November 24, 2017

Alabama-Auburn set to battle in key local derby … The annual Iron Bowl game between Alabama and Auburn is always one of college football’s most hard-fought local rivalries. However, this year’s game (3:30 PM ET; Saturday; CBS) takes on added urgency with a spot in the SEC championship game against Georgia next weekend on the line. And the winner of the SEC is almost assured of one of the four spots in the college football playoffs. Alabama comes into the game as the #1 ranked team in the country; the Tide will also be slight favorites, but make no mistake, this could very competitive game as the 6th ranked Tigers also have a ton of talent. Auburn is led by emerging redshirt sophomore QB Jarrett Stidham (#8, 6-2, 215), a dark-horse second-day candidate for the 2018 draft if he opts to enter this year’s draft. Stidham has completed 68% of his pass attempts for over 2,400 yards and 16 TDs while throwing just 4 picks. Stidham is supported by junior RB Kerryon Johnson (#21, 5-11, 215), a rising slasher with a burst who has run for almost 1,200 yards and 16 scores in just 9 games after taking over as the Auburn starter earlier in the year who  is another Tiger with second-day potential. Same for junior CB Carlton Davis (#6, 6-0, 205) and veteran All-America OG Braden Smith. Meanwhile, other Auburn seniors with later round or free agent potential include OT Darius James (#78, 6-4, 325), C Austin Golson (#73, 6-4, 315), safeties Tray Matthews (#28, 6-0, 210) and Stephen Roberts (#14, 5-10, 190) and PK Daniel Carlson (#38, 6-3, 225).  The best prospect in the Iron Bowl though, appears to be Alabama junior CB/S Minkah Fitzpatrick (#29, 6-1, 202) who has emerged as arguably the best all-around DB in college football and is currently pushing for a top 5 grade. In fact, the Tide has a full line-up of draft prospects including WR Calvin Ridley (#3, 6-0, 190), another opening round candidate, along with junior SS Ronnie Harrison (#15, 6-2, 215), LBs Rashaan Evans (#32, 6-2, 235), 5T DE Da’Shawn Hand (#9, 6-3, 290), junior RBs Damien Harris (#34, 5-10, 225) and Bo Scarbrough (#9, 6-1, 235), WR Robert Foster (#1, 6-1, 195), junior OG Ross Pierschbacker (#71, 6-3, 305), C Bradley Bozeman (#75, 6-4, 315),  junior DT Da’Ron Payne (#94, 6-2, 310), , CBs Anthony Averett (#28, 5-11, 185), Levi Wallace (#39, 5-11, 185) and Tony Brown (#2, 6-0, 200), and P J.K. Scott (#15, 6-5, 205). Enjoy!