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Zeek

Let's Grade the 2018 Recruiting Class

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QB - Joey Gatewood, I think it's awesome that we picked up such an excellent dual threat QB. Truly think that he'll be in deep competition with Bo Nix once he arrives on campus. Hope he gets to redshirt and put on even more size. He's going to be fun to watch pan out.

Grade - A , with some believing that we may lose Jarrett after this year it makes sense to bring in a stud like this. It also makes sense to redshirt him and start preparing him for the offense. This is a great need fill even though I think we keep JS for one more year after this one.

 

RB - Harold Joiner, this kid is massive for a kid coming out of high school. I know there were some mumblings about his lack of desire for contact but I think he could be a tremendous back for us. He's another kid I'd like to see add to his frame and get coached up. Might be a bigger pickup for us than most realize.

Asa Martin, I think Asa is one of the best well-rounded backs we've gotten in a minute. The other day he compared his style to Kerryon and I have to agree with one exception. Asa seems to have more break away speed. He's already 200 lbs. and could definitely make a move for the starting rotation as long as he holds onto the ball!

Shaun Shivers, I can't help but think with this kids frame (5'7" 174") we're looking at a second coming of Onterio McCalebb. Speed sweeps, receiver out of the backfield, kick returner, and overall deceptive playmaker. Hope he finds the field in creative ways and lights up the scoreboard. If he could just add another 10-20 lbs. and maintain his speed he'll be an animal.

Grade - A+ , three running backs with different skill sets all at a 4* rating and a Mr. Football winner? Yes please. This is a nice extra dose to an unsure and young position on our roster. Hope we keep all of them on board.

 

WR - Matthew Hill, kid is fast and already trained well. Add some size and college experience and he'll be good to go.

Anthony Schwartz, he's a play maker who could also use a little additional bulk. We could really use a presence in the slot that consistently dominates the middle of the field.

Seth Williams, can you say red zone threat? Kid is absolutely massive coming out of high school and I think he'll continue to fill out. We may not have gotten a WR but I'd love for us to start passing in the red zone.

Shedrick Jackson, I believe he finished as a 3* but the kid has as much talent as anyone above him. Plus I always like players out of Hoover.

Grade - A , I think this is a tremendous group at a position of very little need. Now, when these kids are Sophomores, or ideally redshirt Freshman, they'll be starting to prepare to replace a huge group of rising seniors. Had to deduct some points for not closing on Chase or Ross but still an A.

 

TE - NONE, this was very disssapointing. With our need for a play maker Tight End we should have been able to treat a TE like a 5* blue chip QB prospect and wooed him to Auburn. This was a need we sorely missed on in my opinion.

Grade - F, it was a big need Gus even acknowledged when talking about what he wanted from this class. There's a few excellent options for next year's class but we're going to have to pull from a state that we don't usually get kids from.

 

OL - Jalil Irvin / Kameron Stutts, this is a terrible recruiting class for the Offensive Line and HAS to be a primary focus for next year. We lost five seniors on the line and desperately needed a blue chip tackle to come our way. Irvin and Stutts could be great for us but I'm not sold for now.

Grade -  D-

 

DL - Coynis Miller / Kayode Oladele (tell me his first name is pronounced Coyote) / Daquan Newkirk / Caleb Johnson, this is a very underrated group. I think we did a good job here helping ourselves reload at the DL in the future instead of rebuilding.

Grade - B+ , no earth shattering commits here but still a very respectable group nonetheless.

 

LB - Zakoby McClain (we should be way more excited about him than we are) / Michael Harris / Richard Jibunor / Josh Marsh, now we need to realize we took three elite talents at the linebacker position out of the state of Georgia. Huge win in that sense. Only let down in this group is that we didn't pull Quay. Not too sure how much Marsh adds to the group but getting 4 LBs has to make @Mikey a little happy.

Grade - A, Walker would have made it an A+ but I also am glad he didn't chuck an opposing teams hat to pick ours. The board would have been in disarray. God I wanted him here though.

 

Secondary - Smoke Monday (absolute monster) / Jamien Sherwood / Christian Tutt / Kolbi Fuqua / Roger McCreary, I know some are high in the last two potential; on top of that Monday, Sherwood, and Tutt are massive wins for us here. This is a big group of talent where depth was sorely needed. Very excited for this group.

Grade - A+ , I'm really excited about Monday, Sherwood, and Tutt can't remember a better group of Freshman coming in for the secondary. If Hill moves over to the secondary that'll make this class all the better!

Finally...my favorite "get" of this class

ARRYN "THE MOTHER F'N AUSSIE" SIPOSS! I can't tell you how many times this year I groaned about our terrible punting. Field position matters dangit. 

Grade - A+

Final grade - B+ , if we can bring in the Rice transfer I think that bumps us into the A- ranking. Personally I can't give us an A or more because we simply missed on too many big needs. No tight end, not enough new blood on the OL, some big misses on big fish, and admittedly the success of another teams class makes it all the more alarming. However, we also got a class loaded with studs that will help us reload in the future instead of rebuilding. Love our defensive recruiting this cycle and we got a game changer on special teams.

Edited by Zeek
Forgot to grade the Secondary
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@Zeek great write up.  I agree with most all of it except I think we see Shivers line up in RB role more than we ever saw O'Mac.  Also you forgot to put your grade on the DBs

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Nice analysis. I'd give the class a B+ as well. It would have been far into the A range if we could have closed the deal with just two more of our targets yesterday.

As @LKEEL75 said above, I think Shivers is going to be more of an every down back. He's around 5'6" with legs like tree trunks. He'll take a lickin' and keep on tickin'.

Not too concerned about the TE position. A traditional TE doesn't fit into our offense anyway and Joiner was recruited to be a TE/H back combo.

Sure would have liked to add Barnes on the o-line but Hand leaving when he did killed whatever slim chance we had there.

Linebackers: Good quality, we did well enough there to maintain. I think Jibunor could end up at LB also.

Biggest steal: Caleb Johnson. According to the one person I know that saw him play, he's super athletic. College ball has a good history of turning high school linebackers into exceptional D-linemen.

Biggest miss of the year: The DB in Mobile that signed with UAT in the early period. We worked our butts off to get that guy. Mobile is a bigger stink-pot of bamzos than even B'ham.

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Thanks for the write-up Zeek....though I don't get the fascination with subject of the TE.   First we don't often use the TE even when we have one so why beat the bushes for one and use a scholly on him?   I'm sure Gus would take a TE if one fell into our lap but during all the recruitment season I don't recall seeing any discussion of specific TE prospects that we or anyone else was after.  

Maybe there were some SEC level TE's out there but I'm not so sure.  JMO but if Gus or Chip really want a TE in the offense, they can make one using existing talent.  I'm thinking the grade should have been N/A.

OOPS...I was typing while Mikey was posting.....hit the TE issue twice I see....:)

 

Edited by AU64
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My grade of the OP:  A - Very well written for those who may not have paid attention yesterday.  Must deduct points however for lack of GIF's that would give me a chuckle.  Unacceptable.  I expect perfection.

Edited by abw0004
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31 minutes ago, abw0004 said:

My grade of the OP:  A - Very well written for those who may not have paid attention yesterday.  Must deduct points however for lack of GIF's that would give me a chuckle.  Unacceptable.  I expect perfection.

dangit.gif

I was so close, I'll do better next time coach!

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I agree with everything you wrote except for this:

2 hours ago, Zeek said:

TE - NONE, this was very disssapointing. With our need for a play maker Tight End we should have been able to treat a TE like a 5* blue chip QB prospect and wooed him to Auburn. This was a need we sorely missed on in my opinion.

Grade - F, it was a big need Gus even acknowledged when talking about what he wanted from this class. There's a few excellent options for next year's class but we're going to have to pull from a state that we don't usually get kids from.

I think Joiner is going to make one heck of a TE and was actually my favorite TE prospect going back to last year (even if he never considered himself a TE). The fact that he can be so versatile plays into how both Gus and Chip like to run their offenses. Imagine being able to drive the field with no substitutions, and when we need hard yards, shifting our back out wide or into the QB slot and shifting our TE/HB in as a power back.

Edited by lionheartkc
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5 minutes ago, lionheartkc said:

I agree with everything you wrote except for this:

I think Joiner is going to make one heck of a TE and was actually my favorite TE prospect going back to last year (even if he never considered himself a TE). The fact that he can be so versatile plays into how both Gus and Chip like to run their offenses. 

Didn't know we were considering him for an H-Back position until the comments above!

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I'm not putting any eggs in the Joiner basket. Not sure I can remember a guy getting tagged with the "look like Tarzan, play like Jane" rep quite like he has. And we had previously cooled on him, and then suddenly came back around on him after a couple guys declared for the draft. Similarly, he had previously refused to entertain the possibility of playing anything other than RB, but once it got late in the cycle and he didn't get whatever offer he wanted- LSU completely cut off contact with him out of the blue- he's suddenly the TE hybrid we've been looking for. 

I'll buy the "we don't use and don't need a TE" line- it's rational, even if I don't agree- but I'm not buying that Joiner's our answer. That's some serious sunshine lean IMO.

We tried and failed to get a lot of big time OLs. Say what you want about how badly we actually did or didn't need them and what's available in the next cycle, but we swung and missed. Not ideal. If we somehow land Anderson, I'm good here. 

The Justin Fields thing happened a long time ago but it's entirely possible that we could have had him if we'd played our cards right. Gatewood has star written all over him but we wanted 2 QBs in this class.

LOVE Shivers and Martin. Wish we could've added Teague to that mix. 

Definitely won WRs and kickers. Pleased with just about everything on defense if McReary (sp?) can play CB. 

Great vibes on the quality of human being we continue to recruit. It may be hokey, but I give Gus a ton of credit for bringing good people into the fold, on his staff and on his roster. It's part of what can make 4* Auburn better than 5* bama/uga on any given day IMO. (While, yes, also being part of why we might lose certain recruiting battles and surrender 20 pt leads.)

Have to admit to a relativity problem. Judging our class without thinking about our rivals is hard to do. And I'm not sure to what extent I should try to avoid it. I mean, some folks seem to think that it's okay to judge this class against our prior classes and against the rest of the SEC, so maybe we should also focus on what 25% of our annual schedule is doing when evaluating our own performance, too. Against that backdrop, it's a B-, but probably better than that under remotely normal circumstances. 

Edit: Back to Joiner, I said very early on in the cycle that he looked like exactly what we supposedly signed him for. Just everything about his recruitment after that led to him not being an attractive get for me. FWIW, it's my intent to focus on his recruitment and not him. Just a lot of weirdness. 

 

Edited by McLoofus
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4 hours ago, Zeek said:

 

TE - NONE, this was very disssapointing. With our need for a play maker Tight End we should have been able to treat a TE like a 5* blue chip QB prospect and wooed him to Auburn. This was a need we sorely missed on in my opinion.

Grade - F, it was a big need Gus even acknowledged when talking about what he wanted from this class. There's a few excellent options for next year's class but we're going to have to pull from a state that we don't usually get kids from.

Here is the thing that really really really bothers me about the TE position as far as recruiting goes.  Please correct me if I am wrong or off base here.  This happens way too often which is very frustrating to me.

When did we start trying to recruit a TE and who was on the early list?  The only kid that I can see that we had early interest in was Hooper.  Why were we not on a 5* stud TE the evening of last years signing day?  Too often it appears we are frantic at the last minute to pull in a recruit in a position of need.  Hand leaving may have hurt us late but who in the &^%&^ were we recruiting for two years at OT.  If we were then we would have had at least one kid commit early.  Instead it appears we were Tre Hill or bust and when he went to UGA we went on an all out assault turning over every rock in the land trying to find kids and convince them to look at us late in the process.  If we are not hammering the 5* kids right now that we need next year then we are way behind the 8 ball.

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5 minutes ago, NorthGATiger said:

Here is the thing that really really really bothers me about the TE position as far as recruiting goes.  Please correct me if I am wrong or off base here.  This happens way too often which is very frustrating to me.

When did we start trying to recruit a TE and who was on the early list?  The only kid that I can see that we had early interest in was Hooper.  Why were we not on a 5* stud TE the evening of last years signing day?  Too often it appears we are frantic at the last minute to pull in a recruit in a position of need.  Hand leaving may have hurt us late but who in the &^%&^ were we recruiting for two years at OT.  If we were then we would have had at least one kid commit early.  Instead it appears we were Tre Hill or bust and when he went to UGA we went on an all out assault turning over every rock in the land trying to find kids and convince them to look at us late in the process.  If we are not hammering the 5* kids right now that we need next year then we are way behind the 8 ball.

The last sentence is a point I've been hammering home as well. If you look at the competition to get 2019 athletes it's already started and we don't appear too active early in the process.

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Just now, Zeek said:

The last sentence is a point I've been hammering home as well. If you look at the competition to get 2019 athletes it's already started and we don't appear too active early in the process.

The coach that just corn holed the whole SEC and country has like 3- 5* kids already for next year.  I hope I'm wrong but it appears now is when we evaluate and then try to get them to a camp to see them and then finally start working the kid this summer.  That is crazy.  

Explain the narrative to Bo Nix on what we are selling and how to sell it and go after the top talent.  You win some and you lose some.  If you only go after good talent or kids you think you have a good chance of getting and then lose out on those then you are screwed.  I am so sick of hearing that "At Auburn we recruit and go after a certain type of kid"  That sounds great.  But it's a cop out.  It is said so that you think we COULD go after all of the best players but we are selective on character as much as anything so we feel really awesome about the kids we signed.  I guess every top 50 player in the country is a bad person or something.  Do we get some, yes.  We just have to quit sprinkling 1 or 2 every few classes in and try getting multiple ones every year.

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15 minutes ago, NorthGATiger said:

Here is the thing that really really really bothers me about the TE position as far as recruiting goes.  Please correct me if I am wrong or off base here.  This happens way too often which is very frustrating to me.

When did we start trying to recruit a TE and who was on the early list?  The only kid that I can see that we had early interest in was Hooper.  Why were we not on a 5* stud TE the evening of last years signing day?  Too often it appears we are frantic at the last minute to pull in a recruit in a position of need.  Hand leaving may have hurt us late but who in the &^%&^ were we recruiting for two years at OT.  If we were then we would have had at least one kid commit early.  Instead it appears we were Tre Hill or bust and when he went to UGA we went on an all out assault turning over every rock in the land trying to find kids and convince them to look at us late in the process.  If we are not hammering the 5* kids right now that we need next year then we are way behind the 8 ball.

We were pretty hard after Luke Ford early enough in the cycle. That answers your first question, but I don't think it disputes your point. 

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Hopefully, our coaches are not taking much of a break from recruiting. If they aren't out beating the bushes for top tier recruits, (especially OL) we will find ourselves in the same position in 19 as we were for this cycle.

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32 minutes ago, McLoofus said:

I'm not putting any eggs in the Joiner basket. Not sure I can remember a guy getting tagged with the "look like Tarzan, play like Jane" rep quite like he has. And we had previously cooled on him, and then suddenly came back around on him after a couple guys declared for the draft. Similarly, he had previously refused to entertain the possibility of playing anything other than RB, but once it got late in the cycle and he didn't get whatever offer he wanted- LSU completely cut off contact with him out of the blue- he's suddenly the TE hybrid we've been looking for. 

I'll buy the "we don't use and don't need a TE" line- it's rational, even if I don't agree- but I'm not buying that Joiner's our answer. That's some serious sunshine lean IMO.

You could be totally right. I'm 100% hanging my hat on a combination of his potential and our ability to derecruite him and get him to buy into what it really means to be an SEC football player. Part of me hopes they let Garner take a crack at him from an attitude standpoint to knock the "Jane" out of him. If he plays up to what he is physically capable of, the sky is the limit.

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1 minute ago, McLoofus said:

We were pretty hard after Luke Ford early enough in the cycle. That answers your first question, but I don't think it disputes your point. 

You may be 100% correct as I don't know.  It appeared to me that we didn't really get to Luke until later in the process maybe summer and he was all Dawg.  We should already have our evaluations done on kids and going hard for them right now.  If they regress or something happens to change your mind about them then go another route.

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3 minutes ago, NorthGATiger said:

The coach that just corn holed the whole SEC and country has like 3- 5* kids already for next year.  I hope I'm wrong but it appears now is when we evaluate and then try to get them to a camp to see them and then finally start working the kid this summer.  That is crazy.  

Explain the narrative to Bo Nix on what we are selling and how to sell it and go after the top talent.  You win some and you lose some.  If you only go after good talent or kids you think you have a good chance of getting and then lose out on those then you are screwed.  I am so sick of hearing that "At Auburn we recruit and go after a certain type of kid"  That sounds great.  But it's a cop out.  It is said so that you think we COULD go after all of the best players but we are selective on character as much as anything so we feel really awesome about the kids we signed.  I guess every top 50 player in the country is a bad person or something.  Do we get some, yes.  We just have to quit sprinkling 1 or 2 every few classes in and try getting multiple ones every year.

You're in my brain, get out!

@McLoofus I have a feeling they're not quite on track yet. Looking through the kids we have offered I see a few that would probably commit already if we really started talking with them about doing so. Would hope that we already have the next class evaluated or in the process thereof. Have to agree with North that we have to target some of these guys that we might not be "warm" on right now. We need to pull some kids down from the north too.

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13 minutes ago, NorthGATiger said:

You may be 100% correct as I don't know.  It appeared to me that we didn't really get to Luke until later in the process maybe summer and he was all Dawg.  We should already have our evaluations done on kids and going hard for them right now.  If they regress or something happens to change your mind about them then go another route.

Honestly, it sounds like you know more about it than I do, lol. I will try to refrain from talking out of my arse going forward...

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2 minutes ago, McLoofus said:

Honestly, it sounds like you know more about it than I do, lol. I will try to refrain from talking out of my arse going forward...

Sorry... Couldn't resist...

Edited by LKEEL75
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I don't follow the concern over a TE or lack thereof. C J Uzomah was as capable as any TE Auburn has had, or at least I though he was, and Malzahn underutilized him. So having a TE on the team doesn't equate to his being a vital cog in the offense

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1 hour ago, McLoofus said:

Busted.

 

It appears our 1st visit for any coach to him was on September 22.  It just seems like we are either  A) late to the game with kids , B ) have a smaller target group of elite players, or C) miss out on way too many of the kids we think we can get.

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Just now, NorthGATiger said:

It appears our 1st visit for any coach to him was on September 22.  It just seems like we are either  A) late to the game with kids , B ) have a smaller target group of elite players, or C) miss out on way too many of the kids we think we can get.

Look at Mohamoud Diabate...in our own backyard and no offer. The kid leans towards us even though we haven't offered SMH

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18 minutes ago, NorthGATiger said:

It appears our 1st visit for any coach to him was on September 22.  It just seems like we are either  A) late to the game with kids , B ) have a smaller target group of elite players, or C) miss out on way too many of the kids we think we can get.

Oh wow. I really stand corrected then. Damn. 

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