Coach Chiz was hired December 13th, 2008. Auburn’s Class consisted of 28 players being signed, ranked 25th in the Country (LSU #1, Bama #2, Fla. #5, UGA #6, USCe #12, UTenn, #15, ARKY. #20, Ole Miss #22, Miss. St. #23). AU’s top rated player that year was DeAngelo Benton, a highly sought after, but academically troubling player from La. that had originally committed to LSU. Production thus far in his career is just 7 receptions for only 103 yards.
The 2010 Class, built primarily on the efforts of Trooper Taylor (as per AU Football Media publications), miraculously lands the #1 players from Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi, as well as the #1 JUCO signee in Cam Newton. Why the turnaround, when their previous season only netted a 7-5 regular season record (3-5 SEC), along with an overtime win against Northwestern on New Years Day?
Enter CamGate, Lowder & Co., and Trooper Taylor. The Rodgers/ Bond/ Mullen/ Cecil/ SEC/ NCAA/ FBI Timeline (as per TD poster Ilovebama):
· Before 2009 Egg Bowl, Ken Rodgers talked with Cecil, who said "It's not gonna be free this time."
· Nov 27th, 2009 Ken Rodgers meets Cam and Dan, for the first time.
· Nov 27th, 2009 Ken, Cecil, and two coaches meet at Hilton Garden Inn, where Cecil says "Anywhere between $100,000 and $180,000." coaches respond ‘No, no, I don’t want to hear that,’
· Nov 29th, 2009 Ken leaves Bill Bell a voicemail asking if the deal is going to get done
· Bell was contacted by Cecil Newton asking for money
· Bell calls Bond and urges Bond to tell MSU officials.
· Bond calls Byrne
· Dec 14th, 2009 Cam pushes committing back to Dec 22nd, 2009
· Dec 20th, 2009 Cam visits Auburn, Dad was not there
· Cam commits Dec 31st
Trevon Reed is a solid to Strong LSU verbal, until very late in the process when he changes his mind to Auburn, against the better judgment of his high school coach and wishes of his family. Similar waffling is also experienced with Dyer, Coleman, and others. It has been mentioned by more than one poster there exists a recorded conversation between Trooper Taylor and McGregor discussing the progress in wrapping up this class. To paraphrase, ”… just one more deal to cut and it’s all done. Then there’s a mention of needing $200K to close it out.”