I don't do link dumps over the weekend, and it's been a busy weekend for me for other reasons, but I did want to just put out some general updates on various stories and items.
Recruiting and Early Enrollees
Today is move-in day for Auburn's 2016 early enrollees. We already know QB John Franklin III is on his way from a tweet of his. I'm sure there will be other updates throughout the day as others report in. If I can I'll have a wrap-up this evening. That's assuming any news comes out. The school doesn't really make official announcements about that on move-in day, so the only real way people know about it is tweets and if someone sees them on campus and reports it. For those worried about certain early guys, word is that there are no issues with any of them and all of the high school enrollees are on their way.
As far as recruiting goes, Auburn has another spot open in its 2016 coffer with the announcement that Daquon Newkirk is going the JUCO route. Auburn had a hard cap of 25 that they would take in this class. They had 18 commitments, which meant seven more spots to fill. With Newkirk going JUCO, that means 8 spots to fill. That's not all, though.
Unfortunately, Auburn commit Tashawn Manning was diagnosed with cancer on Thanksgiving. Auburn is still trying to find a way for him to be able to "sign," but he will not enroll and his eligibility clock won't start. It sounds crass to point it out, but that means Auburn has another slot it can fill in the recruiting class.
Both of these spots are on the defensive line. Manning is a DT. Could Auburn fill his slot with 5* Derrick Brown? It's very possible. 5* Rashan Gary? Maybe, but not near as likely. Former Penn State commit 4* Karamo Dioubate is a possibility, as he was highly recruited by Auburn before deciding on the Nittany Lions.
The home stretch is coming now, with the final three official visit weekends beginning next weekend. Auburn hopes to have some major targets in town for that one. We'll try to have coverage for you on it.
FootballScoop.com reported last night that J.B. Grimes is likely going to interview with Tommy Tuberville's staff at Cincinnati. Will he take/get the job? I don't know. I would say there's a very good chance it happens, though. The offensive staff has been the same since it arrived, and perhaps there's a chance Gus wants to shake things up a bit. There aren't any indications this is Gus saying "find something new," though, apparently. If Grimes does leave, Herb Hand at Penn State would be the likely target. He and Gus worked together at Tulsa, and I believe it was Herb who brought a lot of the zone-read concepts to Gus based on his time at West Virginia under RichRod.
Is that the only change to come on the offense? Probably not. Phillip Marshall indicated sources say there are other changes that could come. Could Tubs also take Rhett Lashlee? I saw a tweet last night that I can no longer find that said he might. I also saw FootballScoop.com say Cincinnati would hire the Miami Dolphins' offensive coordinator, but I have seen nothing else on that anywhere. I can't even confirm that reference means the Bearcats and not the Bengals if Hue Jackson gets a head gig. It fits the pattern of college teams, though. FootballScoop tends to just use school names with college and full name with mascot for NFL.
I've said for a while that if Lashlee leaves, then I hope Dameyune Craig gets promoted to OC/QB coach (maybe Hand would be Co-OC/Running Game Coordinator as he was with Gus at Tulsa). Then Auburn could go out and find a true wide receiver coach and it's a win-win for Auburn. Keep Craig the recruiter, put him back at his natural coaching position, get someone in who has a lot of experience with receivers. We'll see, though.
Unlike some, though, I don't see the sky is falling with every minor move if it's not the absolute home-run. Yes, Grimes did an excellent job with the 2013 line. Yes, he's a tough and great guy who has been through a lot (didn't miss practice even with cancer surgery), but after three years and with the offense finding struggles, then making some changes is not surprising. I don't know that the changes are necessary, but they shouldn't be viewed in a "the end is nigh!" manner, either.
When and if there are changes, I'll try my best to put up a post as soon as possible. It may be nothing but a FanPost, but we'll try to have something.