It’s no longer exactly breaking news, but if you’ve been ignoring your regular Auburn news sources for several days whilst climbing out from beneath a giant pile of rocks or something, you missed a damn good weekend on the recruiting front: Georgia athlete C.J. Uzomah and Alabama corner Jonathan Rose have both committed to Chizik and Co. Remember that list of four recruits I said I thought would commit by the end of the August? Halfway home already, and it’s only August 3.
Uzomah and Rose bring Auburn up to 14 commitments for the class of 2010, so that’s also more than halfway home for the class as a whole now, but of course quality counts for more than quantity, Fortunately, Uzomah and Rose bring the quality. First, some things you should know about the former:
— The gurus aren’t completely crazy about Uzomah, but they like him. He’s a high three-star at Rivals, a high three-star at ESPN, and a four-star at Scout. And he’d probably be ranked even higher if they knew precisely what position he’d play; he’s an athlete to both Rivals and ESPN–who calls him “a physical specimen as an overall athlete”–but a tight end to Scout.
— Yes, he’s played quarterback at North Gwinnett but will move to WR/TE/Wildcat/H-back/Quality Control Assistant at Auburn. He allegedly had an offer from LSU to stay at QB but turned it down to come to Auburn. His reasoning:
“They want to use me kind of as a wideout/slot receiver but they also want me to be a quarterback in their Wildcat package,” said Uzomah, who committed to the Tigers before Saturday’s workouts with his North Gwinnett team. “They showed me some film of how they would use me and that was pretty cool. Coach Malzahn is an innovative offensive mind and they have a great offense.
“But that wasn’t the main thing. Really it was just the feel of the campus and the community and the whole thing. There’s no place like it to me. Forty years down there road I know I’ll say I made the right decision.”
Damn right. Regardless, Uzomah appears to be the kind of athlete he get on campus first and then figure out exactly where he’s going to be the most help. He’ll be able to help somewhere, that much we know.
— Auburn was far from the only school who thought so: LSU put on the full-court press, and Uzomah also had offers from Georgia, Alabama, Clemson, South Carolina, Tennessee, North Carolina, etc. As with a lot of Auburn’s commitments so far this cycle, just because Uzomah’s only got three stars doesn’t mean he’s not a fairly high-profile recruit.
— Other offers worth noting: Vandy, Northwestern, Wake Forest. Gosh, you think he’ll be smart enough?
So, yeah: great athlete, top-notch offers, smart as a whip. He’s a hell of an addition. But Rose might be an even bigger one. Similar bullets:
— Rose is the No. 60 player in the Rivals100 and their No. 3 corner. He’s the No. 12 corner at ESPN and a solid four-star. By all accounts he’s taken and crushed virtually all comers on the summer camp circuit. If the gurus’ opinions mean anything, Rose is a total stud. (Scout weirdly lists him as a three-star and the No. 31 corner, but, uh, they seem like a pretty definitive outlier.)
— Alabama fans will say “they didn’t want him” in a lot of cases and in a lot of them, honestly, they’ll be right, but Rose is not one of those cases. Rivals ranks him as the No. 2 player in the state and ‘Bama made a legitimate push for him early in the process. Unfortunately for them, “early in the process” is about when Rose decided he was headed to Auburn. The point is one we’ve heard made a ton since Chizik and Co. took over, but it’s worth making again: Auburn matters in in-state recruiting again.
— Other suitors: Florida St., Georgia, Tennessee. Rose’s obvious interest in Auburn may have cut off other offers at the proverbial pass.
— Rose’s father, you no doubt know, was former Auburn defensive back Charles Rose. Mmmmmmm, future profile stories.
— This just cracks me up: the current front page at Auburn’s Rivals site features not one, not two, not three, not five but four different pictures of Rose … and he’s making the exact same expression in all four. Hurry, before one of them changes.
— So Auburn’s defensive back class already includes Rose, Izauea Lanier, Devin Gaulden, and possibly Anthony Swain, and Marcus Roberson could very well be Auburn’s next commitment. Yeah, it’s going to be quite a class.
Of course, as Auburn continues to pile up the commitments that could have gone to other SEC homes, we could say that about the class as a whole. Good times.