Sept. 27, 2013
Ramblin' around ...
Nick Marshall's first four games as Auburn' starting quarterback put him in some elite company.
Marshall has passed for 809 yards in leading Auburn to a 3-1 record. That's the best passing numbers in an Auburn quarterback's first four starts since Brandon Cox passed for 960 yards in winning three of his first four games in 2005.
Going back to at least 1996, no other Auburn quarterback equaled Marshall's start as a passer. In 2010, Cam Newton had 683 yards in his first four starts. In 1996, Dameyune Craig had 760.
As my colleague Charles Goldberg pointed out yesterday, Marshall has already passed for more yards this season than any Auburn quarterback did all of last season.
In the small Georgia town of Rochelle, where Marshall went to school at Wilcox County High, and in his smaller hometown of Pineview 10 miles or so away, there's not a lot to do.
That's not all bad for an athlete or a coach.
"Their recreation is ball," said Mark Ledford, Marshall's high school coach. "Through the summer I'll have 28 workouts scheduled. I have no problem with attendance, because that's their recreation. I have to run them off the field. That's Nick. When I read he is staying after practice and throws to receivers, that's what he wants to do. He's been doing it all his life. He'd do it until midnight if he could."
With an open date Saturday, Auburn coaches will hit the recruiting road this weekend. Only coordinators Ellis Johnson and Rhett Lashlee will stay behind.
There is a very good vibe around the Auburn baseball team
as players go through fall practice. First-year head coach Sunny Golloway likes this team's chances of doing really good things. Though the Tigers will certainly have more seniors than any team in the SEC, Golloway says some talented freshmen are going to push hard for playing time.
I'll have a story later today on Golloway and his take on the Tigers.
Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany, better than anyone I've heard, verbalized Thursday the absurdity of making college athletes paid professionals. Here's what he said:
"Maybe in football and basketball, it would work better if more kids had a chance to go directly into the professional ranks. If they're not comfortable and want to monetize, let the minor leagues flourish. Train at IMG, get agents to invest in your body, get agents to invest in your likeness and establish it on your own. But don't come here and say, 'We want to be paid $25,000 or $50,000.' Go to the D-League and get it, go to the NBA and get it, go to the NFL and get it.
"If an athlete wants to professionalize themselves, professionalize themselves. We've been training kids for professional sports. I argue it's the (school) color, I argue it's the institution. If you think it's about you, then talk to John Havlicek about that. You've got to talk to Michael Jordan about that. These brands have been built over 100 years."
Delany, like just about everyone else involved in BCS-level conferences, wants to increase the value of scholarships, to make them cover the full cost of attendance. But that's a far cry from paying college athletes a salary.
I don't always agree with Delany, but in this case, he was dead on.
It will be basketball season before you know it. The Auburn men are set to start preseason practice on Wednesday. The women plan to start on Tuesday.
It's a sign of the times, I guess, that EA Sports will no longer produce its NCAA college football series. The truth of the matter is that a lot more players will be unhappy about not being able to play it and see themselves on it than will benefit from the lawsuit filed by Jim O'Bannon, who uses college athletes to push his own agenda. Sad.
Until next time ...
Phillip Marshall is a Senior Writer for AuburnTigers.com. Follow Marshall on Twitter: