This is your War Eagle Wakeup. The best way to start your day is right here at SEC Country as we prepare you for everything you need to know about Auburn sports. We’ll share our War Eagle Wakeup, here with you every morning, Monday through Friday.
A warm welcome
It continues to be a great week to be an Auburn Tiger.
As expected, the news of former Baylor quarterback Jarrett Stidham committing to the Tigers has dominated headlines since the Texas native announced Saturday night. The commitment became official Wednesday when Stidham signed his National Letter of Intent.
But the top JUCO prospect wasn’t the only star who decided to head to the Plains. Junior college tight end Salvatore Cannella picked Auburn over Texas and Maryland (of course, catching bombs from Jarrett Stidham seems like a pretty good way to spend your time if catching passes is your thing).
Unfortunately the Tigers missed out on a couple of prospects (Tarik Black chose Michigan as predicted) and Tray Bishop de-committed from Auburn. Still, there is a lot to look forward to in the future.
— Auburn Football (@FootballAU) December 15, 2016
The newest Tigers took to social media to express their feelings on their decision to join the Auburn family. Stidham greeted the Twitter-verse with a friendly greeting on Wednesday morning among a string of other pro-Auburn posts.
— Jarrett Stidham (@Jarrett_Stidham) December 14, 2016
Cannella also tweeted about his excitement in committing to the Tigers in the middle of the day.
The former basketball standout has been in the spotlight less than Stidham, but brings his own unique skill set to the Tigers’ offense. It’s a safe prediction he’ll be part of Auburn’s new first-down crew in no time.
— Salvatore Cannella (@salnells) December 14, 2016
Head coach Gus Malzahn spent a large portion of time chatting about his new players at his weekly press conference. It was the first time Malzahn had spoken to the media since the Iron Bowl and he clearly (and understandably) was in a much better mood.
Malzahn said he was reassured by Stidham’s eagerness to get on campus and get to work. And though the head coach assured wondering reporters the quarterback competition would continue through the spring, Malzahn was at times giddy speaking of his new quarterback.
Bowl practice: Day 1
The Tigers reconvened Wednesday at the Auburn Athletics Complex for the first of eight practices before leaving for New Orleans.
Per usual, Auburn’s practice was split into 12 periods. The first half mostly focused on upperclassmen and returners while the younger players were the centerpiece later.
Malzahn said he was pleased with how practice unfolded and happy to have everyone back (and healthier) as the Sugar Bowl approaches.
The Athletics Complex was buzzing for most of the afternoon and well into the evening. Malzahn spent ample time with the media while players strolled to meetings as the night went on.
A promising sign
Auburn and Oklahoma will meet in the Superdome in New Orleans on Jan. 2.
The venue is where the New Orleans Saints play on Sundays and it’s also the home of former Auburn defensive lineman Nick Fairley.
And if the current Tigers need any big arena motivation, they need look no further than Fairley. The Alabama native has started all 13 games for the Saints this season and totaled 5.5 sacks.
— Auburn Football (@FootballAU) December 14, 2016
Sunday’s game was played in Tampa Bay, but if this is any indication of how Tigers who play in the Superdome tend to perform, that could mean good things for Auburn.
— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) December 11, 2016
- AL.com says Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops isn’t judging Auburn by its regular season record.
- Auburn graduate Chadd Scott of Gridiron Now says the Tigers’ 8-4 record has left Auburn fans with split opinions.
- SEC Country’s Benjamin Wolk provided an overview of all things Auburn recruiting on Wednesday.
- Garrett Kroegen, of SB Nation, agrees with several other media outlets that Jarrett Stidham’s arrival makes the Tigers serious playoff contenders in 2017.
- SEC Country’s Justin Ferguson recapped head coach Gus Malzahn’s thoughts on new Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham.
- Eric Bailey of the Tulsa World said Oklahoma wide receiver Dede Westbrook is the Sooner’s first unanimous All-America pick in 12 years.
- Chip Rouse, of Stormin’ in Norman, revealed a fun Sugar Bowl fact for Oklahoma fans.
- CBS Sports asked if a freshman running back could take the field for Auburn in the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans.
Happening on the Plains
Auburn women’s basketball traveled to Louisiana Tech where the Tigers beat the Lady Techsters 76-66 on Wednesday night.
Senior Katie Frerking led the way with a career-high 30 points — her fourth double double of the season. Auburn’s next game will be on Sunday when the Tigers (8-2) play No. 24 Virginia Tech.
— Auburn W Basketball (@AuburnWBB) December 15, 2016
Auburn men’s basketball will take on Coastal Carolina in the team’s first home game in nearly a month tonight.
The Tigers received some bad news Wednesday afternoon. Bruce Pearl announced starters Bryce Brown and Horace Spencer were arrested for misdemeanor possession and will be serving indefinite suspensions.
Coastal Carolina was already going to be a touch matchup for Auburn. Now they’ll be missing their best defender and their best rebounder.
Crowd support will be extremely helpful for the Tigers.
And Auburn students can bring one guest (for free) to the Arena over winter break.
We've been told that any Auburn student can bring a guest (for free!) to any holiday break game!! pic.twitter.com/mAmgzAvQIv
— Auburn Jungle (@AUJungle) December 14, 2016