Thursday, February 7, 2008

As a rule, I do my best to avoid recruiting season — in fact, as a sportswriter, I often find myself longing for the old days, when sportswriters covered recruiting by (and here I channel Lewis Grizzard), "checking the roster on the first day of practice to see who showed up."

Sadly, it's a fact of life now among college football fans, just as the NFL and NBA drafts are entertaining and important events for fans of those particular leagues. Thus, the DP offers up some recruiting links in the wake of a monumental Signing Day, followed by one Auburn fan's perspective (my cousin Jamie's, via email).

— Capstone does the Alabama recruiting victory dance.
— names 'Bama's Lance Thompson Recruiter of the Year.
— Ian Rapaport has a good entry on 'Bama's success, as well.

— The Wiz has the skinny on the bizarre story of Kevin Hart.

— As promised, the Auburn perspective, courtesy of Track 'Em Tigers: here and here.
And the email from Jamie, who trades emails with me frequently — some of those conversations are still up on the old LJ. His thoughts are presented here as is, with only minor edits made for grammatical and stylistic correction.

With apologies to rape victims, I feel as though I was gang raped yesterday.
I think the whole disappointment from the AU side has a lot to do with the success of Bama. There will be 2 star recruits in AU's class that out perform some of Bama's 4 and 5 star guys. I'm the last person you have to tell that "stars" don't matter, but there was much more to Auburn's class that is so disheartening.
1) Losing committed players. Enrique Davis was not lost to USC, but Ole friggin Miss.
2) Jarmon Fortson, an Anquon Bolden clone left for FSU even though he was a lifelong AU fan and his HS QB is already enrolled at AU.
3) Charles Deas, the guy I was most excited about, got in very good physical shape in prep school. Unfortunately, he's an idiot and will be headed to JUCO.
4) Signing day woes. AU landed NO ONE on signing day. Enrique Davis and Robert Quinn (4 star DE from South Carolina) both told people they plan on signing with AU the night before NSD. They both apparently had nightmares about Auburn, and decided on other options.
5) The lack of success head to head vs other big name schools. We made a habit this year of out recruiting Georgia Tech and Mississippi St for sigs. Meanwhile over at the Capstone it's like a proverbial High School All-American convention. I kept waiting for a little momentum to change and it never happened. Fact is it intensified.
Lastly, I would say to both Auburn and Alabama supporters alike, that one class does not make or break a program, but damn does this make next year VERY important down here.

And with that, have yourself a nice Thursday. I'm off to work.


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