Auburn’s 2018 recruiting plans for special teams

Auburn signed it kicker and long snapper of the future in 2017.

Auburn’s 2018 recruiting plans for special teams

Auburn signed it kicker and long snapper of the future in 2017.

Auburn’s recruiting needs on special teams in the 2018 cycle are pretty simple: There are none.

The Tigers are confident with the future setup of their special teams following the 2017 signing class, when Auburn signed kicker Anders Carlsonand long snapper Bill Tayloras the apparent heirs to Daniel Carlson and Ike Powell. As a result, Auburn does not have plans to sign a specialist as part of its 2018 recruiting class.

Auburn hopes to redshirt Anders Carlson this fall — following the same path his older brother took during his first season on the Plains — before taking over as the program’s kicker in 2018. According to special teams coordinator Tim Horton, Anders Carlson — who is expected to arrive on campus this weekend– has alsobeen told to practice punting in recent months, in case Ian Shannon does not assert himself as the team’s starting punter this fall.

The biggest concern for Auburn on special teams beyond this fall is holder, a spot that Tyler Stovall has maintained the last three seasons. With Stovall exhausting his eligibility after this season, Auburn will need to find a future holder to work hand in hand with Anders Carlson and Bill Taylor. Currently, quarterback-turned-receiver John Franklin III is the backup, but he is also entering his final season of eligibility.

The Tigers, unsurprisingly, won’t actively recruit a holder for their 2018 class.

“We’re going to have to train a holder,” Horton said in April. “That is something that was a topic of discussion this spring, is who is and who can that guy be. Right now, our backup holder in the spring was John Franklin and he did fine, but we’re going to have to, this fall, start training someone else.”

Former Auburn stars Keegan Thompson, Jonah Todd sign MLB contracts

Keegan Thompson and Jonah Todd both had a year of eligibility remaining when they were selected in this month’s MLB Draft, but neither will play them out.

Auburn’s Austin Wiley makes USA Basketball U19 FIBA World Cup team

Austin Wiley has quite the summer on tap.

Auburn coach Bruce Pearl to serve as TV analyst for NBA Draft preview show

Bruce Pearl won’t see any of his players get drafted tonight, but he will get the chance to talk to a national audience about the other 60 who will.

Watch 4-star Jackson-Olin DL Coynis Miller announce top five

The list of potential college destinations for Coynis Miller just got a little shorter.

Watch video

The list of potential college destinations for Coynis Miller just got a little shorter.

The state’s topdefensive lineman revealed his top five in an exclusive video interview with AL.com.

The Jackson-Olin standout and Under-Armour All-American is currently ranked as a four star prospect and is being heavily recruited by both Auburn and Alabama.

Watch 4-star Jackson-Olin DL Coynis Miller announce top five

The list of potential college destinations for Coynis Miller just got a little shorter.

For Auburn WR coach Kodi Burns, the key to recruiting is embracing the grind

Kodi Burns recalls one particularly harrowing story from the recruiting trail.

Auburn football: First day of summer feels; don’t mess with Austin Wiley – SECcountry.com

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Auburn football: First day of summer feels; don't mess with Austin Wiley
SECcountry.com
Welcome to SEC Country's daily War Eagle Wakeup, a rundown of everything happening in Auburn football and Auburn Tigers athletics with Lauren Shute. Today, we discuss the official countdown to the 2017 season and give an update on incoming…
When will preseason camp start for Auburn? We have the answer247Sports

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The Countdown to Kickoff: The SEC’s best No. 72

There are 72 days until the first Saturday of the SEC football season, and the No. 1 72 in SEC football history is LSU defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey.

The Countdown to Kickoff: The SEC’s best No. 72

There are 72 days until the first Saturday of the SEC football season, and the No. 1 72 in SEC football history is LSU defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey.

AL.com is counting down to the 2017 SEC football season on Sept. 2 by presenting the No. 1 player to wear each number 1 through 99in the conference’s history. There are 72 days until the first Saturday of the SEC football season, and the No. 1 72 is LSU defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey.

LSU defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey cleaned up in the 2007 season. For that season, he won the:

Lombardi Award, presented annually to the nation’s best lineman/linebacker.
Lott IMPACT Trophy, presented annual to Defensive IMPACT Player of the Year, with IMPACT standing for integrity, maturity, performance, academics, community and tenacity.
Nagurski Trophy, presented annually to the nation’s best defensive player.
Outland Trophy, presented annually to the nation’s best interior lineman.
SEC Defensive Player of the Year Award, presented annually to the conference’s best defensive player.

Naturally, Dorsey was a unanimous All-American in 2007. He’d been an All-American pick by The Associated Press and the American Football Coaches Association the previous year.

Dorsey’s performance helped LSU lead the nation in scoring defense and total defense in 2007, when the Tigers won the BCS national championship.

Runner-up at No. 72: Tennessee quarterback George Cafego

FOR MORE OF AL.COM’S COMPREHENSIVE COVERAGE OF THE SEC, GO TO OUR SEC PAGE

Auburn Begins October with Ole Miss (Previewing Auburn vs. Ole Miss)

Ole Miss Shea Patterson

Shea Patterson will be a dangerous quarterback, this season

     War Eagle, everybody! It’s time now for another Auburn football preview! On October 7th Auburn will host the Ole Miss Rebels. It’s another critical October matchup for both teams. A loss here would send Auburn tumbling towards the bottom of the bowls. For Ole Miss, there is no post-season this year, as they will sit out due to self-imposed penalties. Head coach Hugh Freeze says that the team will treat every game like a bowl game.

     The Auburn Tigers will have opened the season with Georgia Southern, then traveled to Clemson. Auburn will then enjoy an early homecoming game against Mercer before traveling to Missouri, prior to a home clash with Mississippi State. The Rebels follow at Jordan-Hare Stadium the following week. Ole Miss has an easier start to this season, at least at first. The Rebels ease into the season hosting South Alabama, then U. T. Martin. Ole Miss then travels to Berkley, California to play Cal in a 9:30 PM kickoff. Ole Miss then gets a bye week to get over the jet lag. Then it gets difficult with back-to-back road trips to play Alabama in Tuscaloosa followed by Auburn at the Plains.

     Ole Miss returns a lot of talent, including 4 starters on the offensive line, to an offense that could score last season. There are a lot of young, highly recruited receivers that will get a chance to shine in an air-raid offense installed by new offensive coordinator Phil Longo. Where Ole Miss had difficulties last season was, first, running the ball. Presumed starting running back Jordan Wilkins was declared ineligible early, and the ground game never took off. Then, just past midseason starting quarterback Chad Kelly was lost for the season to injury, and the Rebels ripped the redshirt off of true freshman Shea Patterson. Whether that was the right thing to do was certainly debatable, but it does give Patterson SEC experience going into this season.

     The Rebel defense went from solid to shaky as the season progressed, and the team finished giving up 34.0 points per game. A good starting defensive line returns, but the back 7 needs to improve. Ole Miss poached Auburn assistant Wesley McGriff at the end of last season to coordinate its defense. Judging from the Ole Miss spring game, tackling on the back end is still a work in progress. In the spring game, the defense gave up catch-and-run touchdowns of 74 and 76 yards, and Shea Patterson threw for 341 yards.

     Ole Miss returns a strong pair of legs in the kicking games in seniors Gary Wunderlich and Will Gleeson. New return men will have to be found, but there are plenty of fast skill players to choose from. Rebel coverage was middle of the pack last season and figures to be once again.

Unit Matchups after the jump:

Auburn defensive line vs. Ole Miss offensive line: Auburn brings a big, athletic defensive line back this season. Likely starters at tackle are junior Dontavius Russell and sophomore Derrick Brown. Sophomore strong-side end Marlon Davidson was a beast on A-Day. The buck side will likely be manned by a combination of junior Jeffery Holland and senior transfer Paul James III. Auburn has a good bit of depth behind the starters as well. Ole Miss has shuffled things up a bit this year, moving junior tackle Sean Rawlings to center. Guards will be juniors Javon Patterson and Jordan Sims. Tackles will be sophomores Alex Givens and Gregory Little. Advantage: Even.

Auburn linebackers vs. Ole Miss backs: The Auburn Tigers have a good cross-trained quartet of upper echelon SEC-caliber linebackers. Junior Deshaun Davis, senior Tré Williams, junior Darrell Williams and junior Montravious Atkinson can play all three positions, and we might see any combination of these players out on the field at a given time. The Rebels hope that the return of senior Jordan Wilkins revives a running game that averaged only 149 yards per game last season. Sophomores D’Vaughn Pennamon and Eric Swinney should provide depth. Advantage: Auburn.

Auburn corners vs. Ole Miss receivers: Auburn has a fairly good combination of starting corners in junior Carlton Davis and sophomore Javaris Davis. The Tigers are hoping that Jamel Dean will be healthy this fall, as he is one of the fastest players on the team. Sophomore Jeremiah Dinson could move over from nickel back, if needed. Ole Miss seems to lose receivers to the NFL every year and still fields good ones. This year, the depth chart out of spring has sophomores A. J. Brown and DeKaylin Metcalf on top with veteran junior DaMarkus Lodge and senior Markell Pack for depth. Advantage: Even.

Auburn safeties vs. Ole Miss secondary receivers and quarterback: Auburn’s starting unit features seniors Tray Matthews and Stephen Roberts at safety, and sophomore Jeremiah Dinson at nickel back. There’s not much depth beyond senior Nick Ruffin, who’ll probably see as much playing time as the starters. The Tigers are solid here as long as no one gets hurt. Ole Miss is solid at the slot receiver spot with sophomore Van Jefferson and redshirt freshman Tre Nixon. Where there is a question mark is at tight end. The Rebels have sophomore Octavius Cooley listed as the starter with sophomore Dawson Knox as the backup. Ole Miss moved sophomore quarterback Jason Pellerin to tight end, and he could become a dangerous receiving threat. Advantage: Even.

Punting: Sophomore Ian Shannon will likely get the nod as Auburn’s starting punter after a couple of years of waiting in the wings. Shannon looked good on A-Day a year ago in warmups. The Tigers gave up only 19 punt return yards last season on 6 punts, for a stifling 3.2 yards per return. The Tigers are still auditioning for the punt-returner job. It’s thought that senior Stephen Roberts has the inside track after returning 6 punts last season for 100 yards. Ole Miss returns senior Will Gleeson as the punter, and he boomed it for 44.1 yards per punt last season. Ole Miss gave up 11.8 yards per return. Penciled in as the starting return man for the Rebels is sophomore Van Jefferson. Advantage: Ole Miss.

Kickoffs: Daniel Carlson was very good kicking off last season, notching 57 touchbacks on 72 kickoffs. When Auburn did allow returns, opponents averaged only 18.0 yards per return. Junior Kerryon Johnson is Auburn’s most experienced return man returning, and he averaged 22.2 yards per return last season. Senior Gary Wunderlich will kick off for the Rebels, replacing the departed Nathan Noble. Ole Miss gave up 20.5 yards per return. Senior Jordan Wilkins is listed as the top kick returner for Ole Miss. Advantage: Auburn.

Place kicking: Auburn sophomore Daniel Carlson is the man for Auburn. Carlson was 28 of 32 on field goals, and perfect on extra points. One of Carlson’s misses was a block by Vanderbilt. Gary Wunderlich of Ole Miss hit on 22 of 23 field goal attempts and missed a couple of extra points. Advantage: Auburn.

Auburn offensive line vs. Ole Miss defensive line: It’s still not settled who’ll start for Auburn on the line although the starters looked pretty good on A-Day. It seems the tackle spots are set with seniors Darius James and Braden Smith. Senior Austin Golson will likely start at center although Auburn is bringing in senior transfer center Casey Dunn from Jax State. If Dunn starts, Golson could move to guard. Also transferring in this fall is former Florida State starting guard Wilson Bell. Bell is expected to start at one of the guard spots. If Dunn does not beat Golson out, the other likely starting guard would be sophomore Mike Horton. Ole Miss will again be pretty nasty up front if they stay healthy. Junior Breeland Speaks and sophomore Benito Jones are impressive tackles. Junior Victor Evans and senior Marquis Haynes are ends that have been through the wars in the SEC. Advantage: Even.

Auburn backs vs. Ole Miss linebackers: Auburn features junior H-back Chandler Cox blowing open holes. Running behind the big H-back will be massive junior Kamryn Pettway with the shifty junior Kerryon Johnson in reserve. Ole Miss currently has penciled in junior Detric Bing-Dukes and senior DeMarquis Gates at linebackers. This group allowed 240 rushing yards to Pettway last year. Advantage: Auburn.

Auburn receivers vs. Ole Miss corners: At the end of spring, it looked like Auburn’s two starting outside guys were sophomore Nate Craig-Myers and sophomore Darius Slayton. Both guys can fly and have good height and great hands. Redshirt freshman Marquis McClain had a great A-Day and is someone to watch out for on the outside as well. Ole Miss had 3 of its top 4 corners miss the spring game due to injury, and the ones that played were often toast. Sophomore Myles Hartsfield was the best of those who played, and the Rebels hope that senior Kendarius Webster is ready to go by September after a gruesome knee injury against FSU last season. Advantage: Auburn.

Auburn secondary receivers and quarterback vs. Ole Miss safeties: Auburn has potential threats here, starting with wickedly fast junior slot receiver Will Hastings. Sophomore Eli Stove can also fly. Tight ends Jalen Harris and Sal Cannella are expected to be a big part of the passing game as well. Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham is likely the starter in the opener. In 6 games as a freshman at Baylor, Stidham was electric. That trend continued during A-Day this spring as Stidham was deadly accurate and showed great mobility. At this time, the likely Rebel starters are senior A. J. Moore at nickel and sophomore Deontay Anderson and junior Zedrick Woods at safeties. Advantage: Auburn.

     I think by the middle of the season both teams will be a bit nicked up, and Ole Miss will be playing under uncertainty caused by a looming NCAA investigation that has been dragging on. Also, Ole Miss comes in right off a tough game against Alabama.

     I think Ole Miss will move the ball some. Auburn’s defensive back seven must play patient ball and tackle well. I think Auburn’s offense will wear down the Rebels, and Auburn will pull away in the end.

Prediction: Auburn romps to a 49-27 win over Ole Miss.

The post Auburn Begins October with Ole Miss (Previewing Auburn vs. Ole Miss) appeared first on Track 'Em Tigers, Auburn's oldest and most read independent blog.

Auburn’s Chuma Okeke will leave USA Basketball camp due to knee injury

Just days after surviving the first round of cuts to make the USA Basketball U19 team in Colorado Springs, Colo., Chuma Okeke is headed home.

Auburn’s fall camp has a start date

Auburn’s fall camp has a start date, meaning the offseason finally has an end date.

Gus Malzahn shares start date for Auburn’s fall camp

Gus Malzahn shared a countdown to fall camp on Wednesday through Twitter.

Gus Malzahn shares start date for Auburn’s fall camp

Gus Malzahn shared a countdown to fall camp on Wednesday through Twitter.

Gus Malzahn seems to be as ready as anyone for the start of fall camp.

Auburn’s fifth-year coach took to Twitter on Wednesday afternoon to share a clock counting down the days, hours, minutes and seconds until Auburn reports for fall camp. The clock Malzahn posted showed 38-plus days until Auburn opens fall camp in late July.

The Tigers will apparently begin fall camp on Sunday, July 30. That’s likely the day players are required to report for camp, with practices beginning that week.

Auburn has yet to release an official schedule for fall camp and practices leading up to the season opener against Georgia Southern on Sept. 2 at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

Countdown to Fall Camp! Can’t wait!! #WarEagle pic.twitter.com/sJTUbT6Jjk

— Coach Gus Malzahn (@CoachGusMalzahn) June 21, 2017

Auburn targets Hoover WR George Pickens, Class of 2019

George Pickens’ voice brightened when he considered War Eagle possibilities ahead: What if Auburn coach Gus Malzahn snags him and fellow Hoover receiver Shedrick Jackson?

Auburn targets Hoover WR George Pickens, Class of 2019

George Pickens' voice brightened when he considered War Eagle possibilities ahead: What if Auburn coach Gus Malzahn snags him and fellow Hoover receiver Shedrick Jackson?

George Pickens’voice brightened when he considered War Eagle possibilities ahead: What if Auburn coach Gus Malzahn snags him and fellow Hooverreceiver Shedrick Jackson?

Imagine that. The great-nephew of Auburn legend Bo Jackson and the younger brother of Raiders cornerback Chris Humes, a Spain Parkproduct, help the Tigers passing offense take control of the SEC – and the rest of college football…

It could happen. After all, Jackson in April earned an offer from the SEC school. Meanwhile, Pickens, expected to be ranked one of the top receivers nationally in the Class of 2019, earned his Auburn offer last week at a camp.

“Yeah, that crossed my mind a lot,” Pickens said. “Because before I got the offer, (Auburn assistant) coach (Kodi) Burns told me, ‘You guys could be on the same team in high school and in college.’ And when I thought about that, I thought that would be awesome.”

Like Brother, Like Brother: George Pickens and Chris HumesChris Humes, a former standout at Spain Park and Arkansas State, is the older brother of Hoover receiver George Pickens. RICHARD BISHOP

Pickens said he was surprised by the Auburn offer.

“I was in Gus Malzahn’s office,” Pickens remembered. “We sat down with my mom there… It was a great feeling because I didn’t have any clue. I just went to the camp. I just did what I do at Hoover, just making plays. And they offered me.”

IM GRATEFUL AND BLESSED TO RECEIVE AN OFFER FROM AUBURN UNIVERSITY [?] [?] !![?][?] [?] pic.twitter.com/k1wstyfCOn

— George Pickens [?] [?] (@geo_Thagoat) June 17, 2017

RELATED:Larry McCammon’s 2 TDs lead Hoover past Park Crossing, plus recruiting notes

RELATED:After Big Cat Weekend, Hoover star WR Shedrick Jackson looking to commit soon

Pickens also has offers from Mississippi State, UAB, Arkansas State (where his brother played) and Jacksonville State. Hegrew up an LSU fan but as of now, Auburn is his favorite offer.

Pickens said he plans to camp this summer at Michigan and Clemson.

The Jackson-Pickens receiving duo has an opportunity this fall to cement its legend asthe best in Hoover history. The Buccaneers are the defending Class 7A state football champions.

“We worked hard and when we got to the state championship, we just executed,” Pickens said. “This year, I hope we do the same thing. I hope to be a big part of the offense, help change things up.”

Jackson (6-feet-1, 195 pounds) is a candidate for AL.com’s A-List, an annual player ranking for the state of Alabama’s top high school football seniors. He’s fast. Real fast, reportedly running a sub 4.4 this summer in the 40-yard dash. And he’s strong, especially in his lower body, a reminder of his great uncle Bo Jackson, who starred at McAdory before turning his attention to Auburn and later, the professional sports world.

Pickens is 6-feet-5, 200 pounds. More quick than fast with great hands, thanks to pounds and pounds of rice.

Gripping rice in a large flour bowl is one of his favorite at-home training exercises. He does it for hours. So far, he’s stayed out of trouble with his mother.

“One night, I remember, she was cooking and I had a bunch of rice, so she said, ‘I’m just going to go get some more rice.’ “

Pickens also catches tennis balls for hand-eye coordination drills and can palm a basketball.

“When the football comes,” Pickens said, “it’s not coming out of my hands.”

8 Auburn players primed to break out in 2017

Four offensive and four defensive Tigers to keep an eye on this fall

8 Auburn players primed to break out in 2017

Four offensive and four defensive Tigers to keep an eye on this fall

2 more Auburn football stars make Sports Illustrated’s Top 100 CFB players countdown – SECcountry.com

2 more Auburn football stars make Sports Illustrated's Top 100 CFB players countdown
SECcountry.com
… but given that Stidham was a true freshman then, there's no reason to doubt that he'll be better too.” Auburn football-Auburn Tigers-Auburn-Braden Smith Auburn senior Braden Smith moved from guard to tackle this offseason. (Benjamin Wolk/SEC Country).

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All-Access: How to get paid to party with college kids

This week, Fulmer at the University of Tennessee became the latest “ambassador” for a university where he used to coach football. Essentially, that means he's now a VIP host for football tailgates and stuff. Phillip Fulmer is like the Paris Hilton of Knoxville, in other words.

Old white men are getting paid to party with college kids around the Deep South.

I know what you’re thinking. This can’t be real, and gross. But, no, this is not an Internet scam, and this is totally legal. It’s a real thing, and it’s the latest trend for athletics departments in the SEC with so much money they don’t know how to spend it all.

How can you get paid by a university to tailgate during SEC football games, you ask? Be Phillip Fulmer, Steve Spurrier and Pat Dye!

This week, Fulmer at the University of Tennessee became the latest “ambassador” for a university where he used to coach football. Essentially, that means he’s now a VIP host for football tailgates and stuff. Phillip Fulmer is like the Paris Hilton of Knoxville, in other words.

How do you get a party started in East Tennessee? Have Fulmer tell the story of the time he turned Alabama into the NCAA, of course.

Tennessee is paying Fulmer $100,000 a year to to be a special ambassador to the president. The official title of the position is Special Advisor to the President for Community, Athletics and University Relations. His new position, which started on Tuesday, comes after he was passed over for Tennessee’s vacant athletics director position.

But who the heck wants to be in charge of an entire SEC athletics department when you can just kick back and get paid to schmooze boosters?

Fulmer gets eight skybox tickets to every home game. When it’s not football season, Fulmer’s new job, which is qualified in a contract as “25 percent part-time,” will send him around the state and maybe Huntsville for fundraisers. All of his travel expenses will be paid for by the university, of course, but Tennessee is giving Fulmer an additional $30,000 “to assist you meeting expenses incurred in fulfilling your duties for which the UTK Athletics Department does not provide reimbursement.”

Like, if wants to buy a party boat to entertain fans before football games, or something.

So, here’s my question for this morning’s AL.com All-Access. Who has the best job in the SEC? It’s a subjective topic, and can be debated from several different perspectives.

Nick Saban at Alabama makes the most money, but he’s also under the most stress.

Kentucky’s John Calipari seems to have this college basketball recruiting thing figured out, but that also means he’s rebuilding every year.

At Ole Miss, football coach Hugh Freeze has somehow manipulated unquestioned job security by his university despite running a program afoul of NCAA law. When you think about integrity in collegiate athletics, think Ole Miss!

What about Vanderbilt football coach Derek Mason and his $2.5 million salary? He might make the most money with the least amount of pressure in the SEC. Mason can make a bowl every few years in Nashville and everyone is happy.

These are all great jobs, but they’re not the best gigs in the SEC. Fulmer, Spurrier at Florida and Dye at Auburn are getting paid to be themselves. Public universities are paying them just to chill, and maybe drink a little bourbon with the fans.

Spurrier locked down his ambassadorship with Florida last year. He can get paid to play golf if he wants. At Auburn, Pat Dye is on the payroll to do Pat Dye things like shake hands, troll Alabama and go on the radio with Paul Finebaum.

Are there any other SEC ambassadors around the league we need to anoint with dream gigs? Who is Alabama’s living equivalent of Fulmer, Spurrier and Dye? Who has the best job in the SEC?

This is AL.com All-Access. Columnist Joseph Goodman will be standing by to entertain AL.com commenters from 10-11 a.m.

All-Access: How to get paid to party with college kids

This week, Phillip Fulmer at the University of Tennessee became the latest “ambassador” for a university where he used to coach football. Essentially, that means he’s now a VIP host for football tailgates and stuff. Phillip Fulmer is like the Paris Hilton of Knoxville, in other words.

Auburn receiver target Matthew Hill explains why Tigers give him ‘father figure’ feeling – SECcountry.com

SECcountry.com
Auburn receiver target Matthew Hill explains why Tigers give him 'father figure' feeling
SECcountry.com
Welcome to SEC Country's daily Auburn football recruiting notebook with Auburn recruiting beat writer Benjamin Wolk. In this edition, we give quick updates on two of Auburn's biggest targets — wide receiver Matthew Hill and defensive back Kyler McMichael.

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Recent decommitments from other schools have Alabama, Auburn in mix for elite QB prospects

Alabama and Auburn each have a chance to sign elite quarterback prospects who recently decommitted from other schools.

Alabama and Auburn each have a chance to sign elite quarterback prospects who recently decommitted from other schools.

Justin Fields, the nation’s No. 3 overall prospect, decommitted from Penn State earlier this month. He took visits to Georgia, Auburn, Florida State and Florida last week.

Alabama has offered Fields, but he told 247Sports that he doesn’t talk to Alabama coaches as much as others. His sister is verbally committed to play softball at Georgia.

Auburn is one of five teams that have his attention, he told 247Sports at the NFA 7-on-7 national championships over the weekend. He played for the Cam Newton All-Star team.

The 6-foot-3, 221-pound Fields, who is from Kennesaw, Ga., is the nation’s No. 1 dual-threat quarterback. Auburn is looking to sign two quarterbacks in this class and has a commitment from Joey Gatewood of Jacksonville, Fla.

He isn’t the only quarterback to back off a pledge. Matt Corral, a four-star prospect ranked No. 17 nationally, decommitted from USC late last week.

The 6-foot-2, 196-pound Corral, who is from Long Beach, Calif., has three schools that stand out, according to a 247Sports report. Those schools are Alabama, Georgia and Florida.

Corral hasn’t made any public comments about his recruiting process, but he and Fields will both participate in the Elite 11 finals at Nike Football’s The Opening, which starts on June 29. AL.com will be at the event.

Corral has not visited Alabama yet, but could this summer. Alabama is still after high-profile quarterbacks such as Utah commit Jack Tuttle. The Crimson Tide do not have a quarterback committed for this class yet.

Recent decommitments from other schools have Alabama, Auburn in mix for elite QB prospects

Alabama and Auburn each have a chance to sign elite quarterback prospects who recently decommitted from other schools.

Auburn News and Notes 6-21-17 Edition

icarleewallacee

Auburn softball lost its best returning player for next year’s team when catcher Carlee Wallace shockingly announced that she is leaving the Tigers. Her presence at the plate and behind it earned her the name “Clutch Carlee.”  She was tied for first in at-bats with 177 and ranked third on the team in batting, second in on-base percentage, first in RBI’s and first in slugging percentage, all while having the fewest strikeouts of any starter on the team.

Wallace is the second returning starter to leave the program since the end of the season. Just weeks ago, Whitney Jordan announced she was retiring from the game. Jordan, as many know, served as Auburn’s shortstop on the historic Women’s College World Series finals team before ultimately losing her position in 2017.

With Kasey Cooper and Haley Fagan using up the last of their eligibility, and the struggles of Auburn’s second basemen all year, it seemed almost impossible that Jordan wouldn’t land at one of the vacated spots. Instead, she announced her plans to leave the team while hinting at her frustrations about returning on AL.com. “[Coach Myers] didn’t want me to do my internship in the fall with everything because I would have to miss 30 minutes of practice every day,” Jordan said. “That would be putting off five semesters and I’ve already put off three. So I decided to go ahead and do my student teaching and, hopefully, get a coaching job back home with my dad.”

While Wallace’s departure is more shocking and hurtful to the program, it is Jordan’s departure that is baffling. If college sports are about getting a quality education, why is the education being held hostage for the sport?

This latest news is not good for Auburn softball. One can’t help but look at the resignation of Cody Myers, the Haley Fagan/Tim Walton incident, and now these two leaving as potential trouble for the program. 

Auburn football is receiving some love from the preseason magazines. But other than that, there’s not much going on with the Tigers except for the fact Gus Malzahn has completed his off-the-field staff for the 2017 season with the hiring of Mollie Moore as Auburn’s director of recruiting operations. Moore worked for Gus in 2013 as administrative assistant for recruiting and returns to the Plains after a two-year stint at Georgia where she was the Bulldog’s recruiting program coordinator

Auburn basketball was well represented on the U19 Team USA tryouts as Austin Wiley and Chuma Okeke are both in Colorado trying out for the national team. It remains to be seen if the two will make the team, but the fact that they are there says loads about coach Bruce Pearl’s ability to get talent to the Plains.

Steven Pearl has also stepped up as an on-court coach and recruiter. Steven landed the commitment of VCU transfer Samir Doughty, who will be a redshirt sophomore but will have to sit out a year. He averaged over 9 points, three rebounds, and two assists per game as a redshirt freshman guard. These aren’t earth-shattering numbers, but the shooting guard position was an obvious hole during the disappointing 2016-2017 season, especially off the bench. 

So, proper credit is due to the Pearls for the job they’ve done at getting the talent to Auburn. Now they have to produce. With this team, getting to The Dance isn’t just a dream—it should be expected. 

Until next time.

The post Auburn News and Notes 6-21-17 Edition appeared first on Track 'Em Tigers, Auburn's oldest and most read independent blog.

Auburn plans to sign at least 3 defensive backs with 2018 recruiting class

Auburn loses its top three safeties after this season.

For the fourth straight season under Gus Malzahn, Auburn has a new defensive backs coach on the staff. This time, it’s journeyman Greg Brown, who joined the program back in January.

On the recruiting trail, that means yet another new position coach trying to court defensive backs for the Tigers.

With the addition of Brown, who helped shore up the 2017 class in the weeks leading up to signing day, Auburn will look to add at least three defensive backs to the fold with its 2018 recruiting class. Brown is no stranger to recruiting, and after nearly four decades in the coaching ranks, he understands how to sell recruits on his program.

“Everybody’s got something to sell,” Brown said in March. “As far as myself, players, their attraction toward myself as a recruiter would be, ‘You know what, this guy has been there at these places, especially in the NFL, then maybe he’s got something that I can take from him and learn.’ You try to sell whatever you’ve got.”

Along with his wealth of knowledge coaching defensive backs, a selling point for Brown this recruiting cycle is sure to be an opportunity to see the field early — especially for prospective safeties. Auburn loses its top three safeties — Tray Matthews, Stephen Roberts and Nick Ruffin — after this season and will have only two true safeties, 2017 signees Carlito Gonzalez and Jordyn Peters, as well as a nickelback Daniel Thomas on scholarship for 2018.

Obviously, safety is a priority for Auburn this recruiting cycle.

The Tigers do not officially have any safeties committed to the 2018 class, though three-star athlete Kolbi Fuqua likely projects as a safety at the next level. The 6-foot-1, 210-pounder out of Cordova has said Auburn likes him at receiver, and that’s where he plans to start — but a move to the defensive side is a distinct possibility.

Auburn remains in the mix for a handful of key safety prospects this cycle, with four-star recruit Quindarious Monday among the team’s top targets. The 6-foot-3, 175-pounder out of Atlanta’s Carver High is rated as the No. 10 athlete in the nation, according to the 247Sports Composite, and he has a penchant for being a “brutal hitter”in the defensive backfield. While Auburn appears to lead for Monday, Clemson and several other schools are in the mix.

Three-star safety Jamien Sherwood can see himself playing at Auburn

Other safety targets for the Tigers include three-star prospects Jamien Sherwood and Joseph Foucha. Sherwood, out of Jensen Beach, Fla., visited Auburn for Big Cat Weekend earlier this month, and the nation’s No. 31 safety said he could see himself signing with the Tigers. Foucha, a product of New Orleans, is the nation’s No. 30 overall safety, and he visited Auburn last month and recently declared that both Auburn and Alabama would “for sure” be among his top five finalists.

As far as cornerbacks go, Auburn will return more depth there than at safety in 2018, so the position isn’t as high of a priority. Auburn’s top targetsat the position are four-star prospects Kyler McMichael and Jalyn Armour-Davis, three-star prospect Juanyeh Thomas and unrated defensive back Charles McClelland, who has received offers from Auburn and LSU in the last three weeks. All three targets were on campus at the start of the month for Big Cat Weekend.

McMichael, the nation’s No. 13 cornerback recruit, was making his third visit to the Plains when he arrived for Big Cat Weekend. The 6-foot, 196-pounder out of Norcross, Ga., left impressed and has the Tigers among his leaders — which also include Alabama, Clemson and Florida State. Both Auburn and Clemson have approached McMichael about possibly seeing time on offense as well.

How Alabama, Auburn view elite Georgia athlete Kyler McMichael

Armour-Davis, from St. Paul’s in Mobile, is the nation’s No. 15 cornerback and the No. 3 player in the state of Alabama. Auburn is a finalist for Armour-Davis, who was reportedly on campus last weekend for an unofficial visit, but Alabama is the favorite for the 6-foot, 160-pounder.

Thomas is a former high school teammate of current Auburn receiver Eli Stove, and the Niceville, Fla., product is rated as the No. 146 cornerback in the 2018 class. The 6-foot-2, 204-pounder returned to campus last week for a camp, and Auburn is the favorite for his services. He plans to make a commitment in August between Auburn, Florida and Georgia Tech.

McClelland was under the radar until his recent offers from Auburn and LSU. The 5-foot-11, 180-pounder out of Homerville, Ga., played running back and safety as a junior, but Auburn sees him as a cornerback at the next level. He will likely wait until after his senior season to make a decision, but Auburn is currently the favorite to land him.

“Everybody looks for guys that are big, fast, strong, can run, tackle and make plays,” Brown said. “You’re looking for guys who are productive, you turn on film and you want to see people that are productive, especially if they can be productive on both sides of the ball if their high school system allows them to play both ways and if it allows to play in the return game.

“You’re looking for clues like, can this guy run an angle? Does he have vision, does he have ball skills? Does he have toughness? You’re always looking for the complete package.”

It’s Brown’s hope that, among this group of defensive backs, he’ll find a few that fit the description for Auburn’s 2018 class.

Auburn plans to sign at least 3 defensive backs with 2018 recruiting class

Auburn loses its top three safeties after this season.

For the fourth straight season under Gus Malzahn, Auburn has a new defensive backs coach on the staff. This time, it’s journeyman Greg Brown, who joined the program back in January.

On the recruiting trail, that means yet another new position coach trying to court defensive backs for the Tigers.

With the addition of Brown, who helped shore up the 2017 class in the weeks leading up to signing day, Auburn will look to add at least three defensive backs to the fold with its 2018 recruiting class. Brown is no stranger to recruiting, and after nearly four decades in the coaching ranks, he understands how to sell recruits on his program.

“Everybody’s got something to sell,” Brown said in March. “As far as myself, players, their attraction toward myself as a recruiter would be, ‘You know what, this guy has been there at these places, especially in the NFL, then maybe he’s got something that I can take from him and learn.’ You try to sell whatever you’ve got.”

Along with his wealth of knowledge coaching defensive backs, a selling point for Brown this recruiting cycle is sure to be an opportunity to see the field early — especially for prospective safeties. Auburn loses its top three safeties — Tray Matthews, Stephen Roberts and Nick Ruffin — after this season and will have only two true safeties, 2017 signees Carlito Gonzalez and Jordyn Peters, as well as a nickelback Daniel Thomas on scholarship for 2018.

Obviously, safety is a priority for Auburn this recruiting cycle.

The Tigers do not officially have any safeties committed to the 2018 class, though three-star athlete Kolbi Fuqua likely projects as a safety at the next level. The 6-foot-1, 210-pounder out of Cordova has said Auburn likes him at receiver, and that’s where he plans to start — but a move to the defensive side is a distinct possibility.

Auburn remains in the mix for a handful of key safety prospects this cycle, with four-star recruit Quindarious Monday among the team’s top targets. The 6-foot-3, 175-pounder out of Atlanta’s Carver High is rated as the No. 10 athlete in the nation, according to the 247Sports Composite, and he has a penchant for being a “brutal hitter”in the defensive backfield. While Auburn appears to lead for Monday, Clemson and several other schools are in the mix.

Three-star safety Jamien Sherwood can see himself playing at Auburn

Other safety targets for the Tigers include three-star prospects Jamien Sherwood and Joseph Foucha. Sherwood, out of Jensen Beach, Fla., visited Auburn for Big Cat Weekend earlier this month, and the nation’s No. 31 safety said he could see himself signing with the Tigers. Foucha, a product of New Orleans, is the nation’s No. 30 overall safety, and he visited Auburn last month and recently declared that both Auburn and Alabama would “for sure” be among his top five finalists.

As far as cornerbacks go, Auburn will return more depth there than at safety in 2018, so the position isn’t as high of a priority. Auburn’s top targetsat the position are four-star prospects Kyler McMichael and Jalyn Armour-Davis, three-star prospect Juanyeh Thomas and unrated defensive back Charles McClelland, who has received offers from Auburn and LSU in the last three weeks. All three targets were on campus at the start of the month for Big Cat Weekend.

McMichael, the nation’s No. 13 cornerback recruit, was making his third visit to the Plains when he arrived for Big Cat Weekend. The 6-foot, 196-pounder out of Norcross, Ga., left impressed and has the Tigers among his leaders — which also include Alabama, Clemson and Florida State. Both Auburn and Clemson have approached McMichael about possibly seeing time on offense as well.

How Alabama, Auburn view elite Georgia athlete Kyler McMichael

Armour-Davis, from St. Paul’s in Mobile, is the nation’s No. 15 cornerback and the No. 3 player in the state of Alabama. Auburn is a finalist for Armour-Davis, who was reportedly on campus last weekend for an unofficial visit, but Alabama is the favorite for the 6-foot, 160-pounder.

Thomas is a former high school teammate of current Auburn receiver Eli Stove, and the Niceville, Fla., product is rated as the No. 146 cornerback in the 2018 class. The 6-foot-2, 204-pounder returned to campus last week for a camp, and Auburn is the favorite for his services. He plans to make a commitment in August between Auburn, Florida and Georgia Tech.

McClelland was under the radar until his recent offers from Auburn and LSU. The 5-foot-11, 180-pounder out of Homerville, Ga., played running back and safety as a junior, but Auburn sees him as a cornerback at the next level. He will likely wait until after his senior season to make a decision, but Auburn is currently the favorite to land him.

“Everybody looks for guys that are big, fast, strong, can run, tackle and make plays,” Brown said. “You’re looking for guys who are productive, you turn on film and you want to see people that are productive, especially if they can be productive on both sides of the ball if their high school system allows them to play both ways and if it allows to play in the return game.

“You’re looking for clues like, can this guy run an angle? Does he have vision, does he have ball skills? Does he have toughness? You’re always looking for the complete package.”

It’s Brown’s hope that, among this group of defensive backs, he’ll find a few that fit the description for Auburn’s 2018 class.

Auburn plans to sign at least 3 defensive backs with 2018 recruiting class

Auburn loses its top three safeties after this season.

Auburn RB coach Tim Horton has landed some big fish on the recruiting trail, literally and figuratively

One of the best parts of being a college football coach, Tim Horton said this spring, is the variety.

Auburn football: Getting together with Gus Malzahn; incoming freshman Chuma Okeke to get MRI today – SECcountry.com

SECcountry.com
Auburn football: Getting together with Gus Malzahn; incoming freshman Chuma Okeke to get MRI today
SECcountry.com
Welcome to SEC Country's daily War Eagle Wakeup, a rundown of everything happening in Auburn football and Auburn Tigers athletics with Lauren Shute. Today, we discuss bonding with Gus Malzahn and the first USA basketball cut in Colorado.

The Countdown to Kickoff: The SEC’s best No. 73

There are 73 days until the first Saturday of the SEC football season, and the No. 1 73 in SEC football history is Alabama guard John Hannah.

AL.com is counting down to the 2017 SEC football season on Sept. 2 by presenting the No. 1 player to wear each number 1 through 99in the conference’s history. There are 73 days until the first Saturday of the SEC football season, and the No. 1 73 is Alabama guard John Hannah.

“In over 30 years with the game, he’s the finest offensive lineman I’ve ever been around,” Alabamacoach Paul “Bear” Bryant saidof Hannah, who played for Bryant’s Crimson Tide from 1970 through 1972.

Obviously, a lot of other people admired Hannah’s high level of play since he’s not only a member of the College Football Hall of Fame, but the Pro Football Hall of Fame as well for his 13 seasons with the New England Patriots.

Hannah was a seven-time All-Pro selection as a left guard in the NFL. But the former Albertville High School standout also played offensive tackle at Alabama.

As a sophomore, Hannah was on The Associated Press’ All-SEC second team as a tackle. In 1971, the AP had Hannah on the All-SEC first team as a guard and the UPI had Hannah on the SEC first team as a tackle. The American Football Coaches Association named him an All-American at tackle.

The next season, Hannah won the Jacobs Blocking Trophy as the SEC’s best blocker and earned unanimous All-American recognition as a guard.

Hannah’s All-American seasons coincided with the dawn of the Wishbone Era at Alabama. The 1971 Crimson Tide broke Tennessee’s 20-year-old SEC record for rushing yards per game, and the 1971 and 1972 Alabama teams posted the two highest single-season rushing yardage totals to that point in the conference’s history.

All that rushing resulted in winning for Alabama. The Tide captured the SEC championship in 1971 and 1972 and had an overall regular-season record of 21-1 – the only loss coming against Auburn in the “Punt Bama Punt” Iron Bowl.

Hannah is one of two SEC No. 73’s in the College Football Hall of Fame. The other also played at Alabama – Billy Neighbors.

Runner-up at No. 73: Arkansas offensive tackle Shawn Andrews

FOR MORE OF AL.COM’S COMPREHENSIVE COVERAGE OF THE SEC, GO TO OURSEC PAGE

The Countdown to Kickoff: The SEC’s best No. 73

There are 73 days until the first Saturday of the SEC football season, and the No. 1 73 in SEC football history is Alabama guard John Hannah.

AL.com is counting down to the 2017 SEC football season on Sept. 2 by presenting the No. 1 player to wear each number 1 through 99in the conference’s history. There are 73 days until the first Saturday of the SEC football season, and the No. 1 73 is Alabama guard John Hannah.

“In over 30 years with the game, he’s the finest offensive lineman I’ve ever been around,” Alabamacoach Paul “Bear” Bryant saidof Hannah, who played for Bryant’s Crimson Tide from 1970 through 1972.

Obviously, a lot of other people admired Hannah’s high level of play since he’s not only a member of the College Football Hall of Fame, but the Pro Football Hall of Fame as well for his 13 seasons with the New England Patriots.

Hannah was a seven-time All-Pro selection as a left guard in the NFL. But the former Albertville High School standout also played offensive tackle at Alabama.

As a sophomore, Hannah was on The Associated Press’ All-SEC second team as a tackle. In 1971, the AP had Hannah on the All-SEC first team as a guard and the UPI had Hannah on the SEC first team as a tackle. The American Football Coaches Association named him an All-American at tackle.

The next season, Hannah won the Jacobs Blocking Trophy as the SEC’s best blocker and earned unanimous All-American recognition as a guard.

Hannah’s All-American seasons coincided with the dawn of the Wishbone Era at Alabama. The 1971 Crimson Tide broke Tennessee’s 20-year-old SEC record for rushing yards per game, and the 1971 and 1972 Alabama teams posted the two highest single-season rushing yardage totals to that point in the conference’s history.

All that rushing resulted in winning for Alabama. The Tide captured the SEC championship in 1971 and 1972 and had an overall regular-season record of 21-1 – the only loss coming against Auburn in the “Punt Bama Punt” Iron Bowl.

Hannah is one of two SEC No. 73’s in the College Football Hall of Fame. The other also played at Alabama – Billy Neighbors.

Runner-up at No. 73: Arkansas offensive tackle Shawn Andrews

FOR MORE OF AL.COM’S COMPREHENSIVE COVERAGE OF THE SEC, GO TO OURSEC PAGE

The Countdown to Kickoff: The SEC’s best No. 73

There are 73 days until the first Saturday of the SEC football season, and the No. 1 73 in SEC football history is Alabama guard John Hannah.

Who could be next to commit? – 247Sports

247Sports
Who could be next to commit?
247Sports
The Auburn Tigers have six commitments at the moment. Who could be next to join the class? Keith Niebuhr – 13 hours ago; 1; Tools. Edit; Slot to 247Sports Home; Slot to Auburn Tigers Newsletter; Slot to Auburn Links. 3-star defensive end Andres Fox.

‘I will be forever grateful’ – Gregg Carr, College Football Hall of Fame candidate – Auburn Tigers Official Athletic Site

Auburn Tigers Official Athletic Site
'I will be forever grateful' – Gregg Carr, College Football Hall of Fame candidate
Auburn Tigers Official Athletic Site
Gregg Carr says, in terms of toughness, Auburn's spring practices in 1981 could rival any in college football history. “There were no holds barred, it was physical, and it was incredibly mental,” says Carr, a freshman linebacker in 1981 when Pat Dye …

and more

Auburn’s Wiley, Okeke named finalists to make USA Basketball’s U19 World Cup team

ustin Wiley and Chuma Okeke have proven themselves to be two of the best young basketball players in the nation.

Auburn wants to ‘out-recruit’ its 2017 linebacker class in 2018

Auburn signed three linebackers in 2017 but does not have one committed for the 2018 class yet.

In Travis Williams’ first year at Auburn, he helped turn a group of relative unknowns at linebacker into one of the Tigers’ strengths. The Auburn linebackers coach also helped sign an impressive class of three linebackers that included four-star prospects K.J. Britt and T.D. Moultry, as well as three-star linebacker Chandler Wooten.

Williams, however, doesn’t have time to assess his body of work in Year 1 as an assistant coach. He’s already looking toward 2018 — both on the field and on the recruiting trail.

“This thing is funny, because nobody really cares about last year,” Williams said in March. “Really, nobody cares about the last recruiting class. What are you doing this year? Everybody has short-term memory, and you could become a bad coach overnight. You got to stay humble and keep working and don’t feed into bad or good.”

Williams understands Auburn has to get better — at linebacker and on defense collectively — and build upon the success of 2017. While he’s excited about the group he will have on the field this fall, he also wants to outperform his 2017 success in recruiting as Auburn looks to sign another solid linebacker class. The Tigers are hoping to sign three more linebackers with their 2018 class.

RELATED:Auburn recruiting snapshot at linebacker

“We’ve got to out-recruit the ones we did last year,” Williams said. “That’s every year. We have to get better.”

Auburn does not have a linebacker committed to its 2018 class currently, with just six players overall committed to the program. That’s not to say the Tigers’ prospects are limited at the position, though.

Auburn is in the mix for a quartet of out-of-state four-star linebackers, including top target Michael Harris.

Why Auburn, Alabama four-star LB target Michael Harris hasn’t committed to Ohio State yet

Harris is a 6-foot-2, 213-pound linebacker out of Tucker, Ga. He’s rated as the nation’s No. 11 inside linebacker, according to the 247Sports Composite, and Auburn is among his top choices; he also visited campus during Big Cat Weekend earlier this month. The biggest hurdle for the Tigers is Ohio State, which is favored to land a commitment from Harris.

He visited Ohio State’s campus this past weekend, but left without announcing a commitment, which should bode well for Auburn.

The Tigers are also in the mix for four-star linebacker J.J. Peterson out of Colquitt County in Georgia. Peterson is the nation’s No. 2 outside linebacker, and while Alabama is the favorite to land his commitment, the Tigers were his No. 2 choice as recently as Big Cat Weekend. Auburn will have a lot of work to do to keep the 6-foot-2, 210-pounder from its in-state rival, however.

Another linebacker the Tigers have an outside shot at is four-star prospect Channing Tindall out of Columbia, S.C. The Gamecocks are the favorite for the hometown product, who is rated as the nation’s No. 8 outside linebacker, but Auburn isn’t far behind. His relationship with Williams–who attended the same high school, Spring Valley, and still owns school records there — certainly helps in Auburn’s favor. Tindall visited campus for Big Cat Weekend, and he said the Tigers have an edge over the Gamecocks when it comes to scheme and relationships with the coaching staff.

Auburn, South Carolina ‘battling’ for four-star linebacker Channing Tindall

Perhaps the linebacker most likely to join Auburn’s 2018 class is four-star outside linebacker Zakoby McClain out of Valdosta, Ga. The 6-foot, 205-pounder is rated as the nation’s 14th-best player at his position, and he is high on Auburn, though LSU is closing in.

Other options include four-star prospect Richard Jibunor, though he projects as a Buck defensive end at Auburn, as well as three-star Maplesville prospect Nathaniel Watson, who could project at tight end or defensive end in college.

“We’re going to try to get the best kids that fit Auburn,” Williams said. “First, you’ve got to have a good skill set, but you’ve got to be good people. We’ve got a good room. I don’t wantanything to mess up what we have going. We have good kids that love football, so I’m not just going to get anybody. I’ve got to get a guy that fits our room and fits our coaching. That’s what you’re looking for.”

Auburn wants to ‘out-recruit’ its 2017 linebacker class in 2018

Auburn signed three linebackers in 2017 but does not have one committed for the 2018 class yet.

Montravius Adams among the few unsigned 2017 NFL Draft picks

Only 17 of the 253 players picked in the 2017 NFL Draft haven't signed their first pro contract yet. One of the unsigned players is former Auburn standout Montravius Adams. But that didn't keep the rookie from participating in the Green Bay Packers' offseason program or buying his mother a house.

Of the 253 players selected in the 2017 NFL Draft, all but 17 have signed their initial pro contracts. One of the unsigned players is former Auburn defensive lineman Montravius Adams. He’s the only one of the 19 drafted players with Alabama football roots who hasn’t signed yet.

Because of the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement with its players’ association, the rookie pay scale is set, corresponding to draft position.

As the 93rd player picked in the 2017 NFL Draft, Adams would be in line for a four-year contract worth around $3.3 millionwith a signing bonus of about $750,000 from the Green Bay Packers.

What could be the holdup on signing if the value of the contract is non-negotiable?

Agents still can massage rookie contracts for their clients. Four major areas that can cause extended contract negotiations include:

Guarantee: The amount of the contract that will be paid to a player that isn’t dependent on him playing football is negotiable. For players picked past the second round such as Adams, who was a third-round choice, the signing bonus is usually the only portion of the contract that is guaranteed to be paid.
Deferral: This is the amount of the signing bonus that the team can pay in installments. Players and agents, of course, want as much of the signing bonus as they can paid when the contract is signed.
Offset: This allows a team to avoid paying guaranteed money if a player leaves the team. For example, if a team cuts a player with $750,000 guaranteed in salary or bonus still owed to him and the player signs with another team for $750,000, then the first team doesn’t owe the player anything if it had 100 percent offset language in the contract.
Split value: A split contract sets the amount of money that a player will be paid if he lands on injured reserve or one of the other inactive lists. Players on those lists don’t have to be paid the full value of their contracts if a split clause is included.

The Packers haven’t said why Adams is their only unsigned draft pick. Eight of the unsigned players from the 2017 NFL Draft were picked in the first round, with four of the first six players selected still without contracts.

The lack of a signed contract didn’t prevent Adams from participating in Green Bay’s full offseason program after the draft.

It also didn’t keep him from buying a house for his mother, Debbie Young, in Cordele, Georgia, where she now lives with Adams’ three sisters. Young worked day and night jobs while Adams was growing up.

Adams has made family a priority, bringing his girlfriend and their son, Montravius Adams Jr., with him to Green Bay when his first round of NFL OTAs and minicamp might have been easier without an infant to help care for.

Adams was drafted and his son was born on the same day – April 28. Adams took the call from the Packers while at the hospital.

Young told Ryan Woods of USA Today Network-Wisconsin that her son didn’t want to be an absentee father as his own father had been.

“He’s going to be a good father,” Young said. “I really believe Monwill always be there for MJ. I think he will be able to love his child because Monknows the love that he wanted from his dad. He wanted his father in his life. So that’s what he’s going to give to his son.”

READ RYAN WOOD’S “FOCUSED ON FOOTBALL AND FATHERHOOD”

Adams will head into Green Bay’s training camp, which starts on July 27, with a chance to be the Packers’ starting nose tacklewhen they kick off the 2017 season against the Seattle Seahawks on Sept. 10.

“He’s got good size, but he’s also tremendously quick and explosive at the line of scrimmage,” Green Bay general manager Ted Thompson saidabout Adams when he joined the Packers. “He’s got natural hand use that is hard to teach, and it’s good that you’re born with it. He’s been a good player, very much recommended by the staff (at Auburn), and we were surprised and elated that he’s available at the time we picked him.”

Nine-year veteran Letroy Guion, last year’s starter at nose tackle, is suspended for the first four games of the season. The NFL announced in March that Guion would be suspended for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs.

Christian Ringo, who saw his first NFL action last season by playing in eight games, also is available at nose tackle for Green Bay.

FOR MORE OF AL.COM’S COMPREHENSIVE COVERAGE OF THE NFL, GO TO OURNFL PAGE

Montravius Adams among the few unsigned 2017 NFL Draft picks

Only 17 of the 253 players picked in the 2017 NFL Draft haven’t signed their first pro contract yet. One of the unsigned players is former Auburn standout Montravius Adams. But that didn’t keep the rookie from participating in the Green Bay Packers’ offseason program or buying his mother a house.

AL.com All-Access: Give me your Top 5 Alabama or Auburn games of the last 10 years

The Kick Six? The 2012 SEC title game? Something else?

AL.com All-Access: Give me your Top 5 Alabama or Auburn games of the last 10 years

The Kick Six? The 2012 SEC title game? Something else?

SI.com recently compiled its Top 10 college football games of the last decade, a list that includes three games involving Alabama and two involving Auburn.

Actually, two of the Top 3 on SI’s list are Iron Bowls, the 2010 “Camback” and the 2013 “Kick Six.” The 2010 game, which Auburn won 28-27 is No. 3 on the list, while the 2013 game –a 34-28 Auburn win — is No. 1.

The other Alabama game on the list is the most recently College Football Playoff National Championship Game, a 35-31 Clemson victory over the Crimson Tide. That game is No. 4.

That all three of the Alabama games on the list are losses speaks to the Crimson Tide’s dominance in recent years, that to be considered a “great” (i.e., memorable) game it has to involve an unexpected result. But that’s really neither here nor there, it just provides a jumping-off point for our discussion today.

Which Alabama and Auburn games would you put on the top of the list in the last decade, since the beginning of the 2007 season? Here’s one Top 5 for each:

Alabama

5. Alabama 12, Tennessee 10; Oct. 24, 2009 –The Volunteers played the Crimson Tide close before Terrence Cody’s last-second blocked field goal –his second of the game –kept Alabama on a national title path.

4. Alabama 27, LSU 21 (OT); Nov. 8, 2008 –One of several classics between the Tide and Tigers this decade, this one was played in an especially electric atmosphere because it was Nick Saban’s first trip back to Baton Rouge.

3. Alabama 21, LSU 17; Nov. 3, 2012 –The Crimson Tide looked like it was getting into position for a game-tying field goal until AJ McCarron found T.J. Yeldon on a screen pass and Yeldon raced into the end zone for the win.

2. Alabama 45, Clemson 40; College Football Playoff National Championship Game, Jan. 11, 2016 –The first of back-to-back dynamite championship games between the two schools. The Crimson Tide grabbed the momentum with a surprise onside kick, then dealt the knockout blow on Kenyan Drake’s kickoff return for a touchdown.

1. Alabama 32, Georgia 28; SEC championship game, Dec. 1, 2012 –Perhaps the greatest of all SEC title games, the Crimson Tide overcame a 21-10 third-quarter deficit, then held on when the Bulldogs drove into the red zone in the final minute.

Also considered: Alabama 41, Arkansas 38 (2007); Alabama 26, Auburn 21 (2009); Alabama 24, Arkansas 20 (2010); Alabama 49, Texas A&M 42 (2013); Alabama 20, LSU 13 (2014)

Auburn

5. Auburn 35, Ole Miss 31; Nov. 1, 2014 –A match-up of Top 4 teams in the playoff rankings, the Rebels looked like sure victors until Laquon Treadwell broke his leg while fumbling just short of the end zone in the final minute. Cassanova McKinzy recovered the loose ball and Auburn held on to win.

4. Auburn 22, Oregon 19; BCS National Championship Game; Jan. 10, 2011 –This wasn’t a particularly well-played game, but any time you win a national championship on a field goal on the final snap, it has to make the list. Mike Dyer’s play-til-the-whistle, tackle-breaking run moments earlier also deserves mention.

3. Auburn 43, Georgia 38; Nov. 16, 2013 –The Tigers blew a 20-point lead when the Bulldogs went up by one with 1:49 to play, but that year’s Auburn team had its mojo working. Nick Marshall hit Ricardo Louis on the “Prayer at Jordan-Hare,” a 73-yard game-winning touchdown that was eclipsed only by what happened two weeks later.

2. Auburn 28, Alabama 27; Nov. 26, 2010 –The Tigers trailed 24-0 midway through the second quarterback before launching the “Camback” and keeping their national championship hopes alive. Cam Newton and Auburn outscored Alabama 28-3 the rest of the way, taking the lead for good with 11:55 to play.

1. Auburn 34, Alabama 28; Nov. 30, 2013 –Could it be anything else? College football’s most unlikely finish –Chris Davis’ 109-yard return of a missed field game as time expired –won the SEC West for the Tigers, snapped a 15-game winning streak by the two-time defending national champion Crimson Tide and re-configured the national title race in an instant.

Also considered: Auburn 9, Arkansas 7 (2007); Auburn 38, Northwestern 35 (2009 Outback Bowl); Auburn 24, LSU 17 (2010); Auburn 45, Texas A&M 41 (2013); Auburn 18, LSU 13 (2016)

So what do you think of these lists? What other games deserve mention?

I’ll take your questions or comments on that or anything else on your mind beginning at 10 a.m.

Auburn, UAB still trying to schedule non-conference football game

Auburn and UAB are still in talks to play each other but haven’t found a workable date yet.

Auburn, UAB still trying to schedule non-conference football game

Auburn and UAB are still in talks to play each other but haven't found a workable date yet.

Auburn and UAB would both like to play each other in football but the two sides haven’t found a date that works yet.

“We’ve had conversations with them,” Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs told AL.com. “We’d love to play them again if we can work it out on the schedule, but finding a common date is often difficult to do some times.”

“I think it will happen,” UAB athletic director Mark Ingram said. “I don’t know when.”

The schools last played in 1996, a 29-0 Auburn home win. Since UAB announced its football program was returning, Jacobs has stated a desire to playthe in-state Conference USA school. However, Auburn already has the majority of its non-conference schedule booked through 2020 including games against Washington in 2018 and Oregon in 2019. It scheduled a two-year series against Southern Miss (2018, 2020) and will play Kent State, Tulane and Liberty in 2019.

UAB, which will play Florida on the road this year, has two non-conference games scheduled against SEC opponents, Texas A&M in 2018 and Tennessee in 2019. It looks like 2020 could be the earliest the two sides could play against each other again.

“It’s really just a matter of both of us having a year where they are looking for a guarantee game and us also needing a game in that year,” Ingram said. “I don’t like to go too far out because I feel like philosophically we are better off waiting.”

Even if years away, Auburn still represents UAB’s best shot to face one of the state’s two SEC schools. Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne made clear at the SEC spring meetings that he wasn’t interested in adjustingthe Crimson Tide’s football schedule to play any of the non-SEC in-state schools.

“I think we have a very good model that’s worked well for us and I don’t see that changing,” Byrne said.

UAB will open its 2017 season at home against Alabama A&M in its first game in nearly three years. UAB administrators disbanded the football program in Dec. 2014 only to announce in June 2015 that it would return following significant financial support. In addition to its CUSA slate, the Blazers will play the Gators, Ball State and Coastal Carolina this season.

Auburn football: Tray Matthews reflects, Auburn basketball bigs shine in Colorado – SECcountry.com

SECcountry.com
Auburn football: Tray Matthews reflects, Auburn basketball bigs shine in Colorado
SECcountry.com
Welcome to SEC Country's daily War Eagle Wakeup, a rundown of everything happening in Auburn football and Auburn Tigers athletics with Lauren Shute. Today, we discuss Tray Matthews' journey to Auburn and what the Tigers' bigs are up to at USA…

Auburn football: Tray Matthews reflects, Auburn basketball bigs shine in Colorado – SECcountry.com

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Auburn football: Tray Matthews reflects, Auburn basketball bigs shine in Colorado
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Welcome to SEC Country's daily War Eagle Wakeup, a rundown of everything happening in Auburn football and Auburn Tigers athletics with Lauren Shute. Today, we discuss Tray Matthews' journey to Auburn and what the Tigers' bigs are up to at USA…

Deshaun Davis, Tre’ Williams aim to help Auburn linebackers back up breakout 2016 season

Deshaun Davis and Tre’ Williams returned to their hometown of Mobile earlier this month with a video production crew in tow. The two linebackers have been friends since they were 4 years old and grew up not far from each…

AL.com’s Best of the SEC superlatives

The SEC’s sports information directors have selected their top players for the 71st straight year

AL.com’s Best of the SEC superlatives

The SEC's sports information directors have selected their top players for the 71st straight year

The Countdown to Kickoff: The SEC’s best No. 74

There are 74 days until the first Saturday of the SEC football season, and the No. 1 74 in SEC football history is Auburn defensive tackle Tracy Rocker.

The Countdown to Kickoff: The SEC’s best No. 74

There are 74 days until the first Saturday of the SEC football season, and the No. 1 74 in SEC football history is Auburn defensive tackle Tracy Rocker.

AL.com is counting down to the 2017 SEC football season on Sept. 2 by presenting the No. 1 player to wear each number 1 through 99in the conference’s history. There are 74 days until the first Saturday of the SEC football season, and the No. 1 74 is Auburn defensive tackle Tracy Rocker.

Tracy Rocker’s 1988 season was so good that Alabama’s Derrick Thomas set the NCAA single-season sack record that year and Rocker still won the SEC Player of the Year Award.

In 1988, Rocker became the first SEC player to win the Outland Trophy, presented annually to the nation’s best interior lineman, and the Lombardi Award, presented annually to the nation’s best lineman/linebacker in the same season. He was the SEC’s first Outland winner in 20 years, and it would be another 16 years before another SEC player won the Lombardi.

Auburn led the nation in scoring defense, total defense and rushing defense in 1988.

Rocker and Bo Jackson are the only Auburn players to earn consensus All-American recognition twice, with Rocker achieving that status in 1987 and 1988. The Tigers won the SEC title in 1987 and shared it in 1988.

Rocker is one of the two SEC players in the College Football Hall of Fame who wore No. 74. The other is Florida defensive end Jack Youngblood.

Runner-up at No. 74: Florida defensive end Jack Youngblood

FOR MORE OF AL.COM’S COMPREHENSIVE COVERAGE OF THE SEC, GO TO OURSEC PAGE

The Pieces Are There, But What Will It Take to Get the Tigers to the Top?

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Supposedly there is a quarterback battle at Auburn. Despite what beat reporters and coaches have said, there is hardly a soul in college football who believes it. Whether it is preseason magazines or online articles, Sean White has yet to be discussed seriously other than in a passing memo.

When ESPN decided to have an Auburn quarterback discuss the 2017 team, it wasn’t all the players vying for the position or even Auburn’s 2016 starter. It was the player who hasn’t taken a single snap as an Auburn Tiger: Jarrett Stidham. Lindy’s, Phil Steele, and ESPN are hardly all-knowing. And surprise starters and superstars do happen, but every piece of evidence says Stidham is the man. None of this is news, just further evidence.

Still, in a conference where QB play has been shaky at best over the last few years, Auburn has both the highest upside and lowest downside of any team in the SEC, something that hasn’t been discussed. This is both a testament to Stidham’s promise as a Heisman contender and the work ethic and resolve of last season’s starter. Sean White isn’t getting any publicity for being perhaps the league’s best back-up. In a game where it’s about “the next man up,” Auburn is in a fine—and unique—position. 

As AubTigerman wrote, Phil Steele believes Auburn is a playoff contender, and Stidham told ESPN that Auburn has “all the pieces.” This leads to the next discussion: What will it take to get the Tigers to the playoffs?

To be a playoff contender, Auburn has to beat Alabama. That isn’t news in the slightest. 

“All the pieces” is just as much about Auburn’s coaches and players as it is Alabama’s. There is currently a gulf-sized void between Alabama and every other team in America, Auburn included. This is equally the result of talent and coaching. How does anyone beat Bama? How can Auburn reverse its 0–3 record from the past three games against Alabama?

Time is the great equalizer.

As with every team in football, the back half of the season is less about talent and preseason preparation than injuries, fatigue, and week-to-week game planning. 

To win out, a lot of pieces have to fall into place. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t. The 2009 and 2016 teams almost had those pieces in place. Injuries and time had caught up to Bama, and Auburn almost pulled it off, despite being outmatched across the board. The 2009 Tigers needed just a little more on defense. The 2016 team needed a little bit more quarterback. Obviously, there are years that Auburn doesn’t have nearly the pieces needed, although occasionally, it does (see 2010 and 2013). 

By the time the Iron Bowl is played, even Alabama is nicked up significantly, and the coaching staff is under a time crunch to prepare. Saban is many things, but a great game-time X’s and O’s coach he is not. Preparation and talent diminishes, and the playing field suddenly levels. In the end, Bama usually has overwhelming talent, which is why it is a dynasty.

On the flip side, Gus Malzahn used to be a coach you didn’t want preparing for your defense, regardless of what week it was. The 2013 and 2014 Iron Bowls showed what Malzahn could do as an X’s and O’s in-game coach against elite defenses. All Auburn needed was a defense. After three years, Malzahn finally found that defense but the lack of depth on offense due to injury, talent, and experience, especially at QB, resulted in wasted opportunity.

All respect to Sean White, but he couldn’t make all the throws even when healthy. This had a trickle down effect that Acid Reign has noted many times in the past. In the 2016 Spring game, it was obvious the passing game would be neutered with White. This, combined with the youth of the receiving corps, forced undue pressure on the Auburn running game, especially late in the season,

Going into 2017, the difference in the receivers is palpable. Credit for this goes equally to Stidham, the receivers and, of course, new offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey. 

Is Auburn a playoff contender? Absolutely, and that includes being able to beat Bama.

Even though Auburn is one of only two teams to beat Alabama more than once in the Saban era, beating Bama doesn’t come easy. You can’t beat Bama in week one. You can’t beat Bama playing Bama ball. You can’t out-talent Bama. You can beat Bama mid- and late-season by proper game planning and some injury/fatigue luck.

If Auburn has all the pieces, perhaps the most important will be Jarrett Stidham himself. If the media is right, Auburn has that last piece, which will make it a contender.

The post The Pieces Are There, But What Will It Take to Get the Tigers to the Top? appeared first on Track 'Em Tigers, Auburn's oldest and most read independent blog.

4 Auburn players stick on CFL rosters

Four former Auburn players made it through the weekend rosters cuts in the Canadian Football League as the CFL teams prepared for the kickoff to the regular season on Thursday night – two who catch passes and two who try to keep them from being caught.

Four former Auburnplayers made it through the weekend rosters cuts in the Canadian Football League as the CFL teams prepared for the kickoff to the regular season on Thursday night – two who catch passes and two who try to keep them from being caught.

Wide receiver D’haquille “Duke” Williamsearned a spot on the Edmonton Eskimos, and wide receiver Darvin Adams is back with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

Former Auburn defensive backs Jonathon Mincy and Desmond Washington are with the Montreal Alouettes and Hamilton Tiger-Cats, respectively.

Williams caught 45 passes for 730 yards and five touchdowns for Auburn in 2014 and was considered one of the top wide receivers in the 2016 NFL Draft class heading into the 2015 season. But he played in only five games and caught 12 passes for the Tigers in 2015 beforebeing dismissed from the team on Oct. 5.

Williams went to training camp with the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams last year, but he had been out of football since being released at the end of the preseason.

Adams is healthy again after a broken collarbone caused him to miss 10 games last season, although he made it back on the field for the final two regular-season games and a playoff contest in 2016.

“I’m blessed,” Adams said. “I just want to thank God that I’m better, and my trainers for getting me back prepared.”

Adams caught 51 passes for 690 yards and six touchdowns in eight games last season.

Not all of Auburn’s CFL players made it through the preseason to a regular-season roster. Offensive lineman Devonte Denzey was let go by the Calgary Stampeders.

The four Auburn players are among 14 players with Alabama football roots who survived the CFL’s weekend of roster cuts.

The senior members of the state’s contingent are British Columbia Lions defensive tackle Bryant Turner and Toronto Argonauts linebacker Bear Woods. Turner, who starred at Daphne High School and UAB, and Woods, who was a Troystandout, are heading into their seventh CFL seasons.

Woods changed teams during training camp after being released by Montreal, even though he was an all-star last season.

“When I lay my head down at night, I know I’ve done the best for me & my family” – @TorontoArgos new LB Bear Woods

https://t.co/lHWNpsXeto pic.twitter.com/2OfnK0hi6m

— CFL (@CFL) June 10, 2017

Two other former UAB players are with Turner on British Columbia, even though both are kickers. The Lions decided to carry both Ty Long and Swayze Waters into the regular season because Waters has been dealing with quadriceps tendinitis.

The CFL season kicks off on Thursday night when the Saskatchewan Roughriders visit Montreal. The season concludes with the 105th Grey Cup on Nov. 26.

The players with Alabama football roots on opening-week CFL rosters include:

British Columbia Lions: Ty Long, place-kicker, UAB; Bryant Turner Jr., defensive tackle, Daphne, UAB; Swayze Waters, place-kicker, UAB.

Calgary Stampeders: Maleki Harris, linebacker, Cordova, South Alabama; Cordarro Law, defensive end, Sumter County; Ucambre Williams, offensive lineman, Central-Phenix City, South Alabama.

Edmonton Eskimos: D’haquille “Duke” Williams, wide receiver, Auburn.

Hamilton Tiger-Cats: Desmond Washington, defensive back, Auburn.

Montreal Alouettes: Jonathon Mincy, defensive back, Auburn.

Saskatchewan Roughriders: Brandon Bridge, quarterback, South Alabama.

Another look at @Air_Canada_7 taking flight.[?]#CFLGameday pic.twitter.com/wyfM542OhN

— Sask. Roughriders (@sskroughriders) June 17, 2017

Toronto Argonauts: Bear Woods, linebacker, Troy; Chandler Worthy, wide receiver, Troy.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers: Darvin Adams, wide receiver, Auburn; T.J. Health, defensive back, Alexandria, Jacksonville State.

Three players are on CFL practice squads – Carver-Montgomery and Alabama Statewide receiver Jamel Johnson on Toronto, Murphy High School wide receiver K.J. Maye on Edmonton and Alabamadefensive lineman D.J. Pettway on Saskatchewan.

4 Auburn players stick on CFL rosters

Four former Auburn players made it through the weekend rosters cuts in the Canadian Football League as the CFL teams prepared for the kickoff to the regular season on Thursday night – two who catch passes and two who try to keep them from being caught.

Top 10 road wins in Auburn football history – 247Sports

247Sports
Top 10 road wins in Auburn football history
247Sports
… wins in Auburn football history. Auburn has a proud history of marching into hostile territory and leaving victorious. These are the best such wins in program history. Nathan Deal – 78 minutes ago; 2; Tools. Edit; Slot to 247Sports Home; Slot to …
Why Auburn's run game could be even better in 2017247Sports

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Spring Forward: 5 things Auburn needs to know about Ole Miss – 247Sports

247Sports
Spring Forward: 5 things Auburn needs to know about Ole Miss
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Football Scores Schedule Stats Roster Expert Picks Draft History 2017 NFL Draft College Team Talent SEC Schedule SEC Standings NCAA Polls NCAA Weekly Leaders NCAA Player Leaders NCAA Team Leaders Videos FB Rec News …

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Auburn RHP Casey Mize picks up yet another All-America honor

Casey Mize earned another All-America honor over the weekend, being named to the 2017 ABCA/Rawlings Second Team prior to the start of the College World Series in Omaha, Neb.

‘You can’t do it by yourself’ – Buddy McClinton, College Football Hall of Fame candidate – Auburn Tigers Official Athletic Site

Auburn Tigers Official Athletic Site
'You can't do it by yourself' – Buddy McClinton, College Football Hall of Fame candidate
Auburn Tigers Official Athletic Site
AUBURN, Ala. – After starting on Auburn's freshman team in 1966, Buddy McClinton found himself buried on the varsity depth chart at safety in the spring of '67. “I was fifth or sixth-string and thinking that this was probably not going to be a whole …

Auburn makes the cut for nation’s No. 2 JUCO offensive tackle

Four-star offensive lineman Badara Traore released a list of his top schools on Monday.

One of the nation’s top junior college prospects trimmed his list of potential schools on Monday, and Auburn made the cut.

Four-star offensive tackle Badara Traore released his top seven college choices via Twitter, with Auburn among three SEC programs included. Along with the Tigers, Traore is considering LSU and Ole Miss, as well as Oregon, Ohio State, Oklahoma and Nebraska.

The 6-foot-8, 315-pound offensive tackle out of Hyde Park, Mass., is rated as the No. 8 JUCO offensive tackle in the nation and is regarded as the eighth-best JUCO prospect, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. He currently attends ASA College in New York.

Traore is scheduled to take a trip to Auburn’s campus next month for a visit.

Auburn’s recruiting wishlist along the offensive line

The Tigers are hoping to add four or five offensive linemen with their 2018 recruiting class. Auburn currently has two linemen committed: three-star prospects Jalil Irvin and Kameron Stutts. While Auburn remains in the hunt for several key high school linemen, with the team losing five seniors after the 2017 season, offensive line coach Herb Hand is weighing the option of adding a JUCO lineman such as Traore or dipping into the graduate transfer circuit again next year.

Should Traore choose Auburn, he would be just the program’s second ever player from Massachusetts, joining former quarterback Ben Durand, who was as a walk-on from 2012-14.

Top 7 #Blessed pic.twitter.com/whHeqhYwvb

— Badara Traore (@BadaraTraore72) June 19, 2017

Auburn makes the cut for nation’s No. 2 JUCO offensive tackle

Four-star offensive lineman Badara Traore released a list of his top schools on Monday.

Ranking every Auburn football matchup in 2017 from easiest to toughest – SECcountry.com

Ranking every Auburn football matchup in 2017 from easiest to toughest
SECcountry.com
Don't expect anything close to a 2015 Jacksonville State-like test from the Bears, who have only played one FBS team. Auburn football-Auburn Tigers-Kerryon Johnson Auburn running back Kerryon Johnson had 146 yards and 2 touchdowns vs. UL-Monroe…

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Auburn wants to add as many as 5 defensive linemen with 2018 recruiting class

Auburn signed just three defensive linemen in 2017 and has one committed to its 2018 class.

Auburn wants to add as many as 5 defensive linemen with 2018 recruiting class

Auburn signed just three defensive linemen in 2017 and has one committed to its 2018 class.

When it comes to defensive line play in the Southeastern Conference, Auburn’s Rodney Garner finds strength in numbers.

So, after signing a smaller, three-man defensive line class in 2017, the Tigers’ veteran defensive line coach is hoping to add more numbers with Auburn’s 2018 recruiting class.

“This one will be a bigger class,” Garner said in March. “We’re saying big — four, five, if I’m blessed. Obviously, I want as big as I can get, but you got to make everything fit within.”

Garner likes to rotate as many as 10 players on the line, so reloading with talent on the recruiting trail is always a priority. So far, Auburn has one defensive line prospect committed to its 2018 class: four-star defensive end Daquan Newkirk.

The 6-foot-3, 260-pound Newkirk originally committed to Auburn’s 2016 class, but after failing to qualify academically, he enrolled at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and has remained strong in his commitment to the Tigers. He visited campus earlier this month for Big Cat Weekend for the first time in more than a year, andhe called his time on the Plains “refreshing.”

After redshirting at MGCCC last year, Newkirk plans to graduate in December and enroll at Auburn in January, so he’ll be able to go through spring practices before the 2018 season.

With one spot on the defensive line shored up, Auburn has its eyes on several other top prospects up front on that side of the ball. Among them: four-star Jackson-Olin defensive tackle Coynis Miller, three-star Mobile Christian defensive end Andres Fox and four-star outside linebacker Richard Jibunor, who could project as a Buck defensive end at the next level.

Jackson-Olin DL Coynis Miller expects to play as a freshman if he comes to Auburn

Both Miller and Fox were on campus earlier this month for Big Cat Weekend, while Fox returned for an unofficial visit late last week. Miller has Auburn high on his list of top programs but the 6-foot-2, 300-pound Under Armour All-American plans to release a top eight soon. The 6-foot-4, 232-pound Fox has Auburn in his top three along with in-state rival Alabama and LSU.

Jibunor didn’t make it to Big Cat Weekend, but the Athens, Ga., prospect made it to campus almost two weeks ago for camp and a visit with the coaching staff. The Tigers are considered the favorite for Jibunor, who is close friends with Auburn offensive lineman Prince Tega Wanogho.

Three-star Theodore defensive tackle Timaje Porter is also high on Auburn. He was originally planning to commit in March but pushed his decision back indefinitely. The Tigers remain in the mix for four-star defensive end Caleb Tannor out of Lithonia, Ga., with other prospects still possible during the second half of the cycle.

While five signees in 2018 would be ideal for Garner, Auburn will sign at least three defensive linemen, with four a likely scenario.

“If I was able to get five, that would be unreal for me,” Garner said. “I’d love to get two true ends, one Buck and maybe two tackles, but we just got to see how that goes.”

These Alabama, Auburn game tickets among most expensive in nation for upcoming season

Alabama and Auburn have must-see games both in the SEC and out. Prices for some of those games are already climbing.

The biggerthe game, the more expensive the ticket.

So it should be no surprise that games featuring Alabama and Auburn have some of the more expensive tickets in the country,according to StubHub.

Chris Vannini of CoachingSearch.comtook a look at the pricier tickets, as of Monday, for the upcoming games.

RELATED: Vegas over/under win totals

Nick Saban’s Crimson Tidehave three games in the top 10 that rank among themost expensive.

LSU coach Ed Orgeron told me last month the Tide is “the benchmark.”Well, on Nov. 4, he and the Tigers travel to Tuscaloosa. If you go to StubHub, it is the ninth-most expensive ticket in the country right now at $210.

For just $12 more, you can see the Iron Bowl on Nov. 25 between Alabama and Gus Malzahn’s Auburn team. It is the seventh-most expensive ticket in the country.

Despite Pat Dye’s recent claim that Auburn could play 500 more years and still not have the tradition of the Tide – former Alabama coach Gene Stallings told me he agreed, by the way – it is still one of the premier rivalry games in the nation, despite the Tide’s dominance in recent years.

It doesn’t get much bigger than Alabama’s season-opener against Florida State. ESPN College GameDay’s Lee Corso confirmed to me last month the popular pre-game show will be in Atlanta on Sept. 2 for the big game.

RELATED: Phil Steele sees both Alabama, FSU in playoff

It will cost you a cool you $422, according to the report, for a seat in new Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Other games of note include Auburn at Clemson on Sept. 9 ($200)and Tennessee at Alabama ($155) on Oct. 21.

I said it doesn’t get much bigger than Alabama-FSU, but it does. The SEC-ACC showdown in Atlanta is the second-most expensive ticket.

For the top 10 and for the game that holds the No. 1 spot, check out coachingsearch.com.

These Alabama, Auburn game tickets among most expensive in nation for upcoming season

Alabama and Auburn have must-see games both in the SEC and out. Prices for some of those games are already climbing.

AL.com All-Access: An Alabama-Auburn rivalry question for the ages

Would you rather beat your rival in the middle of a lesser season or vice versa? It happened this year in basketball and baseball. What if it went down in football?

The Iron Bowl rivalry doesn’t even take holidays off. Witness the feisty Twitter exchange Sunday between Avery Johnson Jr., the son of the Alabama basketball coach, and a dude who calls himself Auburn Superfan.

AJ Jr. wished his dad a Happy Father’s Day, called him the GOAT (greatest of all time) and said he loved him. Nice, right?

Auburn Superfan couldn’t help himself and replied, “The GOAT got beat by Auburn twice this year.”

It was silly, snarky and totally unnecessary. In other words, it was everything a rivalry should be. As was the response from Avery Johnson Jr.

He tweeted back, “Where did y’all finish in the SEC or SEC Tourney? #caseclosed.”

But is that case closed? Let’s explore.

Auburn basketball did go 2-0 against Alabama last season. Alabama did finish fifth in the SEC and advance to the SEC Tournament semifinals while Auburn finished 11th and lost on the tournament’s opening night to Missouri.

It was a reverse of what would happen in baseball, where Alabama finished last in the SEC while Auburn made it to an NCAA Regional, but the Tide swept the Tigers in their conference series. Alabama also hired Auburn’s top assistant as its new head coach and introduced him the morning of Auburn’s regional final, which the Tigers lost to Florida State.

So Alabama had the better basketball season and Auburn the better baseball season, but each suffered the indignity of getting swept by its rival in the midst of a lesser season.

(To be fair, the Auburn baseball team did beat Alabama in the Capital City Classic in Montgomery, but that game doesn’t count in the SEC standings.)

Which season would you rather have?

It’s almost impossible for those mixed emotions to happen in football. Alabama and Auburn pretty much have to go through each other to win the SEC West and advance to the SEC Championship Game and the College Football Playoff, but mathematically, it could happen.

The closest situation we’ve seen was 1984 when an Alabama football team suffering through a losing season upset Auburn to keep the Tigers from going to the Sugar Bowl.

It’s been said forever that Alabama and Auburn football fans would rather go 1-11 and beat their bitter rival than 11-1 and lose to that rival. Is that actually true? You tell me on AL.com All-Access.

AL.com All-Access: An Alabama-Auburn rivalry question for the ages

Would you rather beat your rival in the middle of a lesser season or vice versa? It happened this year in basketball and baseball. What if it went down in football?

Auburn defensive end target Andres Fox ‘probably a couple of weeks’ away from annoucnement – SECcountry.com

SECcountry.com
Auburn defensive end target Andres Fox 'probably a couple of weeks' away from annoucnement
SECcountry.com
He originally labeled it as a “summer decision,” but it appears that timeline is gradually moving up, it seems. On his most recent visit to Auburn, he spent Tuesday to Friday living the day-to-day life of an Auburn student-athlete. When he left, his …

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Why Auburn’s run game could be even better in 2017 – 247Sports

247Sports
Why Auburn's run game could be even better in 2017
247Sports
Kamryn Pettway Auburn RB Kamryn Pettway (Photo: Icon Sportswire, Getty). Editor's Note: This is Part 1 of a five-part series focusing on an advanced analytics look at the 2017 Auburn Tigers. No matter who Auburn threw at Arkansas, the Razorbacks couldn …

Austin Wiley making ‘big leap’ during first offseason at Auburn

Last year at this time, Austin Wiley was mulling over a decision that would take him from Spain Park High School in Hoover to Conrad Academy in Orlando and later to Auburn, where he began his collegiate career a few…

Auburn fires its coaches, but they’re all coming back

In one of the quirkiest wrinkles of the college football universe, every living person who has been a permanent head football coach at Auburn except Terry Bowden could meet for lunch at Momma Goldberg's on Magnolia Avenue in less than an hour.

Auburn has a history of paying football coaches to go away, but they’re all coming back in retirement.

Retiree Tommy Tuberville lives so close to the coach who replaced him at Auburn that he can pepper Gene Chizik’s yard with golf balls.

Chizik is enjoying the retired life in Auburn few people can imagine. He called it quits at such a young age that his youngest son is still in high school.

Then there’s Pat Dye, who might be the most relevant retired college football coach in the country. After Dye retired in Auburn, the university not only put his name on the football field, but they gave him an office in the athletics building. He remains attuned to the pulse of the program, glad-hands recruits and boosters and promotes Auburn’s agenda on radio shows.

Not bad for a coach who was forced to step down in the wake of NCAA violations.

“The trustees called me and said, look, we want to name something after you,” Dye said. “Would you rather have a building, or would you rather have the field? I said, ‘That’s a no-brainer. I come out the dirt. I like the dirt.'”

Shug Jordan is buried in Auburn, and Dye retired there long ago. Relative newcomers to the Auburn Coaches Retirement Club are Tuberville and Chizik, who both had huge success for the Tigers, and then took enormous buyouts to go away. But now they’re back and have put themselves out to pasture in the Loveliest Village on the Plains.

“It’s such a good place to live, and you grow close to it because most of us raised our families in those areas,” Tuberville said.

Or in the case of Chizik, still raising his family. One of Chizik’s daughters attends Auburn, and his son could be at the university in a few years. Retired at 55, Chizik can’t start drawing social security for 12 more years.

Chizik retired from football in February after living away from his family for two years in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He was a successful defensive coordinator for the Tar Heels, but the time away from his family was too difficult. Now, he’s a principal member of the Auburn Coaches Retirement Club, and life is like a cool glass of Toomer’s Corner lemonade.

Of the school’s four living retired former head football coaches, three are walking into that “Sweet Auburn!” sunset of life either in Auburn or on nearby Lake Martin. And the fourth, Doug Barfield, isn’t far away. He lives in east Montgomery, which is only a 40-minute car ride from campus.

Barfield’s grandchildren live in Auburn, so he’s no stranger to the place.

In one of the quirkiest wrinkles of the college football universe, every living person who has been a permanent head football coach at Auburn except Terry Bowden could meet for lunch at Momma Goldberg’s on Magnolia Avenue in less than an hour. Current Auburn coach Gus Malzahn is entering his fifth season with the Tigers, but the Auburn Coaches Retirement Club is always looking for new members.

Recent history has proven that it’s difficult to survive at Auburn as a football coach, and that’s especially true now in the time of Nick Saban, but Auburn fans apparently love their former coaches once they retire. The coaches many of the fans wanted fired over the years are now celebrated around town. And why not, most of the coaches Auburn has fired or forced out through the years have been successful.

Chizik went 14-0 in 2010 and won a BCS national championship.

Tuberville beat Alabama six times in a row, went 13-0 in 2004 and was a BCS blunder away from playing for a national championship.

Dye, who is in the College Football Hall of Fame, won four SEC titles, including three in a row. He coached Bo Jackson, and defeated Paul Bryant.

Since 1993, when Bowden went 11-0 while on probation, no football team in the country has more undefeated seasons than Auburn (three), and only one team, Nebraska, has just as many. But Auburn fans and boosters are a demanding bunch. If a bad season on the Plains coincides with success over at Alabama, that usually means a lucky Auburn coach suddenly has the financial ability to retire while his golf game is still amendable.

Every Auburn coach since Shug Jordan retired in 1975 has been fired or forced out. When those same coaches retire and return, they are beloved.

“It’s a family-type atmosphere, and you’re always welcome,” Tuberville said. “I go back to games, and it’s like I’m still there. Everybody knows you. And that doesn’t happen at a lot of places. It still has the family touch.”

Both Tuberville and Chizik have houses in Auburn and at Lake Martin. Their buyouts from Auburn helped pay for those residences, of course. When Tuberville was forced out, Auburn paid him $5.1 million. Auburn then replaced Tuberville with Chizik, who the university later paid $7.5 million to go away.

It’s an interesting retirement plan, getting fired, but that’s life in the crazy world of the Southeastern Conference, and especially down at Auburn. Do Auburn’s former coaches ever get together for poker night and play with their house money? Not exactly.

“You see each other,” Tuberville said. “Everyone has their own ways, and obviously there are age differences.”

There’s a retired Auburn coach living in or near the campus for just about every decade: Chizik (55), Tuberville (62), Dye (77) and Barfield (81). Malzahn is 51 years old. His buyout after this season is $4,475,000.

Of the living members of the Auburn Coaches Retirement Club, Tuberville says he and Chizik are the closest with one another both in friendship and proximity. Chizik once worked on Tuberville’s staff, and Chizik then replaced Tuberville at Auburn in 2009. Tuberville now jokes that a clean shot with his driver will send golf balls into Chizik’s yard at the lake.

Not that he’s tried that.

“But it’s just a good place to live,” Tuberville said, “and it’s not just coaches. I saw a graph the other day, and in 10 years it’s going to grow like 30 to 40 percent, one of the highest growing places in the state of Alabama.”

Tuberville was so inspired by the love he received from Auburn upon his retirement that he strongly considered running for governor of the state. Here’s an interesting twist of fate: having your retirement funded by Auburn boosters, and your campaign for governor.

One member of the Auburn Retired Coaches Club in particular, Dye, still wields considerable power in Auburn.

When Dye decided to retire, he held a meeting with key members of the university and carved out a position inside the university that would help the school raise money and raise its profile. The football coach from 1981 to 1992, Dye has served Auburn well in retirement.

“When I retired, I told them, look, I’m going to live in Auburn the rest of my life,” Dye said. “We’re going to do this thing right, or we’re not going to do it.”

Dye says having the football field bear his name is the honor of a lifetime, but his work for the university and the football team isn’t merely titular. Most recently, he went on the radio and floated the idea of Auburn football moving from the Western Division of the SEC to the East. A week later at SEC spring meetings in Destin, Fla., Auburn athletics director Jay Jacobs echoed Dye’s thoughts.

With a fiery personality, Dye remains a power player at Auburn after all these years, and he isn’t interested in talking about how many former coaches live in town or at the lake.

“I’m more interested in these kids that we’re recruiting, and who’s coming to Auburn, and doing what I’m doing to help them,” Dye said. “They don’t grade your paper based on where you were born and raised, and what kind of car you drive and what kind of clothes you wear. They look down inside of you, and it’s who you are on the inside that they care about.”

The ethos of the Auburn Coaches Retirement Club is simple, and so is the admission fee. Members just flash an old Auburn pay stub at the clubhouse door. The group’s official handshake will remain a secret.

Joseph Goodman is a columnist for Alabama Media Group. He’s on Twitter @JoeGoodmanJr.

Auburn fires its coaches, but they’re all coming back

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The Countdown to Kickoff: The SEC’s best No. 75

There are 75 days until the first Saturday of the SEC football season, and the No. 1 75 in SEC football history is Alabama offensive lineman Barrett Jones.

AL.com is counting down to the 2017 SEC football season on Sept. 2 by presenting the No. 1 player to wear each number 1 through 99in the conference’s history. There are 75 days until the first Saturday of the SEC football season, and the No. 1 75 is Alabama offensive lineman Barrett Jones.

Barrett Jones was an All-SEC guard, tackle and center during his time at Alabama, played for three BCS national-championship teams and earned consensus All-American honors twice.

Jones spent his first two seasons mainly as the Crimson Tide’s right guard. After breaking in with a national-title team in 2009, Jones was an All-SEC guard in 2010.

The next season, he moved to left offensive tackle. Alabama won the BCS crown again, and Jones added to his accolades by receiving the Outland Trophy, which is presented annually to the nation’s best interior lineman.

The Tide repeated as the national champ in the 2012 season with Jones in a new position. At center, he became the third Alabama player to earn consensus All-American honors twice. Jones also won the Rimington Trophy, which is presented annually to the nation’s best center.

Runner-up at No. 75: Auburn tackle Ken Rice

FOR MORE OF AL.COM’S COMPREHENSIVE COVERAGE OF THE SEC, GO TO OUR SEC PAGE

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