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2016 Defensive Tackle Tashawn Manning Commits to Auburn

The Tigers pick up their 10th commitment for the 2016 class. It is the second in two days in general and on the defensive line.

Student Sports

For the second time in two days, the Tigers picked up a surprise commitment from a defensive line prospect out of Florida. This time it's 6'4, 270 lbs defensive tackle Tashawn Manning from Apopka, FL.

Manning appears to be another sleeper, just as Daquan Newkirk is. He only has one rating on his 247Sports composite profile, and that is as a two star. He has offers from a number of P5 schools, though. Pitt, North Carolina, Louisville, and West Virginia. Pitt is now headed by Pat Narduzzi, and Gene Chizik is the DC at North Carolina if you're looking for some very good defensive coaches (shut up, you know Chizik was an excellent defensive coach) who liked this kid enough to offer.

I don't know what level of competition he's playing against, but he definitely looks faster than most of the people he's playing against. His Hudl profile says he runs a 4.8, though, so I suspect he's just playing against slower players. With his height, he's got a good frame that can add weight. Then again, with Auburn's desire to play fast, they want in-shape defensive linemen, too. Auburn's definitely going for some tall linemen (Newkirk at 6'3, Wanogho, Jr is 6'8) in the past few years. A tall defensive line is something that can give opposing quarterbacks fits.

The Film

He doesn't look like makes much in the way of moves, even when playing on the edge. That's also an important thing to note: he's playing as a tackle and an end in these highlights. He doesn't do much in the way of spin moves or jukes, he just shoves people out of the way and gets to the ball carrier or the quarterback.

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The Depth

We know defensive tackle is thin. We're talking paper thin. There aren't many upperclassmen on the team, and even those we do have could leave after this season. So, the Tigers need to add a lot of defensive linemen in this class. I'd venture to guess there are more linemen (both O and D) that sign this season than any of the other positions combined. They had two on board and then lost them to decommitments. One or both of those (David Marshall the likelier of the two) could still rejoin the class. Auburn is also pursuing some very highly ranked folks, like the #1 recruit in the nation, defensive tackle Rashan Gary.

The Class

He's the 10th commitment of the 2016 recruiting class. 247Sports jumped in with a 3* rating as I was writing this. His only rating prior to that was a 2*. The commitment of Manning bumps the Tigers up one spot in the overall rankings to 19th, but the Tigers stay 9th in the SEC.

Two sleepers in two days really has you wondering if either Mushcamp & Company aren't very confident about landing some of the higher profile guys and are snatching up sleepers now, or if they really believe these guys are top-notch and no one else has recognized that, yet. Taking two in two days this early in the recruiting cycle leads me to believe the latter. There's still plenty of time to swoop in and snatch guys like this late in the cycle if they think they're going to miss on the big fish. Something tells me the defensive coaches see something special in the athletic tools and size of these last two commitments. I look forward to seeing what they can do with them.