Following is the comprehensive list of topics for the 10 posts put up by Jay G. Tate during the week since the end of SEC Media Days:
--Chad Slade commits
--SEC title game still in Atlanta
--Kenneth Carter commits
--filler (though a CYOA reference makes this some pretty sweet filler)
--Trott makes Mackey Award watch list
--former Auburn baseball coach Steve Renfroe is hired at UAB
--Tate radio appearance
--Auburn practice schedule is released
Meanwhile, over at the Gold Mine, Goldberg was covering tailgating policies and Andy Bitter's been busy previewing Auburn's opponents. So, yeah, news-wise, there might have been better weeks out there to have left the blog alone for a week. But there's been much worse ones, too. This is the final calm before the storm, one that will erupt for good starting with fall practice on Wednesday.
But before then, time to look back at that calm:
--One development that seems to have flown under the radar a bit: Izauea Lanier failed to make the grade and will be going the JUCO route. Of the three confirmed Auburn signees headed down that road, two of them were destined for the secondary. JUCO corner Taikwon Paige's status is still up in the air, as is potential corner Demond Washington's and safety Daren Bates. It's possible Auburn could see virtually its entire 2009 secondary class wiped out by academics--and at a position already decidedly on the thin side, this is not good news, not good news at all. Hopefully Paige, Washington, and Bates slide in under the bar and we can breathe a little easier, but regardless it will be interesting to see if secondary recruiting takes on any greater importance as we approach Signing Day.
--Man, here's to hoping that Terrance Coleman and Josh Jackson--the other two players still waiting on the final word from the NCAA clearinghouse--don't miss too much practice. Assuming, of course, they even make it. In these final days before practice kicks off,
--As expected, practices will be mostly closed to the media. Just as was the case in the spring, I don't see why it's necessary, but if that's what it takes for this staff (or their players, I suppose) to feel comfortable on the practice field, fine, you know, whatever.
--Goodness, are we still talking about billboards?
--'Krootin: as noted above, Auburn picked up a pair of commitments in the past week. One was mammoth (6'6", 315) offensive lineman Chad Slade, which ... you Arrested Development fans out there, remember when G.O.B. looks at Mrs. Whitehead the civics teacher and says of Michael, "Well, he's definitely got a type"? Well, Auburn's coaches definitely have a type when it comes to offensive lineman--tall, stout, probably in need of shedding a pound or two or 25.
As with John Sullen last year, despite Slade's size the gurus are far, far from being impressed: Slade doesn't even have a rating yet from any of the three services, quite an accomplishment these days when it's this late in the year. But hey--we all knew Auburn was desperate enough for lineman that we were going to get a couple of these commitments. And hey, Slade is gigantic, and with offensive lineman the gurus are usually more hit-and-miss--Grimes should have a good chance at turning Slade into a useful player (or, hell, more).
Elsewhere, Auburn also picked up an expected commitment from Greenville DT Kenneth Carter. Carter didn't wow the guys at Scout or Rivals but he's still on ESPN's 150 Watch List, so there's not quite a consensus. During my time in west Alabama I wasn't terribly impressed with Greenville's program, a bias that sort of got confirmed last spring when Jamontay Pilson didn't even have the grades to sign with Auburn ... but by most accounts Carter does have some talent and if things are different for him in the classroom, he could be huge.
--In non-commitment-related Krootin' news, LaDarius Owens postponed his announcement. Good thing, bad thing, who knows. Owens was back on Auburn's campus this weekend.
--Uh ... that seems to be about it for actual "news." Obviously things will change and how starting Wednesday ...
... which is why I'm going to do my damnedest to be around. Apologies for the silence over the past few days (and the lack of a Cheese Puff Preview today), but we had some family stuff that rearranged our travel plans ... instead of being back in Michigan as expected, we're now back in Alabama for a little while. But it'll definitely be better, blog-wise, than being in Canada, so there's going to be regular content this week. Cross my heart.