The good news on Zac Etheridge is clearly the big headline of the day, but there’s lots more out there on the Auburn beat today:
— Six Tigers made the coaches’ preseason All-SEC team: Ziemba and Bynes on the first unit, Stevens, Pugh, Adams, and Thorpe on the second. I’m with Jay Tate that most of those selections make sense (in fact, I think Bynes first-team and Stevens second is an accurate assessment), but there are a couple of gripes:
1. Wes Byrum? Not even second team? After hitting 15-of-16 and every extra point he attempted? C’mon.
2. I guess he didn’t have enough production last year to warrant selection, but if there’s five defensive linemen on that second team, they’re going to regret not making Antoine Carter or Nick Fairley one of them.
3. Ditto Mario Fannin.
— Yeoman’s work from Andy Bitter in setting up a fan-driven Q&A with Jay Jacobs, then publishing the full transcript, which you should definitely read all of even if it takes longer than the typical Bill Simmons column. Topics covered include non-conference football scheduling, retiring Tray Rocker’s number, J-Hare expansion, possible new varsity programs, and more. Most of Jacobs’ responses were nicely-constructed boilerplate, but it was intriguing to hear him say he wouldn’t rule out a long-term nonconference series at a neutral site a la Arkansas vs. Texas A&M in Arlington. It’s a shame all the natural candidates for something like that–Clemson, Georgia Tech, Florida St.–already have yearly series established with other SEC programs.
— More Q&A, this time at the AUfficial site, this time with Tony Barbee. (Who, speaking of, might have had something to say about one of Jacobs’ responses in the previous Q&A.) Most interesting is his take on the incoming class:
“I’m excited about the incoming freshmen. I think anytime you get the chance to make some changes once you take over, to bring in players that you believe can fit within what you are trying to do. I think all of those guys … you look at Josh Langford with what he’ll bring coming from a winning program and what he brings from his experience being Mr. Basketball in the state. Josh brings us a lot of versatility. He can play anywhere along the perimeter or along the frontline with his skill set. Allen Payne is very similar to Josh, a 6-foot-7 versatile player that can play inside and can play outside because of his length. Adrian Forbes is an athletic interior player who will bring us some toughness and some rebounding along the frontline. Chris Denson will add much needed depth in the backcourt. Size-wise with Luke Cothran and Shawn Kemp along the frontline will bring us some depth and size that we don’t necessarily have. So, we were able to get those two and bring them into the fold.”
It probably doesn’t mean a thing, but doesn’t he seem far more fired up about Langford than Cothron*? Despite the fact that Langford is supposed to be the pretty nice player and Cothron the total stud? It’s probably nothing.
— It’s awesome that Auburn finished third in the SEC in the number of freshman athletes on the Freshman Academic Honor Roll. It’s less awesome that only one of those athletes–Phil Lutzenkirchen–was a football player. To pick a non-arbitrary example as a contrast, Alabama led the league with 12. Hopefully this will be one of those things that changes as Chizik and Co. can afford to be more selective with their recruiting. But Auburn can do better.
— Elsewhere, Auburn’s Fan Day is set and Bitter wraps up his look at Auburn’s “most integral” players with No. 1 Lee Ziemba. No argument there.
*Yes, I believe the AUfficial site misspelled Cothron‘s name in the excerpt. Sigh.
What’s up w/ Tyrick Rollinson(sp?) He just posted what sounded like a goodbye on his Facebook page
Breaking news! =P
Maybe because he hyped up Cothron so much in the previous interviews? That’d be my guess. Regardless, I think most of them will be called upon early this year. This season, it’ll be Frankie & the Freshmen (sounds like a barbershop quartet name, lol).
Me likes the phrase… “and Shawn Kemp along the frontline”!
I’m having flashbacks of his daddy in that Sonics jersey!
Of course Bama led the league with 12 on the academic honor roll. They just won a national championship and had a top 5 recruiting class. Everyone here knows how they run things over there 🙂
Joe Blow says
As someone who attended both Alabama and Auburn, I can tell you the reason Bama has more players on the Freshman Academic Honor Roll. The classes there are a joke.
BD, it’s possible that nickname’s gonna stick come the season.
Re: ‘Bama’s freshmen, I won’t dispute anyone’s assessment of how they got there, but it doesn’t change the fact that Auburn should have more than one.
……… Hold up……. Wait a second…………..
…………… Shawn Kemp, as in, Junior, as in THAT Shawn Kemp, as in, THE Shawn Kemp??? As in, THIS Shawn Kemp????
Now why wasn’t I informed when he signed? I guess I’ve just been skimming over the name ever since, I don’t know, November, and never put the two and two together.
Wow that’s beyond awesome.
Geez, AO, where have you been?
I don’t know man, but somehow, SOMEHOW, I totally missed that.
I guess my memo got lost in the mail. Or maybe I was a little preoccupied with another sport in November. There’s no telling.
I blame the NFL Player’s Association.
Joe Blow says
That one was hard to miss…especially considering where he was going to go.
Wes keeps getting the treatment many of Auburn’s players get from the media. No Respect, no respect at all. (Man I miss Dangerfield)