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Monday Mailbag

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How about a little controversy?

CFP National Championship presented by AT&T - Alabama v Georgia Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Do we bring in some young basketball recruits? Cupboard could be bare soon, so it’s time to develop young guys to take over. - elcarg4

I would be shocked if Auburn lost more than two players off the roster to the Draft, so I would be shocked if Auburn added more than one or two guys this offseason. Look for a grad transfer center if Wiley leaves for good, though. I would imagine if Jared Harper ends up coming back, Pearl will ride with him at guard and not recruit a grad transfer for that position. At wing is where I could see him stealing a recruit or transfer in the coming weeks, no matter the draft outcome. -SonOfCrow

At the moment, even if Bryce, Harper and Wiley all come back, that still leaves 4 scholarships available. I’ll throw 4 names out there as candidates to be on Auburn’s roster next year. If Wiley leaves, then I would expect Auburn to really push to get 2019 commit Babatunde “Stretch” Akingbola to reclassify to 2018. That has been discussed although I haven’t heard anything new on it in quite some time.

As for young recruits, keep your eye on Tye Fagan, a 6-3 combo guard from Thomaston, Georgia. He was on Auburn’s campus Sunday for a visit.

Originally a Middle Tennessee commit, his top schools are Georgia, Ole Miss and Xavier but we’ll see where Auburn stands with him after his visit. Auburn also offered JUCO PG Ricky Torres on Friday and personally, I would love for Auburn to get this guy. Torres, a Pinellas Park Florida native, shot 44% from 3-point range last year and leaves his Junior College as the school’s all-time assists leader. He was also a 1st Team JUCO-All American averaging 17 points and 8 assists last year. He plans to commit soon and Wichita State is Auburn’s biggest threat for him at the moment. And finally, another guy Auburn would love to land comes from the grad transfer market in Samford’s Justin Coleman. He started his career at Alabama before transferring to Samford. Coleman averaged 13.5 points and 6.6 assists this past season at Samford and shot 37% from 3-point range. Arizona is one of several schools trying hard to get Coleman for next year. Right now, Auburn, like most schools, are in a wait and see mode to see who stays and who goes. But I feel confident that Bruce has a good plan in place no matter what happens. -Will McLaughlin


In the next academic calendar year for Auburn: In which sport would you be LEAST surprised if they won a national championship? In which sport would you be MOST surprised if they won a national championship? - OhIndeedMaybe

Least surprised: Even with Georgia and Alabama on the road, I’ll say football. There’s plenty of talent, and if they split those two then win in Atlanta, they’re in the playoff. Baseball is probably an underrated shot.

Most surprised: Soccer. Karen Hoppa has built an amazing program, and it will be a little of a reload this year. However, the main reason is that UCLA and Stanford are insane. They both have players on their benches that would start for nearly every other program in the country.—AU_Jonesy

Least surprised: I’ll go away from Jonesy’s answer and say men’s basketball. If we get everyone back that’s still up in the air, we’ll still have a legit two-deep that’s talented as hell. To win a national championship, you could end up with an easy draw and you just have to win six straight games. Auburn will likely be a top ten preseason pick, and I think Bruce Pearl could really build on the SEC Championship.

Most surprised: I’ll switch sides of the hardwood and say women’s basketball. It’s such a top-heavy sport that Auburn would have no shot against the likes of Mississippi State, South Carolina, Notre Dame, UConn, etc. - Jack Condon

Least Surprised: The easy answer is equestrian. They just won this year’s championship, and are a blue-blood in the sport. The SEC is legit, but Auburn is next tier. Sans them, I would have to go with football. Basketball is a close second, but it’s just so much harder to get through the NCAA tournament than it is the CFP.

Most surprised: Like Jack said, women’s basketball. I don’t necessarily think they are a bad program, but even if Auburn had it’s best team in program history, they would have a tough time competing against UConn, Mississippi State, and Notre Dame. - Ryan Sterritt

Least Surprised Outside of Equestrian: Track and Field. Auburn has had a couple of really good meets this season, and seems to be building a contender.

Most Surprised: Men’s or Women’s basketball. Eight teams in the past 18 years have won a men’s basketball championship. That’s not a lot of parity. In women’s only six different schools since 2000 have won a title. It would be a paint-a-three-point-line-in-the-middle-of-Toomer’s-corner level event if Auburn ever won a hoops title. -SonOfCrow

Least Surprised: Equestrian. You all know we are actually a horse school right?

Least Surprised outside of Equestrian: I’ll give softball some love here. Auburn only loses 3 seniors from this year’s team, albeit 3 big pieces in pitcher Kaylee Carlson, catcher Courtney Shea, and CF Victoria Draper, but I think Mickey Dean has done a great job so far here and will have a full offseason to get his team better for next year. Plus, Auburn’s been really close the past few years and it would be nice to see them finish.

Most Surprised: I’ll join the club and say Women’s Basketball too. Auburn has the likes of South Carolina, Mississippi State, Tennessee and Texas A&M just to name a few in their own conference. And there’s UConn, Notre Dame, and Louisville, on an entirely different level. To me, this would be the shocker to end all shockers. -Will McLaughlin

Least Surprised: Equestrian is easy answer. Of the Big 3 sports I will go with football. Gus can be maddening at times but he’s also proven that when he gets things rolling it can be scary good. Pair that with an actual elite defense and AU is a legitimate national title threat if everything can click.

Most Surprised: Women’s basketball. Program just seems a long way from even winning an SEC title let alone competing with the likes of UCONN & Notre Dame. - AUNerd

Most Surprised: Volleyball, I have always somewhat followed them and they are close to breaking through but between Penn State, Nebraska and then the rest of the SEC. It isn’t that they don’t have talent, its just trying to break through to the top that would be really tough.

Least surprised: Of the Big 3, I would say Men’s Basketball. Most of the team returns with the exception of a few but Bruce has them moving in the right direction. - Drewmac20


If Auburn were to ever do an alternate jersey, what would you like to see? - PlainsmenDoItBetter

While I’m not in the “don’t you dare touch our uniforms camp”, I do think Auburn’s uniforms are downright gorgeous. The navy blue looks awesome with the white helmets/pants, and the subtle use of orange in the stripes is perfect. That being said, outside of doing small throwback things like shadow numbers or orange facemasks, I would probably cast my vote for a whiteout uniform (although our away uniforms are already pretty sweet). I don’t have the first idea about what they would look like, but I think UA could put something nice together. Plus, I have a dream of Auburn getting a miracle snow Iron Bowl in November and at the last minute breaking out the all-whites. - Ryan Sterritt

I’m fully on board with the “throwback jerseys on Homecoming” plan. Bring out orange facemasks for 1983. Pull out the orange with white numerals for the 70s. Use extra-large numbers on the helmets for the 60s. Go with orange jerseys and white numerals with a blue helmet for Travis Tidwell and 1949. And sure, bring out the orange drop-shadow for 96-97 I guess. Just don’t mess with it for a big game. —AU_Jonesy

Personally, I don’t think there’s a better looking uniform than our home blues, but if I had to add my personal paint strokes to a Picasso, then I’d want our current logo to be replaced for a throwback game with this one:

If that was on the side of the helmets, with the orange facemasks, and normal-sized pant stripes, I’d be happy. Also, maybe this is tacky, but some of my formative Auburn years were spent watching mid-90s teams with the blue socks. I’ll take those as well. - Jack Condon

I have zero sentimentality toward tradition, but don’t want anything ugly or crazy to ever happen to the uniforms. If you told me Auburn was wearing blue pants at home one week, that would be cool with me. If you said we had an orange Jersey? Cool. If we did an orange or blue helmet with the away whites? That might look slick. Just nothing chrome and nothing black.-SonOfCrow

I would love to see the Storm Trooper unis at home just one time. A white-out at Jordan-Hare would be magical. Otherwise, Auburn has some of the best uniforms in college football and if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. -Will McLaughlin

Never been that interested in alternate uniforms but if I had to choose something, always thought it would be cool to see something like what the Bengals have in the NFL but with Auburn’s orange & blue. I’m not a design guy so that might look terrible but if we are gonna do a gimmick then let’s commit 100%. Tiger stripe the stadium & bust out tiger stripe uniforms. - AUNerd

I will say blue pants. Don’t get me wrong, I am fine with our unis as they are but if we HAD to do something, it would be that. Northside Warner Robins in Georgia knows how to look classy on the field. - Drewmac20

Score Atlanta

Typically we want questions from you guys, but this was probably the most controversial thing on Auburn Twitter this week.

- Jack Condon

Sure. Especially if Stidham leaves after this season. It would be nice to have someone compete with Malik Willis to bridge the gap to Joey Gatewood and Bo Nix. I just worry that he’s winless in Jordan-Hare Stadium. - AU_Jonesy

If we ran the Auburn 2013 offense with Jalen Hurts in place of Nick Marshall, I think it would be comparable in terms of output. Hurts would be the tough yardage guy, and he’s shown he could durable. I don’t think his passing is as bad as everyone thinks, it really was a function of Bama’s playcalling this year. Why would they ever even throw the ball with such a running threat and that stable of backs? I don’t understand anyone who denies the fit offensively in a Malzahn offense. As for the QB roster, he wouldn’t play this year anyway. Stidham probably leaves for the draft after this season, and then we’d have a bunch of unproven backups waiting in the wings. If Hurts wanted to come then I think he’d be right at the top of the pecking order. I’d take him. - Jack Condon

As we’ve seen in years past, if you have enough quarterbacks than you don’t have enough, and if you have too many quarterbacks you have just enough. So sure, if he wants to come here and compete for a job, bring him on. That being said, I can’t really see him wanting to transfer to a school with a deeper quarterback group than the one he came from. Plus, y’all know Saban will block him from transferring within the SEC West (and probably the whole SEC). If I’m Jalen, I’m calling up Dan Mullen and asking if I can come play for him at Florida. Hurts would fit Mullen’s offense ridiculously well. - Ryan Sterritt

Yes and this shouldn’t be controversial. He’s an exceptional player and seems like a good dude. He’d have to sit out a year so he wouldn’t even have to compete with Stidham. Don’t see a downside besides irrational Bama hate.-SonOfCrow

While Alabama fans would cry foul and say we can’t have him, they would lose their minds if he came to Auburn (and for that reason alone, I would love to have him). I believe Auburn would appreciate him much more than he has been at Alabama. But with Malik Willis, Joey Gatewood and Bo Nix here in ‘19, I just don’t see a fit for him here, although it would be a heckuva story. - Will McLaughlin

Without hesitation. He’s an elite athlete who would fit fine in Gus’s system. Not the greatest of passers but good enough to hit open wideouts that would inevitably be running free after AU had picked up four straight first downs running the football. It ain’t gonna happen though unless he ends up a graduate transfer. - AUNerd