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52 Days to Kickoff: Jaren Handy

As we continue our march to kickoff, we take a look at the top 100 recruits to sign with Auburn of all-time*. The rankings are based on 247’s composite recruit rankings, which unfortunately only date back to 2000.


Jaren Handy, out of Hattiesburg High School in Mississippi, is a monster of a man, even as an incoming freshman in 2019. At 6’5” and pushing 280 lbs, he’s already college-ready in terms of size, and he must have been a terror to poor high school offensive lineman. As usual, here’s what AUNerd had to say about him last summer:

Handy is a massive human being at 6’5” 278 lbs and hasn’t even scratched this surface yet of his potential. The big man is a powerful force in the interior with a long reach that makes it easy for him to shed would be blockers and get after the QB. He also has surprising lateral quickness for a man his size which allows him to smoothly and quickly change directions, a valuable skill in today’s read option world. Like Gordon, Handy could play DT or DE for the Tigers. My guess is he ends up in the interior and takes over Derrick Brown’s role as the monster on inside.

Auburn hasn’t had much of a footprint in Mississippi in recent years. But when the Tigers hired Marcus Woodson as DB in January of 2018, that changed quickly. The former Memphis position coach used his expertise to focus on a handful of kids of Mississippi, and helped Rodney Garner rake in a trio of magnolia-state defensive linemen in Handy, Charles Moore, and Derrick Hall.

After consulting with recruiting and roster specialist AUNerd again, it looks like Handy may have a chance to break into the rotation on the defensive line this year. With all of the moving parts at buck, strong side end, and the tackle position next to Derrick Brown, I imagine there will be double-digit subpackages that Garner will employ, and chances are Handy can break into a few of them.