Saturday, April 04, 2009

The works, weekend update-style

Looking around the Auburn football newsbeat ...

So where are the shoes? Is anyone else frustrated by the lack of actual video/film evidence of Chandler Brooks' magic yellow shoes? I want to know exactly how loud a pair of 30-dollar on-the-cheap yellow cleats we're talking about here: are they a darker, more down-to-earth goldenrod, an electric neon yellow like you might find on the shoes of some eccentric South American soccer player, or a soft pastel yelow just in time for Easter? Get on it, beat writers!

In the meantime, you can at least see what Mr. Brooks himself looks like in this video from Andy Bitter. Brooks is at the 3:25 mark:

Personnel development. Evan Woodbery got himself a nice little scoop yesterday when he broke the news that not only is former high-profile cornerback recruit Phelon Jones transferring from LSU, Jones is planning on landing himself in the secondary at Auburn. I kinda wish Woodbery had made it more clear (rather than just confirming it in the comments) that he contacted the Joneses rather than the other way around, since otherwise I would agree with Jay G. Tate that coming public with an intent to transfer to a football program before actually making any contact with said program is putting the cart before the horse.

As is, though, who really cares: Auburn desperately needs functional, talented corners (what team doesn't in the Spread Era?) and I can't see them looking this kind of a gift horse in its mouth. I'd wager pretty heavily on seeing Jones--a former four-star Rivals 250 member they ranked the No. 10 athlete in the class of 2007--somewhere on the Auburn depth chart in 2010.

Commitment ahoy! Auburn grabbed its first non-kicking member of its class of 2010 when Pelham linebacker Jake Holland committed yesterday. Neither major service has rated Holland yet, but he's got a good list of early offers--UCLA, Ole Miss, Colorado--and obviously Auburn's efforts to wrap him up this quickly should tell you something about how badly Auburn's staff wanted him. Besides, he's a linebacker, and you're probably noticed we kind of need those. So: very good news here indeed.

And hey, lookie, Holland's even got a highlight video posted by a mysterious, anonymous user named "JakeHollandLB5" (HT to Tiger Insider):

Not so fast my friend. It's looking entirely possible the pecking order at running back is going to take just as long to sort out as at QB. Most of the early reports have been on Ben Tate cementing his hold on his carries with McCalebb looking duly explosive and Fannin just biding his time until his ankle was healthy again to make his move. Then we got this little piece of knowledge dropped on us by Curtis Luper Thursday night:
* Running backs coach Curtis Luper has been especially impressed with sophomore Eric Smith, a bruiser who weighs in at 234 pounds and had 21 carries for 84 yards last year. “He’s a load,” Luper said. “He’s not easy to tackle. Ask (safety) Mike McNeil. He hasn’t tackled him all spring.”

* Ben Tate and Smith have rotated with the ones at tailback.
So, yeah, other than the seemingly safe assumption that Tate's going to get his, no one has any clue what the hell's going to happen at RB. Luper included, it seems: just a day after talking up Smith, he swore up and down that both McCalebb and Fannin would be big parts of the offense as well. How many footballs do we have, again?

Also on the up-and-up. After redshirting last year with a broken foot, T'Sharvan Bell has moved up to the second string--ahead of D'Antoine Hood--and came in for some praise from Phillip Lolley. If Bell is indeed the real deal (and remember, he had more guru approval than Neiko Thorpe), it's possible Auburn's secondary could have some actual depth to it this season. Shocking, I know.

As expected. Derrick Lykes is apparently doing his best to crack the defensive line rotation, but ...
Rocker said Thursday that he had six players gunning for four spots on the defensive line.

Jake Ricks, Mike Blanc and Zach Clayton are vying for the two tackle positions. Michael Goggans, Antoine Carter and Antonio Coleman are rotating at the ends.
... at this point, I think we're going to have to wait until Nick Fairley arrives on campus for anyone else to make a serious move into the DL rotation. And by the by: take a look over the spring roster and see how many other DEs period you can spot. To follow up on yesterday's post, you do have to think Terrance Coleman will wind up on the edge for this coming season at least.

Sigh. Clinton Durst isn't on scholarship as of yet, and sounds resigned to things staying that way. (Apparently, the brief departure from the team was an intentional bluff to try and goad Chizik in to giving him one. Honestly can't say I blame him, though for the good of the team I'm glad to hear him call it "a mistake.") Whether Durst came crawling back or not, my position on this hasn't changed: the kid played too damn well last season not to get shown the scholarship money. Hopefully Chizik can find it for him this fall.

Congrats. Getting back to hoops for just a sec, Auburn walk-on Drew Smith was awarded one of two SEC Community Service Post-graduate Scholarships. Thisi s because Smith is awesome. More here.

I'm not sure it's entirely ethical to make public premium info from the recruiting paysites ... but hey, if other people are willing to tell you exactly how highly five-star c/o 2010 running back Michael Dyer thinks of Auburn, that's their business. Business you want to know about, right?

Scrimmage today: Early reports here and here. Enjoy.

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