Auburn stands to lose a lot of production at the defensive end position this year. DaVonte Lambert was a senior. Carl Lawson could go pro. Cassanova McKinzy (who plays Buck/End at times) was a senior. So adding quality pass rushers was an immediate need.
Auburn gained a committment from the nation's best JUCO defensive end in Paul James of Copiah-Lincoln Community College back in November. You can check out our original article on his commitment, here. Today he signed his Letter of Intent to play for Auburn and will join the Tigers in January.
Will Muschamp made a play for James after taking the South Carolina job, but James decided that the school was more important to him than the coach. You have to admire and appreciate someone who makes that type of decision. James does not know who his defensive coordinator will be when he arrives at Auburn, but he knows he loves the school.
There are still some players on the roster that hopefully will come on strong and push for playing time at the defensive end position. Byron Cowart, of course, is one. So is Gimel President, a rising senior next season who came on strong at the end of the year. Maybe Raashed Kennion will live up to the hype they were giving him last year. We also still don't know what Auburn may have in 6'8 Redshirt Freshman Prince Tega Wanogho, Jr.
There's a lot of potential on the ends, but no one has proven themselves. That's why James signing with Auburn is so big. He has experience and is obviously a talented rush end. Hopefully he can jump right into the line next season for Auburn and provide a solid anchor on the edge.