Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Krootin' 7/8

Banneker boys. First, for no other reason than that I haven't embedded them before now, seven-plus minutes' worth of Shaun Kitchens highlights:

Second, Auburn's next commitment could be Kitchens' teammate at Banneker High in College Park, Ga., Demetruce McNeal. According to J.C. Shurbutt:
Athlete Demetruce McNeal (College Park, Ga./Banneker) recently received a written offer from Auburn, firming up the Tigers' interest in him. This makes Auburn the clear leader in the race for his services.
McNeal would be the lowest-rated member of Auburn's 2010 class-to-date, with a 5.6 grade from Rivals, an icky 75 from ESPN, and the No. 72 spot in the safety rankings at Scout. But McNeal camped at Auburn not too long ago, so it's not like Auburn's coaches wouldn't know what they're getting, and it's also not like Auburn isn't in some serious need for a safety or two after Christian Thompson's dismissal.

Super, thanks for asking. The Press-Register has released its "Super Southeast 120" list and there's a goodly number of prospects with some level of Auburn interest involved. Beaver has that run-down for you. Items of interest:

--Auburn's commitments did maybe a little better than expected. At No. 47, Jeremy Richardson gets more of his four-star Rivals treatment than the Scout skepticism; at No. 86, Jawara White ranks above several consensus four-star recruits like Craig Sanders, Antonio Goodwin, Jalston Fowler, Eric Mack, etc.

--No surprise Marcus Lattimore tops the list, but Michael Dyer ranking third over guys like DeMarcus Milliner and Trovon Reed is interesting.

--At No. 41, just ahead of Florida wideout commit Solomon Patton, it's clear the gurus expect LaDarius Owens to be a stud. Speaking of which ...

Linebacker trouble? RBR's OTS in his weekly recruiting update:
LaDarius Owens has made some positive news for the Tide as of late. As I previously said, we really need to have him postpone his decision as long as possible, and now it looks like he will not be deciding before the season starts. Auburn is still his clear leader, but we are staying alive. And, interestingly enough, Owens recently said in an interview that the schools recruiting him the hardest were Alabama, Tennessee, and LSU. No mention of Auburn. Given the Tigers' great need for Owens, that struck me as really odd. You can make plenty of valid criticisms against Chizik and company, but a lack of energy and intensity on the recruiting trails certainly isn't one of them. Perhaps they feel they have Owens in the bag? I do find it to be a bit of a mistake to not be going after him as hard as others, given how badly they need him.They will probably get him regardless, but I see no reason to be taking chances.
Suffice it to say, if Auburn's coaches are in fact taking it easy on Owens, I do not either. I would argue Owens is as big a recruit for Auburn in this class as their is: he's an Auburn legacy, a winnable in-state battle, by all accounts a tremendous prospect, and all at a position where Auburn is in desperate need. It's hard to see how letting him get away wouldn't be a massive blow to the new staff's claims about rebuilding Auburn's in-state recruiting, not to mention, you know, the football team itself.

On top of that, Nigel Terrell came back from a trip to Kentucky saying nice things about the Wildcats. Certainly nothing to panic about (in fact, it's possible that an Owens commitment would mean Auburn was done at linebacker, though as short as they are I doubt it), but it's something to be aware of.

Linemen. From that same Terrell link comes this article on Eric Mack from The State. If you want to be optimistic, he mentions that Auburn and Alabama are the only schools he's already decided he'll take official visits to. If you want to be pessimistic ...
But his college choice is not the only variable causing Mack to grow up fast.

Fatherhood weighs on his mind as well.

Mack has a 1-year-old daughter, Kaliyah, who lives with her mother in Orangeburg.

“It impacts a lot,” Mack said. “I don’t want to be too far so I can’t get home if something is wrong. But I don’t want to be too close and have all these distractions.”
Uh, when those "distractions" also equal home cookin' and all your regular day-to-day friends, are they really a negative? Bottom line: I'll be surprised if Mack goes out of state.

Which means Auburn fans might want to shift their attention to ... uh, Wes Rea? He visited Auburn last weekend as part of a baseball tournament and apparently doesn't have an offer yet from the SEC's heavier hitters, so maybe Auburn can get involved (if he doesn't decide to just play baseball instead).

Now for some good news. Michael Dyer apparently told Rivals that not only was Auburn still his leader, but Tennessee and LSU were the teams with the best shot at prying him away. That last bit of data is probably the sort of thing that will change by the end of the month, but as long as Dyer's still saying good things about Auburn, the glass is going to stay half full.

Volswatch. Maybe the two events aren't connected. But maybe it's not coincidence that just after Jesse Scroggins admits he's troubled by Kiffykins' avalanche of secondary violations, the Vols became the second halfway-decent program to offer fallback quarterback Chase Rettig? We can only hope, since it would lead to even more awesome posts from 3SiB like this one.

Etc. Albertville center Zach Underwood is hoping for an Auburn offer ... the answer to the first question posed here is apparently yes, for whatever it's worth.

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