Sammie Coates’ New Shirt Proclaims Alabama the State of Auburn


Sometimes a shirt is just a shirt. Sometimes, it’s much more.

Prior to Saturday’s top five matchup with Ole Miss, Auburn football player Sammie Coates was spotted in an Under Armour t-shirt that made a bold STATEment (get it?). Tigers’ assistant coach Dameyune Craig tweeted the following picture yesterday.

As you can see, the shirt shows a blue map of the state of Alabama, outlined in orange with the simple description: “State of Auburn.” There are white and orange stripes similar to those found on Auburn’s helmets, jerseys and pants, running north and south. It’s a simple design, but it speaks volumes.

Some think the shirt is a shot at the Alabama Crimson Tide, and last season’s unforgettable 34-28 Auburn victory in the Iron Bowl. But it could mean something entirely different.

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  • The first thing that came to my mind was Howard Schnellenberger’s “State of Miami” recruiting plan when he was the head coach of the Hurricanes from 1979-83. Schnellenberger wanted to take advantage of the insane amount of high school football talent in South Florida and wanted to “build a fence” around Miami and surrounding areas to keep the best players close to home.

    The strategy worked out extremely well for the head coach and he led “The U” to the 1983 national championship.

    Because of its close proximity to the state, Auburn has done a great job recruiting players from Georgia over the years. Cam Newton and Nick Marshall come to mind first, though Quan Bray, Montravius Adams, Jonathon Mincy, Gabe Wright, Carl Lawson and others hail from the Peach State as well. The Tigers also have their fair share of Sunshine State players, such as Ricardo Louis, Brandon Fulse and Robenson Therezie to name a few.

    Alabama, like Florida and Georgia, is a  talent-rich area, and it makes sense for the Tigers to concentrate their recruiting efforts close to home. Currently, there are 42 players on the Auburn roster that chose to play college football in-state (including Coates), which is fewer than half. Also, only six of the 20 players currently committed to the Tigers as part of the 2015 recruiting class, so the “State of Auburn” proclamation could point toward a renewed in-state recruiting focus.

    Or maybe it is a dig at Alabama – a confident reminder that the Tigers are the reigning state champs.

    Or maybe it’s just a shirt.

    Either way, it looks good and there are many members of the Auburn family that would love to own one themselves. Coates isn’t the only player to own one of the gray t-shirts pictured in the photo above, but only members of the athletic department have been able to get their hands on them. However, that’s apparently going to change soon.

    Better get there early, it’s sure to be a big seller.

    Next: Auburn vs Texas A&M Injury Report: Roc Thomas Probable

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