Not anything too major happening, but a few things you ought to be aware of:
Steven Clarks your socks off. New punter commitment Steven Clark‘s decision to commit just ahead of the Tennessee game meant it’s taken me a few days to look over the guru reviews, but turns out it’s worth the wait:
ESPN’s Craig Haubert said of the news, “Auburn will likely not finish No. 1 or even ahead of Alabama in the class rankings (OH NOES–ed.), but the Tigers could claim the special teams recruiting title. They already have Under Armour All-American place kicker Cody Parkey on board, the No. 1 overall kicker in this class, and now they added talented punter Steven Clark … He is a punter with great size and a big leg … (Clark) plays tight end and defensive end in high school and looks the part, but has exciting upside as a punter.”
“It may not be easy to get excited about a kicking prospect, but Tigers fans should realize they landed a very talented punter with nice upside and the tools to be a draftable punter.”
ESPN assigns Clark a borderline four-star grade of 79, but you know what I really am excited about? Getting one of those awesome SportsCenter highlights where our 6-4, 225-pound TE-in-disguise punter jacks someone up, that’s what I’m excited about.
Of course, I’d be even more excited if I could watch video of Clark punting, but punters don’t get Internet highlight films …
or do they?
OK, now I’m excited. And in all seriousness: no, a punting commitment isn’t the biggest deal in the world. But it has to be a good sign that when Auburn decided they needed a punter, they went out and got one of the very best ones available. Other titles might be even better, but that doesn’t mean I’m turning down a “special teams recruiting title,” that’s for sure.
Reed. As huge a pull as it would be for Auburn to land receiver superprospect Trovon Reed, I’ve never been too bullish on Auburn’s chances–snatching a recruit of Reed’s quality out of Louisiana from under LSU’s noses isn’t the sort of thing that happens all that often, and LSU’s allegedly (allegedly) improving chances with Reed best-buddy Lache Seastrunk don’t help.
But the whispers I’ve seen suggest Auburn fans are getting a little more confident with Reed, and lo and behold they’re not the only ones expecting Reed to choose Auburn when all is said and done:
Wide receiver Trovon Reed (Thibodeaux, La./Thibodeaux) will sign with Auburn. The word in Louisiana on Reed is that it’s a battle of Tigers between Auburn and LSU and that the fans that yell “War Eagle” will be happier than the fans that yell “Geaux Tigers” on national signing day. It’s not like Louisiana isn’t loaded with receivers in the next recruiting cycle (Jarvis Landry comes to mind), so LSU will be fine. It could be a huge pickup for Auburn, though, given the need for playmakers in the passing game.
That’s one of ESPN guru J.C. Shurbutt’s “Twelve predictions for ESPNU 150 prospects,” and if it’s hardly binding, that the battle is even close enough for a high-profile recruitnik like Shurbutt to believe Auburn could come out on top is encouraging.
Beasley. Clemson commitment Vic Beasley visited Auburn recently and now, ta da, he’s “leaning” towards Auburn. Beasley’s an Auburn legacy and a strong prospect who wowed a lot of folks in summer camps and workouts, so not only does Auburn appear to have a shot here, but it would be another big addition to the class. That said: Beasley’s gone through a lot of phases in his recruitment–he was supposedly an Alabama lock at one time before committing to Clemson–and I think we’re still a long way from seeing what ultimately happens with Beasley. Still, hey, better news than having him not interested, that’s for sure.
Etc. Remember Khairi Fortt, who made a cameo at Big Cat Weekend? He committed to Penn St. over Georgia after–get this–the players hosting him in Athens walked off and left him by himself at a party. Good work there, fellas.