Friday, August 14, 2009

Paige denied, class of 2009 complete

Via Rivals and Beaver, Taikwon Paige has been denied eligibility by the NCAA Clearinghouse. He hopes to enroll in January.

With Paige's status squared away, you can close the book on Auburn's class of 2009. A few brief data points:

--Not including the late-arriving Aubrey Phillips, Auburn signed 28 players. Six of those players--Terrance Coleman, Josh Jackson, Izauea Lanier, Reggie Taylor, LaVoyd James, and Paige--failed to qualify. Add in baseball-bound signee Brandon Jacobs, and a full quarter of Auburn's class failed to make it to campus.

--Including "athletes" Demond Washington and Lanier, three of Auburn's five signees in the secondary failed to qualify.

--While this class won't do much to repair Tommy Tuberville's (or Auburn's) reputation for recruiting academic risks, the new staff didn't have any better luck--of the six academic failures, three were originally Tubby recruits and three were late additions by the new staff.

--Although still better than the 2007 class (in which more than a third of Tubby's 30 signees failed to enroll), the 7-to-28 ratio still represents a slight step back from the 2008 class, when 6-of-29 failed to qualify. (Several of those players, like Deron Furr and Raven Gray, didn't hang around for too long. But they did make it campus.)

As for the upshot of Paige's failure to qualify, well, at least it's not a surprise by this stage in the process. But obviously every body Auburn could have gotten its hands on in the secondary was a precious body after the rash of injuries, and Paige had enough experience and an endorsement from Roof to have been more than just a body. It's not the end of the world, but it hurts, and it'll hurt even more if Auburn suffers any more setbacks at corner.

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