Donte Aycock, *** RB
Believe it or not, this Tampa based prospect was rated higher than Knile Davis coming out of high school. Aycock was commited to Georgia Tech for the majority of the recruiting process, only to make the late flip to Auburn near Signing Day. He redshirted his freshman year and was slated to split carries with Mike Dyer in 2010. It wasn't to be as Donte was booted off the team on May 21 for violating team rules. Aycock decided to pursue his football career at South Florida in 2011 under Skip Holtz. The Bulls got a surprise when the 5-10 Aycock showed up to camp at a hefty 235 pounds. One fall morning practice, Donte unexpectedly didn't show up to the field and he never returned to the team. When questioned about it Coach Holtz said he "wasn't sure Donte's heart was into playing football". Aycock was recently charged with domestic battery and criminal mischief.
Darren Bates, ** S
Truly an underdog story, Bates came out of high school as a two star and tallied 70 tackles as a true freshman for the Tigers. He ended up starting outside linebacker for a national championship team and recorded over 100 tackles as a junior. Bates will be one of the leaders for the 2012 Tiger defense.
DeAngelo Benton, **** WR
This LSU target was touted as the 7th best wide out in his class and the 41st best overall player in the country. Obviously, the Auburn faithful were quite enthused when the stud spurned the local Bengals for the Tigers. Trooper Taylor has raved about his ability, but we've yet to see Benton's play making ability on the field. He struggled with drops throughout the 2011 season and fell out of the rotation towards the end of the year.
Emory Blake, **** WR
Auburn coaches cast their lines deep into Longhorn recruiting waters to reel in this big time prospect. But unlike his counterpart Benton, Blake has lived up to the hype. He blossomed late in the 2010 championship run, notably triggering the 24 point comeback in Bryant-Denny with a long touchdown reception. Blake was pretty much Auburn's entire passing game in 2011, racking up 613 yards despite an ankle injury. This season experts are expecting Blake to solidify his presence as a top tier SEC receiver.
Terrance Coleman, *** DT
Coleman was the 13th best prospect in Alabama coming out of high school. The 250 pounder chose Auburn over the Razorbacks and was expected to boost the Tiger's weak defensive line depth. But instead of waiting on the NCAA's decision about his academic eligibility, Coleman enrolled at Copiah-Lincoln Community College. Coleman had a standout year at Copiah, earning all conference honors with a 12 sack campaign. He gained eligibility and signed with Middle Tennessee State in 2011.
Robert Cooper, *** ATH
Originally a grey shirt, academic casualties opened up a scholarship for Cooper in the spring of 2009. He was looked at as a quarterback for a short while before being converted to tight end. Cooper sustained a season ending concussion during punt return drills in practice one day. The injury was so severe he had to drop out of school entirely for a whole semester. Cooper gave up the game to focus on academics. He switched his major from biomedical science to Psychology in the spring of 2011. After graduation Robert plans to pursue a master's and doctorate in Neuropsychology.
Nosa Eguae, *** DE
This three star lineman was being looked by several Big 12 schools but signed with the SEC Auburn Tigers instead. Nosa was a force for the 2010 national championship team, totaling 7.5 tackles for loss. His successful 10' campaign earned him the starting job in 2011, but Eguae's numbers slipped. He's now locked in a battle with team mate Dee Ford for playing time next to star Cory Lemonier.
Jonathan Evans, *** OLB
Evans came to Auburn as a three star, and has been in the linebacker rotation mix since his freshman season. You may fondly remember the young linebacker stepping in to tally 8 solo tackles against #1 Alabama. Evans made 27 stops for the national championship team and earned the starting OLB role for the 2011 squad. He put up very pedestrian numbers however, just 40 tackles for a lackluster defense. The senior is now fighting the talented Kris Frost for playing time.
Nick Fairley, *** DT
After Nick's first two seasons on the Plains it seemed he'd be nothing more than a decent rotation player. Then came 2010. Fairley exploded to the best DT in the country by winning the Lombardi and SEC Defensive Player of the Year. He went into the NFL Draft, being picked up by Detroit in the first round. Nick was hurt for most of his rookie season, only recording 15 tackles. Since then he's had some major off the field issues. In April he was caught with possession of marijuana and in May he was charged with a DUI after being clocked going 100 mph through a Mobile neighborhood.
Eltoro Freeman, *** MLB
This three star out of Gulf Coast Community College had the definition of an up and down career. Auburn fans waited four years for "The Bull" to put it all together. He had worlds of potential but the light switch didn't go off until his senior season. During the 2011 campaign, Freeman was one of the few positives on a horrendous Tiger defense. Although he never quite had the career some expected, no one could ever accuse him not giving it his all every down for Auburn. In mid May, the Ravens signed Eltoro as an undrafted free agent.
Dee Ford, *** DE
We've seen what Dee Ford can do off the end when healthy. Ford has blossomed into a great pass rusher for Auburn, but a herniated disk in his back has hindered his playing time. This spring he's back to full health and has received tremendous praise from the coaching staff. But he'll have to beat out a more experience Nosa Eguae if he wants the starting role.
Harris Gaston, *** LB
This three star saw very limited action his first two seasons on the plains, mostly on special teams. Disgruntled about lack of playing time, Gaston decided to leave the team in the November of 2011. Coach Chizik told reporter Harris "has decided to move on". There were rumors he was trying to walk on at Bama.
Anthony Morgan, *** ATH
This three star saw action on special teams right away his freshman season. Morgan was eventually moved to DB, where he provided depth for the 2010 national championship squad. Anthony once again went through a position change when he started in the 2011 season opener at running back. He didn't make the trip to South Carolina and his season ended for good when he tore his ACL in an off-the-field incident. Morgan was listed on Auburn's 2012 roster at.......................wide receiver.
Andre Harris, *** OL
This big offensive lineman failed to see much playing time his first two season at Auburn and left the team in the spring of 2011. Harris went on to become a reliable starter for Eastern Arizona, who finished the 2011 season 8-4.
Josh Jackson, ** DL
A two star prospect, Jackson failed to qualify and never made it to Auburn. He went on to become an all conference defensive tackle for Phoenix College.
Brandon Jacobs, *** RB
Instead of enrolling to play football at Auburn, Jacobs followed his heart by entering the MLB Draft. He was picked up by the Red Sox in the 10th round for $800,000. Brandon worked his way through the minor league system to the Salem Red Sox in 2012. Half way through the season he's hitting .285 with 8 home runs and the starting left fielder. On July 6th against the Carolina Mudcats, Jacobs hit a blast to the left center bleachers to record his 150th career RBI.
LaVoyd James, *** WR
An early Auburn commit, James rebounded from a severe ankle injury to sign with the Tigers in 2009. He couldn't make the grades however and spent his season in the wide receiver rotation at Navarro College. LaVoyd hauled in a 12 yard pass against a Cam Newton led Blinn College. He finished the season with 71 yards on 10 receptions. 2011 saw James starting at Copiah-Lincoln Community College, where he made 17 grabs for 211 yards. James was named to the MACJC All-State Team Honorable Mention.
Izauea Lanier, *** ATH
Lanier signed with the Tigers in 2009 but failed to qualify. He had a stand out season for East Mississippi Community College and was picked up by Tennessee for the 2011 season. Izauea put together a solid campaign for the Vols and was expected to become a full time starter in 2012. But a horrendous fall semester in the class room forced Tennessee to rule their top corner back ineligible for the season.
Phillip Lutzenkirchen, **** TE
A four star, Lutz has definitely lived up to the hype. He's established himself as Auburn's greatest receiving tight end and one of the top players in the SEC from his position. With the addition of full back Jay Prosch, Lutz will become an even bigger part of the Tiger passing game.
Onterio McCalleb, **** RB
This highly recruited speedster has been a weapon for Tigers since day 1. He's a true home run threat and has amassed an impressive resume. Now that Dyer has transferred, the Squirrel will be called upon to take on an even bigger role in 2012.
Clint Mosely, *** QB
Mosely started his Auburn career losing a quarterback battle to Cam Newton and Barrett Trotter in the spring of 2010. Clint once again lost out to Trotter in the summer of 2011, but ended up replacing him midway through the season. After struggling greatly towards the end of last year, he's once again an underdog in the summer quarterback race(Frazier).
Taikwon Paige, **** CB
Paige was a highly touted defensive back out of JUCO but failed to qualify at Auburn. He wound up at Toledo in 2010, seeing limited action. Taikwon earned the starting job for the Rockets in 2011, recording 49 tackles and 2 interceptions. This upcoming senior season gives Paige the chance to catch the eyes of some NFL scouts.
Tyrik Rollison, **** QB
Rollison had a cannon arm and was supposed to be Auburn's solution to the quarterback situation. He had loads of talent but we never had a chance to see it. Rollison was suspended his first season on the Plains and didn't show up to spring practice. He ended up announcing his decision to transfer to Sam Houston St. on facebook in the spring of 2010. Rollison didn't get to play a down for the Bearkats in 2010 due to a pre season wrist injury. He didn't spend much time in the class room at Sam Houston and ended up flunking out. He enrolled at Tyler Junior College for the 2011 season and struggled greatly down the stretch.
John Sullen, *** OL
Sullen came to Auburn as a three star and has seen his playing time increase each season to the point of becoming Auburn's starting right guard in 2011. He'll be given a chance to lock down his starting job this summer.
Reggie Taylor, **** DB
This highly recruited defensive back couldn't make the grades to get into Auburn and wound up attending Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College in 2009. No stats were available so he might of left the team.
Jamar Travis, **** DT
Travis was supposed to come in and help replenish Auburn's razor thin line depth. He's stayed on the team but has become some what of a bust. In four seasons he's racked up a very pedestrian 7 tackles for the Tigers.
Demond Washington, **** ATH
Washington was a extremely valuable contributor to Auburn's 2010 national championship run and developed into a dangerous return man. He tallied over 90 tackles in two seasons on the Plains and was picked up as an undrafted free agent by the Kansas City Chiefs. He was cut from the Chiefs after training camp and was busted on drug possession in September. Washington is currently a star kick returner for the CFL team, Winnipeg Blue Bombers.