Sunday, December 20, 2009

Catching Up On the Weekend

As I said a few days ago, I am off visiting the in-laws for pre-Christmas for the next few days. The travels took me to Maryland, where we encountered a wee bit of snow. Proof is to the right, where I'm trying to dig out my car. It took the better part of an hour.

Anyway, there has been some news worth catching up on since I left.

First and foremost, H-back Eric Smith is, as expected, academically ineligible for the spring semester. That means no Outback Bowl and could mean no spring practice if he hasn't straightened out his grades. With a fairly obvious strike against the sophomore, this is not good news. Auburn seems to have no intentions of saying who will play H-back with Smith out. TE Tommy Trott said OL Bart Eddins, TE Philip Lutzenkirchen and FB Jason King all worked in the role on Wednesday.

Secondly, the scare for G Byron Isom and his knee seems to be just that -- a scare. According to his Twitter account, he underwent some tests. They all came back negative.

WR Tim Hawthorne has played his final game at Auburn. Gene Chizik told reporters about Hawthorne's departure late in the week. Hawthorne had another year of eligibility remaining, but has already graduated. The former five-star recruit finished his career with 10 total catches. His final season was a fitting way to close the season because it -- like so many other years -- began with so much hope. Hawthorne was expected to start over WR Darvin Adams after spring practice, but broke his foot during summer workouts. He never regained the starting spot and struggled just to break the rotation, finishing with one catch for 3 yards.

Want an uneducated guess as to a sleeper candidate for the 2010 quarterback competition? How about Cameron Newton. The JUCO prospect visited Auburn over the weekend and could easily choose on the Tigers as early as the end of this week. He told the recruiting services that he was "on cloud nine" during his visit. Read more here. The 6-foot-6, 245-pound quarterback first went to Florida where he backed up Tim Tebow as a true freshman but was suspended from the team for stealing a student's laptop. Subsequent charges were dropped because he fulfilled pretrial intervention requirements designed for first-time offenders. The Newton camp contends the entire situation was a misunderstanding. In the aftermath, Newton left Florida and enrolled with Blinn (Tex.) College. ranks him as the top JUCO recruit. Newton still has two years of eligibility remaining and could enroll in time for spring semester, meaning he could participate in spring practice. Newton could count toward the 2009 recruiting class.

Auburn also landed another recruit this week when ATH Ryan White committed. He will likely play defensive back. White's commitment gives 22 toward the 2010 class. The Tigers can sign as many as 28 players.

Defensive coordinator Ted Roof told reporters that LB Eltoro Freeman will be ready to play against Northwestern in the Outback Bowl. You can read the report at my colleague Andy Bitter's blog here.

That's it for now. Be safe.

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