So, we're just over two weeks from National Signing Day. Where do things stand for the Tigers?
The Early Enrollees
First off, according to the 247Sports Composite, Auburn is ranked 8th in the nation and 4th in the SEC. There are seven from the 2017 class who are already enrolled. I'm using the composite rankings, which is why Stidham is a 4* and not a 5*. Those are as follows:
4* QB Jarrett Stidham (JUCO)
3* TE Salvatore Cannella (JUCO)
4* LB Kenny Britt
4* ATH/DB Malcolm Askew
4* OG Nick Brahms
3* QB Malik Willis
3* LB Chandler Wooten
That's a pretty good group, right there. The jewel of the group is, of course, Jarrett Stidham at QB. Don't discount the level of immediate impact that TE Sal Cannella can have, though. Cannella is a tall kid who is built perfectly to play both the traditional TE role along with that of the slot receiver like Duke Williams played.
The rest of them are no slouches, either. Chandler Wooten is only a 3*, but he was also invited to play in the Under Armour All-American game. He's a special player. Malik Willis wasn't being recruited much as a QB until a stellar senior season. He'll have a big advantage of being on campus early. Of course, we don't know who is going to be the QB coach, yet.
For those committed but unsigned, there are some jewels as well.
5* OT Calvin Ashley
4* LB Tadarian Moultry
4* OT Austin Troxell
4* RB Devan Barrett
4* ATH/RB/WR Alaric Williams
3* WR Noah Igbinoghene
3* S Carlito Gonzalez
3* ATH/RB/WR Octavius Matthews (JUCO)
3* DT Alec Jackson
3* CB Traivon Leonard
3* S Jordyn Peters
3* PK Anders Carlson
3* LS Bill Taylor
I'm listing Moultry here as a 4*, but 247Sports gave him his 5th star, yesterday. According to their measure, he'll be the Tigers' highest-rated recruit for the cycle unless there are some surprises coming.
Of course, those surprises may not be all good. Maryland is coming hard for Calvin Ashley, even though he's said multiple times on Twitter that he's a hard commit to Auburn. He'll be visiting this weekend. Clemson is trying to sway 4* RB Devan Barrett away from Auburn. That's one we really don't want to lose even with the massive amounts of running back depth we currently have. Barrett could be a real star.
Anders Carlson seems destined for a redshirt, but then you have to remember that Auburn may be needing a good punter with Kevin Phillips gone. So, there's a chance that Auburn has two Carlsons kicking for us next year.
If you're counting, that's 25 recruits. We don't know if Bill Taylor is going to be an official part of this class or not. So, we could say 19. That means there are 5 or 6 spots left. The Tigers would like to fill them with some combination of the following.
4* S Devon Hunter (announcing Friday night)
4* DE Markaviest Bryant
4* DE Ryan Johnson
4* LB Tyler Taylor (Announcing next Monday)
4* OT Kai-Leon Herbert
4* WR Oliver Martin
3* FB Chase Lasater
3* LB/H-Back Thomas Johnston (announcing Jan 26th)
Auburn has also offered a few JUCO offensive linemen as they want to add at least one more OL to the class. It's not likely that they nab both defensive ends they're targeting, either, so I'm sure there will be a few that we're not tracking as closely at the moment.
With two weekends to go before signing day, the next two weekends' are key. This weekend is the one Auburn has tabbed as the key that they're bringing in the biggest targets and commitments to. I have to say I'm glad it's this weekend. In the past, it's been the first weekend after the dead period, giving recruits two weekends afterwards to take other visits. This year, they'll only have one weekend.
Auburn will fall short with at least one of the above targets. More than likely, the Tigers will miss out on 2-3. There may be some flips from Auburn and there may be some flips to Auburn. Regardless, this team is set to finish with at least a Top 15 class, and probably Top 10. If Auburn somehow does snag all of their top targets, then it could be a fantastic class.
We're close to the end of this year's recruiting cycle. Then the craziness starts all over.