Tag:Gene Chizik
Posted on: February 27, 2012 5:13 pm
 

Kamryn Melton headed to the Plains

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Auburn gained a commitment from an offensive player over the weekend and it didn't take long for the Tigers to match it on the defensive side, adding a pledge on Monday from Dothan (Ala.) defensive back Kamryn Melton.

"I told (secondary coach Willie) Martinez first and then circled around and talked with Gene Chizik," Melton told 247Sports. "He was very excited about it: ‘Just don’t go to anybody else.’ I was like, ‘Yes sir, I’m not going to switch.’ From there, they just welcomed me to the family. I was very excited. My mom too. She’s an Auburn fan and my whole family is Auburn fans. My whole family is excited. I’m proud to be a part of it. War Eagle."

The 5-foot-11, 180-pounder also held offers from Kentucky and UAB but his visit to the Plains was what won him over and allowed Melton to feel comfortable enough to commit early.

"When I went to lunch during Junior Day and I sat down with the Tigerettes. They invited me over and were asking me questions," he said. "I saw that the people down here are really friendly. They want you with your family. Right then, I was like, ‘Whoa, this is where I need to be.'"

Melton becomes the fifth commitment in Auburn's class of 2013 and the first defensive back of the group.
 

Posted on: February 1, 2012 8:48 pm
 

National Signing Day Winners and Losers: SEC

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Breaking down who won and who lost in the SEC on National Signing Day:

 

WINNERS

Mike Slive. Anyone who doubted Missouri's conference cred had to fall silent for at least a day as the Tigers introduced the nation's No. 1 recruit into the SEC East. The rest of the Tigers' class may not be as deep as many of their new league rivals', but when said class also includes a star as overpoweringly bright as Dorial Green-Beckham, it's hard to see any flaws.

Players to watch: WR Dorial Green-Beckham, G Evan Boehm, QB Maty Mauk.  

Alabama. Yawn--just another No. 1-ranked class of 25-plus blue-chips for Nick Saban's perpetual recruiting motion machine, with the surprise signing of highly regarded Virginia defensive tackle Korren Kirven the icing on a cake the Crimson Tide had baked long before Wednesday. By his own admission, Saban said they "didn't have any surprises," for worse or -- this being Alabama -- better. Once Kirven had declared and top safety Landon Collins had finally gotten his mother on board, the drama in Tuscaloosa was over.

In fact, after a big Junior Day haul, Saban and Co. are already off and sprinting for 2013. Come next February, it's likely there won't be any surprises then either. It may not be exciting for anyone hoping for stunning announcements, big rankings swings, and overheated speculation -- the Tide may have used it all up in last year's Cyrus Kouandjio saga -- but it's the same lethally efficient formula that's netted Saban two national championships in three seasons. Nothing much changed for Alabama on Signing Day, but unfortunately for the rest of college football, that means nothing much has changed when it comes to the difficulty of knocking the Tide off their perch, either.

Players to watch: S Landon CollinsRB T.J. YeldonCB Geno SmithVideo: Saban on being No. 1 on the recruiting trail. 



James Franklin. When Franklin's blazingly hot start last summer netted him a commitment from All-American running back Brian Kimbrow, the nation's no. 52 player, the response from many observers around the SEC was "That's impressive. It'll be even more impressive if he actually signs."

Not every one of those early Vanderbilt commitments made it across the finish line. But Kimbrow did, along with 20 other quality players that had the 'Dores in the CBS Sports National Signing Day  Top 25 a week beforehand. Vandy couldn't quite hang on to that lofty ranking, but even having the SEC's eternal doormat in a "top 25" conversation is an achievement for Franklin arguably on par with Saban's in Tuscaloosa. 

Players to watch: RB Brian Kimbrow, DE Caleb AzubikeQB Pat Robinette.

Steve Spurrier's nerves. South Carolina isn't traditionally the first team you'd think of when looking for a comparison to Alabama when it comes to recruiting success. But the Gamecocks might be this year, thanks in part to joining the Tide in the team rankings top 10 (believe it or not, Carolina quietly finished third in the SEC). But like Alabama, the Gamecocks also enjoyed a pleasantly uneventful Signing Day, with 19 of the 25 Gamecocks who signed today having already committed before the 2011 season started. 

“It’s been a peaceful Signing Day today, which was kind of nice,” recruiting coordinator Steve Spurrier Jr. said. And when you peacefully land players like Shaq Roland and Jordan Diggs, doubly so.

Players to watch: WR Shaq Roland, RB Mike DavisDB Jordan Diggs. Video: Spurrier talks recruiting impact. 


LOSERS

Mark Richt's nerves. On the other side of the spectrum from Alabama and South Carolina, there was Georgia's National Signing Day. The day started with the disappointment of missing out on receivers Cordarelle Patterson (Tennessee) and JaQuay Williams (Auburn) (leaving the Bulldogs with just one wideout in the class), then picked up with a commitment from Maxpreps top 100 linebacker/safety Josh Harvey-ClemonsBut that a.m. joy dissolved into p.m. worry as Harvey-Clemons grandfather and legal guardian reportedly refused to sign Harvey-Clemons' letter of intent. Adding insult to injury, Richt's premature public comments on Harvey-Clemons may have even constituted a minor NCAA violation.

With or without Harvey-Clemons, the Bulldogs are still going to boast a star-studded class with nearly as many top 100 recruits (five, or six) as any team in the country. But the potential of losing Harvey-Clemons to hated Florida with the Gators already sitting some 15 spots ahead in the team rankings is likely to cause a restless evening (or evenings) in Athens all the same.

Players to watch: OL John TheusRB Keith MarshallDE Jordan Jenkins. Video: Will Muschamp on Florida's Signing Day.

LSU's in-state clout. There's about 105 FBS teams or so that would gladly trade classes with LSU's, especially after the addition of out-of-state gems like Oxford (Ala.) linebacker Kwon AlexanderBut in a somewhat down year for talent in the Pelican State, the Tigers had to lock down the borders to put together a truly elite class, and that didn't happen--not only did Collins and highly-regarded linebacker Denzel Devall stick with their Alabama commitments, Texas shocked Les Miles by snatching away the Tigers' blue-chip linebacker Torshiro Davis. (Davis rubbed salt in Miles's wound by saying LSU's players "don't seem that happy.")

Those were the top three players in the state by many accounts, and LSU didn't land any of them. It's not the end of the world, but for a program built on an annual harvest of blue-chippers from the bayou, it's a worrying sign all the same.

Players to watch: OL Vadal Alexander, WR Avery Johnson, LB Trey Granier.  

Arkansas. As usual under Bobby Petrino, the Razorbacks signed a respectable-but-not-spectacular class that Petrino will no doubt turn into something far more than the sum of its parts once it comes together in Fayetteville. But to come as close as they reportedly did to signing the player that would have helped cement their status as a national power and come up short has to sting.

Players to watch: LB Otha Peters, OG Jeremy Ward, RB Jonathan Williams.

SOMEWHERE IN BETWEEN

Auburn. On the good side: wide receivers JaQuay Williams and Ricardo Louis each stuck with their original commitments to the Tigers, offensive lineman Will Adams flipped from Georgia Tech, and top tackle Avery Young gave Auburn a top-100 cornerstone at Georgia and Florida's expense. On the not so good side: Eddie Goldman, Ronald Darby, Leonard Williams, Alexander and Jordan Moore all had Auburn as one of their finalists and all went in a different direction. Gene Chizik's boom-or-bust Signing Day somehow managed to neither quite boom nor bust.

Players to watch: QB Zeke Pike, RB Jovon Robinson, DB T.J. Davis. And to wrap things up, here's some video of Derek Dooley:


Posted on: February 1, 2012 2:33 pm
 

Top 100 OT Avery Young picks Auburn

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

A National Signing Day that's already had its peaks and valleys at Auburn hit another peak with Maxpreps top 100 offensive lineman Avery Young announcing he would sign with the Tigers.

A 6'5", 285-pound tackle from Palm Beach Gardens (Fla.), Young chose Auburn despite serious interest from Florida and Georgia. The Bulldogs were apparently confident enough in Young's signature that his profile even appeared on the official Georgia website before being pulled down.

The three-and-a-half star Young becomes one of the biggest gets for Gene Chizik's 2012 class, ranking as the nation's No. 87 overall prospect and the No. 12 tackle in the class. Tom Lemming writes on Young:

This LT shows the quickness off the ball and body control needed to play the position in college. He stays low, shows the body control and burst to effectively block out on the second level, does a good job of staying with his blocks until the whistle, and has the frame to weigh well over 300 pounds in college. He's as consistent as they come.

Young made his announcement only minutes after Auburn had received another huge piece of good news: a signature from national No. 16 athlete Ricardo Louis. A 6'2", 215-pound three-star from Miami, Louis had briefly decommitted from Auburn and pledged to Florida State before deciding on the Tigers Wednesday. Louis is expected to play wide receiver at Auburn.

With Louis and Young now safely in the fold, the Tigers move to 18 commitments in the class and have a shot at moving up from their current rank of 22nd in the CBS Sports National Signing Day Top 25 despite prospects like Eddie GoldmanLeonard Williams and Kwon Alexander each electing to go elsewhere.

For updates throughout the day on Auburn's new class, follow our CBSSports Auburn RapidReports. 

Keep up with all the latest from National Signing Day at CBSSports.com's NSD Central.
Posted on: December 22, 2011 10:10 am
 

12/22 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Despite a visit to USC, Deontay Greenberry and Tee Shepard are still Notre Dame bound.

 Georgia gained one recruit and lost another.

 Texas rarely signs JUCO players but grabbed two yesterday.

 Maryland keeps loading up on linebackers this class.

 Gene Chizik says Auburn is in great shape on the recruiting trail.

 Joker Phillips discussed recruiting at Kentucky for a bit.

 Plenty of Virginia and Virginia Tech recruits on this all-area team.

 Will a bowl ban affect Ohio State recruiting much?
Posted on: September 5, 2011 3:15 pm
 

Surveying the Field on September 5

Posted by Bryan Fischer

What a great weekend of football. The college game is back and not only that, we've had five glorious days of it.

In what will be a regular feature called Surveying the Field, I'll be taking a look at the week that was in college football and in high school football to get everybody caught up on the star players, big plays and great wins that happened over the weekend.

The curious case of Gehrig Dieter

If I gave you three guesses as to who was the nation's best wide receiver through the first couple of weeks of the high school season, chances are you would never guess South Bend (Ind.) wide-out Gehrig Dieter.

You likely heard his name this week however, after he racked up 447 yards receiving to set an Indiana and national high school record. Yes, you read that right, 447 yards.

"I just broke the national record for yards in a game. DOUBLE AND TRIPLE TEAMED the entire game. 447 yards and 4 TDs #humbled," he tweeted after the game.

The amazing accomplishment gives Dieter an impressive 1,158 receiving yards on the year through three games. How many players would be thrilled to get that in an entire season?

Curiously, Dieter's recruitment has tracked with his eye-popping stats. Prior to this weekend he held offers from Akron, Ball State, Central Michigan, Northern Illinois, SMU, Toledo and Western Michigan. Yep, not a single BCS offer.

That should change shortly I'm guessing.

"A very good athlete, he can track the deep ball over his head and if it's within reach he'll catch it. He also shows very good moves after the catch," CBS/MaxPreps analyst Tom Lemming wrote of Dieter.

Having seen Dieter in action during a 7-on-7 tournament over the summer, I was shocked that schools were not showing much interest. As Lemming wrote, he certainly is a great athlete and has the size and speed to be a big contributor for a good program in the future. My guess is he'll wind up in the Big Ten and be a better version of Dane Sanzenbacher at Ohio State.

Diggs helps Good Counsel top Manatee

It was an impressive showing by Olney (Md.) Our Lady of Good Counsel to beat Manatee (Fla.) on Saturday. The game was a little sloppy but the Falcons still managed to beat a solid team with playmakers on defense like Clinton Heaven and Darius White.

No surprise to see athlete Stefon Diggs power Good Counsel to victory with two touchdowns, including the game winning score in double overtime. Diggs finished the day with six catches for 132 yards and showed why he excels in getting behind the defense. He's one of the fastest players in the country and is ranked 14th overall in the class of 2012.

“There was a lot of speed on both sides of the ball," Diggs told the Maryland Gazette. “Their defense was fast; faster than what we’re used to."

Diggs is being recruited as a wide receiver and defensive back. Having seen him in action, he'd be a great fit either way but he's such a dynamic playmaker it will be hard to put him at corner. He's narrowed his list down to about 10 schools and plans to commit at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. He hasn't selected where he'll take all five of his official visits to but Alabama, Cal, Florida State, Maryland and Virginia Tech are all serious players.

Execution powers Bellvue and De La Salle

California was host to some great high school games this weekend between several top 25 teams this weekend.

Just as Boise State used execution and sound defense to beat a Georgia team with superior athletes on Saturday, Bellvue (Wash.) managed to simply out work a talented Oaks Christian (Calif.) team. According to MaxPreps' Mitch Stephens, don't be surprised if Bellvue's talented sophomore running back Bishard Baker starts drawing attention from Pac-12 schools. Defensive back Tyler Hasty also starred with two interceptions and should see several schools show more interest as a result.

On the Oaks Christian side, their two best players have been receiving plenty of attention from schools on the West Coast. Cornerback Ishmael Adams is close to making a decision and it's pretty clear he's not going too far from home. UCLA seems to be the leader in the club house at this point (he visited there unofficially two weeks ago), but Cal, Colorado and Arizona State are pushing hard for his services. Notre Dame is also in the mix.

His teammate, wide receiver Jordan Payton, seems to be intent on leaving the area however. He had a solid game against Bellvue with nine catches for 103 yards and played well on defense. The USC de-commit will be one of several top 100 players headed to Michigan to see their night game against Notre Dame and both teams are in the running for his verbal commitment. At this point it seems like Michigan and Cal are in the lead but don't be surprised if Notre Dame, Texas A&M and Nebraska stay in the race for Payton's signature.

In a big match up between two top California teams, Wisconsin commit Bart Houston managed to give De La Salle a thrilling victory to edge Bellarmine on Saturday. Amazingly, both teams missed extra points late but the third-ranked Spartans still managed to come out on top after Houston sneaked across the goal line for a touchdown.

While Houston is solidly committed to the Badgers, the recruiting attention on the team centers on junior linebacker Michael Hutchings. Playing alongside Cal commit Michael Barton, De La Salle has a fantastic linebacking corps and Hutchings is the player that has scouts most excited for what he can do at the next level. Long thought to a USC lean, he recently came out and said that UCLA and Cal were really recruiting him heavily.

"I think all three in-state schools are about equal," Hutchings told Rivals. "Those are the three teams to beat right now."

With a good number of Spartans already committed to major FBS schools, keeping track of who the 6-foot-2, 215-pounder has at the top of the list should be fun over the next year or more.

Video of the day

Check out this crazy punt return by Duluth (Ga.) athlete Myles Campbell and note the big hit that springs him free.


Recruiting Roundup

- Top recruit Dorial Green-Beckham won't reveal his list of schools but he is cutting it down to five.

- The Onion details new NCAA rules that have reduced recruiting to winks and eyebrow raises.

- Great story on Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez' ties to his high school and Mission Viejo head coach Bob Johnson.

Texas high school football is big time and now it's a part of Oregon.

Defensive end Jordan Jenkins has Alabama as his leader, Florida in second and Auburn in third. Tigers head coach Gene Chizik made a visit to see Jenkins this week.

USC commit Darreus Rogers had a big game as Carson High beat Mater Dei.

Running back Keith Marshall, one of the top players in the country, defended Georgia coach Mark Richt after their loss to Boise State.

Receiver Corey Jones made a commitment to Pitt over the weekend.

Keep an eye on

Denton Guyer (Texas) vs. Cedar Hill (Texas), 9 ET on September 5

These two teams play in the annual Herbstriet Classic at Cowboys Stadium and it should be a rematch after Cedar Hill edged Guyer 42-41 last year in the event before Guyer got revenge in the state playoffs later that season. Cedar Hill already has a loss on their record after falling to the top team in the state, Allen, last week 28-13. They'll need to get the offense going and tighten their pass defense if they want to compete with Denton. Sophomore Jerrod Heard is the quarterback for Guyer and he showed some good things in the team's win against Garland last week. Should be a great game between two of Texas' top high school teams.

Posted on: August 29, 2011 2:16 pm
 

Jevon Kearse's nephew commits to Auburn

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Former NFL Pro Bowler Jevon Kearse was nicknamed "The Freak" thanks to his size and speed coming off the edge at Florida in the mid-90's. While he'll always be a Gator, he might have to start pulling for Auburn when the two schools are not playing each other after his nephew, Fort Myers (Fla.) athlete Jayron Kearse, committed to the Tigers on Sunday.

"I talked to Coach (Gene) Chizik and told him I am going to be a Tiger," Kearse told AuburnSports.com. "I told him I already knew where I wanted to go to college so I wanted to go ahead and get it out of the way. I knew I wanted to be an Auburn Tiger and I said, 'Why not just go ahead and do it.'"

The 6-foot-4, 180-pounder is a class of 2013 athlete and will likely head to the Plains as a wide receiver. Kearse held offers from Clemson, West Virginia and UCF among others but selected Auburn with the backing of a supportive uncle.

"He told me it was my decision," said Jayron. "He is really supportive of my decision. He told me he wouldn't have a problem with whatever school I chose to go to."

The younger Kearse rushed for 1,049 yards and 18 total touchdowns last season as a sophomore quarterback. He is Auburn's third commitment for the class of 2013 and first on the offensive side of the ball.



Posted on: May 24, 2011 6:27 pm
 

Auburn grabs commitment from top Georgia corner

Posted by Bryan Fischer

The state of Georgia has been one of the top talent producing states in the country over the past few years and just across the state line in Alabama at Auburn, they've taken advantage and used several Georgia athletes to propel them to a BCS championship.

Gene Chizik and the rest of the coaching staff are going right back to where they've found success before and are finally starting to experience a bit of a championship bounce in recruiting, picking up a commitment from one of the top defensive backs in the state with Fairburn (Ga.) corner Josh Hosley Tuesday afternoon.

“I just thought it was the right school for me to go to and pursue my future, and do what I want to do in life and be the best person I can be,” Holsey told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Auburn is the right place for me to go.”

The 5-foot-10, 180-pound cornerback selected the Tigers over his other finalists Georgia, LSU and Virginia Tech. Holsey held well over 20 scholarship offers total at the time he made his commitment.

In what has become a recurring theme for several players in the state, the Georgia entered the picture late in the recruiting process, only recently offering Holsey. The late start hurt his childhood favorite but still received consideration from the corner.

“They were serious contenders," he said. "I figured they recruited me too late. I wasn’t able to get over there and talk to the coaches as much as I did at Auburn.”

Holsey is part of a talented Creekside High team, which is the alma mater of former All-American safety Eric Berry. Holsey has started since he was a freshman and managed to pick off nine passes last season as a junior.

Auburn now has five commitments in the class of 2012.

Photo via Michael Carvell, Atlanta Journal-Constitution



Posted on: March 24, 2011 5:54 pm
Edited on: March 24, 2011 5:56 pm
 

Auburn loves new linebacker commitment

Posted by Bryan Fischer

The defending national champions added to their class of 2012 Thursday afternoon with the commitment of linebacker Cassanova McKinzy.

“It’s just that every time I go there and visit it just feels like home,” McKinzy told AUTigers.com. “I grew up as an Auburn fan. I had always told myself that whatever decision I made my heart had to be in it because I would be there for the next four or five years of my life

The 6-foot-3, 225 pound McKinzy took an unofficial visit to see the Tigers last month and finally decided to pull the trigger and commit. He held scholarship offers from Alabama, Arkansas, Clemson, Florida State and others but his recent trip to the Plains seemed to give Auburn the edge over the other schools.

“It helped a lot,” he told the website. “I got to hang around people I didn’t know. I got to meet some of the players. It just helped a lot.”

McKinzy racked up 123 tackles last season as a junior, including 19 tackles for a loss. The Birmingham (Ala.) linebacker is the second commitment for head coach Gene Chizik in the current class and can luckily say the recruiting process is over now.

“It actually feels good because now I can say I’m an Auburn Tiger,” McKinzy added. “The stress will be less now that I’m already committed. The recruiting process is very stressful.”

Auburn is hosting a Junior Day on Saturday and it's possible that McKinzy is just the first of several commitments for the Tigers this week.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com