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Auburn Recruiting Looks To Finish On Solid Ground

By Jay Coulter

Ray Goff: Recruiting Legend
The big week is finally here.  All the hype of recruiting will be over in a few short days. On Wednesday there will be winners crowned and smiles all around.

Recruiting "experts" will tell all of us why now is the time to crown Alabama the 2011 National Champions.

Forget what happens on the field. Champions are made in February, not November. Or at least that’s what they want us to believe.

If you’ve been following recruiting closely in recent days, you have heard that Alabama is now ranked first nationally by Scouts Inc. in this year’s recruiting wars.

But February Madness is far from over. There’s still time for Florida or Notre Dame to catch them.

It’s all really silly. And it gets worse every year. As we’ve talked before, how can you really classify one class ahead of another when comparing athletes from all 50 states?

Even the recruiting services can’t agree. has Florida ranked first nationally, while Scout has them eighth.

For what it’s worth, Auburn is ranked 16th by Rivals and 19th by Scout.

I know former Georgia coach Ray Goff wishes recruiting counted for more. If it did, he’d have a least five national championships and would by now have his name on Samford Stadium.

Auburn’s recruiting class appears to be solid though not stellar. Alabama looks like it has hit a grand slam.

Give them credit. Nick Saban got it done in state. By all accounts, Auburn and Alabama went head-to-head six times for athletes and Bama got them all.

There’s been obvious speculation as to how Alabama beat Auburn for these players. We won’t discuss that here. But the bottom line is they did get them.

Not all of them will be superstars. Many will never play. But when you look at the overall pool of talent that was landed in Tuscaloosa, you have to believe that more than a few will be impact players.

There’s no need for Auburn fans to hold their heads low. When you land top 20 classes on a yearly basis, you’re going to compete for championships. The difference between Auburn and Alabama’s class will be miniscule at best when it comes to talent.

The difference will be made on the practice field. How much stronger will these young men get? How many position coaches will they play for? How will they adapt to life on their own?

These questions are far more important than how fast they run the 40 yard dash.

Tommy Tuberville says he’s pleased with the results and by all indications he should be. He has met the needs of the team.

There’s still some work left to do in the closing hours. Tuberville was in Virginia by 6:00 a.m. on Friday to meet with running back Enrique Davis. The Tigers still hold out hope that he’ll come back to the fold.

There’s also talk that Columbus, Georgia receiver Jarmon Fortson may change his commitment and go to Florida State. My guess is he’ll follow his quarterback and friend DeRon Furr and sign with the Tigers.

Those who try to read the minds of 18 year-olds are foolish. There are a million reasons a kid picks a school.

All that really matters is that Auburn gets its share. It’s something that Tuberville has always done and will do again on Wednesday morning.

Let the spin begin.