016 class . . . but that wasn’t truly the case. After all, it’s the enshrinement — not the announcement — that is the moment a player becomes immortalized in the annals of […]

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Three Bone-Chilling Questions For Auburn Football Before Fall Camp

While the lame-stream media is busy asking the “burning” questions, College and Mag is digging for answers to the more obscure questions facing Auburn football.

What if Robenson Therezie tackled Chris Davis?

Every time I watch the Kick Six, somewhere between the slight grin before the snap and the ear-to-ear smile as Davis is smothered in the end zone, a twinge of terror grasps my soul. But I don’t know whether to blame Therezie or Slender Man, who was visiting Jordan-Hare Stadium at the time.

Would Alabama have won the game in overtime? Many I talk to don’t think so under normal circumstances, but tackling your own teammate 10 yards from immortality might have been too much to overcome. An Auburn loss there would mean Alabama presently holds a five-game winning streak over the Tigers. They also would have undoubtedly defeated Jameis Winston and been deemed the best team ever. Again. Ugh.

How many people in the stands of Jordan-Hare Stadium will be playing Pokemon Go?

When Clint Richardson and I had our Q&A, I was asking about catching Pokemon on Auburn’s campus. But it’s the summer. There aren’t even a lot of students on campus. Now think about what Auburn’s like when there are tons of people outside the stadium before a game. Or worse, 87,000 people crammed into the stadium.

Bodda Getta Bodda Getta Bodda Getta Bah;

Rah Rah Rah, Sis Boom Bah;

Weagle, weagle, War Damn Eagle

Kick 'em in the Hey, it’s a Vapereon!

And then this happens.

How will you react when you see that? When you see the Auburn Family acting like that? I won’t be able to look.

If Auburn’s good when we think they’re bad and bad when we think they’re good, are they still good if we think they’re good only because we really think they’re bad?

The ol’ reverse jinx, if you will. No wait, it’s a normal jinx. I think. Anyway, have you considered what damage the recent trend of positivity could do to this team?

Auburn’s guards are two of the top three in the SEC and a big advantage in week 1. This defense could the best Malzahn’s ever had. The Tigers have a ton of really, really talented receivers coming in. Sean White didn’t look bad when healthy. You don’t bring in a JUCO QB for him not to play. Herb Hand will help turn things around.

We’re doomed.



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Auburn opponent early scouting report: Vanderbilt

An early look at Auburn's game with Vanderbilt

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Will Auburn offer sway Blount quarterback Kadarius Toney from Florida?

Blount dual-threat quarterback Kadarius Toney, who committed to Florida in May, received an in-state offer from Auburn on Thursday

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College Football Playoff semifinals moving off New Year's Eve most years beginning in 2018

Ratings fell 23 percent from 2015 to 2016

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A Battle Between the Hedges. (Previewing Georgia.)

Georgia Chubb

Will Nick Chubb return to dominance?
(Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports)

     War Eagle, everybody! It’s time now for another Auburn football preview! On November 12th, Auburn will visit Athens, Georgia, for the annual tilt with the Bulldogs, in the oldest football rivalry in the South. Sanford Stadium is a place where the Tigers haven’t won since a 4th quarter Brandon Cox-led comeback in 2005. That day, Auburn took down the eventual SEC champion Bulldogs, 31-30. Auburn has won only 2 of the last 10 games with Georgia.

     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 the Arkansas game at Jordan Hare Stadium, then the Tigers travel to Ole Miss. The Tigers then host Vanderbilt, before traveling to Georgia. The Bulldogs open in Atlanta, with the North Carolina Tarheels. A home breather against Nichols follows, then Georgia travels to Missouri and Ole Miss. Georgia enters October hosting Tennessee, then travels to South Carolina. Georgia hosts Vanderbilt for Homecoming, has an off week after, then heads to Jacksonville for their annual grudge match with Florida. A road trip to Kentucky is next, then the Bulldogs host Auburn.

     At the end of last season, Georgia fired long-time head coach Mark Richt, and hired Kirby Smart to take over the program. As this is Smart’s first stint as an SEC head coach, there will be a lot of unknowns regarding Georgia strategy. Smart has begun with a bang, calling upon the support of the Bulldog nation. He was rewarded with the largest spring game crowd in SEC history, estimated at 93,000.

     On the offensive side of the ball, Smart tapped veteran coach Jim Chaney as his offensive coordinator. Chaney has had several stops previously in the SEC, and he’s produced capable offenses consistently. In particular, I’d expect to see a much more precise and dangerous Bulldog passing attack this season, despite youth in the receiving corps. The real question mark at this point is the Georgia running attack. Star runner Nick Chubb was still greatly slowed in spring ball by a knee injury from the previous season. His able replacement, Sony Michel broke his arm this month and is in a cast. Add in an ongoing quarterback race, and it’s mostly guesswork on what we may see on that side of the ball for the Bulldogs this fall.

     Defensively, I think we will see a very similar style as the past couple of seasons. Both head coach Kirby Smart and defensive coordinator Mel Tucker are veterans in the 3-4 defense, and if the Georgia spring game is any indication, their defense will be very strong against the run. However, this will be a pretty young defense in the front 7. A quick glance at the stat page shows that Georgia loses their top 4 tacklers to graduation this year.

     With both kicker Marshall Morgan and punter Collin Barber leaving, and a whole new coaching staff in place, it’s difficult to predict what we may see from the Georgia special teams units. Last year’s return specialists do return, and they were explosive at times last season.

Unit matchups, after the jump!

Auburn defensive line vs. Georgia 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. Georgia will go with sophomore Kendall Baker at left tackle, and senior Greg Pyke on the right side. Guards will be juniors Isaiah Wynn and Dyshon Simms. Senior Brandon Kublanow holds down the center spot. Georgia will be solid, if not spectacular up front. Advantage: Auburn.

Auburn linebackers vs. Georgia 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. With both Nick Chubb and Sony Michel still nursing injuries in July, it’s a real question going into the fall. However, the Bulldogs aren’t bereft of talent if the top two runners can’t play. There’s senior Brendan Douglas, although he had a broken wrist during spring drills. The rest of UGA’s runners have no significant playing time to date. Advantage: Even.

Auburn corners vs. Georgia 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. Georgia loses explosive deep threat Malcomb Mitchell. Top returnees at the receiver position are sophomore Terry Godwin (35 catches) and junior Isaiah McKenzie (10 catches). Advantage: Auburn.

Auburn safeties vs. Georgia 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. Junior tight end Jeb Blazevich showed good hands last season, and senior Reggie Davis should do pretty well coming off the bench as a third receiver. Watching Jim Chaney offenses in the past, I’d look to see the running backs more involved in the passing game, as well. The Georgia quarterback race is still wide open. Georgia alternated between senior Greyson Lambert and junior Brice Ramsey. Neither guy was spectacular, but I felt like they both did a good job of avoiding turnovers. Those two guys are being pushed by true freshman early enrollee Jason Eason. Eason was certainly the star of the spring game with 244 passing yards, but he was working against backups on defense. Advantage: Auburn.

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. Georgia plans to start freshman Marshall Long as the punter this season. For what it’s worth with a new staff in this season, Georgia gave up 8.4 yards per return last year. Isaiah McKenzie averaged 12.8 yards per punt return, with a pair of touchdowns. Advantage: Auburn.

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. Georgia will go with redshirt freshman Rodrigo Blankenship as the kickoff man this year. Georgia coverage gave up 21.2 yards per return, identical to Auburn’s average. Georgia’s return team averaged only 18.1 yards per return, with Reggie Davis leading the way with 17 returns for a 23.2 yard average. 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. Georgia counters with redshirt freshman Rodrigo Blankenship, who has not recorded a college stat, yet. Advantage: Auburn.

Auburn offensive line vs. Georgia 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. At nose tackle, Georgia will go with sophomore Trenton Thompson. Ends will be sophomores Michael Barnett and Jonathan Ledbetter. Only Thompson has extensive playing time to date. This is a young, and somewhat undersized line at the end positions. It’s worth noting that coach Smart made it a point after the spring game to encourage this line to get bigger and stronger. Advantage: Auburn.

Auburn backs vs. Georgia 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. Georgia will line up junior Reggie Carter and sophomore Natrez Patrick inside, and juniors Davin Bellamy and Lorenzo Carter outside. Collectively, these 4 guys have exactly 6 games started between them. Advantage: Auburn.

Auburn receivers vs. Georgia 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. While Georgia is young in the front seven, junior corners Malkom Parrish and Aaron Davis have been in the wars. Both have the speed to stay with any receiver. I did note that former UGA coach Jim Donnan admonished this group for not playing the ball in the air in the past. Advantage: Georgia.

Auburn secondary receivers and quarterback vs. Georgia 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. Georgia is again veteran at safety, starting senior Quincy Mauger and junior Dominic Sanders. Sanders had 6 interceptions and 6 more balls batted down last season, which is impressive for a free safety. Advantage: Georgia.

     I believe that this game will be won or lost depending upon whether Auburn can run on this bunch or not. I’m not confident at all, if Auburn has to live by attacking a veteran Georgia secondary. The Tigers need to control this game up front on both sides of the ball. I expect Georgia to have a very capable offense, particularly if they are healthy at running back by November.

    I expect that new coach Kirby Smart will have some transition issues this fall. His offense will likely be pretty good, but he has an awfully young defense returning up front. I think Georgia will be able to hang in against some of the shaky SEC East offenses, but they might be outmanned at times against some of the bigger SEC teams.

Prediction: Auburn returns to tradition and manhandles the Bulldogs in Athens. Tigers win, 34-13.

The post A Battle Between the Hedges. (Previewing Georgia.) appeared first on Track 'Em Tigers, Auburn's oldest and most read independent blog.



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Season at Auburn prepares Blake Countess for NFL

Blake Countess played safety and cornerback at Auburn in the 2015 season, and he's done the same thing since joining the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2016 NFL Draft.

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AL.com All-Access: Decision day for 4-star Alabama, Auburn recruiting targets

Alabama and Auburn could land four-star commitments today.

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Wednesday Football & Softball Tiger Tidbits

Wednesday's edition of Tiger Tidbits features football news, football recruiting news, an update on Auburn softball and Auburn's connections to the Olympic Games in Brazil.

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Auburn Defense 16 For 16: Devaroe Lawrence

We continue our breakdown of the Auburn Tigers with a look at defensive tackle Devaroe Lawrence.

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ITAT Radio: Offensive Breakdown

An in-depth look at Auburn's offense heading into the 2016 season. Also hear from Stephen Davis Jr. and Tray Bishop on this week's show.

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Yeast Has Rising Interest In Auburn, SEC West

Talented Russ Yeast talks about his trip to check out SEC West schools Auburn, Alabama and Ole Miss.

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StatTiger Column: Importance of First Downs

Stuart Carter writes about the importance of first downs in college football and explains why in his StatTiger column.

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Link sAUsage: 28 July 2016

News and notes from the Auburn corners of the Internet

BASKETBALL

Not really Auburn-specific, but the disease of some SEC basketball officiating will now spread into other conferences, as a consortium for officiating has been formed between the SEC, AAC, and ASUN.

FOOTBALL

Auburn's offense is very young in 2016. I really didn't realize just how young it is until I decided to take a look at the underclassmen who could have an impact on the offense. Aside from the offensive line, every other position could end up dominated by underclassmen.

There are seniors out there looking to make a difference in their final year, of course. One of those is Marcus Davis, who is hoping to have a final season similar to Quan Bray and Ricardo Louis. I'd say he should aim more for Quan Bray as a model, though.

One position group that's not young and which should be the anchor of the offense is the offensive line. There's a lot of experience and talent in that group.

It's Ole Miss' turn on the AL.com "early scouting report," as they take an early look at this year's opponents.

Want a full prediction of Auburn's schedule? Pete Fiutak, who once wrote some scathing things about Gene Chizik and Auburn during the Cam saga, predicted the Tigers' entire schedule for Campus Insiders. He predicts a .500 season. I don't think many of those games are going to go the way he thinks. He may end up right on the schedule, but I don't see the LSU game (at home, where even in 2012's horror we almost pulled off the win) and Georgia games going the way he thinks. Nor do I think the MSU game will, either.

Meanwhile, SECcountry ranks all of Auburn opponents on the "tough enough" scale. See which ones they think are the easiest and which the hardest. I'm pretty sure almost anyone could do the top and bottom of this list with the middle 3-4 being a toss-up.

SEC coaches aren't sold on satellite camps. We know Auburn's Gus Malzahn isn't, since he only sent coaches to a few of them and he attended none of them himself.

A former Tiger will finally be inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame next week as Kevin Greene, a former walk-on, will be enshrined in Canton.

Want to vomit? Then check out these "concept helmet designs" put together by AL.com. They're bad. All of them. One or two of them might have been neat in a better photoshop, but these are all just bad.



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Karlos Dansby has high hopes for 13th NFL season

Former Woodlawn High and Auburn standout Karlos Dansby is scheduled to report to training camp for his 13th NFL season on Thursday, but it will be his first campaign with the Cincinnati Bengals.

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Auburn's offensive line should be position of strength

A review of Auburn's offensive line heading into fall camp.

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Mostly Sunny today!



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Tray Bishop to Auburn: Tigers Land 4-Star Athlete Prospect

Tray Bishop is the proverbial jack-of-all-trades, and he'll be taking his diverse skill set to Auburn after committing to the Tigers on Monday, per Chad Simmons of Scout. 

"My final decision was made last week, and it came down to the relationship with the coaches and the atmosphere at Auburn," Bishop said to Simmons. "The offense they run made it easier for me to make my decision because it is similar to ours."

According to 247Sports' composite rankings, Bishop is the No. 3 athlete and the No. 148 player overall in the 2017 recruiting class. He's also the 18th-best player in Georgia.

The scholarship offers have been pouring in for Bishop, with seven SEC schools and a variety of other major programs taking the step, per 247Sports. Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn attempted to go the extra mile, both figuratively and literally, driving Bishop around in his BMW, per Wesley Sinor of AL.com:

Bishop may be listed as an athlete, but he might already have a position in mind for when he eventually heads to Auburn.

"Right now, how they're talking, it's [to play] the quarterback position," he said of the Tigers coaching staff in February, per Drew Champlin of AL.com. "Most schools have offered me as an athlete, but with Auburn, I can see myself playing quarterback at their school for the simple fact that the offense they run is similar to the offense we run."

Not only has Malzahn showed an affinity for mobile quarterbacks, but he has also used them to great success at the school. He was Auburn's offensive coordinator when the team won the national championship with Cam Newton in the 2010 season, and he helped get the Tigers to a national title game with Nick Marshall at quarterback in the 2013 season.

While watching highlights of Bishop, one could easily see him moving seamlessly into the Auburn offense:

At most schools, Bishop probably wouldn't work as a quarterback. Malzahn did a great job of masking Marshall's failings as a passer, and he could easily do the same for Bishop. Accuracy will obviously be a key factor in his potential success, but Marshall was a 60.2 percent passer in his two years with the Tigers.

Positioning Bishop at quarterback in the depth chart would also make sense since Sean White is heading into his sophomore season. White was the No. 8 pro-style quarterback in the 2014 recruiting class, per 247Sports' composite rankings. He also threw for 1,167 yards, one touchdown and four interceptions as a freshman.

By the time White is preparing to leave Auburn, Bishop will have had time to work on some of his issues as a passer and ideally improved to an extent he can help the Tigers.

Having White will also be a nice luxury in that the staff will have time to determine whether Bishop's future lies at quarterback. Considering his combination of speed and athleticism, he could easily transition to wide receiver or a role in the secondary.

As long as Auburn can settle on one position for Bishop relatively early, thus ensuring he gets the coaching specialization he needs as soon as possible, he should become an impact player for the Tigers in a few years.

Read more Auburn Football news on BleacherReport.com



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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Concept helmet designs for Auburn

Find out what else is possible for the Auburn Tiger brand.

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W. Golf. Clanton, Sanz competing at Women's British Open

Former Auburn women’s golfers Cydney Clanton and Marta Sanz have qualified for this week’s Ricoh Women’s British Open, which runs Thursday through Sunday at Woburn Golf Club in England.

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Swimming & Diving. 'Best place in the world for a camp' - Australian Olympic team training in Auburn

Anyone who has ever ventured on a long road trip knows it’s a good idea to break up the journey.

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3-star linebacker De'Andre Wilder names Auburn as 1 of his co-leaders following weekend visit

De'Andre Wilder is the No. 26 outside linebacker according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.

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5-star safety JaCoby Stevens sets decision date with Alabama, Auburn as finalists

Another five-star prospect is on the verge of committing and he has Alabama and Auburn in his top four.

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Australian Swim Team Media Manager Hypes Auburn on Australian Radio

The 2016 Summer Olympic Games are fast approaching, and as you know, will take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. As part of their trip from the land down under to South America, the Australian swim team decided to take a pit stop in Auburn, Alabama to get in a few laps. It might have something to do with the fact that Auburn swimming coach, Brett Hawke, is a former Australian Olympic Swimmer.

The swim team is only going to be in town for a day or so, but that’s just enough time to make a good impression. Earlier today, Ian Hanson, Australia’s swim team media manager was listening to Laurel, Gary, and Mark on 4KQ out of Brisbane, and just had to call in while listening to all the classic hits, and tell them just how awesome Auburn is. He even threw in a plug for Acre, the swanky restaurant downtown. Have a listen.

Props to @DanTheMediaMan for the heads up.



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Can Marcus Davis do what Ricardo Louis, Quan Bray did as seniors at Auburn?

Marcus Davis hopes his senior season is like those Ricardo Louis and Quan Bray had the past two seasons at Auburn.

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Which Underclassmen Will Make An Impact On Offense For Auburn in 2016?

We're a week away from Fall Camp beginning, so let's take a look at what the starting lineup will probably look like when September rolls around.

A week from today, Auburn Football will hit the practice fields for the first time of the 2016 season. The early enrollees from Spring will be joined by their fellow incoming Freshmen, the redshirt freshmen, and sophomores who've been around the block a bit, all with the hopes of making an immediate impact.

So, because it's still the offseason and speculation like this is going to be what sustains us through September 3rd, I decided to take a look at just who among the underclassmen may be in a good position to make an impact during the 2016 football season.

Offensive Line:

If there's one thing building this roster spreadsheet showed me, it's just how thin out experienced depth on the offensive line is. There are a few seniors, four juniors, one sophomore, and then a ton of freshmen and redshirt freshmen. The fact Auburn only signed two offensive linemen in the 2016 recruiting cycle (one of which won't be available due to cancer) didn't do much to assuage the fears of Tiger fans.

There is one thing to take solace in, though. The 2015 class was filled with offensive linemen. Many of them were early enrollees, too, so they already have two springs and a full season behind them. If all goes well, then many of these will get experience in garbage time of a few games to set themselves up when Auburn has to replace virtually the entire offensive line for 2017.

Of the players on the roster, I would probably say Kaleb Kim (Center) and Mike Horton (OG) are the most likely to get any real experience this season during actual game time if needed. Horton, who redshirted last season, was listed on the 2-deep at the Guard spot for pretty much the whole year. Auburn went through three centers (one was lost before he even had a chance to play there) last season. Hopefully, that type of thing doesn't come up this year, but I would like to see Kim get some experience.

Tight End:

The Tigers are thin at tight end. Very thin. Jalen Harris played in limited action last year. Chris Laye is gone, so that leaves Harris and incoming freshman Landon Rice as the primary players at that spot.

So, how much do I think the underclassmen will play? A lot. Because they're all we have. Rice is the prototypical big-body blocking/receiving TE that Auburn has loved to use under Gus Malzahn. At 6'5, 253 lbs, his size will make him perfect for those pump fake routes to the corner of the end zone that C.J. Uzomah was so great at. Harris is only an inch smaller and is a few pounds heavier than Rice and has a year's worth of experience behind him.

We better hope the underclassmen TEs have a big impact.

Fullback:

This is a lot like TE. The only fullbacks we have on the roster are underclassmen, so the Tigers are going to have to rely heavily on them. Chandler Cox and Kamryn Pettway saw extensive time last season for the same reason. With a year under their belts, hopefully, their play will be even better.

Of course, that's if one or both of them don't spend a lot of time at another position...

Running Back:

During A-Day, we saw a bit of the Kamryn and Chandler Tote The Rock Show. I don't know about y'all, but I liked what I saw. A lot. Auburn's running back depth isn't exactly at the "Stable" level it was last year. We've got some horses, but there's room in the Barn (pun wasn't intended, but I left it in because LOL BARN).

Auburn has one upperclassman running back. One. That's... shocking. Peyton Barber going pro and Roc Thomas transferring is the reason for that. Behind Jovon is sophomore Kerryon Johnson, Pettway/Cox, freshman Malik Miller, and - just in case you forgot - speedster Kam Martin.

Gus' offense has been most effective with a mobile quarterback you say? Well, I say it's been most effective when you have an excellent back on the speed sweep. Martin can be that back.

Wide Receiver:

Tony Stevens, Marcus Davis, and Jason Smith are the only scholarship wide receivers who are upperclassmen. Are you starting to see a trend here? Auburn is extremely young everywhere but the offensive line. Stanton Truitt has been around for a few years, but he's considered a sophomore because of a redshirt season.

So, yes, we need the underclassmen to contribute. Ryan Davis and Darius Slayton are the only two who were around last year, and Slayton redshirted while Davis saw very limited action. If you want to know why Auburn was able to sign such a great class of wide receivers, I think this is your clear answer: there is plenty of playing time to be had.

We'll see at least one, if not two or three, of the underclassmen starting at wide receiver this season. Of the true freshmen, I'd most likely say it will be Kyle Davis and Nate Craig-Myers. I don't count the others out, though. This is going to be the unit that sees the most clearly visible impact on the team's overall success from the underclassmen in my mind.

Quarterback:

There's only one spot on the field for the quarterback, and it's really hard to say with this one. I debated even discussing the quarterback because the answer will pretty much be given to us the moment the starter is named. Jeremy Johnson or John Franklin III are upperclassmen. Sean White, Tyler Queen (who is recovering from yet another injury) and Woody Barrett are all underclassmen.

If the season were to start this weekend, then I'd say Sean White is the starter. I don't know what's happened over the summer and what may happen in the first week or so of Fall Camp, though, so it's a toss up for this one.

Overall:

Auburn is going to need underclassmen who are ready to compete on Day 1. Auburn will need true freshmen who are ready to compete on Day 1. That's just how thin this team is at some very key positions. There's talent, but there's not much in the way of depth in many spots.

I really don't think I understood just how young the offense is - aside from the offensive line - until I started looking at this. Thankfully, it all begins up front. Hopefully, those offensive linemen will gel and be able to open up the running lanes Auburn needs to be successful with the running game.

Elsewhere? Aside from QB, there's not a position on the offense that may not end up dominated by underclassmen in 2016. That's good news for the next few seasons of Auburn football. It might make for some growing pains on offense, though.

Unfortunately, there's no room in the early part of the schedule for those growing pains. They're going to have to learn quickly.

War Eagle. Always.



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3 Reasons Auburn Football Should be in AP Preseason Top 25

There has been a lot of discussion about a Bleacher Report article predicting that eight SEC teams will be ranked in the preseason AP top 25 poll, and a lot of that talk surrounds the inclusion of Auburn football. People outside of SEC Country love to hate on the SEC and all the love that […]

3 Reasons Auburn Football Should be in AP Preseason Top 25 - Fly War Eagle - Fly War Eagle - An Auburn Tigers Fan Site - News, Blogs, Opinion and more.



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Will Ricardo Louis end up being the Cleveland Browns’ top receiver next season?

This year’s NFL draft was very successful for those associated with Auburn. Three players were lucky enough to be selected by a number of franchises whilst five Tigers also signed deals via free agency. While Ricardo Louis wasn’t the first Auburn star to be selected in the draft, he could well go on to achieve the most – both on an individual and team level.
Louis was exceptional for Auburn during his college days and the Cleveland Browns opted to take a punt on him despite already drafting Baylor’s Corey Coleman in the second round. In the end, Cleveland took five wide receivers and it is now up to Louis to prove that he deserves his spot on the final 53-man roster.


At the time of writing, the Browns are priced at 66/1 with 32Red Canada to win the AFC Championship next season – an objective that is probably a little beyond their reach right now. But with a plethora of young talented receivers, you should never say never. With Coleman and Louis both looking to impress and Robert Griffin III at quarterback, Cleveland’s offense is going to be very entertaining if nothing else.
But just how good was Louis at college level? Well, he recorded 46 catches for 716 yards and 3 touchdowns in just 13 matches. Those numbers don’t immediately jump off the page but his overall game is outstanding. As shown in the video below, the former Auburn star’s game tape shows that he is actually much better than statistics suggest.

Perhaps his greatest asset – and one that might have convinced the Browns to select him – is his ability to run the football. In 2015, he rushed 29 times for 158 yards; an average of 5.4 yards per carry. While he only scored one touchdown, this shows that Louis has the ability to run reverses and that kind of talent can keep opposing defences guessing.
And the more you watch and follow his game tape, the more you like the scheme and skillset fit at Cleveland. With RGIII, the rushing game is going to become much more prominent for the Browns and Louis could profit from this – whether that’s in the backfield or going long. Remember: Robert Griffin III’s arms are amongst the longest in professional football and Louis’s raw speed could be used to great effect.

via GIPHY

Fortunately, Louis will have a familiar face in Cleveland. Offensive tackle Shon Coleman was also drafted by the Browns and the two Auburn men are likely to bring plenty of rapport to a franchise that has struggled in recent times. The best way to take Cleveland out of the doldrums is by introducing togetherness and forming a bond throughout the team – and this is perhaps the best way to do just that.
But he will face stiff competition from former Baylor star Coleman for the title of Cleveland’s top wideout. Both men are capable of producing great things but neither are perfect; and it will all come down to one key question: who is the most NFL-ready? And right now, you’d have to go with Louis. He’s certainly more Cleveland Browns-ready. Their scheme is likely to be very similar to that at Auburn and it shouldn’t take much for him to adapt to Hue Jackson’s offense.

Browns fans have had to sit and watch Jackson destroy their franchise during his days with the Cincinnati Bengals but it could be payback time. He is widely regarded as one of the most astute coaches in the National Football League and Cleveland’s flair players will benefit from his inventiveness on offense. As of July 21, Cleveland are an incredible 150/1 to win the Super Bowl with 32Red and NetBet – and many Browns fans will take a punt due to Jackson’s arrival.
If truth be told, the Super Bowl is probably a little far-fetched. They are probably still the worst team in the AFC North. However, their spirit is strong. And while the Browns might not reach the Super Bowl, they will be much improved and Ricardo Louis could be their main man in 2016. Watch this space…



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