The Auburn Tigers are not having the best of years on the football field—an 0-2 start is certainly not going to cut it in the SEC—but Auburn fans may be able to find a bit of solace in Gene Chizik's 2013 recruiting class.
The Tigers are currently ranked eighth overall by Rivals.com and boast a very strong core of players, highlighted by three 5-star recruits in defensive ends Dee Liner, Carl Lawson and former Alabama recruit Reuben Foster.
Speaking of Alabama, though, the Tide are ranked two spots higher than Auburn by Rivals. This may not be the best year on the field for the Tigers, and there's a pretty big chance they won't be able to pass the Crimson Tide in the AP rankings, but there is a possibility that they can pick up a huge recruiting win by jumping Alabama in the recruiting rankings.
Here's how the Tigers can beat the Crimson Tide in recruiting:
Pick Up Another 5-Star in Montravius Adams
This is a bit easier said than done, but it's the one thing that is in Auburn's control.
They already have three 5-star players—USC, The No. 1 recruiting team has five 5-stars—so if they can add just one more to the class, I see them skyrocketing over Alabama, who only has one 5-star in tight end O.J. Howard.
He's starting to schedule visits now, so Auburn needs to make sure that they get him to take an official, and that they really impress when he does visit.
Getting him to come to a big game would be huge, as he could experience the atmosphere of game day at Auburn. Winning that big game and proving to him that the Tigers are still a winning SEC program is even more important.
If they can get a commit from Adams, the Tigers will easily jump over Alabama in the recruiting rankings.
Sway Another Prospect
The Tigers experienced a recruiting turning point when Foster decided to decommit from the Crimson Tide and commit to Auburn instead. Foster is considered the No. 2 prospect in the nation by Rivals, so getting a player of his caliber to leave their rival school and commit to them was monumental.
Auburn can really take another shot at the Crimson Tide, and jump them in the recruiting rankings, if they can sway another prospect away from Alabama.
Nothing is official until national signing day, so Chizik and his staff have the opportunity to continue recruiting 'Bama's verbal commits.
Auburn did make an offer to Alabama's 5-star tight end O.J. Howard, and he did tell Andrew Bone of TideSports.com that he talked to Auburn coaches and might take a visit:
"I talked to some Auburn coaches," he said. "They called me the first day they could, but I was in Texas for the Michigan game. I didn't talk to them until Sunday.
"They were just asking me if I was going to make it to any games this year. I haven't decided if I will or not. It's a big decision. If I decide to go it will just be to hang out. I am solid with my commitment to Alabama, and Auburn is struggling a lot right now."
If Auburn can get him to visit, they may have a chance at swaying the 5-star tight end to think about the future, rather than the rocky present.
The Tigers may be struggling but they have a huge selling point in the 2013 class they are currently putting together. All Chizik has to do is point to his class. His selling point is that things may be down right now, but if you come and join Auburn, you can be part of our brighter future.
The Tigers will be back and competing with the likes of Alabama. Chizik has to convince another one of their recruits that their side is the better side of the rivalry.
The other Alabama commit they might have a foothold with is 4-star athlete ArDarius Stewart, who only had two offers, one being Alabama and the other from Auburn. He obviously knows the Tigers had an interest, so perhaps Auburn could find an advantage in that.
If Auburn can convince at least one more Crimson Tide commit to switch over, they'll definitely jump them in the ratings.
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