Tuberville Discusses 2008 Signee Class

Comments from Auburn's head football coach are featured.

Auburn, Ala.--Although it won't rank nearly as highly as last year's signee class, Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville said on Wednesday he is "excited about the class we signed" with the Tigers getting scholarship papers from 28 players faxed to AU.

Four members of the 2008 signing class are already on campus participating in winter workouts. Tuberville noted it was a recruiting season in which the Tigers had to continually recruit their commitments as well as the uncommitted.

"This was a year where a lot of people were desperate in recruiting it looked because we got bombarded with a lot of guys we had committed and they would come in and try to take away," the coach said. "Some we held on to, some we didn't. It was a challenge to fight the media hype of a lot of guys.

"Again, we aren't going to sign somebody just because they are ranked real high. We have signed the Courtney Taylors, the Sen'Derrick Marks and the Devin Aromashodus--those guys who have been great football players, who were one or two stars, and we have several this year we think are going to be great football players.

"We evaluate not just athletic ability, and that is what most of the star rankings are," Tuberville stated. "They are not looking at character and attitude. We put as much an effort to judge players on that as we do athletic ability. I know people look at that.

Last year, again, we had a year that was ranked very high in national stats. This year we won't be ranked as high because we don't have as many high-profile guys. But again, you have got to take what you feel like is going to make you a better football team.

"I think this team can win championships coming up. I think this group can help win championships and can be a great group at the end of their fourth or fifth year. That is the thing I look for. I look at recruiting in terms of are guys going to be with us three or four years from now, not one or two years."

Tuberville said points of emphasis for this year's class were defensive linemen, defensive backs and quarterbacks and he noted with the change in offensive system there was a need for wide receivers and that is why the Tigers signed four at that position.

"We were very excited about the reception we that we had all across the South--parents, coaches and recruits had us in their homes and their schools," Tuberville said. "It was an enjoyable recruiting process. Our coaches worked hard. I think this class is accumulation of a lot of hard work from a lot of different people, not just a few.

"Having two new coordinators, a lot of people will say that set you back--it really didn't," said Tuberville who added, "I thought Paul Rhoads and Tony Franklin did a good job of helping out in the end, pointing out facts that they thought would help in terms of the guys we needed at the positions they are going to coach whether it is on offense or defense."

Giving an overview of the class, the Auburn coach said, "We got a lot of good linemen. We have got a lot of speed--tremendous speed--probably the fastest group we have got. This is the most defensive backs (six) that we have signed since we have been here and that is a very important area for us this year and in the next few years.

"A lot of these guys will have the opportunity to play next (2008) year," Tuberville said. "We give them all the opportunity. Last year (2007) was the first time we ever played a significant amount of true freshmen. I think last year we played up to 15 at some point during the year. We would like to say 15 of these are going to play this year, but you have to wait to see how they come in in terms of being in shape ready to play this caliber of football."

Tuberville predicted the Tigers will continue to have strong teams and the 2008 class will make the team better.

The Tigers lost long-time verbal commitment Enrique Davis to Ole Miss after switching from the West Coast Offense to the spread formation. The coach said he believed Auburn's style of offense "was the main thing" in that situation. "He's a good young man," Tuberville said. "We know how good he is. We look forward to that."

Another offensive commitment, wide receiver Jarmon Fortson, signed with FSU on Wednesday.


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