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Auburn Football Recruiting: Two Weeks To Early Signing Day

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It’s crunch time

NCAA Football: Auburn at Alabama The Montgomery Advertiser-USA TODAY Sports

The start of the early signing period is rapidly approaching. On December 16th, two weeks from now, members of the 2021 class will have the opportunity to sign a National Letter of Intent with the school of their choosing. This three day period has become the new National Signing Day with 70%+ of prospects likely to sign.

And with only 14 more days to go, Auburn has A LOT of work to do...

Commits

Auburn has fallen 21 spots in the rankings since my last update which is obviously less than ideal. The Tigers now sit at #11 in the SEC standings but that’s mostly due to the low amount of commits. Their 89.42 player average rating ranks 6th in the conference trailing the other big boys in Alabama, LSU, Georgia, Florida and Texas A&M.

  • 4-star DT Lee Hunter | 6’5” | 292 lbs | Eight Mile, AL
  • 4-star OG Jaeden Roberts | 6’5” | 340 lbs | Houston, TX
  • 4-star S Ahmari Harvey | 5’10” | 171 lbs | Tallahassee, FL
  • 4-star QB Dematrius Davis | 5’10” | 200 lbs | Houston, TX
  • 4-star DT Marquis Robinson | 6’3” | 300 lbs | Milton, FL
  • 3-star WR/DB Tar’varish Dawson | 5’10” | 175 lbs | Lehigh Acres, FL
  • 3-star WR Hal Presley | 6’3” | 190 lbs | Arlington, TX
  • 3-star DE Tobechi Okoli | 6’5” | 250 lbs | Kansas City, MO
  • 3-star S Phillip O’Brien Jr | 6’0” | 169 lbs | Deerfield Beach, FL
  • 3-star TE Landen King | 6’5” | 220 lbs | Humble, TX
  • 3-star OG Garner Langlo | 6’7” | 270 lbs | Ocala, FL
  • 3-star CB Kamal Hadden | 6’2” | 185 lbs | Independence, KS
  • GT TE Grant Calcaterra | 6’3” | 234 lbs | Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
  • GT OG/C Eric Wilson | 6’4” | 280 lbs | Minneapolis, MN

I wrote last month about the importance of keeping the current class in tact. That has not happened with Caleb Johnson flipping to Notre Dame and Armoni Goodwin no longer committed. That makes that same goal even MORE important moving forward. The core of this class is still strong, not as strong as it was but still strong. Lose anymore pieces, especially someone like Lee Hunter or Jaeden Roberts and this is a catastrophe. I don’t think that will happen but I also thought Goodwin would be a Tiger...

Spots To Fill

Auburn holds commitments from 12 members of the 2021 class. They have also landed two transfers in Grant Calcaterra and Eric Wilson. Oscar Chapman’s scholarship counts against the 2021 numbers so right now the Tigers full class sits at 15. That means Auburn should have 10 spots to fill. Chances are extremely high that at least two of those spots go to transfers.

  • QB: 0
  • RB: 1
  • WR: 1
  • TE: 0
  • OL: 2-3
  • DL: 2-3
  • LB: 2
  • DB: 1-2

I bumped up the linebacker number to a solid 2 as it appears the Tigers want that many in this class. While it’s not a requirement, I would be surprised if Auburn did not sign at least 1 running back even if that spot ends up being someone from the transfer portal. Otherwise, the numbers look the same as last month. As of today, it looks like anymore offensive additions will continue to come via transfers.

Top Remaining Targets

I removed some names from last month’s list as it’s becoming more clear who Auburn is focusing in on and who don’t appear all that interested in the Tigers. Here’s the current state of things.

5-star LB Terrence Lewis | 6’1” | 200 lbs | Opa Locka, FL

This is the biggest addition to the list and the biggest surprise. Turns out Travis Williams has been doing some work behind the scenes and the Tigers have now emerged as the favorite to land the nation’s #1 ILB.

Lewis’s recruitment has been a whirlwind. He committed to Florida in January of 2019 before reopening things in April 2019. Then a year later in April of 2020, he committed to the Tennessee Volunteers who went on an insane hot streak over that period of time landing numerous recruits, none bigger than Lewis. But while consistently stating he was solid, Lewis has flirted with numerous programs in recent months culminating in him finally decommitting this past week.

Right now, Auburn looks to be sitting in a very good spot with the five star backer out of south Florida. Texas A&M could be a factor though spots are filling up fast for the Aggies and they are in deep with a number of other highly rated prospects. Miami has always been viewed as a top contender considering they are the hometown school but the Canes just haven’t been able to close the deal thus far. Tennessee will also stay in pursuit.

This would be a massive late win for T-WILL after what has been a wild recruiting cycle.

4-star DE Dylan Brooks | 6’5” | 250 lbs | Roanoke, AL | TEN Commit

The Lewis news only made the murmurs about Brooks not being so solid even louder. However, Brooks took to social media yesterday to give his support in a simple tweet. He continues to say all the right things publicly and appears to be solid to the Volunteers but behind the scenes Auburn continues to work and remains a factor. If a flip does go down, it’s likely to happen on signing day. As of today, I think he sticks with Tennessee.

4-star OT Savion Byrd | 6’5” | 295 lbs | Duncanville, TX

I am only including Byrd so that we can dream... SMU is once again gaining steam to keep the top 100 player home. Oklahoma appears to be the top competition given the coaching change rumors in Austin, TX. Auburn and LSU were apart of Byrd’s recent top 5 but there doesn’t appear to be much optimism that either Tigers will end up being the choice.

4-star CB Nyland Green | 6’2” | 183 lbs | Covington, GA

I’ve maintained from day 1 that I believe Nyland Green is the best cornerback in this 2021 class. He’s also been one of the hardest recruits to pin down this cycle. At various points during his recruitment Auburn, Clemson, Georgia and Tennessee all thought they were the team to beat. Those four teams continue to battle as we reach crunch time with a decision expected to come at any time for the nation’s #5 ranked corner. Georgia remains the likely favorite with Clemson the top challenger. But it seems Green’s mind changes daily so if there were a major surprise to go down this class for Auburn, outside of Lewis, this would be the one. I think the Dawgs keep him home.

4-star RB Armoni Goodwin | 5’8” | 190 lbs | Trussville, AL

It makes me sad to include Goodwin in this list. Once Auburn’s longest tenured commit, Goodwin is back on the market and exploring all his options. The top 5 right now appear to be Auburn, Alabama, Georgia, Florida State and LSU. FSU and the Bayou Bengals appear to be the favorites right now to steal Goodwin away. But if either Bama or UGA decide they want him in their class, I have a hard time seeing him say no. Auburn isn’t dead in this race but kids don’t often recommit to a school.

4-star RB Cody Brown | 6’0” | 227 lbs | Lilburn, GA | TEN Commit

If Auburn does in fact fail to get Goodwin back on board keep an eye on Brown. Another Tennessee commit Auburn is heavily pursuing, Brown has had a monster high school football career in the state of Georgia. He fits the mold of the bruising back Malzahn loves to deploy and was high on Auburn early this cycle. There’s some buzz Auburn has been working on Brown behind the scenes but nothing public has come out on his recruitment in awhile.

4-star RB Phil Mafah | 6’1” | 215 lbs | Loganville, GA | CLEM Commit

The long time Clemson commit continues to be mentioned as someone Auburn fans should pay attention to especially now that Goodwin has left the class. Unfortunately, Mafah suffered a season ending injury last week and will likely need some time to recover. I am not sure if that will affect Auburn’s recruiting efforts but I am also skeptical he’s a legitimate flip candidate.

4-star LB Trevin Wallace | 6’2” | 209 lbs | Jesup, GA

Just a week ago Auburn’s linebacker class seemed to hinge on just Wallace. But with the recent Lewis news, Auburn’s class could go from a major question mark to a huge strength. The Tigers continue to sit in a good spot with Wallace but will need to convince him to shut it down in two weeks. He’s pondering taking his recruitment into February which would likely be bad news for Auburn. Again, keep an eye on that Xavian Sorey recruitment. If Georgia and/or Florida miss on Sorey, they might turn the heat up on Wallace.

3-star BUCK George Wilson | 6’5” | 214 lbs | Virginia Beach, VA

Auburn appears to still be the team to beat with a decision likely coming soon. Florida State is hard after the pass rusher as well and have plenty of playing time to sell. We will see if Wilson makes an announcement this week as originally planned.

3-star WR Roc Taylor | 6’2” | 212 lbs | Oxford, AL | TEN Commit

I am not sure how serious Auburn is still recruiting Roc but just like Brooks and Brown, he’s a prospect Auburn fans should track over these last 2 weeks. I think he sticks with the Vols but if anything were to change that would likely mean good news for Auburn. I personally believe that with Presley on board Auburn will focus on getting someone with a bit more speed for that other WR spot.

BUCK Byron Young | 6’3” | 240 lbs | Milledgeville, GA

Not much has changed in Young’s recruitment since my last update. Florida State and Tennessee are both pushing Auburn but the Tigers continue to sit in a good spot. Adding Young and Wilson to Hunter, Robinson and Okoli makes for a solid DL class.

CB Dontae Balfour | 6’2” | 170 lbs | Starke, FL

Balfour dropped a top 2 yesterday featuring Auburn and Missouri. He will announce his decision on December 16th and that will likely mean good news for the better looking Tigers.

DT Ian Mathews | 6’5” | 290 lbs | Columbus, GA

Georgia Tech is the current favorite to land the fast rising prospect out of Georgia. That would change if Auburn decides to turn up the heat. I don’t see that happening unless Auburn strikes out on all their other top targets (Brooks, Young, Wilson) which seems unlikely right now. However, anything is possible in recruiting...

War Eagle!