With Anders Carlson and Carlito Gonzalez expected to enroll soon at Auburn, all of the 2017 class will have arrived on campus. Yesterday, we looked at Auburn’s 2017 offensive signing class. Today, let's take a quick look back at who on the defensive side of the ball signed with Auburn this past February.
I am far from an expert when it comes to scouting players but I honestly have no idea how Moultry was not a consensus top 20 player in last year's class. This kid has everything you want in a LB: size, speed, aggression, physicality. He could honestly play any of Auburn's linebacker spots in 2017. Pass rush might be where he can make an immediate impact for Auburn next season. I fully expect this kid to leave Auburn as a fan favorite and defensive star.
Big Cat helped turn this class from good to great by committing to Auburn on National Signing Day over Georgia and LSU. Like Devan Barrett, Bryant is a guy that could contribute early but might need some time in the weight room. He has an incredibly quick first step and great size. Auburn needs to rebuild it’s pass rush and there’s hope that Bryant can be a big piece of that.
Askew emerged as one of the leaders of the 2017 class after committing at Big Cat Weekend last year. The talented athlete spent most of his high school career as a QB due to being the best athlete on the field. He’s expected to play the nickel position for Auburn and was one of seven players to enroll early this spring. Given Auburn’s lack of experienced depth and the fact Askew has been on campus since December, I think chances are good you will see him on the field some in 2017.
Britt is what a middle linebacker is supposed to look like. He might be a tad short but he brings the pop when he arrives to the ballcarrier. Britt missed all of spring practice due to injury but is a guy that could provide a spark on special teams this year. In 2018, I suspect he takes Tre Williams’s place in the MLB rotation.
Wooten was another early enrollee that impressed this spring. The North Cobb alum is a tackle machine with great instincts and speed that should allow him to eventually plug in at the SAM linebacker spot where Darrell Williams currently plays. Due to Auburn’s depth at linebacker, Wooten might see most of his snaps on special teams and I wouldn’t be surprised if he becomes a kick coverage standout.
I actually watched tape on all the guys rated ahead of Gonzalez at the safety position in the 2017 class and feel confident in saying, there are not 27 safety prospects better than him. Gonzalez brings a nice mix of physicality and speed to the position. Given Auburn’s desperate need for depth at the safety spot, I firmly believe Gonzalez is someone you will see plenty of by the end of the season. I think Auburn got an absolute stud in the Stephenson native.
It’s hard not to cheer for Truesdell. The big fella wanted to be a part of Auburn’s class but didn’t have a spot until Ryan Johnson chose Stanford. Instead of being bitter or angry about it, he waited to see what would happen and then happily jumped on board when given the chance. Truesdell will need some time to remake his body and learn to not play so high but with his attitude and raw ability I see him cracking the DT rotation down the road.
Jackson is a big kid that can do a lot of different things. He could rotate in at defensive tackle or slide out and play defensive end. Despite his low ranking, he was a highly recruited target and someone that Auburn really wanted. I am not sure if he will redshirt or find his way onto the field in 2017 but he’s definitely a kid that Auburn has high hopes will develop into a big time player up front for the Tigers.
After an impressive camp performance last summer, Peters earned an Auburn offer and eventually committed to the Tigers. Peters is an athletic freak who will probably need a bit of polish before earning meaningful snaps. My best guess is Peters is a special teams contributor in 2017 before being apart of the safety rotation in 2018.
Leonard was on Wesley McGriff’s radar as early as last summer and was McGriff’s parting gift to AU when he flipped Leonard from UNC days before leaving for Ole Miss. I actually think Leonard is someone who could contribute early at the CB spot. He’s not elite in any one thing but brings a nice set of tools to the CB position which has limited depth right now for Auburn.