Thoughts From the Couch
National Signing Day Live Blog

6:56am: I’m up!  Ready for Braden Smith’s announcement!  And…completely forgot he postponed a couple hours.  Oh well, let’s see who’s faxes are already in!

7:11: 4-star CB Kalvaraz Bessent, 3-star DE Raashed Kennion, 4-star QB Sean White and 4-star DL Davonte Lambert are all officially in.  Not a bad start to the morning.

7:28: The ESPNU signing day extravaganza coverage is officially underway as Les Miles gives a characteristically nonsensical interview over his morning coffee.  

7:30: 4-star CB Nick Ruffin is the 5th fax received.  This year’s secondary class is really taking shape and should fill some big needs on the roster.

7:39: 4-star DE Justin Thornton is in.  Hopefully this kid can make grades because he looks like an absolute beast off the edge.  He has got to be one of the tallest Auburn commitments in years.  If he makes it to campus he could be next in the long line of elite pass rushers at AU.

7:43: 3-star FB Kamryn Pettway is in.  One of this class’s earliest commitments, Pettway looks to cut from the same cloth as recent AU H-back Eric Smith.  If he can bring that combination of toughness and skill to a position now made famous by Jay Prosch, it will be in good hands for years to come.  Also, don’t sleep on this kids ability to make an impact carrying the football, as he did rush for over 2,500 and 29 TD in his high school career.

7:54: 4-star DB Stephen Roberts is in.  Yet another highly skilled defensive back who can slot in as either as corner or safety.  If any of these kids pan out, Auburn’s secondary should be much improved, and quickly.

7:58: 3-star TE Jakell Mitchell is in.  This is a prospect I haven’t heard a whole lot about due to an ACL injury that robbed him of his senior season.  Still, it is telling the coaching staff never wavered from accepting his commitment.  At his point, he appears to be a long and lanky Tight End with the potential to develop into a dangerous Red Zone threat.  Adding weight and staying healthy will be his biggest obstacles.

8:05: The faxes continue to stream in, the 10th come from 2-star DE Devaroe Lawrence.  A fairly obscure JUCO D-lineman, Lawrence will look to shed his low star rating and establish a role on Ellis Johnson’s defense.  He has the size (6’3”, 275) to make an impact, but may take a redshirt year to continue bulking up in the weight room and slide inside to DT.

8:21: 11th man in is 3-star WR Myron Burton.  Burton showed out and last year’s summer camps and, in turn, earned himself an offer from the AU staff.  By all accounts, Burton has good size and soft hands, and will have a chance to develop into a dependable possession receiver in the Tiger attack.

8:25: The 12th fax is a big one, 5-star LB Tre Williams. The #2 ILB in the nation, Tre fills an absolutely enormous need for Auburn.  He is a prototypical, hyper-active, middle linebacker and has earned as reputation as a dependable leader early on in his career.  With Kris Frost and Cass McKinzy slated to return as the nucleus of the LB corps, don’t be surprised to see Williams crack that rotation, and possible supplant one of those incumbents earlier than expected.

9:03: 5-star RB Racean Thomas is the 13th fax in.  with Tre Mason leaving early for the NFL, “Roc” will have an immediate opportunity to contribute this fall.  While Cameron Artis-Payne will almost assuredly be the primary tailback, Thomas will have a great opportunity to split carries  with CAP, Corey Grant and Peyton Barber in what should be an extremely talented backfield 

9:24: #14 is 4-star DT Dontravious Russell, a former Georgia commit who later stated his heart was with Auburn all the time.  Thankfully, Coach Garner kept up with his recruitment, eventually getting him to flip to the plains.

9:45: Well, the Rivals servers are officially destroyed, so it’s a bit harder to keep up with that is going on specifically related to Auburn.  But it looks like fax #15 has come through, and it is…Ike Powell??  He must be a long snapper…

10:10: Rivals site now 100% down and out, re-directing to NCAAF main page on Yahoo sports.  Pretty epic fail as it hasn’t even reached peak traffic hours yet.  Trying to get whatever the latest may be on Rashaan Evans and Braden Smith.

10:29: 3-star LB Dashaun Davis is #16.  Similar to Mitchell, Davis missed his entire senior season due to injury.  Also like Mitchell, that has allowed him to fly under the radar.  Many thing he will be a rangy, hard-hitting linebacker who will become an asset to Johnson’s defense in a couple years.

10:31: 4-star OL Braden Smith has committed to Auburn live on ESPNU.  Huge addition to this class, and will immediately bring being groomed to replace big Greg Robinson.

10:50: And Rashaan Evans commits to Alabama.  Yet another slap in the face from an elite linebacker out of Auburn high school.  This one really stings.

11:00: 2-star S Markell Boston is officially on board.  I won’t lie and say this almost feels like insult to injury with the Evans news, but that wouldn’t be fair to Boston.  He appears to be an underrated pure safety with good instincts and is a strong hitter.  Could be the next Daren Bates.

11:38: Playing Xbox until the Andrew Williams announcement to blow off some steam.  Still can’t understand how these 5-star players from Auburn turn their backs on the program.  

11:55: The Rivals message board is still down, trying to figure out when exactly Andrew Williams will announce.  If he puts on a UGA hat I’m going to be pretty damn bummed.  

11:57: Will there be any surprise last second commitments?  We know at least one spot is open, will be curious to see if any additional recruits are added today.

1:31: 4-star DE Andrew Williams has committed to Auburn. So AU closes out with two-of-three of their signing day targets.  Not terrible, but obviously losing Evans was a gut buster.  Doesn’t really feel like we will have any further surprises today, good or bad.  I’ll be monitoring for any updates.   

 

#11 - Chris Davis (Birmingham, AL)

Well.  This is an easy one.  There’s no way to write anything regarding Davis’ senior season without eventually talking about the “Kick-Six”.  And I’ll say I’m damn glad I was fortunate enough to watch Chris Davis progress from “That freshman who got hurt on the opening kickoff in Glendale” to “Bonafide College Football Legend”.  What else is there to say about this Auburn hero?

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#35 - Jay Prosch (Mobile, AL)

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It’s time to look at another unlikely senior leader, this time in the form of Fullback/H-Back Jay Prosch.  If Dee Ford’s path to greatness was a winding journey, Jay’s was a true Greek odyssey.

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#30 - Dee Ford (Odenville, AL)

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I’ll start by sending off the senior class, and first up will be one of the leaders of the defense, Dee Ford.  And what a journey it’s been for Ford, who arrived at Auburn as an undersized speed rusher and grew into one of the program’s great all-around defensive ends.

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This is just a tribute…

So there I was, at the pinnacle of the college football world.  The final BCS National Championship game at the Rose Bowl.  It doesn’t get much loftier than that.

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Another Blues - Preds Live Blog

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Coming off a tough 5-3 loss to Detroit on Friday night the Blues will return to the ice this evening against Nashville.  The Blues have had their number lately and have won both contests with the Preds on the early season.  Hopefully they can get back on the winning track tonight at Scottrade.  I won’t even get started on how ridiculous the phantom call on Backes (“hit to head” shown above) was that essentially cost St. Louis the game in Detroit, it’s been extensively covered elsewhere.  Puck drop any minute, coverage after the break!

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Blues - Jackets Live Blog

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It’s been roughly a week since the last time I blogged on the Blues and, since that time, they’ve gone red hot, winning three in a row over Nashville, Dallas and Minnesota.  I had the good fortune of sitting behind the Blues bench (photo above) on Sunday night when they took down the Wild in overtime.  It was another great game of hockey and, again, the Blues dominated many aspects of play.  Over the three game streak the most impressive aspect may be that only the Wild game was in St. Louis.  The Blues have had no early problems winning on the road with the exception of Chicago (who finally lost last night in a shootout).  They will return to the road tonight to take on the Columbus Blue Jackets.  I expect a fully rested and confident team to show up tonight and grab another win.  Live blog after the break!

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Blues - Hawks Live Blog

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One night after a thrilling shootout win in Nasvhille the Blues will return to the ice, this time in Chicago, in an early season showdown for 1st place in the Central.  Both teams enter tonight with perfect 2-0 records, both teams will be eager to continue building early season momentum.  Last night was fun so I’ll be live blogging again tonight.  Play by play following the jump!

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Blues - Preds Live Blog

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On Saturday night I was lucky enough to be a part of the standing room crowd that welcomed the NHL back into our lives, as the hometown St. Louis Blues pummeled the rival Detroit Red Wings in a 6-0 game that wasn’t even that close.  As I spent most of the game visiting and moving around the arena, I wasn’t able to watch the game nearly as closely as I probably would have liked.  Nevertheless, it didn’t take binoculars to figure out that Vladimir Tarasenko is a stud and Chris Stewart actually looks to be in shape and motivated to start the season.  Beyond those two developments, everything was just gravy, including the shutout, four power play goals, and even a short handed goal.  I was planning to preview tonight’s game but I forgot it started so early (5:00, or… right now) so I’ll go ahead and live blog it instead.  Looks like Halak will be in goal again poised to build on his strong performance against the Red Wings.  Here we go!

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October Horror Bonanza: Day 6

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Yes, I realize it’s been a few days since day 5.  I’ve been distracted by the 12-straight hour coverage of the MLB playoffs on TBS/TNT.  Have we ever had each Division Series go the full five games?  Phenomenal theatre, even if each and every series goes against my wishes. (Please, Baltimore)  I did manage to get around to watching a horror film last night, although it was much in the same vein as our previous film, Some Guy Who Kills People.  The lucky winner of October Horror Bonanza: Day 6?  Tucker and Dale vs Evil.  Another black comedy that surprised the hell out of me.  Look, going into this, I had zero no hope, just none.  To my absolute surprise, after one scene, I had gleefully pointed out not only Steve the Pirate (Alan Tudyk, Dodgeball) but Cerie from 30 Rock (Katrina Bowden) and Jemil (Brandon Jay McLaren) from Falling Skies.  That is a lot of random star power to take in at once.  Instant hook, indeed.  Jumbled thoughts after the jump.

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