Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Krootin', 4/22

Welcome, Large Gentlemen! Right this way, right this way! Auburn took advantage of the A-Day Xtreme Xcitement!!! to pick up the first of what we all hope will be a veritable torrent of offensive line commitments for 2010: Shon Coleman, the 6-7, 275-pound tackle prospect from Olive Branch, Miss. pictured above. A quote from Coleman and a note expecting him to be "one of the top-ranked players in (Mississippi)" available here.

Coleman has yet to be ranked by either of the two major scouting services and received a solidly three-star rating of "77" from ESPN. His early offer list includes Oklahoma St. and Mississippi St., so he's not exactly a deep sleeper a la former Olive Branch teammate (and Auburn 2009 signee) Daren Bates, but his list also isn't quite as long as Auburn's other two early non-kicker commits. A-Day had something to do with his commitment not moving the Auburn news needle as much as it might normally, but he's also not really a "big" recruit outside of, of course, being big.

THAT SAID, four reasons Auburn fans ought to be stoked about Coleman (hopefully) coming to the Plains:

1. Dude, any offensive lineman with half a shot at being SEC quality is someone Auburn ought to welcome with party hats and kazoos. We are not in a position to be picky at OL, to say the very least we could possibly say.

2. This is the first line of ESPN's evaluation:
Coleman is a tall and impressive offensive lineman that has a huge upside for the next level of competition.
They go on to describe his knees as a little inflexible and say he has a lot to work on from that whole low-center-of-gravity aspect, but you can't teach 6-7, 275 with "great effort" can you? (I mean, hopefully Auburn will teach him better technique and all, but they can't teach someone to be ... you know what I mean.)

3. His high school coach, quoted at Scout:
Shun played left guard last year, and he played some defensive end because we needed him on the defensive side of the ball ... we are going to move him to offensive tackle this year. He pulls and traps very well. Shun has a bright future because of his great feet. He can run a 4.9 forty and can put on another 20 pounds of good weight.
The theme, again: already big, but can get even bigger, and has enough athletic flexibility to play several positions and run a ... well, call it a 4.9(ish) forty.

4. Even on the offensive line, Auburn doesn't seem to throwing around their offers all willy-nilly. The coaching staff coming across with one in April means they probably think pretty highly of the kid.

5. Auburn has an excellent recent history with players named Coleman.

So, yeah, I think this is a pretty big commitment for Auburn. And hey, assuming they get along, having Coleman around can't hurt with fellow Olive Branch recruit Damien Robinson, a four-star tackle I imagine Auburn is recruiting like mad. Thumbs-up all the way.

Man, if Auburn can recruit everyone the way they recruit five-star running backs, we're set. So hot on the heels of No. 1 RB and No. 2 recruit overall Lache Seastrunk saying Auburn provided him "the best visit of my life," No. 2 RB and No. 4 recruit overall Marcus Lattimore came back from A-Day telling the recruitniks Auburn is his new leader. Money quote:
"This whole experience, I just felt it. You can't really explain it. My mom loves it, my stepdad loves it. You really just can't explain the feeling. I really didn't expect this much. I was just coming in to see the offense. They showed me that, and I met all these great people."
So, that's awesome. Apparently Seastrunk and Lattimore actually spoke to each other ahead of time and afterward about how awesome Auburn is. (More Lattimore praise here.) If you'll recall that Michael Dyer also has Auburn high up his list, that gives Chizik and Co. a legit shot at all three of the top three RBs in the country.

Now, I know it's just a shot, that there's a eternity between now and next February, and that the odds of landing more than one of these kids are probably nil even if they happen to know/like each other. So I wouldn't get too excited.

But, um, the way things are going ... am I wrong to think that maybe the odds aren't all that bad that Auburn signs one of them? I could live with one. More than "live," actually.

LaDarius Owens. Even if it's just in a header, reading that an in-state recruit with both Auburn and 'Bama offers called his time in T-Town "not comfortable" is quite the pick-me-up. More on Owens--who, as a highly-rated linebacker with ties to the school, seems like a pivotal recruit for Auburn's 2010 class--here.

Lastly, if there any more doubters out there ... Six of the top seven projected picks in next week's draft were four-stars or better, and the seventh was an offensive lineman. I wish they didn't, but as I've said before, the recruitniks know what they're talking about the majority of the time.

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