Auburn Football: Tigers Need Recruit Tray Matthews to Solidify Defense

Sam R. Quinn@SamQuinn_Senior Analyst IIIAugust 6, 2012

Photo Credit: insider.espn.go.com
Photo Credit: insider.espn.go.com

The Auburn Tigers seem to be in good position to steal longtime Georgia Bulldogs recruit Tray Matthews, which is something they need to do in order to solidify their defense.

According to The Atlanta Journal Constitution, Matthews visited the Auburn campus over the weekend and said '"It was good,'" and went on to say, '"I’m still committed to Georgia but if it’s not the right place for me, then God will lead me elsewhere."' 

At the very least, Matthews is far from set in regards to where he will be playing football next season, something that bodes well for Auburn's chances of bringing in the prized recruit.

At 6'2" and 207 pounds, he has the prototypical build for a safety in college football. He's versatile in his ability to stop the run and defend the pass, and shows the ability to cover a lot of ground throughout the defense.

The Tigers lost star defensive back Neiko Thorpe to the NFL in this year's draft. He finished second on the team with 102 tackles and interceptions with three.

Matthews has the ability to fill that role and excel, as he will most likely compete for a starting job under Gene Chizik if he chooses to flip his commitment to Auburn.

He's a ball hawk, super athletic and can lay the wood on offensive players when he comes up to stop the run or drops back in pass coverage.

By no means is he a finished product, as he's going to need to get used to Auburn's defensive scheme, but he's a solid option in the defensive backfield.

Demetruce McNeal will be back next season, but he has proved himself to be somewhat immature and a liability off the field occasionally. If the Tigers were able to field two talents like McNeal and Matthews, their defense would take a considerable leap.

The Tigers allowed the 79th-most points per game in the entire nation last season. The defense was never great, but when it was bad, it was very bad.

In the team's five losses in 2011, the defense let up an average of 41.6 points per game. Granted, four of those five losses came against top-15 teams, but that is still inexcusable.

Adding one more solid recruit to the roster would do wonders for the defense as a whole. Chizik better make some calls or else he could miss out on Matthews.

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