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Belated 30 Days to Kickoff! - Corey Lemonier

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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.

THE RECRUIT

“Size, speed and athletic ability are three traits that make Corey Lemonier one of the top defensive players in the country. A great first step allows him to get the edge on any given play and is a disruptive force once in the opposing backfield. Like any player entering his senior season of football he needs to work on his overall strength but as he grows and continues to get bigger he will be a force at the next level.” - 247 Sports

Corey Lemonier, out of Hialeah, Florida, was one of the top defensive ends in the country in the 2010 class. The pass rusher had several major offers, but Lemonier chose Auburn over Florida State on signing day of 2010.

THE PLAYER

Lemonier worked his way into the pass rush rotation immediately as a freshman in 2010. He played in all 14 games, and added a sack during both the South Carolina and ULM games. In the National Championship, he had a stellar game, adding three tackles and a TFL.

Come 2011, Auburn needed to replace the pass rush capabilities of Lombardi winner Nick Fairley, and DC Ted Roof (ugh) had to look no further than Lemonier. The Florida native was a beast in 2011, ringing up opposing QB’s for 9.5 sacks, and totaling 13.5 TFL and 5 forced fumbles on the season. The 9.5 sacks ranks 12th on Auburn’s single season sacks record. His best games came against Florida and UGA, where he combined for 12 tackles, 5 TFL, 4 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles.

Going into his junior season, Lemonier was being looked at as one of the premier pass rushers in the country. But (say it with me), 2012 was a letdown. Lemonier’s production fell off, as he recorded just 5.5 TFLs and as many sacks, and only one forced fumble. Being a pass rusher in a defense that is almost always losing by double digits is a hard life. Lemonier did have a flash of his 2011 excellence in the LSU defensive battle, where he recorded 2 sacks and his lone forced fumble.

After seeing his stock drop significantly after the 2012 campaign, #55 went ahead and declared early for the NFL Draft. He would be drafted in the third round by the 49ers in the 2013 Draft. Lemonier finished his career T8 on Auburn’s all-time sack list with 17. It’s too bad he didn’t stick around for his fourth and final season, as he would have had a real shot of tying or breaking Gerald Robinson and Quentin Groves’s record of 26 career sacks. Then again, I think I’d rather get the money while I could.

Corey played for four seasons in the NFL, three of them with the team that drafted him. He went on to play in 51 career games (3 starts), though mostly as a rotation/pass rush specialist. In his career, he totaled 46 tackles, 3 sacks, and 2 FF.