It looks like Auburn wins the recruiting war in the state, at least so far and according to Rivals.com which has Auburn ranked number 3 and Alabama number 5 in the nation.
Let's focus on Bessemer City's LaDarius Owens.
Photo credit Phillip Marshall
al.com reports this:
Bessemer City linebacker LaDarius Owens woke up this morning and starting thinking about his future. Then he started texting. The Auburn commitment sent out text messages to about "16 or 17" future Tigers he'd gotten close to during the recruiting process. "I texted all of them this morning," he said. "It said 'Go ahead and get your letters in and get this over with' and 'Let's get ready to play at Auburn' and "I love all of you guys' because I wanted all of those guys to know we are brothers now. We're in the Auburn family."
Owens said both he and Pelham's Jake Holland have been praised by Auburn coach Gene Chizik for their skills as linebacker prospects and recruiters. "Every time I talk to Coach Chizik he says that Jake and I are the best recruiters," Owens said. "He said we were a big part of the success of this recruiting class. Jake and I would share numbers and we'd go about talking to guys and making sure they were coming to Auburn. We went to work recruiting this class, too." That allowed Owens to be a pretty astute prognosticator when it came to the prospects of "Big Cats" like South Carolina runner Marcus Lattimore and Louisiana's Trovon Reed signing with Auburn.
"I knew Lattimore wasn't coming because he wasn't tight with any of the guys in this class after 'Big Cat' weekend," Owens said. "I knew Trovon was coming because he texted me this morning saying he was. He kept everyone else waiting." Owens said about the only guy who was tight within his circle that didn't come to Auburn was Lincoln's D.J. Howard. "I really don't want to talk about that," Owens said. "D.J. let me down but I don't hate him for it or anything. He's still like a brother to me."
Owens had a little Signing Day drama today as the school fax machine was not functional. He had a teacher drive him to the Bessemer Board of Education in order to make sure he complied with that text message he sent out to all his future teammates. Owens actually tried to get all the Auburn signees in the Birmingham area to sign together as a class instead of at their respective high school. But logistics and school loyalties proved to be tough. "We are all going to be teammates soon," Owens said. "I wanted to get (Springville's) Jeremy Richardson, Chris Davis from Woodlawn and Jake (Holland) and me and anybody else all to sign in the same place. It would have been cool to already sign together as teammates."
Owens held his ceremony at 1 p.m. today at Bessemer City High School.
Here he is at the signing ceremony today at Bessemer City, sporting his Auburn jersey and surrounded by Auburn folks and balloons.
Picture credit Western Tribune
Watch LaDarius here, in this composite video from 2008. Watch out QB's.