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An open letter to the Auburn University 2011 Recruiting Class

In-state superstar Erique Florence is one of the anchors of Auburn's first post-national championship recruiting class in more than 50 years.

Dear New Auburn Men,

War Eagle and congratulations on your decision to enroll at Auburn University.

Football is an important reason why you’re coming to Auburn. Football will occupy a lot of your time, but it isn’t the most important reason you’re coming here. There’s a powerful truth in what Gene Chizik says about this place being great long before you or the 2010 National Championship team or a lot of the alumni put on the orange and blue. Auburn is great because of the history within the beautiful buildings. Auburn is heavy with tradition, rich with athletic accomplishments and overwhelmingly important to this part of the world.

More than 150 years of men and women have carried books over these grounds and later stepped confidently into the world to make their community a better place. Your athletic talents are helping to give you a similar opportunity to do incredible things in life, you must only work for it. Auburn men and women believe in work, hard work. Honor this opportunity.

Your athletic talents are impressive, but you’re coming here because the coaches believe you have equal promise as an individual. Choose wisely in all things.

We cheer on Saturdays because you represent a part of Auburn. We have the greatest hopes and expectations for you every day of the week because you ARE Auburn. More than anything, we want to celebrate the wise decisions you make with the opportunities before you. That is what we cheer for the most.

Auburn is about realizing potential.

War Eagle and welcome home. Welcome to Auburn. Love it, and it will always love you.

Signed,

The Auburn Family

Kenny graduated from Auburn at the turn of the century. He worked in newsrooms across the region and then earned a master’s degree at UAB. He met and married a Yankee, who declared her Auburn allegiance at her first home game. She’s now on the faculty at Auburn. He’s finishing his PhD at Alabama and teaches at Samford University. See him online at www.kennysmith.org and @kennysmith.

If you haven’t read his emotional essay on the impact of this season, you should. If you haven’t read his story on Dean Hallmark, a former Auburn student who was captured during the Doolittle Campaign, you should.

Keep Reading:

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* An interview with Auburn YouTube sensation Chris Lowe
* Former Auburn football kills elephant with just a bow and arrow

* TWER interviews Paul Finebaum about Bo Jackson’s Heisman campaign

* Crowd shots from the 1973 Auburn-Florida game
* The Secret History of an Underground Iron Bowl
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* VIDEO: What if the airport heckler got a do over?

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About Kenny Smith

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