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.
Tommy Tuberville was a fantastic judge of talent, and had the ability to take that ole diamond in the rough and turn a project player into a five star talent. Countless times were defensive linemen turned around and made into fierce offensive protectors, and often times we saw lightly-recruited guys turn into stars.
Those reasons were partly why we were excited to get an actual real-life talent on the offensive line instead of one of the secrets that he’d happened to find. Leon Hart was one of the best high school offensive linemen in the country, and picked Auburn over his home state South Carolina Gamecocks, as well as Ohio State and Georgia.
Hart entered Auburn at a very successful time, and he’d get to learn from some extremely talented offensive linemen during his early years. The 2004 Auburn team boasted guys like Marcus McNeil, Troy Reddick, Danny Lindsey, Jeremy Ingle, and Ben Grubbs. It remained a talented group the following year as well, but it wasn’t until midway through the year that Hart would get his first real action as a member of the group.
In the ninth game of the season, an injury pushed Hart into the starting group as the Tigers went to play Kentucky in Lexington. It turned out to be a fantastic decision, as Hart started his first game ever at right tackle, and led the way for the offense to gain a season-high in yards with 589. They also beat the Wildcats 49-27 and gained 388 rushing yards while keeping the quarterbacks clean.
After that, however, Hart’s impact on the line would turn out to be purely from a support standpoint. In 2006, Ben Grubbs and Tim Duckworth were dominant forces, and Hart never broke into the starting lineup in an extended role.