Kendall Veach drives in 4 to lead No. 2 Auburn over North Dakota

Kendall Veach tallied a career-high four RBI to pace No. 2 Auburn to a 6-0 win against North Dakota Thursday night. Kaylee Carlson and Makayla Martin combined for seven shutout innings and six strikeouts, while allowing just three hits in…

Auburn snaps 6-game losing streak with come-from-behind win over LSU

Terri Williams-Flournoy could think of no better way to start her opening statement in the interview room inside Auburn Arena late Thursday night.

Auburn announces date for Pro Day

Auburn will hold its annual Pro Day on March 10 at the Auburn Athletic Complex.

Auburn announces date for Pro Day

Auburn will hold its annual Pro Day on March 10 at the Auburn Athletic Complex.

Auburn will get an 11-day reprieve from spring practices in the middle of March for spring break, but there will still be activity at the Auburn Athletics Complexduring that time.

Auburn will hold its annual Pro Day on Friday, March 10, the day after the team’s fifth practice of spring, the program announced on Thursday. Auburn opens spring practice on Tuesday with the first of 15 practices.

RELATED:Auburn releases 2017 spring practice schedule

Auburn has yet to release a list of participants for Pro Day, but it will likely include the Tigers’ three NFL Combine participants: defensive end Carl Lawson, defensive tackle Montravius Adams and defensive back Rudy Ford. Other potential participants include former quarterback Jeremy Johnson, defensive tackle Maurice Swain, wide receivers Tony Stevens and Marcus Davis, offensive linemen Alex Kozan, Robert Leff and Xavier Dampeer, linebacker T.J. Neal, and defensive backs Josh Holsey and Marshall Taylor.

The biggest question surrounding Auburn’s Pro Day participants is whether former running back Jovon Robinson will be invited to partake in the event. Robinson was dismissed from the team on the first day of fall camp back in August.

Auburn coach Gus Malzahn has a track record of allowing previously dismissed players to take part in Pro Day. Wide receiver D’haquille Williams was allowed to participate last yeardespite being kicked off the team in October 2015 following an altercation with Dampeer at an off-campus establishmentin downtown Auburn, and former safety Demetruce McNeal participated in Auburn’s 2014 Pro Day after being dismissed from the team in August 2013 following a marijuana-related arrest.

Auburn sets 2017 spring practice schedule

Auburn set its 2017 spring practice schedule on Thursday, with 14 workouts and a Pro Day scheduled prior to the April 8 A-Day game at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

Auburn’s 2017 Spring Practice Schedule

In what is the earliest Spring Practice I can ever remember, Auburn will begin preparations for the 2017 season next Tuesday, February 28th. The Tigers will practice 16 times (including A-Day) starting the last day of February and culminating on April 11th, typically skipping a day or two between practices. Auburn will also have a full 10 days off due to Spring Break.

Think about it, for the entire month of March, you get a little bit of football news to go along with Auburn’s March Madness run. Full schedule with coach and player availability below.

Tues, February 28: Gus Malzahn Press Conference at 11:30 a.m. in Complex Auditorium. Selected players to follow at conclusion of Malzahn press conference.

Thur, March 2: Kevin Steele post-practice.

Sat, March 4: Gus Malzahn, selected players post-practice in Jordan-Hare Stadium.

Tues, March 7: Chip Lindsey, selected players post-practice in Complex Auditorium.

Thur, March 9: No media availability.

Fri, March 10: Auburn Pro Day, Gus Malzahn will be available.

March 10-20: No practice, Auburn University Spring Break.

Tues, March 21: Gus Malzahn, selected players post-practice in Complex Auditorium.

Thur, March 23: No media availability.

Sat, March 25: Gus Malzahn, selected players post-practice in Jordan-Hare Stadium.

Tues, March 28: Assistant Coach Media Day from 11:30 am-12:30 pm in the Athletics Complex.

Thur, March 30: No media availability.

Sat, April 1: Gus Malzahn, selected players post-practice in Jordan-Hare Stadium.

Tues, April 4: Kevin Steele, selected players post-practice in Complex Auditorium.

Thur, April 6:  Chip Lindsey post-practice in Complex Auditorium.

Sat, April 8: A-Day in Jordan-Hare Stadium at 1 pm. Televised live by the SEC Network.

Tues, April 11: No media availability.


Auburn’s 2017 spring practice schedule – 247Sports

247Sports
Auburn's 2017 spring practice schedule
247Sports
AUBURN, Ala. — Auburn will conduct five practices before spring break before going full speed ahead with 10 practices in late March and early April. Auburn begins spring practices Tuesday at 4 p.m. All practices will be conducted in the afternoon. The …
'We all love challenges' – No. 2 Auburn softball to face elite pitcher in Tiger InvitationalAuburn Tigers Official Athletic Site
Auburn Softball Starts 6–0 on Jane B. Moore FieldTrack Em Tigers
Link sAUsage: 23 February 2017College and Magnolia

all 29 news articles

Auburn releases 2017 spring practice schedule

The Tigers kick things off Feb. 28

Auburn’s 2017 spring practice schedule has been released.

The Tigers will hold 15 spring practices beginning Feb. 28, the earliest start date under head coach Gus Malzahn.

Three practices will be held inside Jordan-Hare Stadium, not including the A-Day spring scrimmage. Those practicesare usually designated for scrimmages. Leading up to A-day, onlyfour total practices will be open to the media for 15 minutes each.

Auburn’s Pro Day will be March 10, and the team will be off March 10-20 for spring break. A-Day is scheduled for April 8.

Auburn is coming off an 8-5 season with a loss to Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl. Check out the full spring schedule below.

Tues., February 28

Thur., March 2

Sat., March 4 (in Jordan-Hare Stadium)

Tues., March 7

Thur., March 9

March 10-20: No practice, Auburn University Spring Break

Tues., March 21

Thur., March 23

Sat., March 25 (in Jordan-Hare Stadium)

Tues., March 28

Thur., March 30

Sat., April 1 (inJordan-Hare Stadium)

Tues., April 4

Thur., April 6

Sat., April 8:A-Day in Jordan-Hare Stadium

Tues., April 11

Auburn releases 2017 spring practice schedule

The Tigers kick things off Feb. 28

2017 Spring Primer: Auburn’s middle linebackers – 247Sports

2017 Spring Primer: Auburn's middle linebackers
247Sports
Deshaun Davis is back to anchor the Auburn defense once again after a solid performance in his first year as a starter. Along with Tre' Williams and Darrell Williams, Davis led an Auburn linebacker corps that was as good in 2016 as it has been in a decade.

and more

Ranking every modern decade of Auburn football based on record – 247Sports

Ranking every modern decade of Auburn football based on record
247Sports
We rank every decade of Auburn football since the 1930s based solely on winning percentage. … Both kinds of decades will have their time to shine in today's gallery as we rank the modern decades of Auburn football based strictly on winning percentage.

Spring Drills Start Next Tuesday!

Practice soon

I’m looking forward to a good spring on the practice field.
(Photo by Acid Reign.)

     War Eagle, everybody! It’s hard to believe that spring drills are nearly here. The calendar still says February, but it definitely feels like spring outdoors. The Tigers are getting to work early, this season. Other Auburn coaches have used similar philosophies in the past. The idea is to get practice out of the way, so that if any player is injured, they’ll have more time to heal before fall camp begins. Inclement weather is less of a concern these days, thanks to indoor practice facilities.

     There should be some interesting battles this spring, with a few vacancies due to graduation. However, this is as veteran and deep a team as Auburn has had in years. With the proper attitude and preparation, this team can be a championship contender. I’ll elaborate on my questions about this team going into spring, below.

     How quickly can new offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey install his offense? We likely won’t be shown too many wrinkles on A-Day, but we can look for whether the unit looks confused, or doesn’t do little things right. With new route systems in play, this could be a great chance for receivers to move up the depth chart.

     Who will be the starting quarterback? I don’t believe this will be settled, this spring. Last we heard officially, last year’s starter Sean White will not be able to practice, due to a broken arm suffered in the Sugar Bowl. I certainly don’t think one can count him out, going into fall. White really had the Auburn offense humming along, till injuries derailed him in November.

     Many folks expect Baylor transfer Jarrett Stidham to just be handed the keys to the offense, but Auburn has some talented guys at quarterback that are unlikely to go away quietly. I don’t think last year’s staff gave John Franklin III enough of a chance late last season. The offense picked up first downs and moved the chains when he was in there late in games. Franklin is easily the most dangerous runner at quarterback. Also in the mix will be Woody Barrett, Tyler Queen, Devin Adams and Malik Willis.

     How does the Auburn defensive line shape up? The depth is pretty good, but the key will be replacing Montravius Adams and Carl Lawson. Offenses really had to account for both players when blocking, and even when the pair weren’t generating statistics, they made it nearly impossible for offense to get anything done in the middle. A large part of Auburn’s defensive success last season came from forcing runners wide, and cleaning them up out on the boundary.

     Auburn has some good ones on the line returning, including Marlon Davidson, Derrick Brown, Andrew Williams, Nick Coe, Dontavius Russell, Paul James III, Byron Cowart, and Jeffrey Holland. There will be some really good true freshmen added in this season, as well.

     Will Auburn finally develop some depth at the lead-blocker positions? Last season it was Chandler Cox and Jalen Harris, and that was pretty much it, unless the team sent an extra lineman in. Some folks expect transfer Sal Cannella to step right in and start at tight end. I’ll wait and see. Cannella is listed at 230 pounds, and that seems a bit light for an SEC tight end.

     Who emerges at the top in a crowded wide receiver field? In no particular order Auburn returns Nate Craig-Myers, Jason Smith, Kyle Davis, Eli Stove, Will Hastings, Darius Slayton, and Ryan Davis, who all played extensively last season.

     How will Auburn’s offensive line shake out? I had figured earlier that returning starters Darius James, Austin Golson and Braden Smith would remain in their current positions, and new starters would be found at guard and right tackle. I have seen speculation that James may move inside to a guard spot, and Golson would move out to left tackle again. Or that Prince Tega Wanogho is good enough this year to just take the left tackle spot. Mike Horton is one to watch, up front. He’s a big, strong dude. I’ve even heard talk of Braden Smith moving to right tackle. We’ll have to see how it all works out. Presumably, the team will figure it out by A-Day, and a new unit can begin gelling.

The post Spring Drills Start Next Tuesday! appeared first on Track 'Em Tigers, Auburn's oldest and most read independent blog.

In-state lineman Kameron Stutts a ‘high priority’ for Auburn

Auburn offered the Brooks standout a scholarship last month

At 6-foot-5 and 320 pounds, it’s hard to miss Kameron Stutts on the football field.

The offensive lineman at Brooks High School in Killen, Ala., towers over opponents and is beginning to gain traction on the recruiting trail as a result.

“I think it’ll just keep picking up,” Brooks head coach Brad Black told AL.com. “He’s a big, long kid… I get 10 calls a day about him, always somebody new. It’s amazing.”

“Athletically, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a kid that big that can move like that, I’ll be honest with you. Great kid, great grades, great home life. He’s a special kid.”

Auburn was one of the first schools to take notice of Stutts, and the Tigers extended hima scholarship offer Jan. 26. In addition to Auburn, the three-star prospect holds offers from Dartmouth, Duke, Iowa State, Jacksonville State, Memphis, Mississippi State, Missouri, Ole Miss, Southern Miss, Troy, UT-Martin and Virginia Tech.

“Right now pretty much everyone is an option,” he said. “I’m enjoying every single school and everybody talking to me. I haven’t really started narrowing things down yet.”

While Stutts may not have any early leaders, he admitted the bigger schools are intriguing. He is developing a relationship with Auburn offensive line coach Herb Hand and has visited the Plains multiple times. He attended one Auburn game last fall.

“Their offensive line coach has been really nice to me and talking to me a lot,” Stutts said of Hand. “It’s a good football program, everybody knows that. It’s a good school in general. It has a nice campus and (offers) a good education.”

Hand recently visited Brooks to meet with Stutts and expressed his interest.

“Coach Hand came up and sat down with Kam and told me ‘Coach, he’s one of our high-priority guys. We really like him and want to get him on campus and build a relationship with him.'”

4-star Jalil Irvin looking at Auburn ‘very seriously’

Stutts has no timetable for a commitment, but he said a decision will likely be after his senior season and before National Signing Day next February. He plans to visit Alabama this weekend, Auburn next weekend and Ole Miss at a later date.

He hopes to add the Crimson Tide to his list of offers.

“That’d be nice,” Stutts said. “That’s one of the best football programs in the country, so for them to offer would be a big accomplishment. I’m not exactly sure (if they will), but it would be pretty nice.”

Stutts is ranked as a three-star prospect and the No. 43 offensive tackle in the 247Sports Composite. He was a Class 5A All-State first team selection last season after guiding the Lions to the second round of the AHSAA playoffs.

This spring and summer Stutts plans on improving his overall game as he prepares for his final season at Brooks.

“I thought I really helped the team a lot last year with getting tough yards when we need them and being a leader on the offensive line and helping everybody know what they’re supposed to do,” he said. “I was pretty good last year, but I want when people to come see me play to say ‘Wow, that dude is dominating.’ I want to be on a whole other level and be ‘The Guy’ on the football field.”

Black feels the “sky’s the limit” for his star player.

“Now everybody’s going to notice him because he’s getting a lot of the offers, but he’s always been the man,” Black said. “He can control a game offensively and defensively if he wants to… That’s hard to do from a lineman’s standpoint sometimes. He’s a very gifted young man with a great attitude and a great work ethic.”

In-state lineman Kameron Stutts a ‘high priority’ for Auburn

Auburn offered the Brooks standout a scholarship last month

Auburn Softball Starts 6–0 on Jane B. Moore Field

56e0e637b56c0.image_

It was a very busy four days for the Auburn Tigers softball team. Less than a week after visiting Puerto Vallerta, Mexico, the Tigers opened up Jane B. Moore Field with six straight wins, five of them in the Plainsman Invitational. 

Auburn hosted SIUE on Thursday night before Creighton, Evansville, and Mercer joined the fun on Saturday and Sunday. Despite the changing opponents and lineups for the Tigers, one thing remained the same, and it is the thing that really matters: wins. 

Truly, none of these teams should have had the firepower to compete with the No. 2 ranked Tigers, but Auburn hasn’t been the hot-hitting team that fans have come to expect from coach Clint Myers’ teams. Thursday night’s game against SIUE went to extra innings with a 3-3 score, due to two Auburn errors in the outfield.

Thanks to the constantly changing Auburn lineup, fans were treated to another new player turned hero. Carmyn Greenwood laced a shot to center field, scoring speedy pinch runner Bree Fornis for the winning run. It was Greenwood’s first hit as a Tiger, and likely one she will always remember. 

Auburn’s struggles at the plate ended with that at-bat as Auburn outscored its opponents 40–5 in the Plainsman Invitational. Only Evansville was able to get multiple runs on the Tigers. Auburn’s pitchers were white hot, especially Makayla Martin, who is sporting an ultra-low 0.71 ERA in spite of suffering Auburn’s only loss this year to a very good Washington club in Mexico. On her heels is Kaylee Carlson with an impressive 0.88 ERA while pitching more innings that Martin. Martin is edging Carlson out in strikeouts, however, 25 to 17. Freshman Ashlee Swindle is receiving some innings of work, even though she is experiencing growing pains. In only five innings she has allowed 3 runs, almost a fifth of the 14 runs the Tigers have allowed in the 68 innings of this young season.

Victoria Draper has been Auburn’s best option at the plate. The nine-hole hitter, truly a second lead-off batter ahead of Kasey Cooper, is hitting 0.500, has scored a team-high eight times, but hasn’t hit for extra bases and has just one RBI. Cooper has walked a team high 10 times, but she has made the most of her opportunities with nine RBIs, good for second on the team. 

Kendall Veach has been the surprise star for the Tigers. The last-minute replacement to Tannon Snow, still out with an undisclosed illness, has hit four homers, one more than the rest of the team combined. 

On the negative side, Whitney Jordan remains hitless in the 2017 season. Though she was a clutch performer in the Women’s College World Series, she has regressed drastically after being a bottom dweller in last year’s lineup while starting for the injured Haley Fagan. 

North Dakota will play Auburn on Thursday night before seeing the Tigers again in the Tiger Invitational. Joining that fray are UMass-Lowell, Yale, and James Madison, which handed the Tigers their first loss of the season last year in Clearwater, Florida. 

Auburn’s first and last games, UMass-Lowell and James Madison, will be the only games televised and will be on the WatchESPN app.

However, fans are encouraged to turn out. Buying a ticket to the first game of the day will include the opportunity to watch all the day’s games for that one ticket.

The post Auburn Softball Starts 6–0 on Jane B. Moore Field appeared first on Track 'Em Tigers, Auburn's oldest and most read independent blog.

Auburn spring practice primer: Offensive line

Auburn opens spring practice for the 2017 football season on Tuesday, Feb. 28. Each day until then, we’re going to preview one position group.

Ole Miss, Hugh Freeze flew too close to the sun and now they’re paying for it

Ole Miss was too brazen in its recruiting efforts and now it faces the ramifications.

A Michael Buffer wannabe proudly declared, “And now a five-star prospect from Batesville, Mississippi…Tony Conner” to a crowd of inebriated Ole Miss fans and students as Conner, the local stud, strode onto the stage.

It was Ole Miss’ big official visit weekend back in January 2013, and the school pulled out all the stops. The big group of top recruits that weekend included Conner, Robert Nkemdiche, Laquon Treadwell, Laremy Tunsil and Chris Jones – all five-star prospects and all but one would go on to sign with the Rebels.

One-by-one their names were announced to the popular Oxford college bar as the young celebrities they were, the crowd begging them to come to Ole Miss. A group of older boosters hung off to the side, eying the greatest collection of recruiting talent the Rebels had ever assembled in Oxford. All the while, Ole Miss assistants quietly monitored the proceedings from upstairs, watching their top recruiting targets dance shirtless on stage to the adulation of the fans.

Ole Miss went on to sign the nation’s eighth-best recruiting class that year, an achievement that generated a lot of good publicity for the school. But that recruiting class attracted the NCAA to set up shop in Mississippi and could ultimately cost Hugh Freeze, Ross Bjork and others their jobs at the school.

The program received an amended Notice of Allegations Wednesdaywhich alleges that Ole Miss paid between $13,000 and $15,600 to a recruit who ended up at another school, among other serious charges.

If the lack of institutional control charge and the head coach responsibility legislation stick, Freeze will likely be out of a job and Bjork might not be far behind. Ole Miss football program will be cratered and will have little shot at competing in the ultra-competitive SEC West for years.

It’ll represent a precipitous fall from grace for Freeze who had emerged as one of the SEC’s most promising coaches.

**

There are multiple remarkable stories surrounding that 2013 Ole Miss class but none more so than the signing of Tunsil, a five-star offensive tackle out of Lake City, Florida. All the big schools wanted Tunsil who was viewed as a plug-and-play Day 1 starter wherever he landed. Unlike Nkemdiche, Conner or even Treadwell, Ole Miss didn’t have a natural connection to the top 10 recruit.

Ole Miss wasn’t given much of a shot for most of Tunsil’s recruitment, with Georgia and Alabama considered the early favorites. But Freeze and defensive line coach Chris Kiffin convinced Tunsil to take an official visit the same weekend as their other top targets.

And sometime between arriving on campus and dancing on stage, something changed.

Days later, Georgia went in for an in-home visit with Tunsil’s family expecting the five-star to reaffirm a silent commitment he had already given Mark Richt’s staff.

Instead, the Georgia coaching contingent walked in to find the entire Tunsil family decked out in Ole Miss gear. The Georgia coaches were livid, according to multiple accounts. Word quickly started spreading through the college ranks, and there was a general feeling amongst coaches that Ole Miss had gone too far.

Tunsil went on to have a very good career for the Rebels but was in the news twice for the wrong reasons. First, he was suspended for seven games after he was caught using three loaner cars over a six-month period without payment. Then there was the much publicized NFL Draft disaster when someone hacked his account and revealed text messages that showed him asking former Ole Miss staffers John Miller and Barney Farrar for money to pay bills.

Tunsil later admitted to taking money in a surreal press conference at the draft.

Ole Miss, in a 20-minute video released Wednesday, said that the Tunsil draft day crisis didn’t factor into new NCAA allegations, but it gave the NCAA an opportunity to keep digging into the program. The NCAA immediately started asking around about Tunsil after he admitted at the draft to taking money while at Ole Miss, according to multiple sources.

More than anything, it was more bad optics for a program in the middle of a years-long NCAA investigation.

As one college coach put it to me, “Everyone does it, but they got caught on national TV, and it was embarrassing honestly.”

**

It’s hard to blame Freeze or his staff for trying to recruit the best recruiting class possible at a school that typically isn’t relevant on the national scale. The program achieved considerable success because of that 2013 recruiting class, namely winning consecutive games against Alabama in 2014 and 2015 and earning the program’s first Sugar Bowl berth since 1970. But it’s easy to wonder if Ole Miss hadn’t signed Tunsil, whether it’d be in this current mess.

It’s not as if Freeze and others involved in the program weren’t aware that there could be negative consequences. One local Mississippi power player even warned an Ole Miss assistant that they were sloppy and it could come back to bite them. The Ole Miss assistant shrugged off the advice, confident that the staff’s approach was bulletproof.

That mentality was reflected throughout the program. It all started with the head coach who, in a now infamous tweet, challenged anyone with knowledge of recruiting violations to alert the school’s compliance department. Rival coaches couldn’t believe that Freeze would be so brazen to dare people like that publicly.

It didn’t stop there.

Up until that depressing 20-minute video on Wednesday, Freeze and Bjork were publicly defiant over the NCAA investigation. There was a cockiness to the coach and athletic director pair as they went on the aggressive to anyone who dared impugn Ole Miss’ good name. All the while, they downplayed the severity of the charges behind the scenes to reporters who happily took them at face value.

Years down the line, Freeze and other members of his staff may look back and wonder if they had been humbler, if they hadn’t been so greedy, maybe they could have avoided the NCAA’s vice grip.

Instead, Freeze and Ole Miss flew too close to the sun. Similar to the warning Robert DeNiro’s character delivers about spending money following the Lufthansa heist in “Goodfellas,” if you are going to color outside the lines, you have to be tactful about it. Ole Miss was never going to get the benefit of the doubt; it was new money, and to outsiders, looked like it just bought a fleet of luxury vehicles.

Once Ole Miss announced that 2013 recruiting class, it was a certainty that the NCAA was going to snoop around. The more and more they looked around, the more resolute investigators became in extracting a pound of flesh. Based on the allegations, it appears it was able to do that and more through offering immunity in exchange for information.

Ole Miss is now on the ropes though it has vowed to fight the most serious NCAA allegations. The school has already imposed a one-year bowl ban though there are more serious punishments hanging over its head. If its unsuccessful in its Committee on Infractions hearing, as most expect it will be, it will be because Ole Miss made too many waves too quickly in 2013.

And because of that, the music has stopped and the dancing is over in Oxford.

Ole Miss, Hugh Freeze flew too close to the sun and now they’re paying for it

Ole Miss was too brazen in its recruiting efforts and now it faces the ramifications.

AL.com All-Access: The party’s over for Ole Miss

After getting hit with additional charges of rules violations by the NCAA, the Rebels are looking at an extended return to the Dark Ages they tried to escape.

AL.com All-Access: The party’s over for Ole Miss

After getting hit with additional charges of rules violations by the NCAA, the Rebels are looking at an extended return to the Dark Ages they tried to escape.

It was fun while it lasted, wasn’t it, Ole Miss? The two wins over Alabama. The two New Year’s Six bowl games. The status as an SEC West contender.

It was heady stuff for a program that hadn’t had much success in the last half-century when it wasn’t quarterbacked by a Manning. If you never did make it to the SEC Championship Game for the first time, thanks to that freakish lateral by Arkansas, at least you put yourself on the college football map for something more than drunken frivolity in the Grove.

But now that the NCAA has hit you with an amended Notice of Allegations, piling on more and more serious charges such as lack of institutional control and a violation of head coach responsibility legislation, now that you’ve self-imposed more serious penalties such as a 2017 postseason ban, you have to ask yourself this question:

Was it worth it?

The party’s clearly over in Oxford. You don’t get hit with 21 allegations – eight new ones and an expansion of one of the 13 in the original NOA – without the Infractions Committee hitting you much harder than you’ve slapped yourself.

Ask Alabama.

Unlike Alabama, USC or Penn State, traditional powers who’ve bounced back from major sanctions in the last 15 years, Ole Miss doesn’t have the history, tradition and infrastructure to survive its self-imposed penalties plus the sanctions the Infractions Committee is likely to add without returning to the dark ages for an extended period of time.

While there’s no telling how badly the COI will pile on, anyone with any experience in NCAA cases – which is pretty much everyone in this state – can tell you it doesn’t look good.

Anyone who watched the grim 20-minute video Ole Miss released Wednesday featuring its chancellor, AD and head football coach outlining the new Notice of Allegations would say the same. They looked and sounded like three men who see the light at the end of the tunnel is an oncoming train.

That production inspired as much confidence as the Ray Watts-Jerod Haase hostage video when the UAB president announced he was giving his basketball coach a huge raise with all the money the school wouldn’t be spending on football.

At least Haase was able to escape Watts by taking a better job at Stanford. Hugh Freeze probably won’t be able to escape the NCAA, despite the show of support from his superiors.

The defiant Freeze who tweeted a challenge to anyone who had dirt on his program to turn it in and hinted revenge at negative-recruiting rivals was nowhere to be seen on that video. He was replaced by a man whose rags-to-riches story is in serious jeopardy.

Freeze was the direct target of one of the new allegations, that he violated the head coach responsibility legislation. Ole Miss will fight that charge, but if the COI agrees with the allegation, he’ll face a multi-game suspension. At least.

The program was hit with the equally serious charge of a lack of institutional control, which it also will contest. While the Rebs won’t have to stare down the barrel of the death penalty, they are looking at hard times ahead.

You don’t get accused of having a staff member hook up a recruit with two boosters who allegedly paid the recruit between $13,000 and $15,600 unless the NCAA staff fully believes it has evidence to support that charge.

Ole Miss copped to the impermissible contact between the boosters and the recruit but said “we are still evaluating whether there is sufficient credible and persuasive evidence to support the alleged payments.”

In the most Ole Miss thing ever, the recruit in question, who received the largest amount of impermissible benefits in this case, signed with another school. Some of the current Rebels may wish they’d done the same when this case is finished later this year.

You can rail against the absurd length of the Ole Miss investigation, which was extended thanks to the Laremy Tunsil draft night debacle, although it appears none of the new charges arose from that nightmare. You can push the conspiracy theory that Ole Miss is being punished for trying to compete with the big boys using similar tactics that often go unpunished.

You can even argue that recruits and players should be compensated given the enormous salaries paid to coaches such as Freeze and the massive amounts of revenues those players generate.

But the day of fair compensation isn’t here yet. Equal treatment under the law remains a pipe dream. On this day, the NCAA has rules, and Ole Miss admitted to breaking some of them as it tried to improve its lot in SEC West life.

The run was fun while it lasted. But was it worth it?

Brian Blackmon explains decision to resign at Opelika and join Auburn as offensive analyst

Brian Blackmon resigned as head coach and athletic director at Opelika after eight seasons on Wednesday. He begins his new role as offensive analyst on coach Gus Malzahn's staff at Auburn on Friday.

With cardboard boxes strewn across his office overlooking Opelika’sfour-year-old indoor practice facility early Thursday morning, Brian Blackmon quietly packed up 21 years of coaching mementos.

After resigning as Opelika’s head football coach and athletic director on Wednesday afternoon, effectively ending his run at the only job he has known, Blackmon will officially begin a new endeavor on Friday, when he starts his new position as an offensive analyst on coach Gus Malzahn’s staff at Auburn.

“It’s just the right time,” Blackmon told AL.com. “In the past, when opportunities have come, it was never the right time, and right now it’s the right time. It is. I feel I’m really at peace with this decision; I feel like Opelika’s in a good place. I really have felt like the closer that this thing became a reality, I needed to be uncomfortable again.

“I believe that where you grow is in those places that you’re uncomfortable in. For me, stepping out and doing something different and starting back at the bottom and figuring my way through this thing — that was the part that excited me.”

Blackmon has spent the last 21 years at Opelika, serving the first 13 years as offensive coordinator under legendary Bulldogs coach Spence McCracken before spending the last eight as head coach and athletic director. During his eight seasons as head coach, Blackmon guided Opelika to a 69-25 record, including the program’s only two trips to the Class 6A state championship game.

Opelika coach Brian Blackmon resigns after 8 years

The Bulldogs made the state championship in 2012 and again in 2016 under Blackmon, playing both games in Jordan-Hare Stadium but coming up emptyhanded against Hoover and Ramsay, respectively. Under Blackmon, Opelika became a fixture in the Class 6A state polls and won three consecutive region titles while making the playoffs in seven of his eight seasons.

He finishes his tenure at Opelika as the third-winningest coach in the school’s 99-year history, but he hopes his legacy is defined by the players he coached and their accomplishments in life rather than the games he won.

“Walking away from Opelika High School is very, very hard,” Blackmon said. “Really, one of the toughest decisions that I had to make because I was not unhappy. At no point did I think I just wanted out. I never had — at any point in my career did I feel like I can’t work with somebody or the administration’s not supportive. I never had any of that. I always had the best, and I think this is the best place in America, so walking away from it was tough, but I really just got that pull, that tug in my heart to go in a different direction.”

Blackmon has long considered taking the leap from high school to college, and he has spoken to Malzahn on multiple occasions over the years about the possibility. It wasn’t until recent weeks that the possibility became a reality.

Malzahn, a former high school coach himself, has a history of hiring other high school coaches in analyst roles over the years. Among past analysts at Auburn were longtime high school coaches Chip Lindsey, Dell McGee and Bobby Bentley. Lindsey, who was Blackmon’s roommate for a year at North Alabama, is now the Tigers’ offensive coordinator. McGee is currently the running backs coach at Georgia, and Bentley is the running backs coach at South Carolina.

Blackmon considers all three to be good friends, and he leaned on them for guidance during his discussions with Malzahn about the job. He hopes his role as an analyst is the first step toward a career in the college ranks.

“Coach Malzahn has made it his ministry to use his position to give other high school coaches a chance if they have that dream,” Blackmon said. “He’s been able to do that and there’s a lot of those guys that have started at the high school level and have been successful at the college level. He has taken this position and used it as a ministry to help good people have an opportunity at the college game.

“That’s really where it started; Coach Malzahn was just like me — started as a high school coach for a long time, got an opportunity, made good on his opportunity, has been blessed in his opportunity and now he’s giving it back doing that.”

Blackmon said his exact role as an analyst has yet to be determined ahead of the start of spring practice on Tuesday. He has experience coaching quarterbacks, developing three consecutive All-State signal-callers, including grooming current South Carolina starting quarterback Jake Bentley. He also has a breadth of experience coaching offensive line and running backs, but added that he is comfortable with whichever position group he is assigned at Auburn.

During his time at Opelika, Blackmon’s offenses have often been prolific. In 13 years as offensive coordinator, the Bulldogs averaged 30.2 points per game. As head coach, Blackmon’s teams averaged 31.8 points per game, including 38.8 points per game over the last two seasons.

While in recent years Blackmon has run an offensive scheme similar to what Malzahn has run at Auburn, Blackmon’s offensive philosophy has been influenced by several coaches during his career as he has often adapted to fit his team’s personnel.

“In 21 years, we’ve run Georgia Tech double-slot option, we’ve run the Wing-T, we’ve been a downhill Power I team, we’ve been a four-wide spread team and we’ve been a two-back spread team,” Blackmon said. “I’ve learned a little bit from everybody. I love learning football. I love talking football; I’m passionate about that. I’ve been to clinics all over the country. Football’s been good to me and given me the opportunity to do that. I’ve sat at the feet of a lot of people and learned.”

Blackmon learned the most, however, from McCracken, the AHSAA Hall of Famer who coached him in high school at Lee-Montgomery — where the pair helped the Generals win the 1991 Class 6A state title — and then afforded him his first coaching opportunity, teaching him along the way about what it takes to run a program.

After eight years of running his own program, Blackmon is packing up his office and venturing across town eager to learn again, this time under his longtime friend Lindsey, Malzahn and the rest of Auburn’s staff.

“Chip’s been a friend for a long time, and having an opportunity to work with him obviously has a part to do with that decision,” Blackmon said. “I’m just looking forward to learning and growing… and for me that’s what it’s all about. Whatever way I can help, that’s what I want to do.”

Brian Blackmon explains decision to resign at Opelika and join Auburn as offensive analyst

Brian Blackmon resigned as head coach and athletic director at Opelika after eight seasons on Wednesday. He begins his new role as offensive analyst on coach Gus Malzahn’s staff at Auburn on Friday.

Alabama Roots: Top 10 in NFL Interceptions

Players from Alabama’s high schools and colleges dot the all-time leaderboards of the NFL in a variety of statistics, and 13 of the state’s best – so far – have reached the Pro Football Hall of Fame. But there’s one aspect of the game where the Alabama roots have withered – interceptions. The player from the state with the most interceptions ranks only 67th in NFL history.

How much will Auburn shuffle its offensive line to find 2 new starters?

Auburn has to find two new starters on the offensive line and there are a vast number of ways for how to do it.

Alabama Roots: Top 10 in NFL Interceptions

Players from Alabama's high schools and colleges dot the all-time leaderboards of the NFL in a variety of statistics, and 13 of the state's best – so far – have reached the Pro Football Hall of Fame. But there's one aspect of the game where the Alabama roots have withered – interceptions. The player from the state with the most interceptions ranks only 67th in NFL history.

How much will Auburn shuffle its offensive line to find 2 new starters?

Auburn has to find two new starters on the offensive line and there are a vast number of ways for how to do it.

We’re taking a look at each position group as Auburn prepares to open spring practice on Feb. 28. The fourth of a nine-part series looks at the offensive line.

Projected depth chart:
Left tackle
Darius James, senior, started eight games and appeared in all 13
Prince Michael Sammons, redshirt-freshman, redshirted in 2016
Tyler Carr, redshirt-sophomore, played in 10 games in 2016
Brodarious Hamm, freshman

Left guard
Marquel Harrell, redshirt-sophomore, played in four games in 2016
Mike Horton, redshirt-sophomore, played in 12 games in 2016
Deon Mix, senior, played in three games in 2016
Bailey Sharp, redshirt-sophomore, played in three games in 2016
Brodarious Hamm, freshman
Nick Brahms, freshman, early enrollee

Center
Austin Golson, senior, started all 13 games with nine at center in 2016
Casey Dunn, graduate transfer, two-years starter at Jacksonville State OR
Kaleb Kim, redshirt-sophomore, played in three games in 2016
Deon Mix, senior, played in three games in 2016

Right guard
Braden Smith, senior, started all 13 games
Mike Horton, redshirt-sophomore, played in 12 games in 2016
Marquel Harrell, redshirt-sophomore, played in four games in 2016
Deon Mix, senior, played in three games in 2016
Bailey Sharp, redshirt-sophomore, played in three games in 2016
Brodarious Hamm, freshman
Nick Brahms, freshman, early enrollee

Right tackle
Mike Horton, redshirt-sophomore, played in 12 games in 2016
Prince Tega Wanogho Jr., redshirt-sophomore, played in 10 games in 2016
Braden Smith, senior, started all 13 games
Tyler Carr, redshirt-sophomore, played in 10 games in 2016
Prince Michael Sammons, redshirt-freshman, redshirted in 2016

Departed: Alex Kozan, started all 13 games at left guard; Robert Leff, started 13 games at right tackle; Xavier Dampeer, started four games at center

Due to arrive in the fall: Calvin Ashley, Austin Troxell

Outlook: Auburn has to find two new starters on the offensive line and there are a vast number of ways for how to do it.

The Tigers could simply leave Darius James, Austin Golson and Braden Smith at left tackle, center and right guard, respectively, and determine the new starers atleft guard and right tackle. Or, there could be a more dramatic shift of personnel and moving of pieces in order to form an entirely new looking line.

Such a shift would not be necessary from a performance standpoint, as Auburn’s offensive line rebounded from a poor start to be one of the strengths of the entire team last season. However, if the approach is to find the top five players regardless of ideal position fit then there could be sweeping changes.

Auburn spring position preview: QB |RB | WR

Versatility is never a bad thing for an offensive linemen and Golson and Smith both have the ability to play tackle.

If either of the two were to move to tackle the more likely seems to be Smith, as he’s a bit taller than Mike Horton, the leading candidate to land one of the starting jobs, most likely on the right side of the line. To move Golson would mean either graduate transfer Casey Dunn or Kaleb Kim is ready to take over a full-time starter at center and that Auburn is comfortable with someone else, probably Deon Mix, as the backup.

The addition of Dunn on Wednesday does change the dynamic at center, at the very least in the backup role, if not the starter spot.

James could be moved to left guard if Prince Tega Wanogho Jr., also a candidate at right tackle, or Prince Michael Sammons is ready for a jump in playing time. This would also seem somewhat unlikely, and with Calvin Ashley due to arrive in the summer, might be an option for fall camp.

The less seismic option to fill the voids up front would be to determine who among Horton, Wanogho and Marquel Harrell, the top three candidates to land a starting job, are best fit for left guard and right tackle.

After the starters are determined, nearly as intriguing will be the backups, as that group will be far less experienced than in years past.

What’s been consistent under Gus Malzahn is the top six linemen at the end of spring remain that way into the fall and the starting lineup hasn’t seen major changes in-season.

Alabama, Auburn taking look at Hueytown tight end Kameron Wilson

Kameron Wilson didn’t play football as a sophomore at Hueytown, but now the sport appears to be his future.

Alabama, Auburn taking look at Hueytown tight end Kameron Wilson

Kameron Wilson didn't play football as a sophomore at Hueytown, but now the sport appears to be his future.

Kameron Wilson didn’t play football as a sophomore at Hueytown, but now the sport appears to be his future.

He had grown to 6-foot-7 after basketball season that year when football coach Scott Mansell convinced Wilson to get back on the gridiron.

“I kept telling him not to put all your eggs in one basket,” Mansell said. “Let’s be an athlete and play both sports. He fell in love with the physicality part.”

College coaches, including Auburn defensive line coach Rodney Garner, noticed Wilson last spring, but Mansell didn’t know what to tell them.

But after the 2016 season, Wilson’s junior year on the gridiron, and when highlights started to roll in, so did more interest and offers. UAB and Southern Miss have offered Wilson, who measured in at 6-foot-7 (with shoes) and 232 pounds recently, according to Mansell.

Alabama assistant coach Brent Key also noticed Wilson earlier this year.

“He said he’s definitely what we look for at Alabama,” Mansell said. “He looks the part.”

So, Alabama coaches will get a better look when Wilson goes to Tuscaloosa this weekend for a Junior Day. He’ll visit Auburn on March 4 and Mansell said Georgia assistant coach Kevin Sherrer wants Wilson to attend a spring practice.

“I think it’s fixing to all hit in a hurry for him (with interest and offers) going into spring,” Mansell said. “I had a lot of coaches ask me about him in the spring (of 2016) and I said, ‘I don’t know yet, I just got him off the basketball court.’ He had a heck of a year and was a very physical, dominant blocker.”

Spring before senior season is when some prospects come out from under the radar. Wilson doesn’t yet have recruiting profiles on sites such as 247Sports, Rivals and ESPN.

“We need to throw the ball to him a little bit more,” Mansell said. “He had about 12 to 15 catches last year. We’re just a big run-oriented offense. Blocking is not going to be an issue. He was a dominant blocker. His pass-catching ability is what people need to see.

“He’s really coming around and starting to become a leader for us. He sees what’s coming.”

Check out his highlights.

Auburn erases 7-run deficit to defeat Florida A&M

Through two innings on Wednesday, the game looked like a lost cause for Auburn. One where it should simply accept its fate and turn its attentions to a weekend series with Holy Cross beginning Friday.

4-star Jalil Irvin looking at Auburn ‘very seriously’

Irvin’s offer list has grown from six to 22 in the last two months

4-star Jalil Irvin looking at Auburn ‘very seriously’

Irvin's offer list has grown from six to 22 in the last two months

Entering the 2017 calendar year, Jalil Irvin estimates he had six total offers.

That number has since grown to 22, with Oregon, Minnesota, N.C. State, UCLA and Virginia being the latest schools to join the race.

“My recruitment has really picked up in the last two months,” the four-star offensive lineman from Stone Mountain, Ga., told AL.com Wednesday. “Mainly since January is when I started getting a bunch of offers. I’m doing pretty well, but I don’t have any favorites right now.”

Irvin enjoyed his trips to Michigan and Ohio State last week and is looking forward to visiting Auburn March 4. The Tigers offered Irvin a scholarship last October after he visited the campus multiple times.

“They’re one of my favorite schools,” Irvin said. “I don’t have any leaders like that, but my mom and I like Auburn. They’re OK in our minds.

“Coach (Chip) Lindsey, Coach (Herb) Hand and Coach (Gus) Malzahn actually called me on Signing Day. I’ve been hearing from them a lot. They said I have an open door policy up there, I can come whenever I want to come. They like me a lot, so I really appreciate that. My mom and I really like the academics too.”

Irvin is a four-star prospect and the No. 16 offensive guard in the 247Sports Composite. Most schools are recruiting the 6-foot-4, 290-pounder as a guard, though Arkansas offered him as a center.

At Auburn, hehas a close relationship with Hand.

“He’s a real cool guy,” Irvin said. “We’re down to Earth. I like a coach I can really talk to… That’s one thing I like about Auburn.”

This offseason Irvin is spending his time working on his technique, hand placement and footwork. He may also be coming off the board in the coming months — Irvin hopes to make a commitment in May or June, making his spring visits even more crucial.

Auburn signed three offensive lineman in the 2017 recruiting cycle: five-star tackle Calvin Ashley, four-star tackle Austin Troxell and four-star guard Nick Brahms. Irvin is the former teammate of Stephenson High School safety Carlito Gonzlez, a three-star safety who also signed with Auburn earlier this month.

“He’s always in my ear telling me I need to come down there to AU because they have something special going on,” Irvin said of Gonzalez. “He’s always talking to me about it. I’m taking them very seriously.”

Check out Irvin’s highlights below.

Auburn adds All-America grad transfer offensive lineman from Jacksonville State

Casey Dunn spent four seasons at Jacksonville State, where he was a two-time All-American for the Gamecocks.

Auburn added depth to its offensive line on Wednesday.

Former Jacksonville State offensive lineman Casey Dunn transferred to Auburn as a graduate transfer, the Tigers announced. The 6-foot-3, 285-pound Dunn, who was a two-time All-American for the Gamecocks, will be eligible immediately at Auburn.

Dunn will not be with the team when spring practices begin on Tuesday. Instead, he will arrive in the summer, an Auburn spokesman confirmed toAL.com.

Dunn, a product of Hewitt-Trussville High, started 27 games at center for Jacksonville State — including the team’s 27-20 overtime loss to Auburn at Jordan-Hare Stadium in 2015. In all, he appeared in 36 games for Jacksonville State, with five appearances as a freshman in 2013 and four appearances as a sophomore in 2014.

Dunn earned a spot on the Gamecocks’ starting offensive line prior to his junior season and quickly became a fixture up front. In 2015, he earned AFCA All-America honors, and last season he was a second-team AP All-American.

While Dunn anchored Jacksonville State’s offensive line, the Gamecocks ran for a school record 4,511 yards in 2015 — the program’s first 4,000-yard season on the ground. JSU also totaled 7,613 yards of offense that season, marking the school’s first season of eclipsing 7,000 yards of total offense. That year, Jacksonville State also finished as national runner-up in FCS, losing to North Dakota State in the FCS championship game.

Last season, Dunn paved the way for an offense that rushed for 3,007 yards and 32 touchdowns, including 782 yards and seven scores from former Auburn running back Roc Thomas. JSU went 10-2 on the season and won the Ohio Valley Conference before bowing out in the second round of the FCS playoffs.

The addition of Dunn brings added experience to an Auburn offensive line that is replacing two starters this season following the graduation of left guard Alex Kozan and right tackle Robert Leff.

Please welcome our latest addition to the #AuburnFamily, offensive lineman Casey Dunn.#WarEagle pic.twitter.com/MhgZhCvCi7

— Auburn Football (@AuburnFootball) February 22, 2017

Fired up to add @caseydee50 to our UNIT…Will bring a wealth of experience to the crew.#WarEagle https://t.co/B6zJaHpQZv

— Herb Hand (@CoachHand) February 23, 2017

Auburn adds All-America grad transfer offensive lineman from Jacksonville State

Casey Dunn spent four seasons at Jacksonville State, where he was a two-time All-American for the Gamecocks.

Auburn adds graduate transfer center Casey Dunn from Jacksonville State

Add another name to the mix at center for Auburn.

Opelika coach Brian Blackmon resigns; is spot on Gus Malzahn’s staff next stop?

Blackmon spent eight years at Opelika, guiding the Bulldogs to seven playoff appearances and two Class 6A championship games.

Opelika’s Brian Blackmon has resigned as head football coach and athletic director, the school announced Wednesday.

Blackmon, who has served in those roles the last eight seasons, has been linked to an offensive analyst position on Gus Malzahn’s staff at Auburn, according to reports. Blackmon could not comment on his next move when reached by AL.com on Wednesday afternoon.

AuburnUndercover.com was the first to reportthat Blackmon would be joining Malzahn’s staff.

Blackmon has been a high school coach for the last 21 years, with all his experience coming at Opelika. Prior to being named head coach for the Bulldogs, Blackmon served as offensive coordinator under legendary Opelika coach Spence McCracken for 13 seasons.

In his eight years as head coach, Blackmon went 69-25 while winning three straight region championships from 2014-16. Blackmon guided the Bulldogs to playoff appearances each of the last seven seasons, including berths in the Class 6A state championship game in 2012 and 2016 before falling short of the title each trip. In 2012, he earned ASWA Class 6A Coach of the Year honors.

“We are very proud of the tradition of excellent head coaches at Opelika High School,” Opelika City School Superintendent Dr. Mark Neighbors said in a release. “Over the past 21 years, Coach Blackmon has been a major factor in the success of our football program. His focus on building character among his players has been a priority and has had an extremely positive impact on our program. We wish Coach Blackmon the best in his new position.”

Opelika will begin the search for Blackmon’s replacement immediately.

Blackmon, a native of Montgomery, has spent his entire life in the state of Alabama. He graduated from Lee-Montgomery, where he was part of the Generals’ 1991 state championship team. He played football for one season at North Alabama, where he was roommates with new Auburn offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey before transferring to Troy, where he finished his undergraduate studies. Blackmon then earned a master’s degree from Auburn.

During his tenure at Opelika, Blackmon ran a spread offense similar to the one run by Malzahn at Auburn. The Bulldogs found great success with Blackmon’s system, averaging 31.8 points per game the last eight seasons.

Opelika was a fixture in the Class 6A polls during Blackmon’s stint as head coach, and the Bulldogs also produced a bevy of FBS talent, including a pair of Auburn signees in 2014 with All-America defensive back Stephen Roberts and the late Jakell Mitchell, a former three-star prospect who signed with Auburn as an H-back but was shot and killed at an off-campus apartment complex in December 2014.

Opelika coach Brian Blackmon resigns; is spot on Gus Malzahn’s staff next stop?

Blackmon spent eight years at Opelika, guiding the Bulldogs to seven playoff appearances and two Class 6A championship games.

Ole Miss football self-imposes postseason ban for 2017, details 8 new NCAA allegations

School must still meet with NCAA Committee on Infractions

Ole Miss football self-imposes postseason ban for 2017, details 8 new NCAA allegations

School must still meet with NCAA Committee on Infractions

Ole Miss on Wednesday announced that it had received an amended Notice of Allegations from the NCAA, concluding a nearly four-year investigation into the school’s football program.

Though Ole Miss disputed many of the more serious charges, the school has self-imposed a postseason ban for 2017 and will forfeit its portion of the SEC’s bowl revenue for the coming season — believed to be more than $7 million. The Rebels had already self-imposed the deduction of nine scholarships, among other penalties.

The school was charged with the dreaded “lack of institutional control,” while head coach Hugh Freeze has been charged with violating “responsibility legislation” based on the actions of a former staff member. Ole Miss has disputed both charges.

“The additional allegations announced today are serious,” Ole Miss athletic director Ross Bjork said. “But, we will vigorously defend the university against those allegations we believe are not appropriately supported, including that we lacked institutional control and that our head football coach did not promote an atmosphere of compliance or monitor staff in our football program.”

In all, the school outlined eight new specific charges in the amended NOA. Many of them involve an unidentified “former staff member,” as well as two boosters.

Among the charges were that the former staff member arranged lodging, transportation and cash payments totaling thousands of dollars to prospective student athletes, including more than $13,000 to one that signed with another school. Bjork said the school “believes there is sufficient credible and persuasive evidence to conclude that the impermissible contact outlined … occurred” but will continue to investigate the matter.

The new charges surfaced soon after the 2016 NFL draft, when former Ole Miss offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil admitted to reporters he had been paid while playing for the Rebels from 2013-15. Soon after, screenshots of text messages between Tunsil and Ole Miss director of football operations John Miller –who remains on staff –appeared to detail arrangements of cash payments to Tunsil.

Barney Farrar, Ole Miss’ assistant athletic director for high school and junior college relations, was placed on administrative leave in November and the school later announced it was not renewing his contract. Under recently enacted NCAA rules, head coaches can be held responsible for and disciplined for the actions of staff members, even if they were not directly involved or had no knowledge of its occurrence.

Freeze denied any involvement in any NCAA violations committed by his staff.

“Any behavior by mystaff that is inconsistent with that commitment to do things the right way simply does not reflect the emphasis I personally place on NCAA compliance,” Freeze said. “As the record will show, I am constantly communicatingto our compliance office, the SEC office, and industry leaders to make sure we are using best practices when it comes to doing things the right way. Contrary to the allegations, I have demonstrated throughout this entire process that I have a strong record of promoting compliance and monitoring my staff, and I look forward to presenting that evidence to the Committee on Infractions.”

The original NCAA case involved 13 Ole Miss violations in three sports, including football. Many of those involved improper benefits to Tunsil, who was suspended seven games in 2015 for the violations.

Ole Miss must now go before the NCAA Committee on Infractions, where it will learn if it will face any additional punishment. The date for that hearing has not been set.

Ole Miss released its response to the NOA in a 20-minute video feature Bjork, Freeze and chancellor Jeff Vitter posted to YouTube, which you can watch below. A full transcript is available HERE.

Auburn ‘stays small’ at power forward with Danjel Purifoy, TJ Lang in win at LSU

Auburn doesn’t really have a prototypical power forward on its roster. The closest thing to it was Horace Spencer, but he didn’t move to the position Jan. 18 and suffered a season-ending shoulder injury on Jan. 31.

Highlights of Auburn’s 98-75 Win over LSU

Auburn got ahead of a bad LSU team, let them come back a little, and then beat them like the team they are. It was strange game for a while. The wealth was spread, and there was some decent defense in the 2nd half. Auburn won. They are now 17-11 and 6-9 in the SEC with three games to go.


Auburn spring practice primer: Secondary

Auburn opens spring practice for the 2017 football season on Tuesday, Feb. 28. Each day until then, we’re going to preview one position group.

Does Tommy Tuberville Have a Chance to Be Governor of Alabama?

tommy-tuberville-tigerwalk

If you live in the state of Alabama, you know by now that there maybe a new name entering politics in the next few weeks. In the last 18 hours, multiple news outlets have reported that former Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville is considering running for governor.

Since taking the Texas Tech job in 2010 Tuberville has maintained a residence at Lake Martin and has spent his summers there. He moved back full time after being released from Cincinnati and recently started writing a column for Auburn Undercover. It was that 247Sports news outlet that broke the news of his political aspirations.

First reaction by many is could an Auburn coach, especially one that holds a six game Iron Bowl winning streak, have a chance at getting support from Bama fans? While some may never get beyond that, I believe the majority could put that aside when it comes to what may be best for the state. At any rate, it would be unwise to sell the electorate short just as it would be unwise to sell Tommy Tuberville’s chances short.

That’s why he has a lot of political operatives and movers and shakers trying to convince him it would be a sound move. A poll of 50,000 voters is currently being conducted to test the waters before he takes a leap.

Some would say that he doesn’t have any experience. Well neither did a former actor from California, a community organizer from Chicago, and a New York businessman who all three ultimately became president of the United States.

There are several reasons why it could be a good move for the former coach should he decide to throw his hat in the ring. For one thing he knows people from one end of the sate to the other and it has often been said that 70 – 80 percent of a candidate’s chances is name recognition – he certainly has that.

In addition there’s little question that Tommy knows how to work a crowd. And he may have been one of the most accessible coaches to ever work in this state. I spoke with him once at the Peach Bowl and he treated this writer like he had known me for years. That kind of charisma is invaluable in the political arena.

But probably his most important trait is Tommy loves Alabama. He raised his family here, went to church here, worked here, and made friends here. In short he became an Alabamian. He recently wrote in his Tuesday column that, “It became a special place for us. … “Coming back recently to Auburn I discovered it’s like I never left.” While there’s little doubt that line is sincere, it also could be a harbinger of what we may be hearing from the next candidate for Governor of Alabama.

The post Does Tommy Tuberville Have a Chance to Be Governor of Alabama? appeared first on Track 'Em Tigers, Auburn's oldest and most read independent blog.

AL.com All-Access: Biggest impact high school signees for Alabama, Auburn?

Chat on AL.com’s All-Access

AL.com All-Access: Biggest impact high school signees for Alabama, Auburn?

Chat on AL.com's All-Access

National Signing Day was three weeks away, but the other hosts chat with you guys more about basketball, coaching hires and spring practice.

So let’s look back at these 2017 signing classes and take our guesses at who will play big snaps for Alabama and Auburn this fall.

And let’s focus on the high school ranks, not the junior college transfers.

ALABAMA – My prediction is that Alex Leatherwood earns a starting spot on the offensive line, maybe at right tackle while Jonah Williams moves to the left side. He’s the most hyped line prospect since Cam Robinson and that’s with good reason. He’s a monster with great footwork and a drive to get it done. It would be a surprise if he doesn’t have a great college career.

Four more to watch: Receivers Henry Ruggs III and Jerry Jeudy, defensive end LaBryan Ray and running back Najee Harris.

How close did elite WR Henry Ruggs III come to picking Florida State?

Obviously the quarterbacks are ones to also watch, but I’ve still got to be convinced a 14-game starter can be easily overtaken. Long snapper Thomas Fletcher should start, but no one will notice if he’s doing his job.

AUBURN – Calvin Ashley is the highest-ranked recruit, but give me Jackson-Olin linebacker T.D. Moultry. There’s just something special about the way this guy goes about his business, and I think he’s a supreme talent as well. He’ll succeed either as a linebacker or Carl Lawson’s replacement at the BUCK and I think he’s a freshman All-SEC player.

For future Auburn LB, gun violence is a way of life

Four more to watch: Ashley, running back Devan Barrett, linebacker K.J. Britt, defensive back Malcolm Askew.

Kicker Anders Carlson can be a great one, but his brother Daniel is coming back for his senior season, so Anders’ impact won’t be made until 2018.

What do you think? Let’s chat this and more on AL.com’s All-Access

Harold Joiner considered ‘high priority’ at running back for Auburn’s 2018 recruiting class – SECcountry.com

SECcountry.com
Harold Joiner considered 'high priority' at running back for Auburn's 2018 recruiting class
SECcountry.com
Welcome to SEC Country's daily Auburn Tigers football recruiting notebook with Auburn recruiting beat writer Benjamin Wolk. Today, we take a look at Harold Joiner, one of Auburn's top running back prospects who is as physically imposing as it gets at …

and more

Auburn recruiting podcast: How does QB Joey Gatewood fit with Tigers’ offense?

Drew Champlin and Mark Jennings are back with another Auburn recruiting podcast.

Drew Champlin and Mark Jennings are back with another Auburn recruiting podcast.

The two look at how longtime quarterback commit Joey Gatewood fits into Auburn’s offense.

Other topics of discussion include where Auburn stands with top in-state targets, including Central-Phenix City receiver Justyn Ross, Jackson-Olin defensive lineman Coynis Miller and Mobile Christian defensive end Andres Fox.

The two also look at a pair of in-state prospects who earned Auburn offers.

Hear more podcasts onWarEagleSportsRadio.com

Auburn recruiting podcast: How does QB Joey Gatewood fit with Tigers’ offense?

Drew Champlin and Mark Jennings are back with another Auburn recruiting podcast.

Auburn signee JaTarvious Whitlow ready to ‘be dangerous in space’ at slot receiver

Whitlow knows his football future will be at a new position – slot receiver – after signing with Auburn

Auburn signee JaTarvious Whitlow ready to ‘be dangerous in space’ at slot receiver

Whitlow knows his football future will be at a new position – slot receiver – after signing with Auburn

Jatarvious Whitlowdid just about everything short of selling popcorn on Friday nights last season at LaFayette.

The 6-foot, 200-pound quarterback ran for 2,147 yards and 30 touchdowns, threw for another 2,292 yards and 29 touchdowns, returned kicks, handled all kicking duties and played defense.

RELATED:Get complete coverage of Auburn football

Whitlow knows his football future will be at a new position – slot receiver – after signing with Auburn earlier this month, andthat’s just fine with him.

“I’d rather play receiver in college,” he said Tuesday after LaFayette lost53-50 to Lanett in the boys Class 2A Northeast Regional final, likely his final competitive basketball game. “I can be dangerous in space. I know I can.”

Auburn’s Class of 2017

Whitlow’s high school statistics look a lot like former Alabama receiver ArDarius Stewart, another stat-stuffing small-school quarterback at Fultondalewho made a smooth transition to college receiver and entered the 2017 NFL Draft.

Whitlow played running back and quarterback during his high school career and said he likes the idea of getting the ball on jet sweeps and bubble screens in new offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey’s offense at Auburn.

“I’m excited,” Whitlow said. “I’m ready to go down there and put in work.”

Whitlow plans to continue running track this spring, participating in the 200- and 400-meter sprints, long jump and triple jump. In Tuesday’s final basketball season, he tallied 22 points, five rebounds, two assists, three steals and a blocked shot.

LaFayette basketball coach Obadiah Threadgill said he expects big things from Whitlow at Auburn.

“He is willing to go over and beyond the call of duty. … He works every day,” Threadgill said.

The Whitlow file

Looking ahead to Auburn’s WRs in 2017

Auburn football: A pending gubernatorial decision in the midst of a winning season – SECcountry.com

Daily Kos
Auburn football: A pending gubernatorial decision in the midst of a winning season
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 possibility of Tommy Tuberville's run for governor and Auburn basketball's…
Morning Digest: Auburn's old football coach mulls a run for Alabama governor in Bama territoryDaily Kos
Former Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville considering run for Alabama GovernorSportsnaut
Tuberville will soon make decision whether to run for governor247Sports
WTVY, Dothan
all 42 news articles

Morning Digest: Auburn’s old football coach mulls a run for Alabama governor in Bama territory – Daily Kos

Daily Kos
Morning Digest: Auburn's old football coach mulls a run for Alabama governor in Bama territory
Daily Kos
It's generally accepted that Alabama fans far outnumber Auburn fans in the state: A 2012 Public Policy Poll of GOP presidential primary voters found that respondents backed the Crimson Tide over the Auburn Tigers 58-28, while a 2014 analysis from the …
Former Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville considering run for Alabama GovernorSportsnaut
Tommy Tuberville may be candidate for Alabama governorWTVY, Dothan
Tommy Tuberville considers Alabama gubernatorial run: Why it's not that crazyCBS sports.com

all 62 news articles

Who will take early lead in spring as Auburn’s top wide receiver?

Spring practice will be the first indication as to who will end up taking over as Auburn's top wide receiver in 2017

We’re taking a look at each position group as Auburn prepares to open spring practice on Feb. 28. The third of a nine-part series looks at the wide receivers.

Projected depth chart:
Kyle Davis, sophomore, 12 receptions for 248 yards and two touchdowns
Eli Stove, sophomore, 23 receptions for 224 yards and 11 carries for 131 yards and a touchdown
Ryan Davis, junior, 25 receptions for 194 yards and a touchdown and three carries for five yards
Darius Slayton, redshirt-sophomore, 15 receptions for 292 yards and a touchdown
Nate Craig-Myers, sophomore, four receptions for 70 yards and a touchdown
Jason Smith, senior, four receptions for 60 yards and one carry for no yards
Marquis McClain, redshirt-freshman, redshirted in 2016
Will Hastings, junior, 11 receptions for 98 yards and a touchdown
Logan Rice, junior, did not record a statistic in 2016

Departed: Tony Stevens, 31 receptions for 487 yards with three touchdowns; Marcus Davis, 17 receptions for 160 yards; Stanton Truitt, seven receptions for 100 yards and a touchdown with 31 carries for 187 yards and two scores

Due to arrive in the fall: Noah Igbinoghene, JaTarvious Whitlow

Outlook: Spring practice will be the first indication as to who will end up taking over as Auburn’s top wide receiver.

A potential change at quarterback and the departure of three of the team’s leading eight receivers from last season should lead to an increase in productivity in the passing game. It was the first time since 2008 that Auburn’s leading receiver failed to have at least 600 yards.

Auburn spring position preview: QB | RB

There is no shortage of candidates to be the top target for whoever wins the quarterback competition.

Kyle Davis is the leading returning receiver in terms of yards per catch and touchdowns (two), while Darius Slayton had the most receiving yards among returning players, Eli Stove had the most all-purpose yards and Ryan Davis had the most receptions.

Each have unique skill sets and filled different roles last season and could see some alterations as new offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey determines how to utilize Auburn’s personnel.

Then there’s Nate Craig-Myers, who had a quiet debut season, and Jason Smith, who did even less as a junior last season.

Craig-Myers should see an increase in production and opportunities in the fall but it will begin with a strong spring.

Smith needs to show he belongs in a deep but inexperienced receiving corps or he’ll be in for another season with a limited role.

Marquis McClain will get his most expansive reps to date in the spring and could be the sleeper of the group to go from redshirted to a substantial role if he proves himself.

Alabama Roots: Top 10 in NFL Sacks

The sack did not become an official NFL statistic until 1982, so none of the defensive players causing mayhem in opposing backfields before then have the numbers to show for it. But since the league began tracking sacks, some of the best at getting to the quarterback have come from Alabama's high schools and colleges.

Who will take early lead in spring as Auburn’s top wide receiver?

Spring practice will be the first indication as to who will end up taking over as Auburn’s top wide receiver in 2017

Alabama Roots: Top 10 in NFL Sacks

The sack did not become an official NFL statistic until 1982, so none of the defensive players causing mayhem in opposing backfields before then have the numbers to show for it. But since the league began tracking sacks, some of the best at getting to the quarterback have come from Alabama’s high schools and colleges.

Auburn snaps 3-game losing streak, guarantees winning season with road rout of LSU

Auburn was in desperate need of any positive momentum after a three-game losing streak turned it from a team on the cusp of the NCAA Tournament bubble to a team talking about a potential CBI berth.

Alabama Gov. Tommy Tuberville has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?

The former Auburn coach is considering a run for the state's highest office. If ever a coach in this state was cut out to be a politician, it's him.

If ever this state had a football coach who was cut out to be a politician, it was Tommy Tuberville.

He was a man of the people, with friends in high places, low places and everywhere in between. He was smart enough to negotiate lucrative contracts and savvy enough to survive a coup. He ran his football program like a CEO, put together a quality staff, marketed himself and his program brilliantly and may have been more media-friendly than any coach in state history.

He also won plenty of football games, all 13 of them in 2004 alone, but now that his tenure at Cincinnati has ended, it appears his coaching days are over.

So it came as no surprise when word started to circulate over the weekend that the former Auburn football coach was considering a career change – to explore a possible run for governor of Alabama in the next election.

As people who know him told AL.com – and as first reported by Dennis Dodd of CBSsports.com- it appears the coach is serious about testing the water, going so far as to commission a poll to gauge the reaction, as he contemplates his future after football.

The multi-faceted Tuberville will have options, from TV analyst to athletics director, but entering the upcoming wide-open race for governor is especially intriguing.

“This is looking more like a Kentucky Derby than a governor’s race,” said Marty Connors, the former state Republican Party chairman. “It may be a 20-horse minimum.”

Connors said he hadn’t heard Tuberville’s name floated as a possible candidate, but the lack of an obvious frontrunner for the 2018 election and the prospect of a large field could play into the coach’s hands.

“You better be able to raise money yourself, or you better have high name recognition,” Connors said. “Tuberville has that.”

Like Connors, State Rep. Jack Williams said he wouldn’t discount or dismiss the possibility of Tuberville running for governor.

“I think it would be a mistake to say there’s no way we would elect a Tommy Tuberville,” Williams said.

His reasoning: Power 5 coaches have become powerful politicians and CEOs in their own right, and Tuberville was on the leading edge of that trend.

“His name ID would be high,” Williams said. “He’d have the ability to raise money. The fact he’s not ‘political’ may be an advantage, not a disadvantage. I don’t know anybody who’s working with him, but everybody’s talking about it.”

A Tuberville candidacy would raise an obvious question. This is a red state in more ways than one. Alabama fans are in the majority. Would enough of them cross football party lines to vote for a former Auburn coach?

Sure, this state did elect former Auburn football player Fob James twice as governor. James won the office as a Democrat in 1978 and as a Republican in 1994, the only person in state history to do so from both major parties, but he was two decades removed from his football days when he first won the office.

Tuberville last coached Auburn in 2008, still supports the Tigers and, unlike James, he beat Alabama six years in a row, seven times in 10 tries, and rubbed his rival’s nose in it along the way. Could he run on that record? Would Alabama fans be less likely to hold it against him because, as they like to say, he got the better of a Crimson Tide program weakened by probation?

Would adult voters actually use the Iron Bowl rivalry as a reason to support or oppose a candidate for the state’s highest office?

There was a time former Alabama quarterback Bart Starr was considering a run for the U.S. Senate. Connors said he told Starr he couldn’t support him for one main reason: Starr scored the winning touchdown for the Green Bay Packers against the Dallas Cowboys in the 1967 Ice Bowl. Connors is a Dallas fan who still swears Starr never crossed the goal line.

Connors was joking in that instance. As for Tuberville’s ability to overcome his Iron Bowl finger-wagging and “Fear the Thumb” t-shirts, the self-proclaimed “Alabama guy” Connors said, “There are X number of people who would not vote for an Auburn guy, but those are dumbasses.”

It remains to be seen whether Tuberville will throw his hat in the ring, but he may not be the only famous name with Auburn ties to do so.

“Another big name starting to float around is Jimmy Rane,” Connors said, although the rumor didn’t specify which office the Auburn booster and trustee might seek.

“Yella Fella is a household name,” Connors said. “He would be that Trump-type personality who could write that big check and not miss it. … The conditions are ripe for a person who can raise funds, self-fund or has statewide name identification.”

Everyone who’s anyone in this state knows Tuberville’s name, and he knows how to deliver a message. Gov. Tuberville has a nice ring to it, don’t you think? But could he actually go from the People’s Champion to the People’s Choice?

As Williams said, “It’s not a story I would automatically dismiss.”

Alabama Gov. Tommy Tuberville has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?

The former Auburn coach is considering a run for the state’s highest office. If ever a coach in this state was cut out to be a politician, it’s him.

Best single-season turnarounds in Auburn history – 247Sports

Sportsnaut
Best single-season turnarounds in Auburn history
247Sports
CBS Sports reported Tuesday that Tuberville is exploring a run and his camp is conducting a poll of 50,000 people to see whether a run for governor would be a smart move for the former college football coach. “I've been flattered people have come to me …
Former Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville considering run for Alabama GovernorSportsnaut
Report: Tommy Tuberville considering running for governor of AlabamaSECcountry.com
Tommy Tuberville may be candidate for Alabama governorWTVY, Dothan

all 24 news articles

Where versatile Auburn target Ka’Darian Hill stands with his recruitment

Auburn was the first SEC program to offer Eufaula defensive lineman Ka'Darian Hill

Auburn was the first SEC program to offer Eufaula defensive lineman Ka’Darian Hill, and the Tigers are seemingly gaining more competition with each passing week.

Hill is still considered under the radar as a three-star recruit, but his stock is on the rise. His offer list is now up to 14 schools including Georgia Tech, Memphis, Ole Miss and Wake Forest.

For now, he’s remaining open minded and patient in the process and hasn’t named any favorites or top schools.

“I cover recruiting really closely and he’s going to be a really hard kid to figure out,” Eufuala head coach Bryan Moore told AL.com. “By the time it’s all said and done I think he’ll have almost every SEC offer, if not all of them. It’s just going to be unique to watch how he goes through the process. He just goes about his business.”

Hill is the nation’s No. 60 defensive tackle in the 247Sports Composite. Often double-teamed, he tallied 52 total tackles with four sacks as a junior last fall as Eufaula finished 8-3. He prides himself on being explosive and physical.

“I’m very explosive and very physical,” said Hill, who is being recruited as a defensive end and defensive tackle. “There’s always room for improvement, especially at the d-line position. I continue to keep my grades up and keep working my butt off every single day. Right now I’m just focused on grinding and leaving (my recruitment) up to God… It’s a blessing.”

Hill grew up an Alabama fan, but is not letting those ties affect his decision. He picked up his offer from Auburn in July 2016 and his primary recruiter at Auburn was Scott Fountain, who will not return to his role in 2017. Hill’s also spoken with defensive line coach Rodney Garner multiple times and was on the Plains for Auburn’s Junior Day in late January.

Enjoyed Junior Day at Auburn University!! #WDE pic.twitter.com/jLwrNkLZBW

— Ka’Darian Hill (@Grindkd_55) January 29, 2017

“I love the coaching staff and the atmosphere during game days and the academics,” Hill said of Auburn. “Coach Fountain was a great coach and I had a great relationship with him. I’m going to miss him and I wish him the best. (Garner’s) a great defensive line coach and a great person to be around.”

Hill is an excellent student and Moore said it’s “very likely” he will be a December graduate. He’s also expecting big things in Hill’s final season as he works to improve his technique and pass-rushing skills.

“The good thing about him is he’s very versatile,” Moore said. “We’ve been able to stand him up some and play kind of a Buck linebacker too. He can rush the passer and do a lot of things for us, but he can also anchor in there and stop the run. He’s a complete package.

“He’s a freak in the weight room, works out all the time after school every day and in our workout block, almost too much really. We kind of have to run him out of the weight room. He’s just a grinder. He’s a kid that you don’t get many of, I know that. He’ll be one of very few in my career that I’ll have like him. He’s just very uncommon and old-school in his work ethic.”

Where Auburn target Ka’Darian Hill stands

Auburn was the first SEC program to offer Eufaula defensive lineman Ka’Darian Hill

Ricardo Louis expecting Browns to turn around in 2017

After Cleveland won only one game during his rookie NFL season, former Auburn wide receiver Ricardo Louis thinks the Browns can turn things around in a hurry.

Ricardo Louis expecting Browns to turn around in 2017

After Cleveland won only one game during his rookie NFL season, former Auburn wide receiver Ricardo Louis thinks the Browns can turn things around in a hurry.

Cleveland won only won game during the 2016 NFL season, but wide receiver Ricardo Louis thinks the Browns “are going to take it to another level” in 2017.

Cleveland’s 1-15 record in Louis’ rookie season included five losses by six or fewer points.

Louis has been part of a big turnaround. In his freshman season at Auburn, the Tigers posted a 3-9 record and didn’t win an SEC game. The next season, Auburn won the conference championship and played Florida State in the BCS national-championship game.

“It taught me how to handle adversity,” Louis told Michael Niziolek of the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer. “I was in many different situations from freshman to senior year. It was a different situation every season — the quarterbacks, winning, losing and stuff like that — but that helped me always find a way to overcome. …

“During the season, we had adversity all year. I never let it affect me at all. I never let it get to me. I didn’t worry about the record; I worried about getting the opportunity to get better.”

READ MICHAEL NIZIOLEK’S “BROWNS’ LOSING STREAK GAVE RICARDO LOUIS VISIONS OF FRESHMAN YEAR AT AUBURN”

Louis ran into personal adversity in the preseason when a hamstring injury limited him to appearing in only one of Cleveland’s four preseason games. Even though Louis didn’t have a preseason reception, the Browns had the fourth-round draft pick on the regular-season roster when the season kicked off.

Louis got 89 percent of his playing time with the Cleveland offense during the 2016 season in the six games missed by Corey Coleman, a wide receiver from Baylor picked by the Browns in the first round in April.

Louis caught 18 passes for 205 yards in 2016, with all but two of the receptions coming when Coleman was sidelined with a hand injury.

Louis had a steadier role with Cleveland’s special teams, getting on the field for 238 plays.

Louis was one of eight former Auburn players to make his NFL debut during the 2016 season. The others were offensive tackle Shon Coleman with the Browns, running back Peyton Barber and defensive tackle DaVonte Lambert with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, safety Blake Countess with the Los Angeles Rams, cornerback Jonathan Jones with the New England Patriots, cornerback Trovon Reed with the San Diego Chargers and safety Jermaine Whitehead with the Green Bay Packers.

In 2015, 10 Auburn alumni played in an NFL game for the first time. Louis will be rooting for the next wave of former Tigers to make it in the NFL, too, especially quarterback Jeremy Johnson, who threw Louis his first collegiate touchdown pass.

Johnson will be trying to attract the NFL’s attention after throwing only 47 passes as a senior.

“He was — he is a great quarterback — not was, he is a great quarterback,” Louis said. “… I think he will be fine, I think he needs to find himself and get his mojo back.”

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

Longtime Alabama fan Coynis Miller making ‘business decision’ regarding recruitment

The recruiting trips to Jackson-Olin didn't stop with Auburn signee T.D. Moultry.

The recruiting trips to Jackson-Olindidn’t stop with Auburn signee T.D. Moultry.

One grade below, Coynis Millerquickly became noticed with his frame and athleticism. Now at nearly 6-foot-4 and 290 pounds – with room to grow into “a good 300,” the four-star defensive tackle has become a priority for colleges looking to strengthen their defensive line.

Miller has recently visited Auburn and LSU. Georgia and Clemson also just offered. He’ll go to Alabama this weekend for a Junior Day, to Louisville on March 4 and he’s setting up other visits. Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Florida are also recruiting him hard, he said.

While Moultry committed to Auburn last May, Miller will take longer.

“As of right now, I’m pretty wide open until I visit all the schools at least once,” Miller said. “I’m going to start narrowing it down from there. I want to commit after the season because I want to take my official visits.”

Miller transferred to Jackson-Olin from East Lawrence after his sophomore season. He grew up an Alabama fan, but won’t let that shape his decision.

“It’s more of a business decision,” Miller said. “I don’t want to go to a school just because I grew up a fan. I still have to fit their system. I don’t let it affect me.

“I can see myself going out of state, but I’m going to have to fit with the team and the school.”

Mario Cristobal was Miller’s primary recruiter before leaving for Oregon. Since then, offensive line coach Brent Key has taken over.

“They’re coming at me pretty hard,” Miller said. “Coach Key took over the recruiting for my area. Me and him have a good relationship going on right now.

“I’ve always liked ‘Bama. They play physical and have speed. They’re all about business and I really like that about them.”

For future Auburn linebacker, gun violence is a part of life

Defensive line coach Rodney Garner is spearheading Miller’s recruitment for Auburn. Miller said Garner told him he would recruit him hard, and he has.

“It’s a nice school,” Miller said. “They recruit me pretty hard. Me and the coaches have a good relationship and I feel like their team is going to be pretty good in the future.”

Moultry wants his teammate to join him at Auburn, but isn’t going over the line.

“He just tells me to follow where my heart is,” Miller said.

Miller was an honorable mention all-state performer in Class 6A. He also played quarterback in short yardage situations and helped Jackson-Olin to the playoffs for the first time in 17 years.

He had 61 tackles and scored 12 touchdowns.

Longtime Alabama fan Coynis Miller making ‘business decision’ regarding recruitment

The recruiting trips to Jackson-Olin didn’t stop with Auburn signee T.D. Moultry.

Tommy Tuberville reportedly considering a run for Alabama governor in 2018

Coached at Auburn from 1999-2008

Tommy Tuberville is reportedly seriously considering a run for governor of Alabama in 2018.

Tuberville, who coached at Auburn from 1999-2008, recently resigned after a 4-year tenure at Cincinnati. The 62-year-old Arkansas native has no political experience, but that’s not necessarily a dealbreaker to hold high office these days.

“Two words — Donald Trump,” Terry Lathan, the chairman of the Alabama Republican Party, told CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd for a story published Tuesday. “See, Nov. 8.”

Former football players or coaches entering the realm of politics isn’t unprecedented. Two-time Alabama governor Fob James was a star halfback at Auburn in the mid-1950s.

Legendary Nebraska coach Tom Osborne was a 3-term congressman representing that state from 2001-07. Ex-Buffalo Bills quarterback Jack Kemp was a 9-term congressman from New York, housing secretary under President George H.W. Bush and the GOP nominee for vice-president in 1996.

Robert Bentley’s second term as Alabama governor expires in January 2019. State law allows no more than two consecutive terms as governor, though given the scandals that have riddled his administration of late, it’s unlikely he could win a third term anyway.

So could Tuberville be elected in Alabama given the polarizing nature of the Iron Bowl rivalry? He was known to tweak Crimson Tide fans during the Tigers’ six-game winning streak over their arch-rivals, and it’s possible those fans haven’t forgotten.

But football allegiances didn’t keep James from being elected on two different occasions. And Tuberville has certainly got name recognition.

Tommy Tuberville reportedly considering a run for Alabama governor in 2018

Coached at Auburn from 1999-2008

Tuesday weather washes out Auburn-JSU baseball

Threatening weather forced the postponement of Auburn University’s baseball game against Jacksonville State scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.

Auburn softball stays at No. 2 in latest NFCA Coaches poll

The Auburn softball team won six games by a combined score of 44-8 over the weekend, but it wasn’t enough to ascend to the No. 1 spot in the latest NFCA Coaches rankings released Tuesday morning.

How does Auburn enhance its loaded backfield in the spring?

The strength of Auburn's offense in 2016 was its tandem of running backs and there's a chance that could remain the case in 2017

We’re taking a look at each position group as Auburn prepares to open spring practice on Feb. 28. The second of a nine-part series looks at the running backs.

Projected depth chart:
Kamryn Pettway, redshirt-junior, 209 carries for 1,224 yards with seven touchdowns and two catches for 14 yards
Kerryon Johnson, junior, 182 carries for 895 yards with 11 touchdowns, 17 receptions for 125 yards and three passes for 11 yards and a score
Kam Martin, sophomore, 44 carries for 320 yards and three touchdowns and two catches for 52 yards
Malik Miller, redshirt-freshman, 16 carries for 69 yards and a touchdown before a season-ending left knee injury

Departed: N/A

Due to arrive in the fall: Devan Barrett, Alaric Williams

Outlook: The strength of Auburn’s offense in 2016 was its tandem of running backs and there’s a chance that could remain the case in 2017 even with the addition of Jarrett Stidham.

Spring will be less about order on the depth chart and more about fine tuning in the backfield.

Kamryn Pettway emerged as not only Auburn’s leading rusher and one of the better backs in the SEC, but among the most powerful runners in the country.

Where Pettway could expand his skills is in being a receiving option out of the backfield, a role he rarely performed last season, and in pass blocking, which all running backs can fine tune and he’s better than most given his background as an H-back.

Auburn spring position preview: QB

Kerryon Johnson was not far behind Pettway in overall production and is the more dynamic all-around runner of the two. It will be interesting to see how new offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey goes about utilizing Johnson, who saw time in the Wildcat as both a runner and passer, and on jet sweeps in addition to his traditional running back reps.

As far as spring practice is concerned, the development of Kam Martin and Malik Miller will be intriguing.

Martin has unique skills but lacks size. What his measurements are in the spring – if he adds to his listed 182 pounds – will be an early sign for how the Tigers envision going about using Martin in the fall.

Miller may be limited as he continues to recover from knee surgery.

How does Auburn enhance its loaded backfield in the spring?

The strength of Auburn’s offense in 2016 was its tandem of running backs and there’s a chance that could remain the case in 2017

Auburn spring practice primer: Linebacker

Auburn opens spring practice for the 2017 football season on Tuesday, Feb. 28. Each day until then, we’re going to preview one position group.

AL.com All-Access: Which football coaching hires for Alabama, Auburn were upgrades from 2016?

Barring any sudden and unexpected departures, Alabama and Auburn have put the finishing touches on their football coaching staffs for 2017.

Barring any sudden and unexpected departures, Alabama and Auburn have put the finishing touches on their football coaching staffs for 2017.

The Crimson Tide and Tigers each made three changes on their staffs (Alabama actually made four, but one position changed hands twice). But were all those moves necessarily upgrades over their predecessors?

(If this topic sounds familiar, we did it last year, too. And we were way off about some of the hires).

Here’s how we might rank the new hires heading into the spring:

ALABAMA

Offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach

In: Brian Daboll

Out: Lane Kiffin & Steve Sarkisian

Stock: down

Here’s why: Sarkisian was a downgrade from Kiffin, but at least he’d had success developing college QBs. Daboll was a failure in three stops as an NFL offensive coordinator, and hasn’t coached in college in nearly 20 years.

Wide receivers coach

In: Mike Locksley

Out: Billy Napier

Stock: even

Here’s why: Locksley has coached every position on the offense, and is every bit as good a recruiter — if not better –than was Napier.

Tight ends coach

In: Joe Pannunzio

Out: Mario Cristobal

Stock: even

Here’s why: Alabama will miss Cristobal as a recruiter, but Pannunzio has experience on Nick Saban’s staff and should fit in nicely.

Offensive tackles coach

In: Brent Key

Out: Mario Cristobal

Stock: up

Here’s why: Dividing responsibilities on the offensive line is rare, and the evidence shows it didn’t work all that well last year.

Special teams coordinator

In: Joe Pannunzio

Out: Burton Burns

Stock: up

Here’s why: Burns, who remains running backs coach, had never coached special teams before last season. Pannunzio has done it for a quarter-century.

AUBURN

Offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach

In: Chip Lindsey

Out: Rhett Lashlee

Stock: up slightly

Here’s why: Lashlee was in lockstep with Gus Malzahn, but that might have been part of the problem. Lindsey has coached with Malzahn before, but has been away long enough to bring a fresh approach.

Tight ends coach/recruiting coordinator

In: Larry Porter

Out: Scott Fountain

Stock: up

Here’s why: Fountain did a pretty good job in his tenure at Auburn, but Porter was twice named national recruiter of the year while at LSU.

Defensive backs coach

In: Greg Brown

Out: Wesley McGriff

Stock: down

Here’s why: Brown has been all over the SEC, but hasn’t always enjoyed great success. Famously, he lasted just one year at Alabama.

So how do you feel about these ratings? Spot-on, way-off or in-between?

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

AL.com All-Access: Which football coaching hires for Alabama, Auburn were upgrades from 2016?

Barring any sudden and unexpected departures, Alabama and Auburn have put the finishing touches on their football coaching staffs for 2017.

Auburn football: Auburn through the years; belated birthday wishes to Mr. Barkley – SECcountry.com

Auburn Tigers Official Athletic Site
Auburn football: Auburn through the years; belated birthday wishes to Mr. Barkley
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 an important date in Auburn history and ways to celebrate Charles Barkley's…
Tigers drop overtime heartbreaker to AlabamaAuburn Tigers Official Athletic Site
Tigers downed by Crimson Tide in OT thrillerThe Auburn Plainsman
LSU vs. Auburn – 2/21/17 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and PredictionSports Chat Place (blog)
BamaHammer-247Sports
all 17 news articles

Go to Top

Hit Counter provided by Email Lists