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Phillip's blog: Ramblin' around

It was considered a major blow for Auburn recruiting in 2007 when running back Caleb King chose Georgia over the Tigers. Friday, King ended a nondescript Georgia career when he failed to qualify academically for his senior season.

Senior Editor Phillip Marshall

And that’s why it is wise not to get overly disappointed or overly excited about how many stars are beside a recruit’s name.

If nothing else, the age of college football players makes recruiting an inexact science. A young man can change a great deal, physically and mentally, from the time he’s 18 until the time he’s 22.

Playing college football is hard. Some players handle it better than others. Some can’t handle it at all.

That’s not to say recruiting rankings or stars, for that matter, are unimportant. I’ve come around over the years to understand they mean a lot. They just don’t mean everything, particularly on a player-by player basis. If you sign all 4-stars and 5-stars year after year, you’re probably going to have championship talent.

But when those things don’t matter at all is once a player has been in the program for a few years. Who cares how many stars Barrett Trotter or Clint Moseley had coming out of high school? The only thing that matters is what they do on the field. The aforementioned King was a 5-star recruit. He was a 1-star SEC tailback. …

Does Ohio State really believe the NCAA is going to be satisfied with its self-imposed penalties that include no bowl ban and no loss of scholarships? Really? I say not a chance. Vacating wins is, no doubt, painful. But that move has no real impact on a program going forward. What you see is Big Ten arrogance in all its glory. …

Not so long ago there seemed to be a sliver of good feeling between Auburn and Alabama fans. Alabama fans stepped forward and gave to the effort to save the Toomer’s oaks. Auburn fans mobilized to help out when Tuscaloosa was devastated by tornadoes. That good feeling sure seems to have gone away. Then again, maybe we get a skewed picture on the Internet. …

Other than quarterback, what will be the most interesting position battles in August? I would say at wide receiver and on the offensive line, particularly at center. Auburn has lots of talent at wide receiver, but not so much experience. Third-year sophomore walk-on Blake Burgess will try to hold off talented freshman Reese Dismukes at center. …

Kiehl Frazier’s high school coach doesn’t predict Frazier will be Auburn’s starting quarterback as a freshman. But he has no doubt his time will come.

“He’s the most talented kid I’ve coached,” said Josh Floyd, the head coach at Shiloh Christian High School in Springdale, Ark. “I think he’s the best high school quarterback I’ve seen. He has all the tools, but he still has a lot of room to grow. He has a lot of potential. He’d never played in this kind of offense until his sophomore year. I think he will really shine at that level.” …

CBSSports.com posted a poll asking which conference is the dirtiest in college football. The SEC was the runaway winner with 66 percent of the votes. The Big Ten was the distant runnerup with 14 percent of the vote. …

Until next time …

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