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Auburn A Finalist To Land Georgia Receiver

Auburn and Ohio State are the final two schools in the running for wide receiver JaQuay Williams from Sandy Creek High School in Tyrone, Ga.

Williams took an unofficial visit to Auburn last weekend.

“It was good,” Williams told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I met all the coaches and they took my family around and showed them a nice time.”

Williams has previously said he would also considered Alabama, LSU and Tennessee. His trip to Auburn helped convince Williams to narrow his list of schools.

“Auburn has one of the best wide receiver coaches (Trooper Taylor) in the country,” Williams said. “It’s a great tradition down there, and I like the offense. They’ve really been on a hot streak with recruiting.”

Auburn has eight commitments for the class of 2012. Two of those prospects – defensive back Josh Holsey and tight end Ricky Parks – are Georgia residents.

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Obama Doesn’t Go All Out For Taylor’s Chest Bump

If I were meeting the President of the United States, I don’t know that I’d feel comfortable asking him for a chest bump.  But I’m not ever-pumped Auburn assistant football coach Trooper Taylor.

After shaking President Obama’s hand at the White House yesterday, Taylor can be seen requesting a presidential chest bump.  Obama obliged with what looks to be a rather half-hearted effort.  Perhaps he knew that a full-on bump would result in the loss of every single Alabama fan’s vote in 2012.

Still, when it comes to personality, Taylor takes a backseat to no one.  At least he didn’t make The Prez wave a towel.

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SEC Headlines – 6/9/11 Part Four

1.  Kentucky’s Darius Miller has accepted an invitation to try out for the World University Games (along with Vandy’s John Jenkins and Bama’s Tony Mitchell and JaMychal Green).

2.  This writer has some tips for Tennessee’s interim athletic director.

3.  Several former Vol football players are campaigning for their ex-coach to be named the school’s new AD.

4.  Auburn assistant Trooper Taylor worked in a chest bump with the president yesterday.

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AU’s Taylor: “All The Good Players Are Gone”

The big storyline at Auburn this spring is the incredible amount of turnover on the Tigers’ roster.  Gone are offensive and defensive leaders Cam Newton and Nick Fairley.  Gone are literally dozens of members of last year’s BCS championship squad.  And receivers coach Trooper Taylor wants the team to know it.

“All the good players are gone”
is Taylor’s battle cry.  “Anything I can do to motivate those guys.  I didn’t say it; I read it,” Taylor said of the “everyboy’s gone” mantra.   “I want to see if they’re doing to react to that.  If you sit back and take something, you tolerate or accept it, you encourage it.”

“What I want them to understand is that that’s everyone else’s perception.  I talk to them about it every day.  I want them to realize that.  I actually posted the article for them to read.  I don’t write it, (I) just read it.”

And he’s making sure Auburn’s players are reading it, too.

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Report: NCAA Investigators Head To Louisiana In Auburn Probe

And this is the danger of having NCAA investigators on your tail.

While sources continue to say that NCAA sleuths have yet to turn up any serious new dirt regarding Auburn’s recruitment of Cam Newton, the NCAA’s investigation into the Newton recruitment might lead to the discovery of other violations involving other players.

Back in January, Thayer Evans of relayed the story of Auburn’s surprising recruiting success in Thibodaux, Louisiana.  Monday, the NCAA turned up to talk to Auburn signee Greg Robinson and three other people in Thibodaux regarding AU’s recruitment of Robinson and current Tiger receiver Trovon Reed (who signed with Auburn last year).

The NCAA is taking an interest in a person named Sean Nelson — who may or may not be acting as a “street agent” for players — and Auburn assistant Trooper Taylor.

Click here for the latest from Evans.

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Auburn Battling Southern Cal For A 14-Year-Old?

Last year, Delaware quarterback prospect David Sills drew national attention when he committed to play football for Lane Kiffin at Southern Cal.

Sills was a 13-year-old seventh-grader at the time.  (Somewhere Billy Gillispie is smiling.)

But Sills might now have another offer from an SEC school.  “I know Auburn’s very, very interested, as are quite a few other schools,” Steve Clarkson, Sills’ personal QB coach told The Birmingham News.  Clarkson would not confirm whether or not AU had made a real scholarship offer… knowing that technically the Tigers aren’t supposed to.

“… I will say it was a very strong indication that as soon as they can make a formal offer they will, and other will do so, too.  2015 is a long way away.  Auburn will certainly test their commitment (to Southern Cal).”

Jon Solomon of The News reports that Sills’ father says Auburn has not offered and that Clarkson “probably misinterpreted him.”

So who is recruiting Sills for Auburn?  Take a guess. 

According to Solomon, Clarkson “said he knows Auburn assistant Trooper Taylor and there is ‘no question’ the Tigers are interested in Sills.”

If you’re wondering why folks are so interested in a 14-year-old, check out his arm in these clips:

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Did AU’s Taylor Use Ex-UT Wideout To Recruit For Auburn?

There are some angry folks in the foothills of the Smokies today.  Word has gotten out in East Tennessee that Auburn receivers coach Trooper Taylor might have used at least one former Tennessee player to help him recruit defensive tackle prospect Gabe Wright to The Plains.

On signing day, Wright chose Auburn over Tennessee in a tight recruiting battle.  The player said his decision basically came down to a coin flip.  But perhaps he put that coin into a pay phone and contacted a former Vol for advice.

Taylor — one of’ 25 best recruiters in the nation this year — served at Tennessee under Phillip Fulmer so he would have connections to a few Vol seniors who were holdovers from his days in Knoxville.  Former Vol receiver Gerald Jones would be one of those holdovers.  His name quickly came up in the Taylor-Wright rumors.  Today, he told the Rivals site that he did talk to a recruit, but that he said only good things about Tennessee.

“I got a call a week or so ago from a kid,” Jones said.  “I don’t know who gave him my number but I didn’t talk down about anyone.  I actually gave several positives about Tennessee, like Coach (Charlie) Baggett.  I just told the truth about what I know about Tennessee and Troop.  At the end of the day that kid made the decision (that) was best for him.  Anyone that wants to criticize me about a rumor needs to look themselves in the mirror.  I know what I said and it was all positive.”

Jones also appeared on WNOX-FM in Knoxville today:

“I just found out that he had made the decision to (go to) Auburn, wasn’t aware of it, and (Wednesday) I heard that (and) it sounds like I persuaded him to go there.  Let me get this clear right now — I didn’t.  I actually despise people who try to persuade these kids to try to go to certain places.”

He also said that he didn’t “have anything negative to say about Tennessee. … I would say when we got off the phone I hadn’t helped him at all, because I said a lot of good stuff about Auburn and a lot of good stuff about Tennessee — no negative because I don’t have any animosity to either school. … The positive stuff I said about Auburn is very limited, it’s stating the obvious.  More than anything I told him about Troop, that he’s a good guy, a loyal guy, and he’s going to shoot you straight.  Just as I will.”

Jones played his final game for Tennessee in December’s Music City Bowl.  Many UT fans are wondering just how the recruit (Wright) got the phone number for a former Vol receiver (Jones) and why he would call him out of the blue… if Taylor hadn’t served as the go-between.

If Taylor did use Jones to help him recruit Wright it is not likely a violation of any NCAA rule.  Now, would it be unethical?  Well, that’s another question.  And you’ll likely get two completely different answers from Tiger fans and Vol fans.

Wright was a four-star defensive tackle from Columbus, Georgia.

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