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Jason Caldwell's Monday Morning QB Column: Still Looking On OL, Big Sundays On The Diamond

Talking Auburn offensive line recruiting, important Sunday wins on the diamond for the Tigers.

Still On The Hunt For O-Linemen

Playing for one of the top high school programs in the country at Mater Dei High in Santa Ana, Calif., 6-4, 295 offensive lineman Alex Losoya had some offers following his senior season, but he felt like he had the talent to play at a higher level. Now one year later following a season at Orange Coast College, Losoya has shown he made the right decision.

“I feel like I was under-recruited and under-valued coming out of high school and my plan all along was to go to junior college for a year and then move on,” Losoya said. “Now that is working out for me.”

A hot commodity in college football recruiting circles because he’s immediately eligible this fall and still has three years of eligibility remaining and also a redshirt year, Losoya has seen his stock improve with offers from all over the country coming in the last few months.

One of those is from the Auburn Tigers, where Losoya visited over the weekend. Already with visits to Arkansas and Texas Tech and with a trip to Arizona State coming in a week, Losoya is a player the Tigers are seriously in the picture with.

While on his Auburn visit Losoya got to spend a lot of time with new offensive line Coach Herb Hand. Known as a big-time recruiter and also offensive line coach from his time at Tulsa, Vanderbilt and Penn State, Hand could be the guy that pushes the Tigers over the top.

Something that could factor in for Losoya is the opportunity to play right away for the Tigers. In the spring Auburn moved returning starter center Austin Golson to left tackle to shore up some issues on the edge. Having the ability to play the position and also move inside to guard, Losoya could be a huge addition for Auburn if he chooses the Tigers.

 

Sunday Win Huge For The Tigers

Following a shocking four-game losing streak that saw Coach Clint Myers’ team get outscored 41-14 by Tennessee and Texas A&M, Auburn rebounded to get an important Sunday victory over Texas A&M and earn a bye in this week’s SEC Softballl Tournament in Starkville. Currently 46-9 overall and 16-7 in league play, the Tigers find themselves squarely on the bubble for a national seed as the tournament begins.

Their chances could come down to Thursday’s game, especially if Alabama beats Mississippi State on the first day of the tournament. Florida is a lock to be a national seed, but after that the water is murky with Auburn, Kentucky, Alabama and Tennessee all still in the national picture. The SEC is definitely the best league in the country this year and should get at least three super regional hosts. A win would go a long way towards Auburn being one of those.

 

Baseball Shows Some Heart

Following another devastating loss on Saturday night, of which there have been too many this season, Auburn’s baseball Tigers responded on Sunday with one of their top performances of the season in an 8-1 win over Alabama. With one-run loss after one-run loss piling up this year Coach Butch Thompson’s team has continued to battle.

When Josh Palacios and Daniel Robert were injured in the opener at Missouri on April 7 things looked like they were over for the Tigers. Playing without two of their best offensive players for the last month, Auburn has instead gone 5-9 in its last 14 games with five of the nine losses by two runs or less.

Having Palacios and Robert in the lineup would have likely meant at least one more win and possibly even more, which would put the Tigers easily inside the cut line for the SEC Tournament and not very far off last season’s league win total.

This team is going to have to continue to scratch and claw to make the postseason, but watching how it has continued to compete and the improvement that has been made on the mound and it’s not hard to see what the potential is for the program in the coming years as the talent continues to head to the Plains.

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