Todd Van Emst
Christian Westerman will try to kick-start his career with the Sun Devils
After originally committing to Texas, Westerman ultimately switched his commitment to Auburn on January 21, just days before signing day. Former Auburn offensive line coach Jeff Grimes played a crucial part in Westerman's switch after turning down a job opportunity at Texas to stay at Auburn.
Westerman, a redshirt freshman out of Chandler, Ariz., joined Auburn on Signing Day 2011. He was a consensus four-star player and a member of a signing class that featured three other four-star offensive linemen. Westerman sat out in 2011, and he was limited to two games in 2012 due to an ankle injury.
While losing a top-rated offensive lineman is never good, Auburn may actually be able to deal with it better than most schools. The Tigers are loaded with talent on the line right now, as Gene Chizik's staff put together two consecutive great classes. In addition to the 2011 group containing Greg Robinson and Reese Dismukes, the 2012 class featured Jordan Diamond, Patrick Miller, Avery Young and Shane Callahan, all four-stars, and Alex Kozan, a three- or four-star player, depending on the recruiting service you read.
Whether or not those players live up to their talent will depend on how well Gus Malzahn's staff can develop them.
Auburn does not have an offensive linemen committed in the 2013 class. With the loss of Westerman, signing at least one solid O-lineman may become a higher priority.