Monthly Archive for May, 2009
Around 9 pm a crowd started to gather at Toomer’s Corner. Why you ask? For the first “Toomer’s Corner Walk-Through” where Auburn fans get a chance to rub elbows with some of the nation’s top football recruits. Of course the tree was rolled and of course all the Auburn cheers were sung, but the most important thing was for these recruits to see how serious Auburn is about getting them here to play football. Coaches Taylor and Looper fired up the crowd. Coach Taylor even added a little spice by breaking out his famous chest-bumps with all the recruits. Everyone was in great spirits and every recruit seemed to be having a wonderful time.
Before we get to the pictures, I just want to add that yes my camera sucks and yes I’m not a fantastic photographer. Additionally it was dark obviously and taking pics of people constantly moving through a large crowd and toilet paper will test anyone’s abilities.
That being said….here’s some of the better shots.
There’s something to be said for thinking outside the box. That’s exactly what Gene Chizik and the new Auburn Tiger coaching staff have done in terms of recruiting. First, it was the Tiger Prowl, where the Auburn coaching staff barnstormed the state of Alabama in a stretch limousine over four days during the early part of the May Evaluation Period.
|Big Cat Guest List|
|Here’s a look at some of the top prospects expected to be at Auburn this weekend.|
|DE Ken Adams||Wesson (Miss.) Copiah-Lincoln C.C.|
|CB Ryan Ayers||Douglasville (Ga.) South Paulding|
|ATH Victor Beasley||Adairsville (Ga.) High|
|OT Shon Coleman||Olive Branch (Miss.) High|
|LB Tyrone Cornileus||Stone Mountain (Ga.) Stephenson|
|DE J.C. Copeland||LaGrange (Ga.) Troup|
|LB Jessel Curry||Buford (Ga.) High|
|LB Khairi Fortt||Stamford (Conn.) High|
|WR Antonio Goodwin||Atlanta (Ga.) Washington|
|WR Jake Holland||Pelham (Ala.) High|
|ATH Shaun Kitchens||College Park (Ga.) Banneker|
|RB Marcus Lattimore||Duncan (S.C.) Byrnes|
|OG Eric Mack||St. Matthews (S.C.) Calhoun County|
|CB Jonathan Mincy||Decatur (Ga.) Southwest Dekalb|
|LB LaDarius Owens||Bessemer (Ala.) Jess Lanier|
|WR Trovon Reed||Thibodaux (La.) High|
|WR Jeremy Richardson||Springville (Ala.) High|
|RB Lache Seastrunk||Temple (Texas) High|
|OT James Stone||Nashville (Tenn.) Maplewood|
|LB Nigel Terrell||Pelham (Ala.) High|
|DT Mike Thornton||Stone Mountain (Ga.) Stephenson|
|LB Jawara White||Troy (Ala.) Henderson|
They may have topped that idea with what’s on deck this weekend at Auburn – the inaugural “Big Cat Weekend”. It will be a social weekend on campus that lasts Friday through Sunday. Coming to visit will be many of Auburn’s big-name recruiting targets, including running backs Lache Seastrunk and Marcus Lattimore, wide receivers Trovon Reed and Jeremy Richardson and offensive linemen James Stone and Shon Coleman. In all 23 elite prospects will attend the first “Big Cat Weekend”.There will be no forty times or agility drills. There will be no player evaluations or football competitions. Prospects will just hang out with the coaches and players for two days. They will play video games, have a home run hitting contest, a pie-eating contest and just hang out. In essence, this is a big social gathering for Auburn’s top recruiting targets.
“Some of the guys are coming to Auburn and we are just gonna kick it,” Curtis Luper said, Auburn’s running back coach. “It will be very casual; t-shirts, flip-flops, that kind of thing. We just want to get a feel for each other. It should be a great time for everyone.”
So why the new, fresh ideas for Auburn? Simple. To keep their recruiting momentum going. This is a new staff led by Chizik that closed very well with a short recruiting window with their first class they signed this past February. Auburn’s an SEC program in the football crazed state of Alabama. The Crimson Tide have dominated in-state recruiting the past few seasons. Then you have to factor the conference itself, where recruiting is absolutely brutal with all the high-profile college football powers like Alabama, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Tennessee and so on.
This staff hasn’t had a chance to play a down of football yet. That will come soon enough. But in the meantime, they need to keep the momentum going, from the way they closed in February, to the Tiger Prowl and now with the Big Cat Weekend. Regardless of what you think, these fresh ideas are making noise for Auburn recruiting in a positive way.
Will there be any other recruiting strategy surprises for Chizik and company? Certainly. Expect another big idea that’s outside the box in late July by Auburn. The Tiger Prowl, Big Cat Weekend and July’s mystery surprise will all become annual recruiting fixtures for the Auburn Tigers.
The upcoming DJ Hero video game just landed two heavy hitters as MCs:
Both rappers are bringing their music to the newest offshoot of
Activision‘s successful $2 billion Guitar Hero franchise. The game, played with a turntable-shaped controller, is due out this fall for PlayStation 3, PS2, Xbox 360 and Wii (no price or rating yet).
From what I was told Julio Jones and Mark Ingram went on some boating trip with someone associated with Alabama or maybe Auburn (Julio’s girlfriends dad?) – the trip was all inclusive which is against NCAA regulations. There are supposedly pictures from the fishing trip. They were caught and will be suspended for the first part of this season (6 games).
ESPN College GameDay analyst Lee Corso recently suffered a minor stroke, but plans on being back for the kickoff of the 2009 college football season.
Corso suffered no permanent damage in the minor stroke, which was caused by the blockage to a small artery, according to a statement from Corso. He is expected to make a full recovery.
“This is just a small bump in the road, ” Corso said in a statement issued by ESPN. “A ‘not so fast, my friend’ in my game of life. I look forward to making a full recovery and returning to ESPN for my 23rd season analyzing the greatest sport in the world — college football.”
Corso, who played collegiately at Florida State, is a former head coach at Louisville, Indiana and Northern Illinois. He also coached the Orlando Renegades of the USFL.