I can hardly contain my excitement for the 2011 edition of the Auburn Tigers. It is unique from any other year for me, in that Auburn is going to have a lot of talent on the field, a lot more than in recent seasons' past. 2010 was AUsome for obvious reasons, but now we've all got to turn our attention to 2011 and beyond.
I am looking forward to seeing a lot of raw talent on our defense absolutely get after it week in and week out. Ted Roof will be working with a lot less experience on this side of the ball, but I love the athletic ability we'll be running out on the field. I am looking to Chris Davis to really make in impact this season as a tight covering corner. I thought he did an exceptional job last season as a true freshman. Angelo Blackson is another name I think we'll hear more than expected. Kid has got athletic ability for days. Of course there's also (as I like to call him) the Martian Manhunter, Craig Sanders. I'll use Clubber Lane as inspiration for my prediction of Sanders' season, "PAIN". Lots of it, for people not wearing the orange and blue of our Tigers.
The offense also has me psyched. Mike Dyer and O-Mac will get a lions share of the carries, but watch out for LaDarious Phillips out of Roanoke High School. Phillips will be like a dump truck with a foot ball in the cab. That kid is a train wreck waiting to happen on the football field, and much like Sanders on defense he'll be 'winning' most of his collisions. Short yardage back? Check.
As for the quarterback that is a gray area. I've heard that Moseley(sp) would start. I've heard that Trotter would start. Even heard rumblings of Favre being in town for a work out or two (jk, relax). Seriously, I think we'll be ok no matter who starts. Everyone kind of knows going in what our deal will be this year with the signal caller. We're pseudo re-building and we're replacing a once in a generation player so it comes with the territory. I look for Keihl Frazier to make an early impact by stepping into the role of the wildcat QB and having that role slowly expand over the course of the season. They (the coaches) want that kid to learn, and that's just what he'll do this year by playing a limited to moderate role in our offense. Maybe more depending on how he picks it up. Don't forget he ran a similar system to Malzahn's while in high school.
The receiving core is a bit thin this time around. I think we are in good hands with Emory Blake, but after I am sketchy on info. Will Demond Washington be a prime target? How will Trovon Reed perform in his first season of full action? Maybe you guys can chime in with who you think will step up big time for us this season catching the football.
Special teams will be better coverage wise this year I think, but there will be growing pains with Cody Parkey. He;s got some big shoes to fill in Wes Byrum. But you know what? We all thought the same about Byrum, and Vaughn, and I can't remember who was before him. But we always find a way to get a guy who can respond well to pressure situations. I have faith that the coaches have put us in a good position with Parkey.
Coming off a NC win, Auburn will have a bulls eye with them all season long. Everyone wants to knock off the defending champs so the road will be treacherous, but trial by fire will only make this extremely talented young group of men that much better. I can't wait.
So that's all I've got. I am super pumped. We've got some amazing talent to look forward to for 2011 and years to come. Rumored new pants stripes and maybe some blue pants this year. Crazy talk, I know. Whatever it is that your looking forward to this year, share it here. Let's move past all of the 'Debbie-Downer' talk and start getting amped for the best sport in America in the best conference in America!
War Damn Eagle, people! Here's to 2011!