Auburn is back up to seven commitments today as the nation's #1 Fullback Mailk Miller from Madison Academy in Madison, Alabama declared his intentions to join the Tigers.
Miller was being recruited by Auburn, Alabama, and Florida State the hardest. He only visited the Seminoles one time, but claimed that visit did play a big part in his recruitment. He was a former teammate of 2015 Auburn signee Kerryon Johnson and played with him on the Madison Academy state championship team this past fall. He earned rave reviews from many for his performance for Madison Academy and had many believing he may be the better of the two running backs.
He's the #1 fullback and the 13th best overall player in Alabama, but apparently Auburn is telling him that they only want him at that running back slot. In terms of size, he's virtually identical to Peyton Barber at 5'11, 229 lbs. At 4.52 (according to his Hudl film) he's not a blazer by any stretch, but he's not bad.
I like that he runs with power, doesn't go looking for contact, but doesn't try to avoid it, either. He keeps his feet pumping, and that can be rough on defensive players when you've got that much meat pushing hard against you. He has moves, but he's really not going to try to break ankles when he can just run through you.
Miller will add to an already very impressive stable of running backs at Auburn. There's always a chance that Jovon Robinson has an amazing year and goes pro after one season on the Plains, so it's important for the Tigers to maintain that excellent depth in the backfield.
Running back recruiting won't end with Miller, either. Auburn wants at least two backs in this class, and I believe the #1 priority now is Elijah Holyfield. There are other backs on the radar (the top running back in the nation visited for Big Cat Weekend), but Holyfield and Miller appeared to be the Tigers' main choices.
Peyton Barber will be eligible to go pro after this season, but I don't see that happening. Of course, he could also transfer if his playing time doesn't increase this season. Roc Thomas is a sophomore, Kerryon Johnson will be a true freshman this season (if he doesn't redshirt), and then there's redshirt freshman Kamryn Pettway and true freshman Chandler Cox at the HB/FB slot.
There's always the chance that Kerryon Johnson moves to defense, though. Right now Auburn has said they have zero intentions of moving him to the defensive side of the ball, but he WAS invited to one of the high school all-star games as a Safety, and Auburn is in desperate need of defensive backs. Miller, though, will either be a running back or fullback and I have zero doubts about that.
It's been a back and forth through the rankings over the past few weeks. When Quinnen Williams decommited, Auburn dropped back to 31st in the team rankings according to the 247Sports Composite. Miller's commitment puts the Tigers at 27th between Maryland and Louisville.
The offensive recruiting has been going fairly well. The defensive recruiting has been very confusing. Auburn had two defensive linemen committed and both have recently decommited. One of them will be visiting Auburn for a few days this week and still named the Tigers his leader.
It's a bit disconcerting to see the Tigers so far back in the rankings, but I still go back to "it's just June." Miller is a fantastic addition to the 2016 class. With how many signees the Tigers can bring in, only 1/4 of the slots have been filled. There are still a good 20 or so players that the Tigers will add before this is all over.