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AUght2win

Do we have a 5* Curse?

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I think we do. Michael Dyer, Calvin Ashley, Kyle Davis, Nate Craig Myers, Christian Westerman, Roc Thomas, Byron Cowart, even Trovon Reed (though he came on strong at the end of his career as a DB).

What should we call it? More importantly, how do we break it?

I say we call it the Lolley curse. Phillip Lolley, for those that don't know, was an Auburn coach from around 99-2012. He was probably one of the best talent evaluators in the nation. He was responsible for reeling in a lot of the famous diamond-in-the-rough 3 stars that Tubbs turned into impact players. My favorite story about Coach Lolley was near the end of his tenure, when he almost brought Jordan Matthews to Auburn. Matthews barely had any SEC offers, and eventually went to Vanderbilt where he set the SEC record for yards and receptions in a career. Lolley urged Chizik to offer Matthews, and Matthews even called Lolley on the eve of signing day, literally crying and begging for a chance to come to the plains. Chiz said no, and the rest is history.

Maybe that's when Lolley cursed us, much like the Cubs and the curse of the Billy goat. I mean, he left shortly after in 2012 and that IS when all these 5 stars started imploding (Dyer) or showing up as outright busts. 

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I don't think it is a 5* curse...it is the evaluation of those 5*s and Ashley wasn't a consensus 5*.  I agree that Lolley was a good evaluator and some other coaches we have had.  That is what we are missing is the good solid evaluations and then selecting those that can make an immediate impact and those that will take a little time.  There are some 5*s that will be a bust and won't live up to that potential as they have peaked, but there are many more 4*s and some 3*s out there that can be coached up to hit that 5* level.  We need both types of coaches on the staff and I think that may be a key point....however, most of our 5* D players have been pretty good.

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4 minutes ago, AU_Tiger_88 said:

however, most of our 5* D players have been pretty good.

Well maybe we owe a tip of the hat to coach Garner.

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27 minutes ago, AUght2win said:

What should we call it? More importantly, how do we break it?

I call part of it shortsightedness. We dont do things strategically, we do them tactically. Live for the day. That leads to bringing in guys who are highly skilled, but may not be good fits for our system. (Roc Thomas). Or bringing in a guy like NCM and making him a perimeter blocker. Or claiming that ‘the light not coming on’ for Byron Cowart, right before he spends a very productive season at another school. The light came on pretty well there.  How do we break it? Bring in a staff that doesn’t rely on transfers and quick fixes, but instead relays on player selection based on our system, and long term player development. 

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1 hour ago, Gowebb11 said:

I call part of it shortsightedness. We dont do things strategically, we do them tactically. Live for the day. That leads to bringing in guys who are highly skilled, but may not be good fits for our system. (Roc Thomas). Or bringing in a guy like NCM and making him a perimeter blocker. Or claiming that ‘the light not coming on’ for Byron Cowart, right before he spends a very productive season at another school. The light came on pretty well there.  How do we break it? Bring in a staff that doesn’t rely on transfers and quick fixes, but instead relays on player selection based on our system, and long term player development. 

I don't think Cowart was putting in the work to crack the rotation and the others were passing him by...where at Maryland he was the best player so he played...had he stayed this year he might have cracked the rotation and played a lot.  Some kids don't have the temperment to play for Garner...he is a different kind of cat while coaching, just like when he was a player...but again this is just my opinion...we don't have a way back machine...

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1 hour ago, Gowebb11 said:

I call part of it shortsightedness. We dont do things strategically, we do them tactically. Live for the day. That leads to bringing in guys who are highly skilled, but may not be good fits for our system. (Roc Thomas). Or bringing in a guy like NCM and making him a perimeter blocker. Or claiming that ‘the light not coming on’ for Byron Cowart, right before he spends a very productive season at another school. The light came on pretty well there.  How do we break it? Bring in a staff that doesn’t rely on transfers and quick fixes, but instead relays on player selection based on our system, and long term player development. 

Hard to do things strategically when players don't stick around for whatever number of reasons....of just don't make the grade.

Otherwise, somewhere on the board was a list of our more highly rated recruits who did not pan out well... and of course we see complaints from guys saying they were not properly developed as if they had no responsibility.    If they miss their senior year, they miss on some of the best growth and development opportunity of their time in AU. 

JMO but guys leaving early short cut their development opportunities as well as messing up what might look like a strategic plan.  We have had several guys with maybe one good year of playing time who were on the cusp of something good at AU...and decided to go pro.  Some made it some not...but as I say....that's on them....and not the AU coaches if they bail early.    .

 

 

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most of the offensive 5 stars we had, we used horrendously. couple exceptions that flamed out of their own accord but its typically the former

our system isnt really conducive to alot of different types of players

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How about the 5*’s that do pan out? I’d like to think it about equals out but I wouldn’t know for sure. I’d imagine everyone has guys that don’t work out. 

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2 hours ago, AUght2win said:

I think we do. Michael Dyer, Calvin Ashley, Kyle Davis, Nate Craig Myers, Christian Westerman, Roc Thomas, Byron Cowart, even Trovon Reed (though he came on strong at the end of his career as a DB).

What should we call it? More importantly, how do we break it?

I say we call it the Lolley curse. Phillip Lolley, for those that don't know, was an Auburn coach from around 99-2012. He was probably one of the best talent evaluators in the nation. He was responsible for reeling in a lot of the famous diamond-in-the-rough 3 stars that Tubbs turned into impact players. My favorite story about Coach Lolley was near the end of his tenure, when he almost brought Jordan Matthews to Auburn. Matthews barely had any SEC offers, and eventually went to Vanderbilt where he set the SEC record for yards and receptions in a career. Lolley urged Chizik to offer Matthews, and Matthews even called Lolley on the eve of signing day, literally crying and begging for a chance to come to the plains. Chiz said no, and the rest is history.

Maybe that's when Lolley cursed us, much like the Cubs and the curse of the Billy goat. I mean, he left shortly after in 2012 and that IS when all these 5 stars started imploding (Dyer) or showing up as outright busts. 

We definitely do - but it pre-dates the Chizik tenure. Off the top of my head:

Tray Blackmon- Biggest recruit we had signed in a decade. Arrested for public intoxication, suspended for 6 games, played in a few games and then quit the team. 

Obomanu - Had two dreadful seasons before having two good years. Granted, it was partly due to offensive scheme and coaching - but he did drop the easiest pass ever in the history of football to cost us the Ole Miss game in 03.

Brandon Jacobs - backup for a year, transferred, went on to a nice NFL career 

I think Leon Hart was a 5* by some services, and I don't remember him ever playing

Greg Smith - Dubbed the Internet King. Never played a snap. 

Raven Gray - Never played a snap - but still made sure to say damaging things about AU to an SI reporter years later

Jermaine Johnson - never played a snap

Michael Dyer - Two good seasons before getting booted for myriad character issues

Shon Coleman - Immediately diagnosed with cancer after signing, still managed to play two seasons years later

Kiehl Frazier - couldn't play QB, switched positions and transferred

Kris Frost - Decent LB career; played more like a 3-star though and went undrafted

Duke Williams - broke a teammate's jaw and left the team

Jovon Robinson - I've already forgotten why he left

Carl Lawson - Incredible talent, but was injured for two+ years 

You already mentioned Westerman, Reed, Cowart etc. 

A small handful - Tre Williams, M. Adams, Davidson and Brown and maybe one or two others - have had solid AU careers and contributed for 3 or 4 seasons. It's really a remarkable phenomenon when you think about it. 

 

 

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A 5 star rating essentially means they are a sure-thing, plug and play. Of course, sometimes the prognosticators miss, but it's pretty rare. Take the 2015 class for instance. There were 33 five-stars (including Roc Thomas and Tre Williams). Nearly every single one was drafted and the majority are already NFL impact players. 

The fact so many of ours haven't panned out is truly astounding. 

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31 minutes ago, Sani-Freeze said:

We definitely do - but it pre-dates the Chizik tenure. Off the top of my head:

Tray Blackmon- Biggest recruit we had signed in a decade. Arrested for public intoxication, suspended for 6 games, played in a few games and then quit the team. 

Obomanu - Had two dreadful seasons before having two good years. Granted, it was partly due to offensive scheme and coaching - but he did drop the easiest pass ever in the history of football to cost us the Ole Miss game in 03.

Brandon Jacobs - backup for a year, transferred, went on to a nice NFL career 

I think Leon Hart was a 5* by some services, and I don't remember him ever playing

Greg Smith - Dubbed the Internet King. Never played a snap. 

Raven Gray - Never played a snap - but still made sure to say damaging things about AU to an SI reporter years later

Jermaine Johnson - never played a snap

Michael Dyer - Two good seasons before getting booted for myriad character issues

Shon Coleman - Immediately diagnosed with cancer after signing, still managed to play two seasons years later

Kiehl Frazier - couldn't play QB, switched positions and transferred

Kris Frost - Decent LB career; played more like a 3-star though and went undrafted

Duke Williams - broke a teammate's jaw and left the team

Jovon Robinson - I've already forgotten why he left

Carl Lawson - Incredible talent, but was injured for two+ years 

You already mentioned Westerman, Reed, Cowart etc. 

A small handful - Tre Williams, M. Adams, Davidson and Brown and maybe one or two others - have had solid AU careers and contributed for 3 or 4 seasons. It's really a remarkable phenomenon when you think about it. 

 

 

You're reaching on some of these. For one, a lot of these guys weren't five stars. For two, a lot were great Auburn players. Obomanu was a baller. Remember the 05 Iron Bowl? He was also part of statistically the most productive receiving corp in AU history (Mix, Taylor, Aromashodu, Obomanu). Blackmon won us some games. Coleman was solid. Lawson was great. Robinson won us some games. Duke was a contributor. Frost probably cost us more games than he won, but he did win us Ole Miss in '14 and Texas A&M in '13.

What I am talking about are guys who never truly helped Auburn win football games, or whose controbution never came close to their promise.

Cowart, Ashley, Westerman, Roc, and Kyle Davis never even made an impact. Dyer did, at least, but was a knucklehead. NCM didn't do much, but I'll love him forever for catching the pop pass in the Iron Bowl.

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We do have some 5*  talent leaves, sure. We also have guys that come back and forego a near sure thing at the NFL draft, when everyone is sure they won’t.  We have players that exceed expectations, and we have players that fail to meet expectations. 

I don’t know the issues they have that causes them to fall short. Maybe it is coaching. Maybe it is an issue of them feeling entitled and getting out worked by other guys. Maybe it’s a “fit” issue.  Maybe there are personal issues that don’t hit until these kids leave home.  My guess is it’s probably a little of all of the above. 

However, regardless of the reason, or the number of HS stars a player has, if someone is not happy at AU, or likely won’t  crack the lineup and contribute its better for everyone for them to move on rather than become toxic to the organization or missing a better chance for themselves somewhere else.  

Best of luck to Calvin, hope he finds a better fit. 

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11 hours ago, AUght2win said:

Michael Dyer, Calvin Ashley, Kyle Davis, Nate Craig Myers, Christian Westerman, Roc Thomas, Byron Cowart, even Trovon Reed (though he came on strong at the end of his career as a DB).

Very few of those guys were unanimous 5* players. Mike Dyer was a unanimous 5*. Calvin Ashley was not a unanimous 5*. Kyle Davis was NOT a unanimous 5*. Nate Craig Myers was not a unanimous 5*. Westerman was not a unanimous 5*. Roc Thomas was not a unanimous 5*. Trovon Reed wasn't a unanimous 5* either. 

 

So while we have missed some, we have hit in some as well. We have hit about as much as we have missed on unanimous 5* talent. Now, composite 5* talent is a totally different story. I think all but 2 of the ones you listed (Davis and NCM) were all composite 5* players, but they arent unanimous 5*s. I feel that is a better way to judge, but I could be totally off base.

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9 minutes ago, Auburn2Eugene said:

Very few of those guys were unanimous 5* players. Mike Dyer was a unanimous 5*. Calvin Ashley was not a unanimous 5*. Kyle Davis was NOT a unanimous 5*. Nate Craig Myers was not a unanimous 5*. Westerman was not a unanimous 5*. Roc Thomas was not a unanimous 5*. Trovon Reed wasn't a unanimous 5* either. 

 

So while we have missed some, we have hit in some as well. We have hit about as much as we have missed on unanimous 5* talent. Now, composite 5* talent is a totally different story. I think all but 2 of the ones you listed (Davis and NCM) were all composite 5* players, but they arent unanimous 5*s. I feel that is a better way to judge, but I could be totally off base.

You aren't off-base.  And who you (correctly) mentioned were not composite 5*'s.  Now, to even be considered in the 5* range means they were super talented in high school.  But high school and college are two different animals, just like college and NFL are two different animals.  That is why I don't like to pay attention to the star rankings.  It is all opinion based, and you can have a player look elite against bad competition, or have other players lost in the traffic playing in a tough region.

And if you look at the list of our 5* players, over half of them were their own worst enemies.  Nothing Auburn, or any other school could have done.  Even Byron Cowart came out recently and admitted at the Senior Bowl it was his fault for it not working at Auburn, calling Auburn "the one that got away."

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Calvin Ashley obviously felt that he wasn’t good enough to play or he would have stayed and WON a starting job. Roc Thomas was given every opportunity to play and was injured and/or didn’t get the job done.  That goes for most every player that has been mentioned in this thread. 

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10 hours ago, AUght2win said:

You're reaching on some of these. For one, a lot of these guys weren't five stars. For two, a lot were great Auburn players. Obomanu was a baller. Remember the 05 Iron Bowl? He was also part of statistically the most productive receiving corp in AU history (Mix, Taylor, Aromashodu, Obomanu). Blackmon won us some games. Coleman was solid. Lawson was great. Robinson won us some games. Duke was a contributor. Frost probably cost us more games than he won, but he did win us Ole Miss in '14 and Texas A&M in '13.

What I am talking about are guys who never truly helped Auburn win football games, or whose controbution never came close to their promise.

Cowart, Ashley, Westerman, Roc, and Kyle Davis never even made an impact. Dyer did, at least, but was a knucklehead. NCM didn't do much, but I'll love him forever for catching the pop pass in the Iron Bowl.

All of those I listed were either Scout or Rivals 5 stars. I didn't bother to check other sites or composites. I think some sites also had Jordan Diamond and maybe even Kodi as 5 stars also.

Anyway - my point wasn't that they were all busts. It's that we very rarely get more than two good years from any of those players (even good ones like Lawson, Coleman, Obomanu, Dyer etc). And most of that list never made a significant contribution. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, abw0004 said:

You aren't off-base.  And who you (correctly) mentioned were not composite 5*'s.  Now, to even be considered in the 5* range means they were super talented in high school.  But high school and college are two different animals, just like college and NFL are two different animals.  That is why I don't like to pay attention to the star rankings.  It is all opinion based, and you can have a player look elite against bad competition, or have other players lost in the traffic playing in a tough region.

And if you look at the list of our 5* players, over half of them were their own worst enemies.  Nothing Auburn, or any other school could have done.  Even Byron Cowart came out recently and admitted at the Senior Bowl it was his fault for it not working at Auburn, calling Auburn "the one that got away."

I agree in part. However star rankings are absolutely important. When you go back and look at the last 10 or so NFL drafts, a very large portion of highly ranked high 4 and 5 star guys are being drafted. When you consider that probably around 75 to 80% of each class is 3* or less, the sheer number of high 4 and 5* players being drafted speaks for itself. When you have say 50% of the top 3 rounds being high 4 and 5* players drafted, even though the high 4s and 5*s make up probably less than 10% of each class, the importance of "stars" becomes even more significant.

31 minutes ago, Sani-Freeze said:

All of those I listed were either Scout or Rivals 5 stars. I didn't bother to check other sites or composites. I think some sites also had Jordan Diamond and maybe even Kodi as 5 stars also.

Anyway - my point wasn't that they were all busts. It's that we very rarely get more than two good years from any of those players (even good ones like Lawson, Coleman, Obomanu, Dyer etc). And most of that list never made a significant contribution. 

 

 

Had Dyer kept his head on straight, he most likely graduates leaves holding every single rushing record belonging to Auburn. He did in 2 years what not even Bo Jackson accomplished. Saying he didn't make a significant contribution makes me shake my head. Yes he could of done SO much more. But in those 2 seasons, he did some things the great BO couldn't even do. He made a very significant contribution. We likely don't make the 2010 BCS game against Oregon without Dyer... Much less win that game.

Edited by Auburn2Eugene
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Curse? No. But we have done a poor job of evaluating and developing them overall. We are below the national average for turning 5* recruits into NFL players. Which not only means that we are below average, but also means that we are well below the teams who are above average. Without looking, I have some guesses as to who some of those teams are, and I bet that at least a few of them have been on our schedule more than once these last 6 years. 

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This is an interesting question but i think sample size is too small if you only look at 5*s. I think a better look would be taking our top 5-10 rated signees and seeing how many 1. went to NFL, 2. had solid college and 3. did nothing. 

If i get some free time i'll do the leg work on that

 

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A curse?  IDK if it's a curse as much as it just reinforces the "mediocre" rut this program is stuck in at the moment. 

Anyway we look at the situation or view it from all different angles, it's just not good enough for what AU's paying for.  AU pays top 5 salaries, they've consistently recruited top 10 talent and they aren't getting top 10 rankings at the end of the season.

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2 minutes ago, keesler said:

Anyway we look at the situation or view it from all different angles, it's just not good enough for what AU's paying for.  AU pays top 5 salaries, they've consistently recruited top 10 talent and they aren't getting top 10 rankings at the end of the season.

Blame anyone except the guy getting paid more than all the other coaches combined. (And maybe more than all the scholarships combined?)

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updyke.com weighing in on the negativity

https://www.al.com/sports/2019/02/alcom-all-access-is-calvin-ashley-transfer-part-of-a-negative-trend-for-auburn.html

the mandatory praise uat segment

"That’s a pretty uneven track record, especially when you compare it to the fact that nearly every 5-star recruit that Alabama signs becomes an All-SEC-type player for the Crimson Tide and goes on to play in the NFL. (Linebacker Ben Davis might be a notable exception, though he still has two years to up his game)."

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