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Monday, January 31, 2011

Recapping the recruiting weekend that was

The final recruiting weekend before Wednesday's National Signing Day is in the books.. Here's a brief wrapup of what happened on the Plains.

Hat tips the HABOTN and the Gold Mine, two friends of the blog who staked out 'cruits on Sunday morning. Their work is top notch:
  • Columbus defensive tackle Gabe Wright also made another visit to the Plains, what he estimated was about his 30th trip to Auburn. The Carver standout, who ESPN ranks as the No. 3 defensive tackle, made his final official visit. He's down to Auburn, Alabama and Tennessee. From the sounds of it, the Tigers have a pretty good chance for the 6-foot-3, 285-pound recruit. His words Sunday: "I was always told to put your favorite school last so you get the best last so you can make all the necessary choices.” Auburn lost Lombardi Award-winner Nick Fairley to the draft, but also bid adieu to senior tackles Zach Clayton and Mike Blanc. Rising sophomores Jeffrey Whitaker and Kenneth Carter are the next two players on the projected depth chart, so immediate playing time is possible. The only other Auburn commit in 2011 listed as a tackle (by Rivals, at least) is Angelo Blackson of Bear, Del. Wright will announce his school at 1:30 p.m. ET on signing day, doing it at the same time as Carver teammate and highly-coveted running back Isaiah Crowell, who is down to Georgia and Alabama.
  • Another weekend visitor, cornerback Jermaine Whitehead of Greenwood, Miss., decommitted from Mississippi State. He is considering Auburn, Ole Miss and Mississippi State. Rivals lists him as a four-star recruit and the No. 24 cornerback in the country.
  • As noted on the HABOTN, Nashville, Tenn., offensive lineman Antonio Richardson and Hamilton, Ga., defensive lineman LaMichael Fanning also made visits. Richardson, Rivals' No. 1 player in Tennessee, is down to Auburn, Georgia, LSU, Miami and Tennessee. Fanning is an Alabama commit, but some think Auburn might still be in the mix.
  • Meanwhile, Alabama-turned-Auburn commit Brent Calloway, who pulled the switcheroo earlier this month because of an opportunity to play running back with the Tigers, visited Tuscaloosa last weekend instead of coming to the Plains. Calloway is the No. 1 recruit in the state. Apparently his flip-flop to Auburn didn't sit well with his father. Calloway's adoptive dad -- Harland "Peaches" Winston -- told the Times Daily that whatever school his son chooses, he's "behind it 100 percent." A source told the paper that the Russellville star remains "100 percent" solid on Auburn. Nothing's finalized until Wednesday, however.
  • Another announcement on Wednesday is Valley safety Erique Florence, who will make his decision known at 9:15 a.m. He's considered a strong Auburn lean, although, according to various recruiting websites, USC has made a push late in the process.
  • Auburn has 22 commitments for 2011. Although ESPN lists 23, including offensive tackle Shon Coleman, a signee last year who enrolled just recently after undergoing successful chemotherapy treatments for leukemia last spring. Not sure yet exactly when Coleman, who intends to redshirt next season, will count on Auburn's scholarship numbers. The Tigers can sign up to 28 on Wednesday but can admit only 25 in August. Three of its 2011 recruits -- Dismukes, O'Reilly and cornerback Jonathan Rose -- are already enrolled in school.
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