Auburn held what was likely the biggest recruiting weekend of the Gus Malzahn era over the last few days. Hosting a number of elite recruits, the Tigers were hoping for a final push in the days leading up to National Signing Day.
Auburn went into the weekend with a stellar visitor list that included five-star players Carl Lawson, Montravius Adams and Reuben Foster, four-stars Elijah Daniel and Toby Johnson, and three-stars Peyton Barber, DeVondre Seymour, Mackenro Alexander, Deon Mix, Chequan Burkett and Christian Cumberlander. A few items of note came out of the weekend, and it appears everyone had good visits.
The new commit
Auburn added a new commitment over the weekend in Barber, a three-star running back. Barber is a teammate of Lawson at Milton High School in Alpharetta, Ga. The 5'11, 215-pound running back rushed for 1,713 yards and 22 touchdowns in his senior season. According to Bryan Mathews at Auburn Undercover, Barber was offered on Dec 30 and unofficially visited on Jan 5. The former Ole Miss commit has really good vision and amazing north-south acceleration. Barber has good size, and once he gets through the hole or gets around the end, he is gone. With the addition of Barber, Auburn adds much needed depth in the backfield, and he should compete for playing time right away.
The new old commit
Lawson reaffirmed his commitment to Auburn over the weekend. The five-star defensive end from Milton High has stuck with his commitment after a coaching change and says he has officially ended his recruitment. Lawson has been vocal about not liking the recruiting process, and he seems to be glad it's finally over. Lawson tweeted his commitment Sunday evening: “This will successfully end my recruitment I am an Auburn Tiger. No questions will be answered, no calls will be accepted.” He goes on to tweet, “I haven't felt this light on my feet in a while, the weight of the world is off my shoulder WDE.” Lawson shopped around after the coaching change and visited Tennessee and Clemson. Lawson had 78 tackles, 44 tackles for a loss and 27 sacks his senior year at Milton.
Narrowing the list
Adams, a five-star defensive end, has narrowed his list to Auburn, Alabama, Clemson and Georgia. Clemson and Georgia have long been considered favorites, but his visit to Auburn appears to have put the Tigers in the thick of the race. Justin Hokanson of Auburn Sports and Bryan Matthews of Auburn Undercover both reported Monday afternoon that Auburn has made a big push for the five-star and could be the current leader. Adams has made it known that he will go to a school that his mom likes. He will make the decision with his mother, so it certainly helped the Tigers' chances to get the pair in this weekend. Adams plans to announce his decision Wednesday at 8:45 a.m. CT.
The Reuben meltdown
Saturday night was a interesting night in the world of Auburn recruiting. Foster, while supposedly on his official visit to Auburn, was apparently spotted in Tuscaloosa. It was tweeted out by a Alabama recruit that said he was hanging out with Reuben, and the tweet was quickly deleted. Later that night, Bryan Matthews confirmed that Foster did in fact leave Auburn sometime during the day on Saturday and went to hang out with friends in Tuscaloosa. There were also several rumors about an altercation on Friday that lead to him leaving, but it appears to just be message board talk. Foster's mother, according to Matthews, stayed in Auburn. Other Auburn recruits on their official visits confirmed that Foster was in Auburn on Friday, and nothing appeared to be wrong.
This is yet another twist in the bizarre story that is the recruitment of Foster. Once an Alabama commit, he flipped to Auburn back in the summer. After Gene Chizik was fired and the Gus Malzahn era began, Foster decommitted from Auburn to look at all his options. Foster has taken visits to Alabama, Georgia, Washington and San Diego State. Although he was in Auburn only one night, Foster has unofficially visited Auburn many times, as he moved to the Plains last year and attends Auburn High. This whole fiasco on Saturday could be bad for Auburn, or it could mean nothing. No one really knows what is going to happen when Foster chooses between Auburn, Alabama and Georgia Monday night at 9:30 p.m. CT on FSN. No matter who he picks, his recruitment likely won't be over until his signature is on a National Letter of Intent.