January 22, 2013

Upon closer examination


AUBURN -- I've grown to love Sundays in January.


Official visitors used to mean nothing to me. That was something best left to a recruiting website since I knew nothing about these kids. My basic approach was: Wake me up on National Signing Day.


What a mistake that was.


I started talking with recruits on Sundays a month after Gene Chizik was hired. I knew things were able to change - and the time had come for me to start learning about these recruits well ahead of signing day. That first year, I was floored by how savvy these prospects had become.


Most of them knew so much about what they wanted, how Auburn matched those desires, what to expect two years into a career on the Plains. It was amazing.


One thing I learned from the past four years of January Sundays is that players don't change as much as you think. The Emory Blake and Nosa Eguae and Daren Bates and Anthony Morgan I met in 2009 are more or less the same guys I see inside the Athletic Complex these days.


That got me thinking - why not share my thoughts on the prospects I've met during the past few weeks? Justin Hokanson is and will be our top recruiting guy. He's forgotten more about Reuben Foster than I'll ever know, but perhaps my status as a recruiting outsider (at least by comparison) might provide a different perspective on these players.


So here's a few things that have stood out to me so far:

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