AAARRRGGGHHH: Internet outage for about 3 1/2 hours this morning. Think everything here is still up-to-date; apologies.
Damn Matt Hinton and his “ooooh, let’s conclusively demonstrate exactly why recruiting is so important” ilk. My offseason life was so much simpler before I decided I’d spend a giant chunk of it worrying over the whims of 17- and 18-year-olds.
But this is the lot the serious college football fan has been cast in the Twenty-Tens*, so we’ll just have to grit our teeth and get through these next 7 days. The current info:
50/50. It’s been believed for a while now that the battle for All-Everything defensive end Corey Lemonier was going to come down to Auburn and Florida St. (despite interest from Miami and Tennessee, amongst others), and yesterday Lemonier made that belief official. As for whether Lemonier’s ultimate decision will be the Tigers or ‘Noles, your guess is as good as mine … and probably better. That it was Auburn’s Rivals site that broke the news rather than FSU’s might be a tiny, insignificant crumb of positive evidence, but despite some confidence in the Auburn quarters of the Internet I don’t think there’s any really solid feel for which way Lemonier is leaning.
The good news: Auburn has a 50/50 shot (at the minimum) of landing a huuuuuuuge commitment at a position of need. Lemonier joins a whole host of Auburn targets and/or commitments that have Chizik and Co. as one of two final choices: Marcus Lattimore (vs. SC), Byran Jones (vs. Arkansas), Jeffrey Whitaker (vs. UGA, though Whitaker is visiting Miami this weekend), D.J. Howard (vs. Clemson), and unfortunately …
Shon Coleman (vs. ‘Bama). After a flurry of HOT RUMORmongering, late yesterday it became official: Shon Coleman’s getting the full press from the Coachbot and will be visiting Tuscaloosa this week.
However likely you do or don’t think Coleman’s possible defection might be, there’s no way to spin this as good news. Coleman’s coach at Olive Branch is notoriously pro-‘Bama, and of course Saban has proven on many occasions (sadly) that he doesn’t need a whole lot of time to make a sale. The very thought of the Tide snatching Coleman away at the last second like the idol from the opening of Raiders of the Lost Ark as Saban says “Dr. Chizik. Again we see there is nothing that you possess that I cannot take away” makes me want to break out in hives.
But I remain tentatively optimistic, for two reasons: 1. Dude, it wasn’t even a week ago Coleman said, point-blank “I will sign with Auburn”; going from that kind of certainty to decommitting this quickly is a hell of a backswing (though hardly an unprecedented one, obviously) 2. It’s not like Alabama’s motivations are a mystery here; their coaches feel like they’ve lost out on James Stone and have since moved onto Coleman as a fallback option. Is he really going to want to play for a staff that wanted nothing to do with him until 10 days before Signing Day?
Unfortunately, the answer is “Well … maybe.” This looks to be a hell of a test for Chizik and Co.’s head-to-head sales pitch; nothing to do but hold our breath and hope they pull it off.
OK, so better news. This just in: Michael Dyer is really, really good. He made Parade’s All-American team, along with Marcus Lattimore. And speaking of Lattimore, he’s No. 1 with a Stephen Davis-shaped bullet on the Press-Register’s “Super Southeast 120.” Other Auburn notables: Dyer at No. 3, Trovon Reed no. 9, Lemonier 13, Coleman 26, Whitaker 31, LaDarius Owens 46, Eric Mack 50, Jeremy Richardson 76, Antonio Goodwin 80, Craig Sanders 81, Jones 93, Jake Holland 109, Jawara White 118, Ed Christian 120.
Also worth a read: ESPN’s Tom Luginbill and Scout’s Andrew Bone name the top three SEC classes by position for the B’ham News’s Doug Segrest. Auburn’s offensive line, linebacking, and skill position groups–unsurprisingly–come in for some love.
Lastly … Auburn’s top two targets in its QB class for ’11 appear to be Kiehl Frazier and Jeff Driskel, but 6-5 Georgia prospect C.J. Uzomah was also in town for the Tigers’ junior day last weekend and came away–you guessed it–impressed. Just a name to file away for later.
*I have no idea what we’re calling the current decade, do you? It still kind of weirds me out we never did collectively decide what we wanted the last decade to be called. I’m hoping this one gets a label that sticks, and gets it soon.
Photo found here.