Well, the Iron Bowl may not have been a win in the record book, and that’s a shame. But thanks to Auburn’s fans and a hell of a performance from the Tigers, at least it looks to have been a win on the recruiting front. Numerous prospects in attendance have given Auburn high marks on the weekend and it earned Chizik and Co. their 22nd commitment for the class of ’10: Arkansas tight end Dakota Mosley.
Mosley–as you know already–is a teammate of Michael Dyer’s at Little Rock Christian, and not surprisingly, Dyer was looking for a commitment from Mosley sooner rather than later:
“He had a big part in it,” Mosley said. “He talked to me every day about it. He was always in my ear, `Saying, when are you going to do it? Come on, we need you, we need you.”’
Dyer, in Auburn, said he was happy his teammate joined him …
“The visit kind of sealed it for me, the game yesterday. It was crazy. It’s something I want to be a part of,” Mosley said. “I’ve never seen anything like that. The loudest, craziest game I’ve ever seen.”
Another quote, from AuburnUndercover via ESPN:
“I had a feeling this was the right place for me,” Mosley told ESPN affiliate Web site AuburnUndercover.com. “It just felt right. I talked to my family about it, and we all feel like it is just right place. Through the whole recruiting process, Auburn has just been up there on the top and everything.”
The closeness between Dyer and Mosley–they’ve been taking visits together pretty much since the recruiting process began–has naturally opened the door for questions as to whether Auburn originally offered Mosley for Mosley or for the help in locking down Dyer. (That Mosley wound up being seriously courted by Tennessee and had t0 hear a recruiting pitch from Dyer is more than a little ironic.) Unfortunately, two of the three major recruiting services don’t do much to help Mosley’s cause here: Rivals rates him a run-of-the-mill three-star with a 5.5 grade, and Scout’s even less enthusiastic, giving him two stars and ranking him the No. 61 TE in his class.
But whatever the motivations for Auburn’s offer and whatever those particular gurus think, Mosley is a more-than-welcome addition to Auburn’s 2010 class. For several reasons:
1. Offers. Tennessee and Florida St. both came across with offers with Mosley, and frankly, both of those teams have used their tight ends more (at least as a pass-catching target) than Auburn has this season. If they see some potential there, it’s a good bet there is some.
2. The third recruiting service–ESPN–is plenty high on him. For starters, they invited him to their freaking All-American game. Not a bad endorsement, that. They also rate him the No. 14 TE and give him a just-shy-of-four-stars grade of 79 with this scouting report:
Mosley presents a nice target in the passing game. He possesses good size and carries good bulk with the frame to add additional size with time in a college weight program. He is a legit receiving target and he has very good hands. Displays the ability to consistently catch the ball with his hands and really looks comfortable snatching the ball out of the air … Mosley is a good receiver, but can really up his stock if he can contribute as an inline blocker. Displays the toughness and could be like an extra lineman with his size potential. Displays the ability to get good hand placement and is tough to beat when he gets locked on … Best football is definitely ahead of him.
ESPN’s Craig Haubert:
“The top 15 tight end is not a pick-up that will create the same excitement in Auburn nation as his teammate did, but this is a good addition of a somewhat under-the-radar player … Despite looking more like a lineman, he has very good hands and a nice catch radius being able to using his body and go up and get the ball. He also has potential as an in-line blocker with his size.”
Emphasis there mine, because this is where I bring up Mosley’s …
3. Versatility. At 6-4, 250, and with plenty of room for additional weight, it’s not surprising that when Auburn initially offered Mosley, he was supposedly being recruited as an offensive lineman. Obviously, Auburn could use offensive linemen, and with some time with Coach Yox and Mosley’s tight-end honed athleticism, it’s not too hard to see him making the transition to being a productive linemen … especially if 2011 rolls around and Auburn is as in need as we’ve worried they might be.
But of course, Auburn’s made some strides there, so Mosley may stick at tight end. He’s the only true TE in the class and it’s not like Auburn has a ton of candidates lining up to replace Tommy Trott; it’s pretty much just lonely ol’ Phil Lutzenkirchen. If Mosley can show off enough agility to make the blocks on corners, safeties, and linebackers that Trott made his stock-in-trade this season, Mosley could slide into the two-deep sooner rather than later. I mean, who else is going to back Lutzenkirchen up?
OK, so where 2010 is concerned Malzahn would probably just go without a TE if Lutzenkirchen’s not available, but down the road, it’s not hard at all to see Mosley taking over as the offense’s go-to outside blocker. That Mosley could conceivably contribute at two different positions–both of which are arguably positions of need for Auburn–makes him a low-risk, high-reward kind of recruit.
In short: maybe Mosley isn’t the kind of recruit that makes or breaks the class, but he is the sort whose upside and TE/OL flexibility make him a highly-desirable, almost necessary recruit for this particular Auburn class. Chizik and Co. need depth in this group as much as they need the stars, and this is how you do it.