By Jay Coulter
|Frustrating Day For Tuberville|
It never materialized. National signing day turned into a series of disappointments. Running back Enrique Davis was the first to fall – signing with Ole Miss. Then came Columbus, Georgia wide receiver Jarmon Fortson, who despite committing to Auburn, decided to sign with Florida State.
Things continued to go bad from there. Auburn also lost out on defensive end Robert Quinn who signed with North Carolina and linebacker Jerrell Harris who signed with Alabama.
Despite the disappointments, Auburn still managed to sign what appears to be a top 20 class. It’s a group that meets almost all of the Tiger's immediate needs.
"This was a year where a lot of people were desperate in recruiting it looked like because we got bombarded with a lot of guys we had committed and they would come in and try to take away," said Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville "Some we held on to, some we didn’t. It was a challenge to fight the media hype of a lot of guys.
"We aren’t going to sign somebody just because they are ranked real high. We have signed the Courtney Taylors, the Sen’Derrick Marks and the Devin Aromashodus--those guys who have been great football players, who were one or two stars, and we have several this year we think are going to be great football players.
"We evaluate not just athletic ability, and that is what most of the star rankings are," Tuberville said.
"They are not looking at character and attitude. We put as much an effort to judge players on that as we do athletic ability. I know people look at that.
"Last year, again, we had a year that was ranked very high in national stats. This year we won’t be ranked as high because we don’t have as many high-profile guys. But again, you have got to take what you feel like is going to make you a better football team.
"I think this team can win championships coming up. I think this group can help win championships and can be a great group at the end of their fourth or fifth year. That is the thing I look for. I look at recruiting in terms of are guys going to be with us three or four years from now, not one or two years."
While Tuberville will likely argue that the change in coordinators had no effect, it was obvious that it did. There’s little question that Davis headed to Ole Miss over concerns about the spread offense.
In the end, Auburn and Tuberville have to be pleased. This class won’t get the national recognition that others in years past have; but it’s a workman like group that will meet a lot of needs.