Superstar Auburn Duo Declare for Draft, Top 5 NFL Picks?

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Big news regarding the NFL Draft; two underclassmen from the national title team in college football; announced there going pro.

With Auburn, the conversation always begins with their QB Cam Newton, the reigning Heisman winner who was dominant on the offensive side of the ball for the Tigers. But they have a player on the opposite side of the ball who is has been just as dominant this fall; and who started the year in obscurity much like Newton. That’s Nick Fairley, who may end up getting picked ahead of Newton.

By Paul M. Banks

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Interesting Q&A from the BCS Title game Media day:

Nick Fairley is trying to get to 10,000 fans on Twitter. Why aren’t you on there? You could have Auburn Nation. I probably could. The cyber world for Cam Newton, no, I don’t see that. I don’t have a Facebook. I don’t have a Twitter, a MySpace. That’s not something that I am a big fan of.

Why do you think Nick is so popular? Nick is just a popular guy in life. He doesn’t need anything to make him popular. He is a fun guy to be around.

Nick Fairley can play in both the 4-3 and 3-4 base defenses which will make his draft stock as high as humanly possible for a defensive lineman.

In ’09 he totaled 28 tackles with 3.5 TFLs. He started vs. Northwestern in the Outback Bowl, where he tied a season high with five tackles, all solo stops, vs. the Wildcats. This season he’s been a tour de force. He’s dominated every offensive line they’ve faced, including Alabama.

Fairley talked about how Auburn’s very convincing performances in the second half this season. “When we go in at halftime we don’t make many adjustments, we really just correct the mistakes that we made in the first half,” he said.

Fairley also talked about comebacks. The game’s still not over, we’ve got another quarter to play. We have to fight our ***** off and hopefully come back with a W,”

The 6-5, 298 lineman summed up this season for the ages.It’s been something special. Everybody who plays any kind of sport wants to be in a game this big. The last month has been crazy starting with the Lombardi Award and in a few days Auburn’s going to be on the biggest stage there is in college football. It’s just been crazy.”

Auburn Coach Gene Chizik summed up Fairley thusly:

“In the last year, Nick’s game has really elevated itself to a new level. He’s got a lot of confidence — he’s playing very, very well, obviously. He can be a destructive force, there’s no question about it. He’s going to need to have his best game Monday night. We’re proud of where he’s been, but he’s got another one he’s got his best game at here Monday night.”

Write any piece about scandal in college football these days, and you’ll inevitably hear from somebody who gets offended and then relates the situation to Cam Newton. Some will even ask you to write about “Scam Newton” (or better yet, $cam Newton) instead of the topic you covered. Or maybe you’ve seen the graphic of the “Camburglar,” which depicts the Heisman winning QB as the famous McDonald’s Hamburglar character, except he’s heisting a lap top instead of hamburgers.

At BCS Championship game media day, a reporter brought up how Auburn was not greeted very warmly at the airport; AU Coach Gene Chizik blatantly dodged the question by bringing up the Tigers’ die-hards that were on hand.

For more on why Newton is so polarizing go here.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net , a Midwest webzine. He’s also a regular contributor to the Tribune’s Chicago Now network, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker Network, and Fox Sports.com

You can follow him on Twitter @thesportsbank

He also does a regular guest spot each week for Chicagoland Sports Radio.com

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