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Auburn Football: Key Positions to Recruit to Avoid Repeat of 2012

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Auburn Football: Key Positions to Recruit to Avoid Repeat of 2012
John Reed-US PRESSWIRE
There hasn't been much to cheer about for Gene Chizik.

Whether Gene Chizik survives as Auburn's head coach or not, there's no doubt the Tigers have to upgrade at several spots in order to avoid a repeat of their 2012 season. 

While it's fair to question whether Chizik is still the right man for the job, the blame for Auburn's 2-7 record doesn't totally fall on the head coach. 

One of the primary reasons for the Tigers' downfall is their messy quarterback situation. 

Sophomore Kiehl Frazier began the season as the starter, but the former 4-star prospect flopped massively, throwing just two touchdowns and eight interceptions. 

For a guy who was a highly touted dual-threat quarterback, Frazier failed to make anything happen with his legs. 

After rushing for 327 yards and three scores as a freshman, the 6'2", 226-pounder has actually netted -28 yards on 40 attempts. 

Unfortunately for the Tigers, the results haven't been much better with junior Clint Moseley, who's thrown just one touchdown compared to three picks.

If Auburn hopes on rebuilding the program, it begins and ends with better quarterback play. 

Currently, the Tigers have a verbal commitment from 4-star prospect Jeremy Johnson. 

The Alabama native is ranked No. 10 among pro-style quarterbacks on Rivals.com and also has offers from LSU and Mississippi. 

Based on how Frazier and Moseley have played, it's imperative the Tigers manage to hold on to Johnson, who could challenge for early playing time. 

Josh D. Weiss-US PRESSWIRE
Emory Blake is the leading receiver for the Tigers.

Take a look at Auburn's receiving statistics and you'll probably be thrown off a bit. 

Senior Emory Blake leads the team with 39 receptions for 609 yards, but only three other players—one of them being tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen—have recorded double-digit receptions. 

With Blake in his final season, the Tigers desperately need to reload at the position. 

Luckily, the Tigers have made a strong attempt at doing that, as they secured a strong verbal commitment from 4-star prospect Earnest Robinson. 

The 6'3", 200-pounder is Rivals.com's No. 4 receiver, although he doesn't have great speed (4.81), according to his profile

Besides Robinson, the Tigers are also making a strong attempt at adding another talented wideout in Rivals.com's No. 11 receiver Shelton Gibson

A 6'1", 175-pound speed demon, Gibson has offers from over 15 schools, including Ohio State and West Virginia. 

Securing Gibson's services could give the Tigers a potent pair of wideouts to build around for the future. 

There's no sugarcoating how bad Auburn's offense has been, but the defense has been equally uninspiring. 

The Tigers are surrendering over 27 points per game, which ranks No. 62 nationally. 

Besides Corey Lemonier—who's having a down year with just five sacks—the Tigers have had almost no production in the pass-rush department, recording a paltry 18 sacks in nine games. 

It appears the Tigers have done well to recruit along the front seven as they boast two of Rivals.com's Top 10 prospects in linebacker Reuben Foster and defensive end Carl Lawson

Foster, a 6'2", 228-pound linebacker, is a physical force who is the No. 2 overall prospect in the nation, according to Rivals.com. 

Reuben Foster is the best high school linebacker in the country.

Lawson checks in at 6'2", 253 pounds and has ridiculous strength and speed, including a 450-pound bench press and 570-pound squat. 

Auburn's also managed to get a solid verbal commitment from the No. 2 strong-side defensive end, Dee Liner, who should compete for early playing time if he does indeed sign with the Tigers. 

It still remains to be seen whether Auburn's elite recruits stick by their verbal commitments in light of the Tigers' awful season. 

If not, it's going to be nearly impossible to avoid a repeat of 2012. 

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