Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Krootin': Mincy, etc.

w00t! Commitment No. 8, come on down:
Auburn grabbed its eighth commitment for 2010 when Decatur, Ga., cornerback Jonathan Mincy announced his intention to play for the Tigers late Monday night ...

The 5-foot-10, 175-pound cornerback from Southwest Dekalb High is ranked as a three-star recruit by both Rivals and Scout. Rivals has him as the 25th ranked cornerback nationally. Scout ranks him 40th.
Mincy follows in the footsteps of virtually all of Auburn's other commitments: yeah, he's a three-star, but he's a three-star well on the high end of the three-star scale. Both Rivals and Scout report offers from LSU, Miami, and North Carolina, and Rivals adds on Michigan and Georgia Tech offers as well. However seriously you think these various teams might have been pursuing Mincy, you don't get that kind of attention by, well, not being good at the sport of football.

ESPN gives Mincy a better-than-average-but-not-stupendous 78, which I guess could be better. But the main thing is this: six of Auburn's eight commitments have gotten a 78 or better (with one of the two others one of the nation's best kickers). Whatever you think of ESPN's evaluative skills, this is a much, much better ratio than last year's dead-even 50 percent at 78 or better. In short: the talk about this staff improving Auburn's recruiting hasn't just been hype, and Mincy's just the latest example.


Hooray! Elsewhere, the news hasn't been quite as good, but nothing earth-shatteringly bad, either.

C'est la vie. Last time on "Krootin'," I wrote that if--if! if! if!--Michael Dyer didn't take any more visits (as one report had quoted him as saying), it would be a safe bet to expect him to come to the Plains. Not surprisingly in the least for a player of his caliber, either he changed his mind or he never said it or something along those lines, because since he's been talking about taking visits to LSU and Notre Dame and how the Irish (and Oklahoma) are apparently in the mix. From where I sit: hey, that's fine. (And totally expected: a smart kid like Dyer knows there's not really any reason for him to make a decision right away, a fact I should have emphasized more last time out.) Asking for anything more than a solid lead--which Auburn still holds with Dyer, even according to the Notre Dame ESPN affiliate--with a player like Dyer (especially at a program that's struggled as much of late as Auburn has) is getting greedy. Greedy is fun while the waiting is the hardest part, and all that, but that's how it goes. The news here will need to be much worse before the glass gets half-empty.

Bleah. Auburn has to have offensive linemen in this class. Good ones. Has to. It's the one legitimate caveat about the class so far, and so it's awful hard not to wince when the biggest line target on Auburn's board looks at two friends/teammates going to South Carolina and says ...
“It has impacted me a lot,” he said. “I like playing with both of them.”
Fortunately, it hasn't impacted Mack so much that Auburn's not still right there, as this quote from the same article demonstrates:
“I’ve liked every school that I have visited so far,” Mack said. “All have their own little different way. At South Carolina, I like coach Wolford. At Auburn, I feel like I’m at home. (Clemson) Coach (Chris) Rumph is from down here and he can relate to what I’m going through. At Georgia Tech, I like the atmosphere. So, right now, I’m (in St. Matthews) and that is basically it.”
Your guess is as good as mine whether "home" is more or less important than the factors he mentions elsewhere, but I also think it's fair to assume that Auburn doesn't have a lead here and that there's still a lot more work left to do--both with Mack and on the offensive line in general.

Yeah, you can give that up now. So much for the idea that Rivals is the pro-Tide service and Scout the more Auburn-friendly gurus: Scout's preliminary Alabama top 50 rates Jawara White and Auburn's best in-state commitment to-date at No. 10. The top eight consists entirely of Tide and Florida commits and/or leans, with LaDarius Owens at No. 9 the only other likely Auburn commitment in the top 10. Rivals' list should be a little kinder--they're much higher on Jeremy Richardson, as we know, and supposedly Owens is going to make a big move with them. Nonetheless it remains a little bit aggravating to see Auburn shut out of the state's best consensus talents again. No, it won't matter much if Auburn can keep pulling solid out-of-state talents like Mincy, and certainly Rome wasn't built in a day--nabbing Richardson, White, and (fingers crossed) Owens would make it a big improvement on last year. But there's still some obvious room for improvement.

Etc. As mentioned briefly yesterday, Scout has seen fit to rank Cody Parkey the No. 2 kicker in the nation and give him a fourth star, making him Auburn's only four-star commitment-to-date at that service ... four-star Auburn wideout target Antonio Goodwin will play in the ESPN All-American game. He apparently named Auburn his leader not too long ago and ESPN guru J.C. Shurbutt says "the Tigers are in good shape at the moment" ... at that same Insider link, Marcus Lattimore discussed trips to Clemson and Georgia without saying anything overly complimentary of either one. Nothing really new here: Auburn's in his top eight, and he says he'll cut it down by the end of July.


Marcus said...

Now here's what I don't understand about krootin; an article yesterday blasted Miami under Coker for basically using Rivals to select who to recruit. The implication is that "stars" aren't the only thing that matter in recruiting. Maybe things like filling needs, recruiting players that fit your system, recruiting players that fit your school's culture (whatever that means), etc. count too, right? So, is it just coincidence that nearly all the top rated players in the state happen to mesh with all those requirements for UA? Makes you wonder. Either that is true, or Saban only targets top rated players (regardless of the other factors). I guess there's a third option. Maybe Rivals (et. al.) bump up a players "stars" anytime Saban gives them a call.

OTS said...

I wouldn't read too much into Lattimore's comments about either Clemson or Georgia. He grew up a South Carolina fan, and Georgia is absolutely loaded at tailback, so there is no real reason to expect him to be overly impressed by either one of those two. Neither will ultimately be a factor in his decision. The ones to keep your eye on are Florida State and South Carolina (assuming their running game shows some signs of life this year).

As for Mack, I'm afraid that one just isn't going to work out. He has two teammates committed to South Carolina already, he is close friends with Alshon Jeffery, and more than a few South Carolina fans think he's just a silent commit for them who is playing the game a little. There are lots of good linemen out there to get, but I just don't see Mack being a feasible option at this point.

Jerry Hinnen said...

I dunno, Marcus, I can't get behind the conspiracy theories. 'Bama takes plenty of kids who don't get a ton of guru love. (Not as many as anyone else, but still.) I do find it a little odd two of 'Bama's commits (I forget who) are currently the very last Rivals four-stars at their position in this class, but it's just not the sort of thing I can get myself exercised about. Even if the Tide's getting a little bump here and there, it doesn't change the fact that virtually every in-state recruit since 2008 that both Auburn and Alabama have seriously pursued has chosen the Tide. I'm more worried about what Auburn's doing than the gurus.

OTS, yeah, I can't say a bushelful of Mack's teammates attending his hometown school is a good sign, though I do want to wait and see what happens the remainder of the summer before developing an official Bad Feeling.

Marcus said...

Yeah, I was just joking about the Rivals conspiracy stuff. My main point was that on the one hand average fan thinks "my school should be raking in their share of the top in state talent", but on the other hand the gurus say that recruiting is much more detailed than just firing up Rivals and targeting the top players. However, looking at that list of top in-state players, most have offers from AU and UA (just checking the top 25, there were maybe 4 without offers from AU, and maybe 7 without offers from UA, making AU more of a "recruting by Rivals" school I guess). It just seems odd that 21 of the top 25 players in the state just so happen to fit all of the criteria you are looking for in a player (criteria besides athletic ability that is). If schools truly did care about those other attributes and not just pure athleticism, you'd think the top 25 players would have fewer offers from the two big in-state schools.