Auburn Football Recruiting: Where Do Tigers Go After Missing on Arik Armstead?

John PattonContributor IJanuary 30, 2012

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 31:  Head coach Gene Chizik of the Auburn Tigers points to his players during the 2011 Chick Fil-A Bowl against the Virginia Cavaliers at Georgia Dome on December 31, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Let's be honest. Unless a team has flat-out blundered by not creating a fall-back plan, losing out on one recruit isn't going to sabotage a recruiting class—especially considering many so-called elite prospects don't turn into college All-Americans.

That's why Auburn should be OK after losing out on coveted offensive tackle/defensive end Arik Armstead on Sunday.

At 6'8", 280 pounds with nimble feet and a powerful upper and lower body, the Elk Grove (Calif.) Pleasant Grove standout decided to stay on the west coast and plans to sign a national letter of intent with Oregon (where he also plans to play basketball) this Wednesday.

In selecting the Ducks, Armstead disappointed Washington, California, Notre Dame and the Tigers.

While let down, Auburn coaches had to know that luring Armstead to The Plains was unlikely, even if they gave it their best shot.

So, where do the Tigers go from here?

Well, at end, they already have a President (3-star Gimel President of Wando High School in Mount Pleasant, SC) in the fold and are in the mix for Daytona Beach Mainland defensive end/tackle Leonard Williams, a 6'5", 265 pounder who is considering Florida, Florida State, Miami (Fla.), Southern California, Alabama and Auburn, among others.

The Tigers are among the favorites to land Williams, who has said he wants to play in a 4-3 defense, the same type of system Auburn defensive coordinator Brian Van Gorder employs.

Williams visited AU the weekend of Oct. 14 and has listed the Tigers among his leaders ever since. He also has taken trips to FSU (Jan. 13), USC (Jan. 20) and UF (Jan. 20).

Auburn also is a finalist, along with Florida State and Alabama, for elite defensive tackle prospect Eddie Goldman of Washington, D.C.

He visited AU the weekend of Nov. 25 and also has taken in FSU (Sept. 16), the Crimson Tide (Nov. 4) and Miami (Dec. 9).

At offensive tackle, the Tigers have a pair of 4-star commitments already in Palm Beach Gardens Dwyer's Patrick Miller and Parker (Col.) Chapparal's Shane Callahan, a comfortable haul.

However, Auburn doesn't look to be done, as the hopes remain that Palm Beach Gardens' prep All-American Avery Young will choose the Tigers over Florida and Georgia on national signing day.

Young has taken official visits to each school, taking in Auburn the weekend of Oct. 28, UF the weekend of Nov. 25 and UGa the weekend of Dec. 9.

The Tigers also are in on Chicago Simeon's 6'6", 290-pound 5-star prospect Jordan Diamond.

Diamond has taken official visits to Ohio State (Dec. 9), Auburn (Dec. 16), Michigan (Jan. 13), Arkansas (Jan. 20) and Wisconsin (Jan. 27). He lists his final four as AU, Michigan, Wisconsin and Arkansas and is planning to announce his decision on Friday.

If Gene Chizik and Co. can come up with Williams, Goldman, Young and/or Diamond, Auburn supporters might end up saying "Arik who?"