Auburn football recruiting: Tigers clean up on JUCO signing day

Kevin C. Cox

Auburn officially added four talented JUCO prospects on Wednesday.

On the first day Class of 2014 junior college players could sign with major universities, Auburn made a big splash with four major signings. D'haquille Williams, Derrick Moncrief, Xavier Dampeer and DaVonte Lambert all inked National Letters of Intent, giving the Tigers the class' No. 1-ranked JUCO wide receiver, safety, center and strong-side defensive end.

D'haquille Williams, WR, Mississippi Gulf Coast CC

Williams has been committed to Auburn since the summer, making his verbal pledge on July 21, but some believed he was wavering in recent weeks. From Reserve, La., and originally an LSU commit, it had been reported at al.com that he was possibly leaning back toward the other Tigers, likely due to Auburn's run-heavy offensive scheme and the success Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry had in the Bayou Bengals' attack this season. However, those factors weren't enough to flip back to LSU.

A four-star player and the No. 1 JUCO prospect in the nation, per the 247 Sports composite rankings, Williams stands 6'3 and weighs in at 213 pounds. Auburn doesn't have a pass-heavy offense, but he should be able to step in and contribute immediately, and if nothing else, his size should be advantageous in the outside-blocking game. With Sammie Coates and Ricardo Louis back, and Marcus Davis and Tony Stevens likely pushing for bigger roles, the addition of Williams should make wide receiver a position of strength in 2014.

Derrick Moncrief, S, Mississippi Gulf Coast CC

What Williams brings to the wide receiving corps, his MGCCC teammate, Moncrief, brings to the secondary. He's also a four-star prospect, per 247 composite, and he ranks as the 13th-best JUCO player in the nation and No. 4 in the state of Mississippi. He initially committed on May 10 and was never really in doubt for the Tigers, making three unofficial visits and one official trip in the last six months. Moncrief never visited another program after giving his verbal. He stands 6'3 and weighs in at 226 pounds, and should be a physical presence in the Tigers' defensive backfield.

Xavier Dampeer, C, Copiah-Lincoln CC

After an official visit on Oct. 5, Dampeer committed to Auburn the following day and has held firm ever since. He's made three unofficial visits since then, including taking in the harrowing wins over Georgia and Alabama. Dampeer is listed as a three-star prospect, but as the No. 1 JUCO player at his position, he'll bring more talent to an already talented and deep offensive line. He has good size at 6'4, 300 pounds, and likely could move around on the line if needed.

DaVonte Lambert, DE, Georgia Military College

Pulling in Lambert's signature was the big news of the day, as he had been committed to Tennessee before putting pen to paper. Auburn's defensive line will be deep and loaded with quality talent next season, and the addition of Lambert will only make it better. He's regarded as the No. 8 JUCO prospect in the nation, and the top player in Georgia. Lambert brings size -- 6'3, 278 pounds -- that Auburn hasn't had on the end of the D-line in quite some time. He held offers from 14 programs around the country and picked the Tigers over the Vols, Florida and Georgia.

After Wednesday's signings, Auburn has 20 commitments and is up to No. 7 in the 247 Sports team rankings for the Class of 2014. National Signing Day is just a couple of months away, and there's still room for Gus Malzahn to grab even more top-tier talent.

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