Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Sports Night in Auburn 1/23/19

Sports Night in Auburn 1/23/19
Andy and Kennedy recap the week in Auburn Sports which includes mens and womens basketball, tennis, gymnastics, and track and field with a look ahead at whats on the plains and a look at national sports. Be sure to follow us on Twitter @EETV_Sports Instagram @EagleEyeTV Website

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‘I’m excited to get to work’: Cadillac Williams ‘ecstatic’ to be back as Auburn’s running backs coach

One of Auburn football’s all-time legends is coming back to the Plains.

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Official: Carnell Williams is Auburn’s new running backs coach

Auburn’s new hire has been made official.

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Cadillac Williams Joining Auburn Staff?

Be still, my nostalgic heart.

We’ve all heard the reports by now — Carnell “Cadillac” Williams is coming to Auburn to take over the vacant running backs coach spot on the staff. Before we get any further, let me just...

I was 14 when that happened, and let me tell you... Cadillac Williams was a god. He and Ronnie Brown together in the same backfield was absolutely unfair, but Williams was the original. His moments as a freshman and sophomore led into a fantastic junior season during which he tied Bo Jackson’s record (since broken by Cam Newton) for rushing touchdowns in a season. He still stands as the second-place career rusher in Auburn history, and has the most rushing touchdowns by a Tiger as well.

Since leaving the NFL, Cadillac served in a couple of different coaching roles — first as a graduate assistant at West Georgia in 2016, then as running backs coach at IMG Academy in 2017, and he was due to be the running backs coach for the newly-created Birmingham Iron of the Alliance for American Football when the league began next month. Under his care, the Iron had former collegiate stars Trent Richardson (Alabama), Ty Isaac (Michigan), and LaDarius Perkins (Mississippi State).

Now, he comes back home to Auburn.

Since Gus Malzahn moved Tim Horton to an off-field role, there was speculation as to why exactly the change was made.

Horton was a good recruiter, and Auburn’s running backs weren’t truly a team deficiency, but there’s no doubt that the run game suffered a bit this year. Whether that’s Horton’s fault or not apparently doesn’t matter at this point. What is evident is that there are recruits coming along now that were small children when Cadillac Williams was the preeminent tailback in the SEC (and maybe the country) during his time at Auburn. Many of the recruits that will sign with Auburn in 2020 were born in either 2002 or 2003, and so his playing career may have come just before they were really paying attention.

On the surface, this could appear to be a hire predicated on Williams’ fame. That alone might help out in the tailback recruiting game, where Auburn is facing off directly with Alabama, who signed the top tailback in the country, and Georgia, who’s riding the wave of glory that two former tailbacks in the upcoming Super Bowl will produce. Maybe Williams’ notoriety as a former superstar and top draft pick will help in the recruiting game. Auburn certainly needs all the help they can get in that area with the burgeoning star destroyers on each border.

Either way, as someone whose Auburn fandom really blossomed during the time that Cadillac Williams was carrying the ball, this is a fun hire. Let’s hope that it’s a productive and smart hire as well. We won’t know for sure until August 31st in Arlington.

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Breaking – Cadillac is Coming Home!

Carnell “Cadillac” Williams is set to replace Tim Horton as the Tigers running backs coach. Horton, after six years, was moved to an off-field role thereby opening up the coaching position.

Williams, who was most recently in the AAF as the running backs coach for the Birmingham Iron, was an assistant coach at IMG Academy in Florida for two seasons.

Cadillac has also coached at West Georgia following his career in the NFL. Williams played for both the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and what used to be the St. Louis Rams. He was the fifth overall pick in the 2005 NFL draft and was named Rookie of the Year.

Williams is a native of Gadsden and signed with Auburn in 2001. He was named an All-American following Auburn’s 2004 undefeated season and shared the backfield with Ronnie Brown.

Williams had back-to-back 1,000 yard seasons in 2003 and 2004 and became the program’s all-time leader in touchdowns scored.

Welcome Home and “Go Crazy, Cadillac, Go Crazy!!”.

War Eagle!!



The post Breaking – Cadillac is Coming Home! appeared first on Track 'Em Tigers, Auburn's oldest and most read independent blog.

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Reports: Carnell ‘Cadillac’ Williams to join Auburn staff as running backs coach

Auburn legend Carnell ‘Cadillac’ Williams is coming back to the Plains.

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Reviewing Auburn’s Remaining 2019 Targets

14 days until the 2019 recruiting cycle comes to an end so let’s take a look at who Auburn is chasing and where they might stand with each remaining target.

There have been so many names discussed or mentioned in the past few weeks that it’s probably easy to get lost in the recruiting madness. So with National Signing Day only 2 weeks away, I figured it might be helpful to put all the targets known to currently be left on the board in one place and evaluate where things stand with each of them. I plan to do the same next week which will hopefully allow for a little more certainty on what to expect February 6th.

For the record, I am not an insider. I don’t have super well connected sources feeding me super secret info like Gus is gonna voluntarily accept a reduced buyout or Bob Stoops will be at Auburn next year. What I do possess is the unfortunate habit of spending too much free time reading/writing about recruiting and feel qualified enough to take some educated guesses on where things stand in these recruitments. I’ve put a confidence percentage by my picks because that’s apparently a thing you are supposed to do in this business. The higher the number the more confident I am on the prediction, so feel free to roast me when I miss wildly with my 85% confidence prediction.

Let’s do this.

5* WR George Pickens | 6’4” | 190 lbs | Hoover, AL | Auburn Commit

Top Teams: Auburn, Georgia, LSU, Tennessee

I included Pickens because while he is committed to Auburn, he’s still taking plenty of visits and generating plenty of buzz nationally. He recently changed his Twitter background picture to him in an UGA uniform if you are into keeping track of that sort of thing. You will undoubtedly hear all the way up to his signing that he is a flip risk. What do I think? Well until Pickens proves to be a liar, I’ll trust he’s all AU. People forget he was Auburn’s first commitment in the 2019 class. I think his relationships with Gus and Nix prove too much for anyone else.

Prediction: Auburn (90%)

4* DL Charles Moore | 6’4” | 268 lbs | Louisville, MS

Top Teams: Auburn, Florida

I was probably 90% confident a few weeks ago but that Florida official visit has me sweating. He committed to Mullen when he was still at Mississippi State so there is a long established relationship there. There have been some rumors he almost pulled the trigger for the Gators while on that OV. But Auburn has done an outstanding job of not only recruiting him but his family. I think that relationship with Jaren Handy will prove to be huge in this recruitment and I wouldn’t be shocked if he ended up back on campus for an unofficial visit before signing day. Gimme the Tigers with a slight edge over the Gators at this point in time.

Prediction: Auburn (55%)

4* RB Mark-Antony Richards | 6’1” | 195 lbs | West Palm Beach, FL

Top Teams: Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Miami

A week ago this was another Auburn/Florida battle that I felt good about the Tigers winning. Now it’s a four team battle that now includes UGA who has annoying success swooping in and taking Auburn’s top targets under Kirby and Miami where his older brother played. My hunch is Auburn is still the team to beat here but the Dawgs have become a legit threat and the Canes under Diaz have made him a priority again. This will be a nail biter to the finish.

Prediction: Auburn (60%)

4* CB Maurice Hampton | 6’0” | 205 lbs | Memphis, TN | LSU Commit

Top Teams: Auburn, LSU, Ole Miss

While it would be awesome to flip not only an elite football prospect but an elite baseball prospect as well, I just don’t see it happening. Honestly, I think the MLB is the real threat in this race and probably the “team” that wins. With that said, I feel pretty confident Hampton sticks with the Bayou Bengals before signing with an MLB team in July.

Prediction: LSU (80%)

4* DL Quashon Fuller | 6’4” | 270 lbs | Lehigh Acres, FL | Florida State Commit

Top Teams: Alabama, Auburn, Florida State, Louisville

If I’m honest, I think if the Tide want him they will get him. I’m just not sure they will have the space. Maybe if Khris Bogle flips it happens but for now I think the Seminoles hang onto the talented DL. The Tigers are a threat but probably have better odds elsewhere and that’s where they focus in the final days.

Prediction: Florida State (10%)

4* ATH John Rhys Plumlee | 6’1” | 185 lbs | Hattiesburg, MS

Top Teams: Auburn, Florida State, Mississippi State, Ole Miss

Plumlee is an intriguing target because despite Auburn wanting him at QB, he’s got the skillset to slide to WR or S if that doesn’t work out. But I have a hard time seeing him join the same class as Bo Nix who will be in for the spring while he won’t be on campus until the summer. Unless he’s drawn by the idea of playing baseball over football and decides to play for Butch, I think the Rebels win this one. Why? Because Rich Rod is gonna sell him on being a perfect fit for that offense.

Prediction: Ole Miss (5%)

4* RB Jamious Griffin | 5’10” | 205 lbs | Rome, GA

Top Teams: Auburn, Georgia Tech, NC State

I’m a huge Griffin fan. If you pay any attention to high school football in the state of Georgia you probably know his name and have watched him wreck defenses while running for 2 state championships for the Rome Wolves. He’s a great fit for Auburn’s system but sadly, I think he’s gonna be one of the early big wins for the new Geoff Collins regime in Atlanta. The Yellow Jackets are looking to join the modern era of offensive football and Griffin is a solid bellcow to build around.

Prediction: Georgia Tech (55%)

3* DB Jammie Robinson | 5’11” | 200 lbs | Leesburg, GA

Top Teams: Auburn, Kentucky, South Carolina, Tennessee

This one’s tough because I do think Robinson is torn at the moment. South Carolina has long been the favorite and he’s close with DB coach Travaris Robinson. But Auburn and Tennessee have both turned up the heat and I get the impression he really likes both staffs. However, I have a hard time picking against Champ or T-Rob when they’ve been on a DB for a long time. Wherever he signs, I expect Robinson to have an impact early.

Prediction: South Carolina (5%)

3* DL Jamond Gordon | 6’4” | 268 lbs | Meridian, MS

Top Teams: Auburn, Ole Miss

The former Ole Miss commit turned Auburn commit turned nobody commit appears still to be coveted by the Auburn coaching staff. I know Garner has always been high on his skillset but it appears the young man truly is torn. He’s been committed to both schools and barring a shocking late twist, he will end up hooking back up with one of those programs. The Rebels are probably the team to beat but I think Auburn has made this real interesting after his official visit. We will see if the Rebels close the deal this weekend.

Prediction: Ole Miss (60%)

3* DT LeDarrius Cox | 6’5 | 300 lbs | Mobile, AL | Tennessee Commit

Top Teams: Auburn, Ole Miss, Tennessee

This has been a confusing recruitment despite nothing publicly happening. Everyone has been waiting on him to flip to Auburn for some time that at this point it feels like if it was going to happen then he would have done it already. However, he still decided to take his official visits to Auburn and Ole Miss even after visiting Tennessee two weekends ago. Buzz has picked up again that Auburn could pull this off. But this kid has been saying for months he’s solid and considering he’s still Vol, I think he ends up that way too.

Prediction: Tennessee (40%)

3* OG Kamaar Bell | 6’3” | 320 lbs | Moultrie, GA

Top Teams: Auburn, Florida State, Louisville

Bell is an incredibly important target for the Tigers after missing on 5* Clay Webb and 4* William Putnam. Auburn has long been after Bell though the two sides at times have appeared to grow apart. But that’s not the case right now. After his official visit two weekends ago he named Auburn his top team and that didn’t change after a trip to Louisville. His FSU visit this weekend looms large. However, I think the Tigers survive it and pick up another mauling interior player to pair with 4* Keiondre Jones.

Prediction: Auburn (65%)

3* OT Ira Henry | 6’5” | 320 lbs | St. Louis, MO

Top Teams: Auburn, Florida, Florida State

Things have escalated quickly in this recruitment. Henry landed an Auburn offer a short while ago, took his first visit to the Plains this past weekend and now has the Tigers #1 on his list. Auburn’s OT recruiting struggles have been well documented and only signing one OT underclassmen in this 2019 class would be a major failure. That makes Henry arguably the most important target left on the board. My confidence isn’t high though on this pick because he still has an official visit to his dream school in Florida State. I have a feeling there is still some drama to unfold in this recruitment.

Prediction: Auburn (10%)

3* LB Octavius Brothers | 6’2 | 210 lbs | Southwest Brevard County, FL

Top Teams: Auburn, Georgia Tech, Miami

Auburn snagged a commitment from 2* linebacker Kameron Brown yesterday. They are hoping to add one more tot his class in Octavius Brothers. I know it’s cliche, especially when it comes 3* kids that your school wants but this kid is insanely underrated. Just throw on his tape and you can see for yourself. The Tigers want him badly but will have to fend off his childhood favorite Miami Hurricanes in the coming weeks. I think T-WILL gets the job done and Auburn finishes with a solid LB class in 2019.

Prediction: Auburn (85%)

War Eagle!

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About Last Night: South Carolina 80, Auburn 77

Things aren’t going as planned...

Auburn lost its second straight SEC game last night, and the Tigers now stand at 2-3 in the conference, which doesn’t bode well for a team that we thought had a shot for a deep run in March.

What we saw in Columbia was better than what we saw there last season, but it still wasn’t great. Auburn (once again) started out ice cold from the floor, and it seems like *every* *single* *time* out there’s someone on the other team that has “the game of their lives”.

It was that way with South Carolina’s Chris Silva last night, as he went for 32 points and 13 rebounds, dominating the paint on his way to giving early exits to Anfernee McLemore and Horace Spencer due to foul trouble. Auburn put the Gamecocks in the double bonus five minutes and ten seconds into the first half, because the Tigers took way too long to adjust to the way the officials were letting things happen under the basket on both ends of the floor. Let’s be frank — it wasn’t an evenly called game on both ends of the floor, even though the number of fouls turned out to be pretty even at the end of the game.

Hey, it’s great for South Carolina and what they’ve earned under Frank Martin. His style of play has given them a little bit of leeway, especially at home, when it comes to certain actions. Dave Neal and Andy Kennedy on the SEC Network broadcast talked at length about Silva, and how he can get people in foul trouble, or get into quick foul trouble himself. Without looking at the game-by-game box scores, I would imagine that the number of times he gets into bad foul trouble come almost exclusively away from Colonial Life Arena. I would also imagine that his style of play doesn’t change between home and road. I don’t know what Auburn can do about this, because they’ve been horrifically outshot in terms of both free throw attempts and free throw makes in conference play. You may think that it’s because Auburn shoots a huge number of threes, but that’s not enough to bear out the stats.

Enough of that, there are some other things to discuss that will matter every time out. First off, the absence of Mustapha Heron is much more dire than we thought. Last season, there were exactly three games that Heron failed to score double digit points — Temple, Gardner-Webb, and at Alabama — and it’s no coincidence that Auburn went 1-2 in those games.

Auburn won its first four SEC games last season with Heron scoring 16 at Tennessee, 17 against Arkansas, 15 against Ole Miss, and 14 at Mississippi State. Without Heron’s output in those meetings, Auburn loses all four. What we’re seeing now is the absence of a near-automatic 15 points per game. Heron got it almost every single time out, he had a subpar (single-digit) performance less than 10% of the time, and more often than not, he was hitting in the upper teens or twenties.

With Heron doing that every time out, it didn’t matter if either Jared Harper or Bryce Brown had a slow night. As long as one of them was somewhat on, we were going to be more than fine. It also wasn’t mandatory that Anfernee McLemore, Chuma Okeke, or someone else had a huge night. Without Heron, we’re still trying to find a true identity for this team. They’re talented, but they’re not putting it together like they did last year. And now, everyone sees this team as the target. There’s no more 4-14 spurring this group on. When the opposition sees “Auburn” on the front of the jerseys, that’s the motivation.

What’s definite is that the Tigers need a win. At Mississippi State ain’t gonna be a picnic, and there’s a definite likelihood that Auburn comes back home at 2-4 in the conference. That would almost wipe out a shot at the SEC regular season championship. What is good is that Auburn’s already had some of the toughest SEC games it’ll face. Things are going to get easier with four of the five games after this Saturday at home. We need it.

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Heavy Rain today!

With a high of 65F and a low of 37F.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Auburn Affected by Loss of Austin Wiley – Drop Second Heartbreaker in Three Days

Fresh off a heartbreaking last second loss to Kentucky, the Auburn Tigers dropped a second close SEC game Tuesday night. This time it was an 80-77 road loss to South Carolina. It was also the second game without starting center Austin Wiley and the second consecutive game the Tigers other two big men Anfernee McLemore and Horace Spencer fouled out, this time with eight minutes left to play.

Still the No.16 Tigers fought back overcoming a 10 point deficit to take a 77-75 lead off a Jared Harper  free throw with 56 seconds left on the clock. Then Carolina’s Felipe Haase hit a three pointer with 30 seconds to regain the lead followed by Chuma Okeke’s missed 3-pointer with South Carolina making two successful free throws at the 2-second mark to secure the win.

Auburn was okay rebounding and were a solid 20 for 26 at the foul line. But it was the lack of the big men for the inside game that made the difference. There’s still no word when Wiley will be able to play after suffering a leg injury last week. But without him a season that looked so promising after drumming Georgia 93 – 78 ten days ago now is in danger of coming unraveled.

“We had our chances,” Coach Bruce Pearl said. [But] this is the league we’re in. This is the grind that we have. Right now we’re giving away a lot of size and it’s affecting us.”

And now the Tigers have to regroup as they head to Starkville to play another tall team without Wiley. Saturday’s game against Mississippi State will tip off at 7:30 p.m. CT on the SEC Network.

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Auburn vs. South Carolina Men's Basketball Highlights

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Auburn vs. South Carolina Men's Basketball Highlights

Auburn vs. South Carolina Men's Basketball Highlights

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Reeltown’s Eric Shaw picks up scholarship offer from Auburn

Reeltown rising senior Eric Shaw started picking up scholarship offers from all over the country last week. On Tuesday, he added one from a school just right down the road.

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Former Opelika football player J.D. Worth to walk on at Auburn

Former Opelika football player J.D. Worth has been trying to play college football at his favorite team for over a year now. There were bumps and setbacks along the way, but Worth’s goal finally came to fruition earlier this week.

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GAME RECAP: South Carolina 80, Auburn 77

Auburn’s in trouble after a third SEC loss.

Auburn went on the road, played a 4-1 South Carolina team, and couldn’t get anything going against a rough squad on their home floor, falling 80-77 to the Gamecocks. Chris Silva controlled the game from start to finish, and an uneven showing from the officials early put Auburn in foul trouble from the start.

Just like last season’s matchup at Colonial Life Arena, Auburn started slowly on offense. The Tigers missed their first eight three-pointers, and couldn’t stay out of foul trouble. Auburn put South Carolina into the double bonus five minutes into the ballgame and couldn’t match up with the roughness of the Gamecocks’ post players, particularly Chris Silva. The Gamecocks held a 30-20 lead with 5:48 to play before halftime, and that was the time that Auburn adjusted. The Tigers strung together an 11-1 run to tie the game at 31 on Jared Harper’s slashing layup, and Horace Spencer’s dunk gave Auburn it’s first lead of the ballgame at 33-31. Bryce Brown hit a pair of free throws at the end of the half to give the Tigers a 38-37 edge at halftime, but there was foul trouble brewing.

In the second period, Auburn’s foul trouble started mounting up, as Anfernee McLemore and Horace Spencer fouled out within seconds of each other, leaving the Tigers with a small lineup and several minutes to play. South Carolina built a 71-61 lead on seven straight makes from the floor, but the Tigers weren’t quite dead yet. Auburn strung together five straight buckets for a 12-0 run to take a 73-71 lead, and they finally started to force Chris Silva to commit fouls in the paint. Tied at 75 with :56 left to go, Jared Harper was fouled near midcourt and hit a pair of foul shots to regain the lead for Auburn at 77-75, but Felipe Haase hit a wide open three to put the Gamecocks back up with :25, and the Tigers would have one last shot, but a missed Chuma Okeke three led to free throws for South Carolina, and they’d ice it at the line to win three.

Chris Silva dominated the entire game with 32 points and 14 rebounds, while both Harper and Brown finished with 17 points. Auburn now enters absolute must-win territory, but it’ll have to come against #24 Mississippi State on the road this Saturday.

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