As we head into this bye week, that is so desperately needed, let's look at the recruiting being done by this coaching staff.
Rankings at this juncture, are pointless really, even though most of the sites that list these things have them. To put any emphasis on that aspect right now would be an exercise in futility.
So we won't.
Instead, we'll turn our attention to the verbally committed athletes, and the prospective athletes.
Now is where I post the usual disclaimer. "I have never indulged in paid memberships, to any of the pay sites that cover college football recruiting. I also am without any inside sources, so don't go thinking I can find out anything, that isn't public knowledge".
Rivals will be the source of all the recruits and their information that I use for this post.
With that out of the way, let's get started after the jump....
Verbally Committed Athletes...
Auburn currently has 15 such individuals that have proclaimed their allegiance to our beloved Tigers. The list consists of 6 defensive players and 9 on offense. Position break down is listed below.
Offensive Linemen - Shane Callahan/4 star OT/6'6" 277 lb/Parker, Colorado
Will Latu/4star OT/6'5" 315 lb/JUCO
Running Back - Jovon Robinson/4star/6'1" 218 lb/Memphis, TN
T.J. Yeldon/4star/6'2" 205 lb/Daphne, AL
Ricardo Louis4star/6'2" 190 lb/Miami Beach, FL
Quarterbacks - Zeke Pike/Elite Eleven Player/4star/6'5" 220 lb/Edgewood, KY
Receivers - Darrion Hutcherson/3star Tight End/6'7" 247 lb/Dadeville, AL
Ricky Parks/4star Tight End/6'3" 230 lb/Hogansville, GA
JaQuay Williams/4star Wide Out/6'3" 204 lb/Tyrone, GA
Defensive Linemen - Tyler Nero/3star DT/6'2" 290 lb/Atmore, AL
Gimel President/3star DE/6'3" 240 lb/Mt. Pleasant, SC
Defensive Backs - T.J. Davis/3star/6'1" 170 lb/Tallahassee, FL
Joshua Holsey/4star/5'9" 171 lb/Fairburn, GA
Jonathan Jones/3star/5'10" 165 lb/Carrollton, GA
Linebackers - Cassanova McKinzy/4star/6'2" 224 lb/Birmingham, AL
As most of you know, and in case some of you do not, a verbal commitment is not binding to any prospective student athlete. No matter what the enthusiasm is when he says he'll play somewhere, they are impressionable high school aged kids. Changing their decisions is a constant, not an irregularity.
I would advise each of you to not count on any one of these players being at Auburn next year. Before you go reciting the success of this staff to get early commitments, and keep them, it's better we don't count our Eaglets until they hatch, metaphorically speaking.
This is where the sledding gets tough, no one knows what positions need the most attention in recruiting like the coaching staff at each school. Still, there are some things that stand out like a sore thumb, and is painfully obvious that players are needed in those positions. I'll take a guess at where I think Coach Chizik is concentrating, position wise, for this upcoming recruiting class.
Based solely on what Auburn has by position, and by lack of production this season, I have determined that Auburn will concentrate on these areas the most.
Wide Receiver - The list of prospective recruits is rather impressive this year, and quite possibly as talented as any in recent years. Starting with no less than three 5 star studs, according to Rivals.com, they are:
Dorial Green-Beckham - Auburn listed among the top.
Stefon Diggs - Auburn listed among the top.
Cayleb Jones(verbally committed to the Texas Longhorns)
Cordarrelle Patterson - Auburn listed among the top.
Davonte Neal - Auburn listed among the top.
DeAndre Jasper - Auburn listed among the top.
Linebackers - Auburn has two graduating this year, at this position. For the record, whether they play inside or out at linebacker, they are listed here as one. Only the non verbally committed LB's that have Auburn listed among the top school choices, are listed here.
Josh-Harvey Clemons /OLB
Kwon Alexander /OLB
Javiere Mitchell /OLB
Deaysean Rippy/ OLB
Tyrone Neal /OLB
Harding Harper /OLB
Nick Dawson /ILB
Quanzell Lambert /ILB
Richie Brown /ILB
Offensive Linemen - After the rash of injuries, and medical hardship scholarships handed out to this unit, it's plain to see that Auburn must concentrate here for the health and welfare of our running backs, and quarterbacks.
One of the reasons we have seen little production from them is that Auburn has not started the same offensive line crew for three straight games this season. We became a little spoiled after the MNC run, with that great group up front. It's evidence enough that stability is key in the trenches on offense. Here are the prospects for the 2012 signing class, with only those with Auburn listed among their top choices:
Andrus Peat /OT
Joshua Garnett /OT
Kyle Murphy /OT
Avery Young /OT
Ronnie Stanley /OT
Jordan Diamond /OT
Lacy Westbrook /OT
Alex Kozan /OT
D.J. Reader /Guard
Kyron Samuels /Center
There are other positions that Auburn will likely take a top prospect, if the opportunity arises. These were, in my opinion, the places in most dire need of immediate attention.
The ability our group of coaches has shown, to bring in highly rated classes of recruits, is something that quite frankly, we still are not fully used to around here. I have watched with continued amazement the signing day surprises that Chizik and company have pulled off.
While two straight top five classes are a fantastic achievement, many more will be needed to truly get Auburn into a position of "reloading" after every season, as our fiercest counterparts do in our division of the SEC.