While the frustrations about not signing an OT in last year’s class have been understandable (I have mentioned it probably far too many times at this point), I think it’s unfortunately overshadowed a very underrated interior OL class. Neither Jalil Irvin nor Kameron Stutts carry flashy ratings or will be asked to contribute as true freshman but I expect both to leave as starters for Auburn one day. Irvin is already a highly developed center prospect who will challenge for early playing time while Stutts has all the makings of Auburn’s next physically dominant offensive guard. Don’t sleep on those guys in the coming years.
So while Auburn has solid depth in the interior and offensive tackle will no doubt be the #1 focus up front this signing class, I fully expect Auburn to still make signing at least 2 high quality interior OL prospects a priority in the 2019 class. JB Grimes proved in his first stint at Auburn that he can find outstanding OG prospects and I expect that to continue in 2019.
Offensive Guard - 2
The OG board still seems to be taking shape though a few names have jumped out in the early going. Two guys I mentioned in the OT preview, 4* William Putnam and 3* Carter Colquitt, could probably also end up OG targets as well. Here are some earl names to know at OG this cycle.
The former Alabama commit did something I don’t think I have ever seen a recruit do, he set a de-commit date... Recruiting is always filled with surprises. That weird antic aside, Hammond is expected to be one of the top OL recruits in the 2019 class. Given Auburn’s renewed focus on recruiting IMG Academy, I would not be surprised to see Hammond make it to campus in the near future.
There might not be a guy higher on Auburn’s OG board than Jones right now. The big man just visited the Tigers for the 2nd straight weekend and admits that Auburn is “working their way to the top”. Jones is the exact type of interior OL prospect Grimes loves to recruit: big, strong and dominant in the run game. Keep an eye on Clemson, Georgia, Florida and Florida State as well in this race but right now I think the Auburn Tigers are the team to beat.
If you haven’t picked up on it by now, Buford is a place Auburn plans to visit A LOT this recruiting cycle. Simonds joins teammates Harry Miller and Carter Colquitt as Wolvess OL prospects with Auburn offers. Virginia Tech appears to have surged into the early lead in this race but if the Tigers make Simonds a priority I could see Auburn making a move in this recruitment.
Eguakun is a recent addition to the OL board having landed an offer only last week. Despite his commitment to Miami, the big man decided to make the journey from Jacksonville, FL to the Plains this past weekend and came away impressed with the Tigers. Auburn has had a lot of success in the Jacksonville area in recent years and are hoping to continue that trend in 2019. Flipping a guy like Eguakun would be a great way of doing just that. Highly recommend you watch his tape, that rating is gonna move up over the next year.
Center - 1
I don’t think it’s a sure thing the Tigers take a center prospect this cycle with Nick Brahms entering his redshirt freshman season and Auburn signing Jalil Irvin in the 2018 class. However, there is a guy Auburn clearly wants and would take no matter who they already have at this position.
This might be Auburn’s #1 OL recruit on the board right now. It’s not often you see a center with a 5* rating but Webb has been on the recruiting radar since the 8th grade thanks to his dominance both on the field and in the recruiting camp circuit. Oh he’s also a state champion wrestler as well. He holds offers from pretty much anywhere you can imagine. This will more than likely end up another hotly contested Auburn/Alabama battle with the Tide thought to have the early lead. Webb is a day 1 impact talent who will have a chance to start as a true freshman wherever he signs.
Like I said above, I don’t know if it’s 100% certain the Tigers will take a center prospect this cycle. If they do, they won’t make a move on anyone else until they hear a “no” from Clay Webb. If they do lose out on Webb and the staff decides they want a true center prospect in this class, then the name to watch is Louis Paul Smith. The Biloxi native has been a frequent visitor to campus and seems high on the Tigers but is waiting on an offer. If that offer does come then I think the Tigers would be a hard team to beat.