Over the next
2 weeks 2-3ish indeterminate number of weeks, we will be taking a position by position look at the top targets on Auburn’s 2021 board. This is a first pass at who might be looking at Auburn the hardest this early in the cycle and whom Auburn might have the most interest in. However, recruiting is fluid and these lists will likely change.
The 2021 class preview slogs on with a look at an interesting position this cycle. The 2020 class was both a success and a failure for Travis Williams. On one hand, he signed a loaded 3 man class of blue chip prospects that included a top 100 player in Wesley Steiner. On the other, he lost two top 100 players including 5* Trenton Simpson. It’s a great class that could have been the nation’s best last year.
This go around, the numbers are expected to be much tighter. The Tigers spend most of their time in a nickel package that features only 2 linebackers. With only 2 seniors departing after the 2020 campaign and consecutive 3 man linebacker classes, it’s likely Auburn will only sign 2 backers this cycle. While quantity will be low, expect the quality to be high as always. As always, T-WILL has his sights set on some pretty big fish.
5* Smael Mondon | 6’3” | 220 lbs | Dallas, GA
This one will be a tough pull with the instate Georgia Bulldogs the clear team to beat. But Mondon is close with Travis Williams and the Tigers are going to fight for his pledge up until he signs. This is a case where lack of visits could really hurt Auburn. If you remember, Auburn made their big move for Owen Pappoe in the spring when a handful of visits turned him from a Dawg lock to a Tiger pledge. If he decides to wait until taking visits to commit, I like Auburn’s odds of making this race very interesting.
Mondon is an absurd athlete. He can do a bit of everything on the 2nd level of the defense and with his frame will be able to play at 220+ lbs without losing a step. What jumps out is his ability to cover so much ground so quickly. In today’s world of spread offenses, linebackers have to be able to play all over the field and Mondon has the athleticism to do it all.
4* Barrett Carter | 6’1” | 220 lbs | Suwanee, GA
Of the top 100 backers Auburn is in pursuit of Carter is the most likely to end up a Tiger but there’s a lot of work to be done for that to happen. UGA was thought to be the team to beat for the thumper out of North Gwinnett High School but Clemson has recently surged ahead in this race. Auburn though continues to be a threat and Carter is reportedly close with T-WILL. Again, the staff just really needs to get him back on campus.
Carter is a heat seeking missile with bad intentions. The North Gwinnett standout is a versatile backer who does everything from rush the passer, to drop back in coverage, to stuffing ball carriers in the A-gap for his high school program. At the next level, he’s likely to grow into a MIKE backer. To me he’s the perfect fit for what T-WILL wants from the MLB position in his defense.
4* Xavian Sorey | 6’3” | 214 lbs | Graceville, FL
Graceville, FL is home to just over 2,000 people and plays 1A football in the state of Florida. It’s also home to one of the best prospects in the country. Sorey has landed offers from everyone and seems likely to land somewhere in the SEC. At this time, Alabama and Georgia look like the teams to beat but Auburn is a factor in this race. It’s going to take some work to crack that top group but this is the type of kid that would fit in well in the Auburn program.
It’s honestly unfair some of these kids have to be on the same field as Sorey. A freaky athlete who plays on both sides of the ball for his program, Sorey’s future is undoubtedly on the defensive side of the ball where he could grow into an elite SEC outside linebacker.
4* Ian Jackson | 6’1” | 208 lbs | Prattville, AL
An Auburn legacy, Jackson might be the most likely target to end up in Auburn’s class of the names listed so far but this is no slam dunk. The Tigers took their time offering but did so after Alabama, Georgia and LSU all jumped into the race. The Prattville standout is also hearing plenty from Florida State and Oklahoma. But for my money, Jackson stays in state. If T-WILL decides to push, Auburn might be hard to beat.
Jackson is another fantastic athlete who played all over the field in 2019. Not the biggest kid in the world, Jackson’s future is likely at OLB at the next level. He’s quick with outstanding closing speed and a great tackler. His size will likely keep him down in the rankings but I think he’s got the skillset to thrive in Auburn’s defense.
4* Deshauwn Alleyne | 6’0” | 210 lbs | Port Saint Lucie, FL
There hasn’t been a ton reported on Alleyne’s recruitment but in early March he dropped a top 5 of Auburn, Penn State, Michigan, Nebraska and Kentucky. The Tigers offered last June and appear to have been quietly hard after this talented prospect.
Alleyne is unafraid of contact, consistently showing a willingness to take blockers on head on. There’s a lot of “Downhill Britt” in his game as Alleyne excels as a run stopper in between the tackles. You know when he’s in on the tackle because ball carriers stop moving.
3* Raheim Sanders | 6’2” | 210 lbs | Rockledge, FL
Rockledge has been kind to Auburn the past two cycles. In 2019, Auburn signed 3* LB O.C. Brothers. Last season, Auburn landed my favorite player of the class in 4* DB Ladarius Tennison. Could they make it 3 straight years they poach the top defensive prospect from the Raiders’ defense? It’s definitely possible though they will have to fight off the likes of Florida State and Oklahoma to do so.
Sanders is the most underrated prospect on this list in my amateur opinion. I get the same feeling watching his tape as did Jamien Sherwood’s which is simply, this dude is a football player. A lot of his tape is Sanders at wide receiver but the Tigers want him at linebacker. Given that frame and his explosiveness, it could be scary what he does at the next level. For my money, his upside is at the same level as guys like Barrett Carter and Xavian Sorey.
3* Timar Rogers | 6’2” | 200 lbs | Deland, FL
Rogers rating isn’t gonna turn any heads but Auburn offered him back in early April and has been hard after him ever since. His recruitment also was picking up before everything shutdown with Mississippi State, Boston College, Missouri and N.C. State all offering the Florida native. If the Tigers decide to push they will be a major factor.
Rogers is more of a BUCK player for his HS defense but his future is likely at ILB at the next level. A solid frame at 6’2” 200 lbs, Rogers could put on 15-20 lbs without losing his explosiveness. Possessing outstanding closing speed, Rogers is at his best coming downhill with eyes on the ball carrier.