Monday Morning QB Column: Good Starts

Talking about Auburn football recruiting and the hot starts for both softball and baseball.

David Marshall (above) is a defensive line prospect from Georgia.

Big Recruiting Weekend

Auburn added an impressive defensive line commitment from 6-4, 253 David Marshall from Upson-Lee High in Thomaston, Ga., after he took a trip to the Plains on Saturday. He joins fellow weekend visitor Quinnen Williams to give the Tigers a very good head start on signing a large defensive line class for 2016.

The Tigers also made a big impression on four-star tackle Antwuan Jackson while he was on his visit as well. He spent a lot of time with the coaching staff and also with several of the other visitors, including four-star Marlon Davidson from Carver-Montgomery. It looks like the Tigers could be the early team to beat for Davidson with his brother Kenneth Carter, a former AU player, on the Auburn staff as a defensive analyst. While there is still a long, long way to go, the early signs point towards a stellar group for Rodney Garner in this year’s class.

A key to the class for new coordinator Will Muschamp will be adding talent on the defensive side of the ball and that means keeping Stephen Davis Jr. with the Tigers despite big-time pressure from South Carolina and UCLA. Davis is still firmly committed to Auburn, but said he may visit UCLA to see what the Bruins are about as a football program. His father and former Auburn running back Stephen Davis said that wasn’t going to happen. I think this one is all orange and blue with his connections to the Tigers and Garner.

West Coast Swingin’

Auburn softball’s hot start to the 2015 season, as good as it has been, still left some questions unanswered because the Tigers had not faced a Top 25 opponent. That changed last weekend when Coach Clint Myers took his team to California to face a loaded field led by ranked foes Arizona and Arizona State. Even though the Tigers dropped a 3-2 decision to Cal State-Fullerton in the process, winning four games on the West Coast showed that Auburn is definitely a team to be reckoned with in the college softball world in 2015.

Winning the opener 8-7 against Long Beach State before taking out Pacific 4-1 on the first day, the Tigers knocked off perennial power Arizona 20-2 to open the second day of competition. Prior to its 10-0 loss to Florida the day before, Arizona had allowed just 56 total runs in 22 games before giving up 20 to the Tigers. After the loss to the Titans, Auburn rebounded with a dramatic 7-4 win over Myers’ former team Arizona State to finish off the week on a high note.

Currently 24-2, Auburn has already hit 52 home runs and scored 251 runs in 26 games this season. To put those numbers into perspective the Tigers set school records last season with 83 home runs and 440 runs scored and that was in 62 games. Making it hit home even more, in 2013 Auburn hit just 32 home runs as a team and scored a total of 273 runs in 53 games.

Starting Hot

The baseball Tigers are also off to a strong start in the second season for Coach Sunny Golloway. Currently 13-3 after a sweep of Xavier over the weekend and a victory over Alabama Tuesday in Montgomery, Auburn has won 11 of its last 12 games heading into the start of SEC play this weekend at Texas A&M.

Taking on Samford on Tuesday night before traveling to College Station, Auburn is getting quality production up and down the lineup led by shortstop Cody Nulph. Going 9-14 in the sweep, Nulph went 4-5 in Sunday’s win with three runs scored. For the week he hit .563 and scored six runs in four games.

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