While Rodney Garner has done an outstanding job bringing in talent over the years, it’s hard not to be a bit wary of the interior DL depth heading into 2020. There are really only three true defensive tackle bodies on the roster right now in Tyrone Truesdell, Daquan Newkirk and Coynis Miller. Often times, senior walk on Gary Walker Jr was the 3rd or 4th option for the Tigers at defensive tackle last season.
That’s why it became pretty apparent the Tigers would pursue a JUCO defensive tackle. Garner spent a bunch of time out on the trail evaluating the top junior college defensive tackles this past fall. After those evaluations, his top target became clear - 3* Marquis Burks.
Today he got his man.
Burks’s offer list is nothing to get too excited about but a big reason it’s not that long is because once Auburn jumped into the race, many other programs believed it would be a waste of time to pursue. I think this recruitment was over once the Tigers offered. This is a kid that wants to wear the orange and blue.
Burks spent most of his time this past season playing nose tackle for his JUCO squad. A big reason his stat sheet isn’t necessarily that gaudy is as the nose in an odd front, you are often ask to eat space and blocks to free up linebackers. Despite that he was still able to compile 5 sacks and 7 TFL. He’s a powerful interior player who does a great job winning with his hands and playing with sound pad level. I expect him to be the #2 man behind Tyrone Truesdell next season.
It’s wild how quickly things changed for this DL class. Heading into November Auburn only had 1 commit in Daniel Foster-Allen. Come February, Auburn has now signed SIX defensive lineman with as many as four of those players looking likely to contribute immediately in 2020. Today’s two JUCO signees could end up being two of the more important players in this class as they will allow Garner to hopefully continue to use 10 man rotations up front. Another solid job by Auburn’s defensive line coach.
War Eagle Marquis!