Auburn's new commitment ... Mysterio!
So last night Auburn picked up their 15th commitment of the 2010 class in Linden (and/or Sumter County) defensive end Justin Delaine. Beaver's rounded up the pertinent details I suggest you take a look at, but to review ...
--Delaine not only hasn't been ranked by the major services, at the time of his commitment he didn't even have a profile up at Rivals or Scout. I haven't following this recruiting thing very long, but I don't think that happens for SEC commitments very often. This is as deep a sleeper as you're going to get at Auburn.
--He's listed as a defensive end, but Delaine seems like the kind of guy you get on campus first and find a position for later: 6-5, 225, track speed, played just one year of football. I don't have much doubt he's sushi-raw, but for Auburn to go ahead and accept a commitment from him now suggests to me that someone on our staff--Lolley, apparently--saw enough in Delaine not to take any chances on anyone else getting there first.
--Getting him on campus might prove tricky, though, since even he apparently admits he's got academic issues to work on. At the very least, if he's really transferring from one school to another solely in an attempt to drag his GPA up, at least he's taking things seriously.
--No doubt the Tide fans are having a good laugh this morning at Auburn taking a commitment from a kid whose offer list includes two Mississippi schools and Troy and hadn't even drawn enough attention for an evaluation from the gurus ... but as I've mentioned before, I lived and worked for a while out in that part of the state, and it would be unbelievably easy for a legitimate prospect like Delaine to fly under the radar at a place like Sumter County. There's virtually no press coverage, the football team is almost an afterthought compared to hoops, the facilities and equipment are, um, lacking, and while I thought much more highly of Sumter's coaching while I was there than some of the other schools in the area, the infrastructure's just not there that can turn a kid who's never played organized football into a superstar overnight. Beaver hid away some uncorroborated info on Delaine's living situation in his comments thread, but that sounds about par for the course in places like York and Linden.
In short, I'm not worried. This staff's not going to offer a player with one year of football experience unless he's got some serious athletic goods. And if Delaine does stick at defensive end, there's not a position coach on the staff I'd trust more to turn those goods into something useful than Tracy Rocker.
--So, yeah, Delaine's not going to move the guru needle; yeah, he's very likely going to need a redshirt even if he qualifies; yeah, it would be nice if Auburn could land another high-profile prospect to get some of that good ol' Big Cat feelin' back. But seeing what guys like Daren Bates and Anthony Gulley are doing already, it's already fair to give this staff the benefit of the doubt when it comes to evaluating under-the-radar prospects like Delaine.