Blog Entry

Auburn RB Blakely's waiver denied; will redshirt

Posted on: July 20, 2011 2:11 pm
Edited on: July 20, 2011 2:45 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen

It always seemed a longshot that running back Mike Blakely would see the field this season for Auburn.

A four-star recruit out of Bradenton, Fla., Blakely signed with Florida and enrolled in Gainesville in time for spring camp. But a closer look at the new Will Muschamp regime (and specifically Charlie Weis's pro-style offense) convinced him to transfer to the Plains. Even with Blakely's limited time as a Gator, his signature on his Letter of Intent means the NCAA's transfer rules dictate a year on the sidelines.

But Blakely and Auburn applied for a waiver from the NCAA, hoping that the coaching change and Blakely's injury-induced absence from Florida's spring practice might induce them to let Blakely skip the usual transfer penalty.

Per Blakely's own Twitter feed, that waiver is not happening:

Blakely will spend his redshirt year in 2011 and hit the field for Auburn for the first time in 2012.

While not exactly a surprise, the decision could prove to be a blow for an Auburn backfield not exactly swimming in depth. With stars Michael Dyer and Onterio McCalebb the only two true scholarship tailbacks on the spring roster, Gene Chizik already moved former cornerback Anthony Morgan to running back to shore things up. Incoming freshman recruit Tre Mason is expected to qualify (again, per his own Twitter feed) but has not yet officially been cleared and enrolled. If Mason for whatever reason does not clear the qualifying bar, the untested Morgan will be one injury away from likely seeing major carries.

Auburn would have other ways of dealing with this worst-case scenario -- athletic receiver/returner freshman Quan Bray is already slated to moonlight at running back -- but for a team with as much inexperience as the reigning national champions, it's one more headache Chizik and Co. would rather avoid.


Since: Oct 18, 2006
Posted on: July 21, 2011 3:56 pm

Auburn RB Blakely's waiver denied; will redshirt

Don't get too upset about it, bro. A gimmick is something that is a novelty; a passing trend. The spread has been around a while, just not as a traditional set. The way that Auburn runs it is with speed and efficiency. At its best it exploits the weak spots in the D and keeps doing it at a rate where the D can't adjust. Over the past 2 years it's done well at Auburn. Sometimes in big plays through the air (Alabama, Georgia). Sometimes a ground and pound (LSU). But you don't get through tough D's like that and a good conference like the SEC with a gimmick.

Since: Aug 10, 2007
Posted on: July 21, 2011 3:12 pm

Auburn RB Blakely's waiver denied; will redshirt


You created a SN just to comment on this? Hmmm sounds like a Bama fan. Call the spread what you want but several teams have gone undefeated with it (Utah, Florida, Boise State, Auburn, etc.) and last years title game included two teams that ran the spread. The truth is it works. Do other styles work? Of course they do but to call an offense gimmicky because it's not pro style is ignorant. Oh btw most NFL teams have a spread or even a wildcat package now so they are clearly adopting ideas from college football.

Since: Aug 10, 2007
Posted on: July 21, 2011 3:07 pm

Auburn RB Blakely's waiver denied; will redshirt


UGA would know all about second tier bowls and getting beat by tough schools such as UCF now wouldn't they? How did that 6-7 season treat you? It sounds like it left you a little bitter. 80-90% of kids that transfer during a regime change appeal to the NCAA to play immediately it's not like this is a rare case. Also in this case it doesn't really effect Auburn because chances are he would've been third string behind Dyer and McCaleb so in all reality it works out better since he won't lose a year of eligibility sitting on the bench. No Auburn won't win a NC (again) this year but they will be better than the majority of the SEC (LSU, Bama, and South Carolina are the exceptions to that statement). The rest of the SEC is a crap shoot there are major question marks at every other school.

Since: Oct 18, 2006
Posted on: July 21, 2011 11:41 am

Auburn RB Blakely's waiver denied; will redshirt

FWIW, I probably used the wrong word with 'punishment'.

I give Muschamp a ton of credit for doing what he did; possibly speaks to Blakely's attitude that Muschamp did not put any restrictions on where he could go.

I've heard discussions before of 'why do kids have to suffer a year of waiting while coaches can jump from program to program' and that is what I was riffing off of more than anything.

Since: Jul 21, 2011
Posted on: July 21, 2011 10:19 am

Auburn RB Blakely's waiver denied; will redshirt

It's not a punishment to Blakely. Everyone new CUM was leaving uf and he still signed on. On another note, he left florida due to the pro-style offense? How crazy is that for a rb. Guess what they run in the NFL, yep, pro style offenses. Not the gimmicky O that au runs.

Since: Apr 6, 2008
Posted on: July 21, 2011 6:53 am

Auburn RB Blakely's waiver denied; will redshirt

Hey, give the kid some credit, when he signed his letter of intent with Florida he didn't know the pay was so much better at Auburn! Wink

Since: Nov 19, 2006
Posted on: July 20, 2011 8:50 pm

Auburn RB Blakely's waiver denied; will redshirt

Rules are rules.  I know that Auburn fans have little regard for the rules, but that does not change the fact that he signed a letter of intent and enrolled at Florida.  The rule says that you sit out a year if you change your mind.  Now I know that Auburn is going to have to scramble just to get into some 2nd or 3rd tier Bowl Game this season, but that is no excuse to make an exception to the rule, especially at Auburn, who may be in more trouble than most people in here know about.  Enjoy your 6-6 season.  Maybe you will be bowl eligable next season and can use the talents (if any) of this kid.

Since: Oct 18, 2006
Posted on: July 20, 2011 3:51 pm

Auburn RB Blakely's waiver denied; will redshirt

I think you could try all you'd like (to poach) but most would stay put. Just like most stayed put at Florida.

Muschamp certainly seemed to understand because he let the guy go, no restrictions, apparently.

It's great to say you commit to a school and not a coach. I'm not going to be as smug to say that's not reality. I will say I think a lot of kids have different reasons for going to a school. Some to a coach/coaches and some to a school.

I debated about posting about this on board. I don't really have a dog in this hunt but it seemed weird that a kid who only signed a letter of intent can't change his mind about that.

Since: Jan 5, 2007
Posted on: July 20, 2011 3:47 pm

Auburn RB Blakely's waiver denied; will redshirt

and specifically Charlie Weis's pro-style offense

Why would any offensive Player, shy away from playing in a "Pro-Style" offense??? So much so that it would cause them to transfer?

Since: Jan 5, 2007
Posted on: July 20, 2011 3:40 pm

Auburn RB Blakely's waiver denied; will redshirt

Seems like one heck of a punishment for Blakely to have to sit out. Without implicating anything about Florida, why shouldn't a signon have the right to transfer and play for another school who decided to switch head coaches?

Yuo have to keep the door shut on Pandora's Box. Open up a real possibility/loophole and more will be found to skirt the rules. Then we'll hear more and more about coaches "secretly" talking to already signed recruits looking for a loophol to get them on the team...

Having a hardline rule (not that this rule is completely closed, but for the most part it is) is the best way to maintain conistent rulings.

also, as LSUSMC already pointed out, if you allowed it, every coach in the nation would be trying to canabalize every team that had a coaching change.

Do you really think that would be fair?

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