Well this is a nice early signing day surprise! Expected to wait until February, 4* DL Jaren Handy decided to just go ahead and end his recruitment and sign early with the Tigers today.
Auburn beat out Alabama, Ole Miss, Florida and plenty of others earlier this year for the 6’5” 278 lb monster out of Hattiesburg, MS. After Handy’s first visit to the Plains, it seemed he connected with Rodney Garner and it was going to be hard for anybody to beat out the Tigers for his signature. But even then it’s always a bit worrying when one of your top commits decides to wait and sign. Especially when he’s considering taking multiple official visits. So this is absolutely huge news for Auburn to lock Handy down now in December.
Handy has a chance to be a day 1 impact player on the defensive line. He’s extremely athletic and will be able to line up all over the field. Handy is explosive out of his stance and with his long reach can be a nightmare to handle in pass rushing situations. Given his frame, he will probably grow into a true defensive tackle but at least early in his career will definitely get some work at strong side defensive end.
As for where the big man can improve, the big step he will need to take at the next level is learning to play with better pad level. It’s not unusual for tall high school DL who are so much stronger than their opponents to play too high. In SEC land, that means losing leverage and getting blown off the ball. If he can learn to better use his size to his advantage, he’s got the skillset to be a key part of Auburn’s rotation next season. Handy’s best football is clearly ahead of him and it’s hard not to be excited about his potential.
War Eagle Jaren!