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News of the day, 1/18

Hey everyone. Let's get to bidness.

Paul Rhoads has been named defensive coordinator, which is the least surprising "breaking news" flash in years. You already know about him. The HOTTIES know their stuff, so I won't go through the curriculum vitae here.

He'll be holding a teleconference with reporters at some point this afternoon. I'll be there. I'll pass along the News You Need To Know at that point.

So keep it real and I'll see you in a bit.

Are you wondering about the tornado picture? I couldn't decide which art element would work here, I have exhaused my one-picture Rhoads supply, so I found that torando and thought it was cool. After all -- the search has been a whirlwind. I'm so funny.

Oh, and thanks for visiting the HOTTEST Auburn blog on the 'net.

He said he turned down Tuberville's offer in 2002 because he doesn't want to live a nomadic lifestyle and two years at Pitt didn't seem like enough. He later said there were additional issues that surrounded that decision (ie money), but said he didn't want to discuss that right now.

Rhoads said he'll be very detail-oriented at Auburn. He apparently has excess enthusiasm for proper tackling technique, good back-pedaling technique, etc. He prefers a 4-3 front, but said he experimented with some 30 schemes at Pitt this season that yielded some positive returns.

He said he'll "blend fronts," but didn't seem remarkably enthusiastic about deviating from base 4-3.

Rhoads has been given a weekend syllabus that provides information on the 10 recruits making official visits to Auburn this weekend. He's in Auburn right now. He'll participate in the recruiting push, effective immediately.

His Pitt bio pointed out that Rhoads was valedictorian of his high-school class. He said that group included more than 300 students. He also noted that education is important to him because his father was a teacher/coach and his mother also was involved with education.

Best quote: "Coming in with a broom and sweeping everything clean and making wholesale adjustments and changes would be quite foolish."


Tailback recruit Enrique Davis has backed away from his commitment to Auburn, though coaches are planning to meet with the prep-school tailback during the next two weeks. Rival schools have been emphasizing the Tigers' new spread scheme and its potentially damaging effect on tailbacks. I'd do the same thing.

I am not surprised this happened. Still, it re-affirms my respect for guys like Bryan Matthews and Jeffrey Lee and Jason Caldwell who spend so much time covering recruits. They're with you one day -- or nearly two years in this case -- and they're gone the next.

I expect Auburn to make a serious attempt to re-claim Davis. I'm just not sure it's going to work. It seems like Tony Franklin's system thirsts for guys like Brad Lester and Mario Fannin. Davis is a different kind of back. If he wants to be a bruiser, he'll have to play somewhere else. It's hard to be a bruiser out of the shotgun.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great News...recruit us some LB's, CB's and one more DT.

12:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jay, I bet you are glad to have this search over with. What with the Arkansas rumors with Tuberville and Muschamp(which almost came true if not for Bobby "Job Hopper" Petrino), Al Borges's firing, Tony Franklin's hiring, Muschamp leaving for Texas, and now this search not to mention your beat duties covering recruiting, basketball and all other things Auburn I'm sure you are hoping for a slower news cycle.
Wow that might be the ultimate run on sentence. Well, I don't feel like even trying to edit it so I'll just leave it as is. Anyway basically I just wanted to commend you for your work. Thanks for looking out for the hotties and keeping us well informed.

2:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know if you noticed the headlines from the Opelika-Auburn news for the past two days. on 1-17 the headline (at least on the on-line edition) was "au hires Rhoads as new defensive coordinator." On 1-18 the headline read "AU,Rhoads reportedly close to deal." Journalistically speaking, this would appear to be putting the cart before the horse. So,if you're in to the whole schadenfreude thing, let er rip. Solid work on your part....

2:55 PM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

Thanks for the kind words.

The teleconference just ended. I'm putting up some quick notes right now.

3:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I saw that too. That's why I get all my information from Jay's blog.

3:27 PM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

I want to make sure we're not hating on O-A ace Collin Mickle. He's a good reporter. There was a lot of backtracking along the way from a variety of outlets.

Remember that Phillip Marshall, among my most favorite people in the business, recently wrote that Rhoads is "not a serious candidate and hasn't been."

There are a lot of deceptions and half-truths that fly around in situations like this. It's nearly impossible to report things flawlessly every single time out.

3:34 PM  
Blogger AUQno4 said...

Jay, is the West Virginia game still the 2nd game of the season or did they move it? I recently saw ESPN list the game as a must watch game the second week of the season so I assumed that it didn't happen. Do you know?

4:13 PM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

The game hasn't been moved. Yet.

4:24 PM  
Blogger AUQno4 said...

Wow, that was fast! Thanks for the HABOTN Jay.

4:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said... is reporting that enrique davis has decommitted from auburn. any news jay?

5:27 PM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

Yes, Enrique Davis is out.

7:28 PM  
Blogger ADP said...

You can't really miss what you never had.

I hope this is just momentary confusion for Davis. Surely there is still a place for him. If we have an offense that can't use a big, strong and fast running back, I'm not sure I want it (yes, I know that nobody cares what I want).

Would Bo Jackson have thrived in the spread? Surely he would have. Right??

8:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Enrique has not been firmly committed to Auburn since day one. His remains one of the more impressionable kids out there. They all are. But he's really had a problem being decisive about anything. I've followed him since his senior year in regards to the recruiting process. In all honesty, I really expect him to re-commit to Auburn. However, I am not quite sure that's the best thing for Auburn. If they could somehow sway Mark Barron away from Bama they would get a similar athlete who's actually a more rounded football player and a better all around citizen.

9:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's absolutely one constant with the spread. Speed kills. Enrique, if he actually runs sub 4.4, would thrive. That's the bottom line.

9:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know, I hate to make spot judgements, but your words have a ring of truth to them. Just a hunch. I am not sure he's a good fit for AU.

9:07 PM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

Davis isn't going to run a 4.25 like McCalebb or Pierre-Louis.

With that said, yea, I think TBs will have a chance to do plenty in this offense. I mean, we're talking about 90 snaps.

9:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Losing Davis really pisses me off...Doubting this offense, all these tiny recruits..(5-10 160 pounders)

11:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think running backs will be much more successful in the new system. Yeah the spread throws the ball more but it also gets more first downs than the previous offense which translates to just as many carries for a running back with not as many men in the box. The old offense seemed like we were ramming our head into the wall for four quarters. If Enrique Davis can't see that he's not worth having in my mind and he can go to ole miss with Brent Schaeffer and average 3.0 yards a carry.

8:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Devin Hood is on an official visit this weekend at Auburn along with Mark Barron.

9:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have to remember that Davis is still a kid trying to make the most important decision of his young life. Many die-hard AU fans had doubts about the new offense and it will effect Davis' life much more than ours. Let's cut him some slack.

9:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has anyone pointed out that the majority of the top RB talent heading into the draft come from spread offenses? Didn't Davis watch AU run the ball 47 times in the bowl game?

This kid's not for Auburn if he can let rival coaches tell him he's not going to be a "bruiser" at Auburn. How can you put a definition on that? What tailback wouldn't want an opportunity to get to the line of scrimmage untouched 80% of the time? The majority of your real talent happens after your hit the line of scrimmage.

9:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He can have all the slack he wants. There's a high percentage chance he'll get lost at FSU like most top backs do. The same thing typically happens at UT. His best chance to make an immediate impact is at Ole Miss. Nutt's calling.

9:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ben Tate has two more years, so we already have a bruiser. If Davis wants to go somewhere else, then let him go. There are more where he came from!

10:54 AM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

I really think this is all more about the sell job other schools are doing. They're digging at Auburn, which is reasonable, about that spread and how it will affect tailback play.

I'm with you all. We're talking about 90 plays, about half of them runs. That's plenty of chances...

11:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Honestly although he has publicly said his reservations about the spread are what turned him off from Auburn, when you break it down it would seem that playing time is probably his main concern. Auburn has its top 4 running backs returning next year. Two of those are seniors. One, Tate is a junior and for some reason they can't keep this guy off the field. The fourth is Fannin who seems like he was born to play in this offense. Plus if they stay true to their commits we have a couple of running backs coming in. Now Davis might be the next Earl Campbell or whatever. He might not. When I look at it though i see a guy who just doesn't want to have to fight that hard to get on the field. Which i could understand after already spending one year at a prep school. Anyway just my two cents.

11:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

11:48, you are right on every single word.

1:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

11:48, you're especially right on Tate. He keeps getting better and better despite what we always thought- that he just didn't have dynamic football talents. You can't put a finger on what it is that makes him so effective. Maybe he's just a winner and that's that.

1:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone else see somewhat of a similarity between Ben Tate and Ronnie Brown at this stage in their careers? Ronnie Brown wasn't spectacular at first, but he kept getting better and better his whole time at Auburn. That seems to be what Tate is doing right now.

2:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice start verse Ole Miss here huh?

4:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


How about our boy Dewayne Reed? We talk bad about him a week ago and now he's dropping like 25 a game.

6:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And as far as enrique davis goes, running backs don't make or break a Tuberville signing class. It's all about lineman and linebackers in my mind.

6:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ronnie Brown started slow in Hs, at AU and the pros. He works hardand develops. Good call!!....Tate could very well develop that much.

6:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just read that AU beat #18 Ole Miss. there was some guy whining on this blog the other night that Lebo can't coach. Considering the injuries, etc. that Au has this season, that win seem to be good coaching to me. The claimed that the players were out of shape and Lebo couldn't make good in game adjustments.

7:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

don't get that guy started he makes my head hurt.

7:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hoopie, I thought you said you WENT to the games. Nice job AU Bball and Levo too. Maybe they have been reading the HABOTN and got pissed off. I hope so.

anon ... sorry about your head. go take some tylenol and drink water instead of thunderbird.

War Eagle ... I can be wrong. How long will I be wrong?

9:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Surprised there's not a new thread today considering what happened yesterday. Plenty of irony on that win, especially since it was over Ole Miss and Reed provided yet another major spark. Reed seems to be learning that he does have more than one gear. His decison making in transition still needs a little oil. He's a sophmore.

8:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually I said that I don't know much about BBall. I live 2-3 hours away from AU and haven't been to an AU BBall game sine 1980. BBall is an important college sport, just not for me. From what I've read here and on other AU blogs, most folks are convinced that Lebo can coach. The bad luck is unbelievable. I'm buying the argument that he doesn't cheat and that makes recruiting tuffer. He ran off a lot of dead wood and that takes a while to replace. If he is indeed a good coach, the recruits will buy in more each year. We are still a very short team. Sorry I but can't talk X's and O's, of course naysayers hardly ever do either.

11:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ronnie Brown was Mr Georgia Football in 1999. Ronnie redshirted the 2000 season. In 2001, he actually started off hot in his first college action. However, a "costly" fumble and he was benched in favor of Casinious Moore who shredded the SEC that season and eventually quit football.

In 2002, behind the broken leg bone injury to Carnell Williams, Ronnie went on a tear. It started vs UF, the same game that Carnell went down. He was thought to be our lone stud back heading into the UGA game and nearly won it for us on his own. he had a huge game. He eventually left that game in injury and we lost on a last second pass to Michael Jackson. We couldn't move the ball after Ronnie and Brandon Johnson went down.

He resurfaced during the bowl game vs Penn State and outplayed Larry Johnson by a HUGE margin. LJ never really got over that until he started having some success in the NFL. While Ronnie was injured, Trey had his game of the century vs. Alabama- the "Lose Yourself" game.

11:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Enrique Davis....will visit Oregon.

Oregon runs the spread.

12:10 PM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

I'll be creating a new thread here shortly.

I didn't feel like blogging on Saturday and, well, nobody wants to read uninspired blogs.

3:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ronnie B. was thought to be a D2 recruit at the beginning of his Sr. season. He had an incredible year and the accolades grew as his team won the GHSA AAA championship.

4:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oregon runs the spread and therefore doesn't make sense for Davis according to his own reasoning. Maybe he wants some "love" form the coaches.

These recruiting services feed the poor students egos so much that the kids get a little out of balance.

4:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thought you might have been inspired by the men's bball win yesterday.

5:03 PM  

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