12 Recruits Who Will Be Future Stars of Auburn vs. Alabama Iron Bowl
The Iron Bowl will take place after you're full of turkey and cranberry sauce. This will be the 77th meeting of Auburn and Alabama, as "Roll Tide" meets up with "War Eagle."
An intense rivalry by all means, this year's contest probably will be a little bit one-sided. Alabama is trying to move on to the BCS title game, while Auburn comes into the game wondering if its head coach will have a job at halftime.
Both programs have recruited well this year, and they both have several commits that are future stars of this annual game dubbed "The Iron Bowl." Here are the top 12 future studs that you'll be seeing play in this game in a few years.
12. Jordan Wilkins, RB
A 6'2", 205-pound RB from Tennessee, Wilkins has a good blend of size, speed and strength. He has solid change-of-direction skills and run instincts and should develop into a solid rock-toter on The Plains. The Iron Bowl is a physical game, and Wilkins should be up for it.
11. Earnest Robinson, WR
Robinson is a big 6'2", 195-pound pass-catcher that is not afraid to bully DBs. He runs good routes and has solid quickness. No, he won't blast by anybody anytime soon, but he's reliable and should grow into a steady target for Auburn.
10. Jeremy Johnson, QB
Hopefully Johnson and his raw skills develop faster than Kiehl Frazier's have to this point when Johnson arrives. He's a big 6'5", 215-pound gunslinger with a great arm and field vision, and he goes through his progressions. I can see Johnson being the Tigers' starter for an Iron Bowl game in the future.
9. Josh McNeil , TE
A Tar Heel State native, McNeil is a pass-catching TE prospect with some serious weapons in his game. He shows great speed, length and excellent ball skills. The 6'5", 225-pound seam player will add more bulk and certainly impact multiple Iron Bowls.
8. Cooper Bateman, QB
Bateman is a 6'3", 200-pound QB that may be the most highly touted QB recruit to commit to 'Bama since Brodie Croyle. He has the strongest arm in the country, and his shotgun for a right limb powerfully rifles balls downfield. He really should become a true star QB in Tuscaloosa.
7. Tyren Jones, RB
Jones is a compact 5'9", 190-pound running back that can do it all. He runs hard, charges the line to press holes and has strength to run though arm tackles. He also has the quick feet, elusiveness and speed to get to the edges and will look to display these skills in an Iron Bowl coming soon.
6. Jonathan Allen, DE/OLB
Allen is coming to Tuscaloosa by way of Virginia and has a high ceiling. He can play the standup OLB in 'Bama base defense and put his hand down in 40-fronts. He's 6'3" and 225 pounds with good quickness and speed, and he has the desire to get better.
5. Dee Liner, DT
Liner has beefed up from his 275-pound frame of last year to 294 pounds now. He's a 6'3", gap-shooting, penetrating DT with excellent snap quickness, athleticism and solid point-of-attack strength. Liner is a future starter for Auburn and will play in several Iron Bowls.
4. Derrick Henry, RB
Henry is a huge 6'3", 240-pound RB that rushed for over 3700 yards as a senior. He has big back size, but runs like a smooth and athletic back, choosing to elude defenders rather than run over them. He could move to another position, but I like him at RB.
3. O.J. Howard, TE
Probably the most athletically gifted player on this list, Howard is a 6'5", 225-pound marvel and specimen. He can realistically play TE, DE, WR or OLB in college, but TE looks to be his future mainstay. Howard shows good speed, ball skills, catch-in-crowd ability, RAC skills and strength.
He's too athletic to not impact any Iron Bowls.
2. Carl Lawson, DE
Lawson is a 6'1", 252-pound DE that has an enormous amount of snap quickness, athleticism, speed, strength and pass-rushing ability. He has a chance to be a superstar and be a Melvin Ingram-type of defensive player for Auburn.
1. Reuben Foster, LB
There was a time where Foster was on track to play for Alabama in the Iron Bowl, but now he is set to play for Auburn should he stay committed there. He's a 6'2", 245-pound LB with just about everything needed to not only be successful, but also to dominate.
Instincts, speed, strength, shedding ability, quickness, vision, toughness and athleticism—Foster has it all. If he ends up signing with Auburn, Foster probably will be seen in the Iron Bowl of 2013.
Edwin Weathersby is the College Football Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. He has worked in scouting/player personnel departments for three professional football teams, including the New York Giants, Cleveland Browns and the Las Vegas Gladiators of the Arena League. He spent a year evaluating prep prospects and writing specific recruiting and scouting content articles for Student Sports Football (formerly ESPN Rise-HS). A syndicated scout and writer, he's also contributed to WeAreSC.com, GatorBait.net and Diamonds in the Rough Inc., a College Football and NFL Draft magazine.