Photo by Jason Caldwell

Football, Basketball, Softball & Recruiting Are Featured In Jason Caldwell's Friday Mailbag Column

Jason Caldwell of Inside the Auburn Tigers/ answers questions about a variety of Auburn sports in this edition of his mailbag column.

boscokt: How many WRs do we take in this class?

Auburn would like to sign four wide receivers in this class so getting either Nate Craig or Tre Nixon would put the finishing touches on a great group. There is just not enough room in the class to take a fifth.

TIGER45: Re. Derrick Brown, do you feel that it's a toss up between Auburn and uga, or is one in a more favorable position than the other? With Gary being a Michigan lean (probably) and Marshall always up in the air is is there another strong possibility at DT?

I think Auburn has a great shot at signing Derrick Brown and I agree that Gary is probably a Michigan lean at this point. The Tigers tried to make a run at Michail Carter and it will be interesting to see if he decides to take a visit to Auburn next weekend. If he’s not in the mix I think it’s Brown, Gary or bust at the moment. Brown is looking at five colleges, including Alabama, which looks to be real competition to sign the big defensive tackle.

 Nate Craig (above) is a wide receiver the Tigers are hoping to sign for their 2016 recruiting class.

gmason73: It appears that Auburn basketball is trending upwards with 2 key victories in the last week.  What do you think are the chances for a postseason birth such as the NIT?  Also, any chance Kareem Canty returns next year?  I would think an NCAA birth would be a reachable goal in 2017, if he does.

Auburn is definitely trending up, but I think it would probably take eight or nine more wins to get into the postseason. That’s going to be tough to get considering three of the remaining home games are against LSU, Vanderbilt and Texas A&M. They may be the three toughest SEC matchups the Tigers will have this season. It makes getting several road wins a must.

tryn2: What is your guess for Auburn's starting Offensive line next year and does the Dampeer kid fit in anywhere...??? Also, please include what year each starter will be this september…

My guess would be senior Robert Leff at left tackle, junior Alex Kozan at left guard, junior Austin Golson at center, junior Braden Smith at right guard and redshirt freshman Mike Horton at tackle. As for Dampeer, if he comes back for a fifth year I think he’s probably the second center.

aunatchamps: Is the number of basketball scholarships 12 or 13 for men? Any thoughts who might fill the remaining spots in this class?

Men’s basketball has 13 scholarships while the women have 15. Bruce Pearl really wants to see the number for men be the same as the women's teams have. As for Auburn’s finish to the 2016 class there is no question the Tigers would like to add another big body before things are said and done. That could mean someone from overseas might be the guy. Auburn is still trying to make a run at big man Udoka Azubuike from Potter’s Christian in Florida. Florida State, Kansas and North Carolina are tough competition, but Auburn is still trying to land him.

aunatchamps: I noticed there was no mention of a Track upgrade in the goals for 2016 by JJ. I know coach Spry wants to add stands and a clock/board to keep up with the rest of the SEC. We are last in the conference in facilities. Do you know when we might get this upgrade?

I think it’s definitely something needed and wanted by Spry at the moment, but I think it’s just in the talking stage. I don’t believe there are any plans set in place for those upgrades moving forward.

AugTiger: With losing both OT's, how long do you think it will take Coach Hand to look at the Prince on the defensive side in the Spring and start salivating?

I’m sure he would love to get a look at Prince Tega on offense, but that’s not going to happen unless Rodney Garner caves in a great deal. I’ll be anxious to see what Price looks like when they get on the field this spring.

gtwstock: Who is going to take over the job as primary hitting instructor now that Casey Myers is heading to San Diego?

I would think Scott Woodard has plenty of experience to handle things with Clint Myers doing his thing as well. Woodard has been coaching for a long time and has quite the coaching history in his own right.

flatrock9: Is there a last minute recruit that you think AU will get in on that has not been previously discussed?

I mentioned Michail Carter earlier and he’s probably a guy who I think the Tigers could still make a run at if they’re in need of a defensive tackle. Georgia is going to be tough to beat for him, but Garner has been in on him for a long time. I’m sure there could be a late name or two like Prince Sammons with the new coaches on board.

eagle70: Of the early enrollees for 2016 who excites you the most?

That’s a tough question. There are several guys who I believe have a chance to be really good players, but I like Antwuan Jackson a lot. With the need at defensive tackle he has a great chance to play very early for the Auburn defense.

Photo by Jason Caldwell

Bruce Pearl is in his second season in charge of the basketball Tigers.

WOLFIE2002: Since you talk to Coach Pearl in your opinion is he always in a good mood? He gets slammed by some coaches but to me he always enthusiastic. Also he seems to be really appreciative of being back on the court. Do you think he will stay at Auburn because of that?

He’s not always in a good mood because when his team doesn’t play well he takes it personally, but he’s definitely always full of energy. That’s something that never leaves him. He’s definitely appreciative of what Auburn has meant for him and what he’s got going on right now. I think because of that he’s pretty content with building this program.

au3020: When looking at the roster for basketball we have a full scholarship roster.  With losing 4 scholarship players as seniors this year and Tahj Shamsid-Dean's future up in the air with injuries, we have 3 signed for the upcoming year. That leaves Auburn one spot to fill with a scholarship and maybe two according to how TSD turns out.  IF we don't sign a big man this spring is there a chance the coaches will award Keim a scholarship or do we hold that and maybe TSD'd while putting him on medical scholarship and wait with that spot till '17?

I think the 2017 class is definitely more loaded, especially in-state so having extra scholarships for that year wouldn’t be a bad thing. I don’t think they would add two more in this class, but they would like to find another big man for 2016 if they can find the right guy.

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