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Recruiting: Auburn's top 5 targets to watch

Auburn is working hard to hold on to its top commitments ... and convince some old ones to come back.

Reuben Foster is just one of the few top recruits Auburn is trying to convince before Signing Day.
Reuben Foster is just one of the few top recruits Auburn is trying to convince before Signing Day.

Sunday marks the one-month mark until National Signing Day (Wednesday, Feb. 6), and Auburn is still in play for a few top recruits while trying to hold on to its top commitments. With the great staff head coach Gus Malzahn has put together, including four former recruiting coordinators, look for a lot of new names to pop up over the next month. Where does Auburn stand with its top targets and commitments? We'll take our best guess, but as always with 17- and 18-year-old kids, you never really know.

Reuben Foster (uncommitted)

The top linebacker in the country was firmly committed to Auburn until Malzahn decided not to retain his lead recruiter, Trooper Taylor. Per, Foster has said he will give the Tigers "their fair shot," and he still has a great relationship with Auburn commits Dee Liner, Earnest Robinson, Carl Lawson and Jeremy Johnson. Foster has told multiple people that he does like Malzahn and the new Auburn staff. It's hard to get a good read on Foster, but Auburn is still very much in the hunt.

Confidence Level: Medium

Dee Liner (soft verbal)

Liner has been mum to the media ever since Taylor, who was his lead recruiter, was let go. There was a lot of talk at the Under Armour All-America game that Liner was telling other recruits that he was going to Auburn, but when asked by the media, he said he was "keeping his options open." Liner's commitment will depend a lot on the decisions of Foster and Carl Lawson, since he has such strong relationships with both of them. If Liner does flip, it will be to Alabama, which is quite worrisome for Auburn fans.

Confidence level: Medium

Carl Lawson (soft verbal)

There has been talk that Lawson is not a big fan of new defensive line coach/recruiting coordinator Rodney Garner, but after visiting with Garner and Malzahn, that seems to have been worked out. According to, Garner met with Lawson Sr. to let him know that Auburn still had his son as a top priority and that the reason Garner didn't pursue Lawson as hard while he was at Georgia was because of the Bulldogs' 3-4 defensive scheme. Lawson and his parents really love Auburn and have from the beginning. The departure of Taylor hurt the Tigers with Lawson himself (SURPRISE!), but his parents are still pushing hard for Auburn. Fans in orange and blue shouldn't look too much into the fact that Lawson may not take an official to Auburn, as he and his parents have been to the Plains plenty of times and know what to expect, which bodes well for the Tigers. As I stated earlier, the commitments of Foster and Liner could play a role in Lawson's final decision.

Confidence Level: Low-medium

Montravius Adams (uncommitted)

Auburn was the leader for Adams for a long time, but he cooled on the Tigers once the season went south and rumblings of Gene Chizik's demise grew louder and louder. The hiring of Garner has put the Tigers right back into the mix for the top defensive tackle in the country, and rumor has it that Liner was overheard at the Under Armour game saying that he and Lawson were going to Auburn and bringing Adams with them. The three have talked about playing at the same school for a while now, and they know they could play a huge part in getting Auburn back on top. Good players follow other good players; it's as simple as that. If Liner and Lawson stay committed, look for Adams to follow.

Confidence level: Low-Medium

Jeremy Johnson (firm verbal)

Jeremy Johnson is on this list for one reason: his relationships with other top recruits, especially Foster and Liner. Johnson is good player, and other recruits see that. He has been recruiting for Auburn ever since Malzhan was hired and continues to do so. Johnson's relationship with Foster is one of the biggest reasons -- if not the biggest -- that Foster is even still considering Auburn. Malzahn put together a great staff of recruiters, but as far as Auburn's top targets go, Johnson could be Auburn's top recruiter for the Class of 2013.

Confidence level: Where's the pen and paper?