Monday, July 13, 2009

Your complete Google guide to Auburn's class of 2009

With Emory Blake profiled earlier today, the Google Surveys the Recruits series is now complete for Auburn's 2009 class. I figured it might be a helpful resource to get a link to each profile of the members of that class in one location ... so, uh, this is that location. Every player that signed with Auburn last February, save confirmed academic casualties Reggie Taylor and LaVoyd James, has a dedicated JCCW post linked below. In alphabetical order:

1. Dontae Aycock
2. Daren Bates
3. Deangelo Benton
4. Emory Blake
5. Terrance Coleman
6. Robert Cooper
7. Nosa Eguae
8. Jonathan Evans
9. Nick Fairley
10. Dee Ford
11. Eltoro "The Toro" Freeman
12. Harris Gaston
13. Anthony Gulley
14. Andre Harris
15. Josh Jackson
16. Brandon Jacobs
17. Izauea Lanier
18. Philip Lutzenkirchen
19. Onterio McCalebb
20. Clint Moseley
21. Taikwon Paige
22. Tyrik Rollison
23. Travante Stallworth
24. John Sullen
25. Jamar Travis
26. Demond Washington

If you're a masochist who just likes reminding themselves of Auburn commitments that didn't work out, you can also read about JUCO refugee Jamontay Pilson, Aaron Moore, or Raymond Cotton.

Final thoughts? I thought about listing the signees in order of how excited I am to have each of them at Auburn or organized in rough groupings of how I'd project their Auburn careers to play out, but there's basically no way to do that without sounding like I'm writing off the kids at the tail ends of lists like those. I'd rather pass--there's genuine reasons to believe every single member of this class will become a solid contributor (or more) during their time at Auburn, and even if there's no way all 26 of them wind up panning out (hell, the odds seem good there's at least one more academic casualty out there) my guess isn't better than anyone else's as to who the real sleepers are or aren't.

So I'll just tack on a few scattered observations and positive vibes:

--I've made note of this before, but this class seemed to have more guru disagreement than you'd expect: Lutzenkirchen, Rollison, and McCalebb were the only three prospects to garner four stars from both major services, but 10 other signees picked up a fourth star from one or the other. (11 if you include Stallworth's "80" from ESPN.) Maybe this means that even the relatively modest "team rankings" for the class were overshooting things, since there's so few "sure things" ... but I'd prefer the glass-half-full viewpoint, which would be that when this many kids have someone recognize some kind of legitimate athletic potential, there's more collective promise here than any service recognized individually.

--Just for comparison's sake, once you account for academic casualties and Raven Gray's no-show, do you know how many Rivals/Scout consensus four-stars Tubby signed in 2008? Zero. None. Signees from that class garnering four stars from one or the other? Six. (Again, this season: 13. After 5-7. After the coaching change. This was either a hell of a job by Chizik and Co. or a measure of how unbelievably bad the 2008 effort was ... or, of course, some combination of both.)

--Personal favorite "sleepers"? Stallworth, an undersized burner who (like Neiko Thorpe the year before) was ignored by Rivals and Scout but got a rave review from ESPN and should be a great fit in the Spread Eagle 2.0; Moseley, who strikes me as having just enough athletic potential to turn his intangible gifts into a quality backup role or even the starter's job somewhere down the line in this offense; and Gaston, who should be able to combine his ample raw athleticism with early playing time and tutelage under a bona fide linebacking guru like Ted Roof into a big-time career.

--In addition to the obvious gains at wideout, I think we're going to remember this class are having particular impact at two positions: Quarterback, where in addition to Moseley, I think Rollison in the spread could someday a match made in an All-SEC-caliber heaven, and Defensive Line, where Fairley and Coleman (if he qualifies) are immediate-impact players and Travis, Eguae, and Ford should all be in the rotation no later than next year.

--As little help as Auburn got on the offensive line, this class isn't anything to write home about in the secondary, either. Taylor failed to qualify, Lanier and Bates have yet to be cleared and are both "project"-type players to start with (though projects with upside, of course), and past that it's Paige and possibly Washington, both of whom only have two years of eligibility even if they qualify ... which they haven't done just yet. The heavy (and successful, actually) emphasis on the defensive backfield in '08 means this isn't a crisis on the level of the o-line, but it's worth keeping an eye on.

--Lastly, three guys who I think Auburn fans could be even more excited about than they already are: Coleman, who was a top-25 end to both Scout and ESPN, always got raves from the Alabama newspaper gurus, and who I think just has too much motor not to flourish under a pro like Rocker; Aycock, whose combination of speed and size gives him the best shot of any back in the class of being an every-down guy, and that's before we start talking about his potential in the Wildcat; and Lutzenkirchen, whose hands make him as sure a thing as there is in the class, but who seems to have been just the teensiest bit forgotten in the wake of the Rollison/Benton/Blake surge and Freeman and McCalebb tearing things up in the spring.

5 comments:

Beef said...

I don't know why this particular post did it, but consider me extremely excited for 9/5!

jrsuicide said...

good work dude.

jeremy said...

indeed. good work. war eagle.

Kirk Lazarus said...

great piece of work. thank you!

Ryan said...

did you take the day off to play NCAA '10? I've been stuck at work waiting on a post all day...