Back around Signing Day I made a joke that Auburn fans should come together to write a sitcom about Eguae called "Everybody Loves Nosa," because for a kid without much guru approval or any previous connection to Auburn, his reception was stunningly enthusiastic. Not that it's really all that surprising when you read anecdotes like these:
Texas Tech coaches were mighty unhappy when Eguae committed to Auburn on Jan. 26. That was the day after Eguae returned from an official visit to the Tech campus. Assistant coach Carlos Mainord tried to follow-up with an in-home visit after learning of Eguae's commitment. Mainord tried to push The Parent Angle, too.Add in a heavy helping of praise from any beat writer who got the chance to speak to him and rave reviews from Rocker himself, and you get near-universal consensus that there's more to Eguae than his recruiting ratings would suggest. Hooray for Auburn!
"You can talk to my parents as much as you want, but I'm still going to Auburn," Eguae said he told Mainord. "That's where I want to be. Auburn is the best fit for me. I told him that I want to play for Coach (Tracy) Rocker and that's how it's going to be. I'm looking forward to getting my conditioning packet from Coach (Kevin) Yoxall and getting to work."
Basics: Fill us in, Auburn Signing Day information sheet:
Nosa EguaeAs with most of Auburn's other Texas products, Auburn first got involved with Eguae when Luper and Taylor were recruiting for Oklahoma St. LOLZ.
DL, 6-3, 234
Mansfield, TX (Summit HS)
High School Coach: Kyle Geller
HIGH SCHOOL: As a senior, had 67 tackles, including 14.5 for loss and six sacks, recovered three fumbles and forced two fumbles ... As a junior, collected 76 tackles, including 18 tackles for loss and seven sacks, and intercepted a pass ... Named to the All-District 4-5A Second Team as a senior ... Named a PrepStar All-American
At 6-3, 230, it's tough to see Eguae playing anywhere other than end, but Eguae is nonetheless usually described as the strong, sorta-stocky sort who'll be better at holding up against the run than rushing the passer. So at the very least he'll probably be on the strong side, and he's occasionally listed as a tackle.
Recruitnik hoo-ha: Eguae's guru profile reads very similarly to Izauea Lanier's in the last entry in this series: some respect from Rivals, a general "OK, nothing special" from ESPN, and dismissal from Scout. At least, I think it's fair to call two stars and no place in the DT rankings a dismissal.
ESPN's scouting report gives Eguae a 77 like most three-star types and says the following:
He is a physical defensive prospect with a tough name. (???--ed.) He plays hard and is productive. He has good size. Nothing that will blow you away, but good measurables for a high school prospect. He is a tough player versus the run. ... Will generate power from the hips and can stand a blocker up and hold his ground. Needs to watch his pad level and be more consistent, as he will try and anchor at times and can get overextended and be pushed off the ball. When he uses his weapons he is tough to block, but will try and slam into a blocker at times and allow them to get into his chest ... He has good size and ability to match a good motor.So some positives, but they don't seem excited, either. The service closest to excitement is Rivals, which hands him three stars but an "upper-tier three-star" grade of 5.7. They rank him the No. 17 strongside DE, just two slots away from the four stars (and, I have to point out, six spots ahead of Alabama commit Anthony Orr), and 60th in his class in Texas--not terribly impressive-sounding, but then again, the first 48 kids on that list were four-stars.
The offer list is pretty well right in that good-but-not-great level too: Texas Tech, Colorado (to whom he committed for a while), UCLA, Kansas, Minnesota. So plenty of BCS attention ... but with possible apologies to UCLA, Auburn was still pretty clearly his "biggest" offer.
Links of potential interest: Fortunately, we don't have to take the gurus' words for it, do we? Not when Tracy Rocker his own self is saying things like the following:
"Ohhhh. Hey, that's the sleeper. I think he has great upside. I think he brings definitely a maturity. He doesn't act like the average freshman. School is very important to him. Very smart. I think he brings something a little bit more to the table as this thing goes on and as he gets older here, I think, God willing, he's going to be special."That's about as enthusiastic as Rocker get with any of the incoming d-line recruits, so clearly he's got high hopes. Rocker played a pivotal role in Eguae's commitment--Eguae cited the chance to play for him pretty regularly after making his decision.
And about that "very smart" claim: Eguae made a 1330 on his SAT, so academics won't be a problem. (The quote at the top about wanting to get started on his workout regimen right away would seem to back up Rocker's implication about his work ethic, too, right?)
First impression sort of fits the scouting reports, doesn't it? Good strength, good motor, not quite as much explosiveness.
As you would expect, Eguae sees bright things in Auburn's future:
"A down year at Auburn doesn't happen a lot," he said. "With the players they have there, and the offensive coordinator, coach Malzahn, scoring points won't be much of a problem. Everything's going to turn around very quickly."At that same link, the writer said that Eguae "thanked everyone who recruited him"--a gracious gesture that seems to fit right in with everything else we know about his personality.
Colorado blog The Ralphie Report went over Egaue's profile when he committed to the Buffs; they'd probably like to take back that line about being OK with him visiting elsewhere, I'm guessing. Interesting breakdown of Eguae's highlight film in the comments.
And lastly, here's Eguae's Myspace page, complete with a rather kick-ass photo and a video with some Mansfield Summit highlights. Egaue's big play comes at the end of the 30 seconds.
What conclusions we can draw, if any: Whatever the gurus think of him, Eguae is basically a can't-lose prospect: with his smarts and willingness to work, the worst-case scenario for him is that he puts in his four years, gets his degree, and helps fill out the two-deep as a junior and senior. There's so many worse ways to spend a scholarship, I'm delighted Auburn got him into this class.
And there's a very good chance Eguae's going to be a lot more than that. I'm not sure he'll ever be a superstar, but he's big enough, smart enough, and motorrific enough that it's also difficult to see him not contributing on the field once he fills out a little bit and Rocker teaches him college technique.
With virtually no downside and plenty of upside, I think it's easy to see why Rocker is so excited to have Eguae around for these next 4-5 years.