Friday, July 03, 2009

The Works, spitballin'-style

Warm body alert! This is me just throwing something out there based on absolutely nothing whatsoever, but: would Auburn be interested in a spare offensive lineman to add to its 2009 recruiting class? Zephyr Hills, Fla. guard Kamran Joyer is available and looking for a new school after being granted a release from his letter-of-intent at South Florida. Joyer's no stud--he's a universal low-end three-star whose friendliest ranking was the No. 49 guard at Scout--and I know Chizik and Co. passed over Louisville-bound Hunter Stout just ahead of Signing Day, so even in their current predicament they're not just taking commitments from any old lineman who passes by on the street.

However: that was when Auburn had a full class of 25 prospects for 2009 already lined up. With Robert Cooper coming in in the fall, they still do by my calculations ... but that's assuming that Brandon Jacobs skips out on baseball, that LaVoyd James qualifies, and that there aren't any other surprises with the few remaining signees in Clearinghouse limbo. So it seems likely that somewhere Auburn would be able to squeeze Joyer in if the staff wanted to.

Would they? Again, neither Joyer's guru ratings nor his offer sheet jumps off the page (or, er, computer screen) but he's a huge kid (6-2ish, 320ish) and we are talking about a spring roster that featured seven true scholarship offensive lineman, a handful of former tight ends or defensive linemen or injury cases, and assorted walk-ons. We're also talking about a staff that, judging from the behemoths they recruited last year, prefers their linemen with some beef on them. Joyer both offers some beef and, if nothing else, another body for Jeff Grimes to put to use in practice and maybe fill out his two-deep next spring. The cost, of course, is four years' worth of Joyer's scholarship, but with the wave of departures this week Auburn's not exactly bulging at the cap of 85's seams, either. There's only a minuscule chance anything comes of it, but it makes enough sense that I think Auburn fans should probably know about that minuscule chance, right?

(As for the details Joyer's release, despite his being on good terms with Jim Leavitt I'm in total agreement with Brian that something is hella fishy here. You're telling me the same school that opens its arms for all manner of academic risks like Mike Ford just so happens to suddenly find its academic conscience right at the exact moment USF has used up its allotted 85 scholarships? Pull the other one, it's got bells on. If you'll recall, Steve Spurrier went ballistic when Carolina denied admission to two NCAA-approved recruits, the only other instance I can even recall of an cleared signee not getting in. So why isn't Leavitt fuming?)

Expected. As predicted here Wednesday evening and by most sea urchins after the blows to the secondary this week, Harry Adams is back at corner after his stint at wideout in spring camp. Tough, tough break for the guy--it's hard enough to move up the depth chart even when you're sticking at one position, much less yo-yoing back and forth between two.

Championshippin'. Via Auburntron and the aptly-named Auburn Addict comes yet another Tyrik Rollison highlight package. You'll have seen most of it before, but starting at 3:20 there's an extended series of plays from a game being played in the old Texas Stadium. (You know, the one the Cowboys played in, big star in the middle of the field, that one.) Rollison throws and runs for a whole series of TDs in that game, and I'd wager a substantial sum of money that's Sulphur Springs' victory in the Texas state championship game--so if you want to check out Rollison against the toughest competition he would take on in his time in high school, have a look:

QBs, continued. Year2 wraps up his two-post series comparing the SEC's current quarterbacks to their counterparts from five years ago to determine if the alleged decline in SEC quarterbacking is legitimate. The conclusion:
Three quarterback situations are better, five are worse, and four are roughly even. Out of the ones that are worse though, three (Auburn, Georgia, Vandy) are comparing to some of the best quarterbacks ever to play at their respective schools and only Auburn is in terrible shape for this year ... There's nothing much to worry about, overall. The SEC quarterbacks of this year are about as they always are.
Wait, so 3 teams being better vs. 5 being worse isn't indicative of a decline? Yeah, it seems unfair to compare the Auburn and Vandy situations to Campbell and Cutler, but is it fair to compare the old Ole Miss situation to Snead or anyone to Tebow? Year2 quotes Orson's breakdown of the 1995 SEC crew as supporting evidence, but how many current SEC QBs would put on the level of Wuerffel, Manning, Bobo/Ward, Taneyhill, and Nix? I'd say just two, definitely, with one strong possibility--Snead, Tebow, and likely Mallett. I don't think it's quarterback apocalypse or anything, but yes, I think the league's quarterbacking is in a decline. And besides, the conclusion of the QB defenders seems to be "it's not any worse than anyone else outside the Big 12," and even if that's true, this is God's Conference we're talking about--are SEC fans really OK with quarterbacks as good as the Big East's?

Dr. Saturday. Two must-read SEC West-related posts for your perusal: one on the chances of the 2009 Tide defense to equal the legendary 1992 bunch, and the second the Good Doctor's patented Premature Assessment of this year's Razorbacks. Unfortunately, I have to agree with his assessment in the former post ("I don't think it's unrealistic at all to project the Tide defense on that kind of level relative to its peers in '09") and frankly think he's vastly underestimating the Hogs in the latter. When DocSat writes that "merely improving to 6-6 will mean either taking two out of three against Texas A&M, Auburn and South Carolina or upsetting one of the league's heavier hitters," well, A&M is a train wreck and both the Auburn and SC games are in Fayetteville--isn't a Hog sweep the most likely result from those three games? And after nearly sweeping Ole Miss and LSU last year, would you really put it past Petrino to find a way past Georgia at home or the secondary-light Rebels? In short: if Arkansas finishes 6-6, I'll have to find some ketchup for my hat.

Skepticism. Jay g. Tate on this week's medical hardship departures:
We all know Wadley had a tough go of it last fall.

I'd like to have a conversation with Barnes someday about this hip injury of his.
Hmmm ... sounds like Tate isn't totally convinced Barnes's injury is quite as serious as "going on medical scholarship, career at Auburn over" would seem to imply, doesn't it? And given that we didn't hear much about a Barnes hip injury during the spring and that Auburn is locked in a recruiting death struggle with Alabama over a linebacker, can't say that I entirely blame him.

At the same time, Barnes is a linebacker. Auburn has no linebackers. If he could play at all, he'd have a spot on the two-deep. And I seriously doubt Auburn's coaches are so gung-ho about recruiting or confident about their (two) incoming freshmen that they'd just give up on a player sitting in that two-deep. I think Ockham dictates that there's nothing to see here other than what's on the surface.

Etc. Via MGo, a nice rundown of how quarterback recruiting across the country and Kiffykins' arrogance has helped land Tennessee in the awkward position they're in.

No comments: