3-star JUCO offensive guard Devonte Danzey has signed to play for football for Guz Malzahn and the Auburn Tigers, which is a huge recruiting win for the program.
Danzey may only be a 3-star recruit, but remember, the ranking of a player does not necessarily matter all the time. It's a great reference point, but it doesn't indicate that player's final skill level. Great coaches can take good players and turn them into great players.
It's all about coaching players up and getting the most out of their talent, so in the end, recruiting isn't as much about rankings as it is about the abilities of a coaching staff.
In Danzey's case, his 3-star ranking doesn't necessarily tell the whole story anyhow.
He checks in at 6'3'', 303 pounds and is the No. 1 ranked JUCO offensive guard recruit in the country according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings, so overall, he's going to be a very important player for the Tigers.
His addition to Auburn's 2013 class also creates a fair amount of momentum, which in the end may be the most important factor for Malzahn and the Tigers.
Success in the realm of college football recruiting hinges on many factors, but one of the most important is momentum.
When a program is hot, whether on the field or with recruiting, elite players tend to take notice just a little bit more.
Trends are an important part of life in high school, so don't be naive to the fact that trendiness is also a factor in college football recruiting. When a program is trendy, all the recruits want to take a visit. When things are going bad though, recruits can't seem to get away quick enough.
For a while, it seemed like Auburn recruiting was trending in a negative direction. First, it was the abysmal play on the field, but that was compounded by the firing of now former head coach Gene Chizik.
Losing a head coach is never good for recruiting, and Auburn's 2013 class suffered because of it.
The low point was losing the commitment of 5-star inside linebacker recruit Reuben Foster, but since then, Auburn has been slowly but surely recovering.
Much of that recovery has to do with Malzahn. According to Bob Przybylo of ESPN.com, Auburn's new head coach was a huge reason why the program received Danzey's signature:
The Tigers weren’t even close to being on Danzey’s radar until Malzahn came into the picture. But after he took over at Auburn, Malzahn made Danzey one of his top targets to pursue.
“Coach Malzahn had a great relationship with our coaches and with our players when he was at Arkansas State,” Hutchinson coach Rion Rhoades said. “Everything he has said he would do, he has done. I know Devonte had no interest at all in Auburn until Malzahnbecame the guy.”
Auburn's 2013 class is now comprised of 13 recruits.
Even though it's been a year that most Auburn fans would like to forget, hiring Malzahn looks to be a turning point for the program. He's done a great job of starting over and filling out his staff, and now we're starting to see what he can do as a recruiter.
It seems as if Danzey's commitment can be directly attributed to Malzahn, and that's a great sign of things to come for Auburn.
Not only does this commitment represent a very talented player for Auburn, but it represents another step in the right direction.
Right now, that's huge for Auburn.