Your Daily Fix, 7/14
At left is The Beast, the world's longest wooden coaster. I like riding it at night because there are no lights out there.
I know you all care very little about coasters. So let's peeps into the immediate past of Auburn athletics and see what I missed during the trip.
Two more football commitments: Yes, the Tigers now are up to 19. It's insane, though the HOTTIES knew to expect it. Will Muschamp foretold the future before he left during the winter, saying early commitments would be the next big thing at Auburn.
The next-to-newest addition is LB Brandon Jacobs, who committed on July 7. He's known more as a tailback at Parkview, Brad Lester's alma mater, but the Tigers want to use Jacobs on defense. He also is a very good baseball player. Keep that in mind if he signs with Auburn in February. Jacobs is 6-foot-1 and around 230. He's a big boy.
The newest addition is DE Donald Ford, who committed on the 9th. He was playing safety last year. He was 180ish. Ford now is 205ish and performed quite well at an Auburn camp last month. He accepted Auburn's offer immediately. Ford had some big-school offers. He reminds some of Antoine Carter ... as far as being a great athlete just now growing into his body.
Here is your updated list of Auburn commitments
LB Harris Gaston, Birmingham (Bessemer Academy)
WR Brandon Heavens, Birmingham (Bessemer Academy)
QB Raymond Cotton, Mobile (Faith Academy) ... though he's moving this summer
DT Terrence Coleman, Mobile (Williamson)
DE Jamontay Pilson, Greenville (Greenville)
TE Philip Lutzenkirchen, Marietta, Ga. (Lassiter)
TB Rodney Scott, Cross City, Fla. (Dixie County)
LB Jonathan Evans, Mobile (Blount)
WR Travante Stallworth, Leesville, La. (Leesville)
WR Ladarius Perkins, Greenville, Miss. (St. Joseph)
OL Andre Harris, Hampton, Ga. (Lovejoy)
WR LaVoyd James, Mobile (Williamson)
OL Aaron Moore, Frisco, Texas (Centennial)
DB Reggie Taylor, Fort Valley, Ga. (Peach County)
LB Brandon Jacobs, Lilburn, Ga. (Parkview)
DE Donald Ford, Odenville (St. Clair County)
LB Eltoro Freeman, Alex City (Miss. Gulf Coast CC)
DE Wilfred Journet, Lafayette, La. (Copiah-Lincoln CC)
DL Nick Fairley, Mobile (Copiah-Lincoln CC)
*all three signed with Auburn out of high school in Feb. 2007.
Media days are approaching rapidly: They're only nine days away and I think it'll be an above-average meeting this time around. There are plenty of worthy storylines. It seems like almost every school has one.
Remember Tommy Tuberville joking about the hot seat a few years ago? He may have the coolest seat in this house this time around. I'm sure he'll find some way to make himself look like an underdog, though. Nobody does it better.
THE FIVE BEST MEDIA DAYS SUBPLOTS (Pre-Media Days Edition)
1.) Petrino didn't actually lie to the Falcons. It was a misunderstanding.
2.) Houston Nutt likes Ole Miss better. Really.
3.) Alabama's off-the-field problems are in line with every other program.
4.) Georgia can handle being a BCS front-runner. Really.
5.) Les Miles wants to spend the rest of his life in
Tate overrated?: The Gainesville Sun has the guts to rank the SEC's top 25 players, which is admirable despite the impossibility of such a feat considering how positions work in football. Anyway, the Sun recently ranked Auburn TB Ben Tate as the league's No. 21 player.
I think Ben Tate is among the most gifted receivers I've seen at Auburn, top 10 for sure. I also think he's quite tough. I also think he has a gift for anticipation. He knows what will happen.
Still, I do not think he's a top-tier SEC tailback. He doesn't have the explosiveness one expects from a top player. He just doesn't. Tate is useful. Tate is valuable. Tate is a tick below Brad Lester (right) in my book. It's important to note that Tate sometimes will show big-league speed. I don't really understand how that can come and go.
One disclaimer: Tate thinks he deserves more regional/national respect than he's been given to this point. That could provide an important catalyst this fall.
A (rare) I-told-you-so moment: The five people who have read my stuff all along know that I said Ricky Jean-Francois would be a stud. The Sun has him at No. 14. Jean-Francois was one of those kids from Miami who wanted an offer from Miami. I guess Auburn didn't think Miami would choke away the opportunity. LSU anticipated that situation well (ie Miami choking) and snagged a potential superstar during the 2005 recruiting sweepstakes.