I guess we can be thankful that the fireworks of this year’s Big Cat Weekend weren’t of the impromptu pep rally/Toomer’s rolling/Saban smack-talking variety. (We know the NCAA is.) This year’s fireworks took place on the commitment ledger, and they were even better than a year ago’s, as quarterback Kiehl Frazier of Arkansas committed to Auburn.
It’s not an exaggeration to say that Frazier is both one of the top prospects in the nation, at any position, and in the discussion as the best quarterback in his class. His offer sheet is about as strong from a national perspective as any Auburn recruit’s from the last few classes: Florida, LSU, Notre Dame, UCLA, Michigan, Clemson. His stats from his junior year are eye-popping: a 63 percent completion rate, 3,817 yards, 48 touchdowns vs. 14 interceptions, and one thrilling comeback for YouTube:
Frazier, as you’d expect for someone being recruited by Gus Malzahn to run his offense, can also run the ball when needed–1,729 yards over the previous two seasons. But he also stands a full 6-3 and weighs 212 pounds.
Guru approval? Frazier nets four stars and the No. 62 spot in Rivals’ just-released national top 100, four stars and No. 104 in Scout’s top 300, and he’s an Under Armour All-American at ESPN.
We all knew Auburn was going to take a quarterback in their 2011 class. The only questions were: who? when? and how good will he be? The answers: Frazier, this early, and by all accounts, pretty damn good. And even better, with those questions now answered, Auburn can look even better in the eyes of potential skill position recruits and start re-focusing their efforts elsewhere. Frazier is the kind of recruit the class can be built around.
So that’s part of what Frazier’s commitment means in the big picture. The other part is that it’s latest sign that Auburn’s 2010 class was no fluke. The Tigers have seven commitments to-date, and while Frazier is the only one to currently sit in the Rivals’ 100, three more–Dismukes, Blackson, and O’Reilly–seem likely to wind up as four-stars when all is said and done. That percentage seems likely to only increase in the near future, based on comments like these from Jonathan Rose:
“This is my seventh visit, and I say after my seventh time it’s time to make a decision,” Rose said.
Rose has offers from Auburn, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida State, Mississippi State and Southern Miss, among others, according to Scout and Rivals.
Rose, who Scout says is a four-star prospect and the No. 12 cornerback in the country, categorized recruiting this way:
“It’s Auburn and everyone else. Auburn is at the high point right now. Everybody else is in their own category. Auburn is in its own category,” he said.
Music to orange-and-blue ears. Thanks to Rivals keeping the post-Big Cat quotes out from behind the paywall, you can read a ton of recruit reactions, four posts’ worth: one two three four. Obligatory encouraging “family” quote, this time from Gabe Wright:
“I love how they stress family. You can’t stress that enough. Football is just football. It’s what you know. It’s what you have. It’s like what Coach (Gene) Chizik said, football is what he does, but a father and husband is what he is. Football is just something that he is good at, but it doesn’t run his life. And family isn’t something they just use. It’s not something they say for recruiting. All you have to do is go there and see that they are for real.
Mmmmmm, that’s good quote. (Wright still claims Auburn and the Tide as his top two, with what seems like maybe the slightest of edges to Auburn.) But this one is my favorite, from Ray Drew:
“It was a really good visit. I haven’t seen anything like it before. I liked how I got the chance to meet with the other recruits and see how close of a family they are over at Auburn. I liked everything, the coaches. I actually told Coach (Gene) Chizik he’s the only person I knew who could pull off a white see-through shirt, khaki pants and cowboy boots. It was fun.”
Hey, as long as the recruits think he was pulling it off.
Overall, it appears Big Cat Weekend II: Son of Big Cat did exactly what it was supposed to do: earn at least one big commitment, strengthen Auburn’s lead with players like Rose with whom they already had a lead, and put Auburn firmly in the running with players like Drew and, say, Louisiana lineman Greg Robinson. All that and Chizik wearing cowboy boots with khakis and a see-through white shirt. You can’t ask for anything more, can you?
Alex P in Smyrna G says
Nit Pick #1: Knee Brace in HS Junior year. Niel Caudle has seen this movie before. maybe I’m just in a pessamistic place at the moment. I blame the AU baseball team.
But overall BC2 apears to have kicked ass.
Welcome back Jerry. Hope you had a great long weekend.
Glancing over offer sheets from the last few years and yeah, Frazier’s is easily the most impressive, what jumped out at me was Lee Ziemba — Nebraska, Notre Dame, USC, Michigan, but our only SEC competition was Arkansas. Where were Bama, Florida, UGA, Tenn., LSU? Did we lock him up early and nobody else wanted to put the effort in or were there other concerns or something?
Dave, good question, and one I don’t have an answer for. It’s not like he was some unknown quantity–highly, highly ranked at Rivals.
Alex, maybe. I don’t think his HS injury is what’s held Caudle back, though.
Uncle Remus says
anybody got a link to Mean Gene in the cowboy boots and khakis?
An interception return for a touchdown? For an all-American qb? Really???
On the “offers” that can be incredibly ambiguous. Almost all major schools are sending out 80+ “offers” every year. The “offers” are all contingent on a list of variables and decisions by other players.
If you actually remember, Ziemba was even thought of more highly after his junior year. He was a top 10 national junior, possibly in contention for player of the year. He actually had a somewhat down senior season. Also, his recruitment along with Kodi Burns, were relatively early commitments in the season. Arkansas was in a lot of transition with the Houston Nutt debacle.
Did you catch the fact that in that 51-49 comeback victory, Frazier scored all seven touchdowns, either passing, rushing or pick-6? But what really made me laugh out loud was when that punt was downed on the two yard line and the subsequent safety – Guess who was the punter?
Damn fine recruit if you ask me.
Thanks, Jerry and Kenny.
OT and I’m sure he’d come across it but I look forward to Jerry’s response to Auburn placing #3 on Bleacher Report’s list of college football’s worst oversigners. Nope, no possible way Gene Chizik had a plan for dealing with those 32 signees, I definitely don’t need to Google or do the most minimal research here.
Dave, I haven’t clicked on that article yet, but judging by your statement about the “32 signees” I’m guessing that they neglected to realize that 5 of those count towards LAST YEAR’s class, and therefore shouldn’t be taken into consideration. But oh well. Like you said, research is apparently too much to ask for.
Joe Blow says
A little off topic here, but I thought this would put a smile on your face:
Vincent Tolliver says
Recruit comments from the SEC schools:
Auburn — It’s like a family
Alabama — It’s all business
Georgia — It’s a fun place
Tennessee — It’s a big stadium
Florida — It’s the great weather
Ole Miss — Coach Nutt is crazy
Vandy — What a good school
Arkansas — It’s the SEC
LSU — The Food is Good
Mississippi St — They are building something
Kentucky — We get basketball tickets
South Carolina — I like the black jerseys
Sammy, c’mon, a junior high school QB can’t have one bad throw?
Dave, I know you mean well, but please don’t link Bleacher Report trash here, thanks. Every time someone links a BR post by some random hack instead of something more knowledgable by an independent blogger a fairy falls down dead. As for the topic, I’ll get to it at some point in the near future, I’m thinking.
Joe, that was the best news I got all day yesterday. So, so delicious.
Vincent, well done, sir.
You all probably know by now, but Phil Steele has Auburn at 15 and projects an undefeated Iron Bowl matchup.
How the hell are we ranked 15th if we’re gonna go 11-1? How many 11-1 team have ever been ranked 15th? Especially since we would have the highest quality 1-loss record, seeing as how it’s to Phil Steele’s precious cunnseckatif nayshunal champyuns Alabammer rtr.
So apparently Phil Steele is predicting 14 teams to go 12-0 this year.
It’s a sad, sad day when Phil Steele and a freakin’ Bleacher Report Top 10 are linked in the same comments thread. Vince’s post and the Rossi news (LMAO) make up for it though.
OT – Nothing I can say that hasn’t already been said. I don’t think I can describe my enthusiasm with mere words, so I’m not gonna try.
As for the video —
i.) Pick-six was awesome.
ii.) Dear God, someone play some defense.
iii.) If I hear “Run This Town” on another football highlight ever again I’m going to shoot myself in the face. Is there a rule against using GOOD rap music in football videos or something?
FYI AO, Steele’s got Oklahoma winning the national title. The Tide are 3rd. As I said in the post devoted to Steele that’s up now, I don’t think he’s actually predicting Auburn to go 11-1 … just saying it’s a possibility.
Then what IS his prediction?
I guess that’s how he can claim to have the most accurate predictions in the past 11 years — He’s never wrong because he never makes any predictions.
Or at least he can get by by being vague as all hell.
But, hey, I guess that’s why I don’t trust him for college football predictions any more than any guy that ever put together a game program. Drawing up depth charts and researching against-the-spread stats does not make an X’s and O’s expert.
Well, he’s predicted Auburn will finish 15th in the nation, 2nd in the SEC West, 3rd overall in the league. Does he really need to get more specific than that? When he claims the “most accurate” title, he’s talking about national rankings/standings.
You’re permitted to hate him, but he puts waaaaaaaay more thought into his predictions and is waaaaaaaaay more willing to go out on limbs–like, say, “Auburn No. 15 in the country” or “Auburn could start the season 11-0”–than anyone else out there. That’s worth something to me.