Auburn Football Recruiting: Biggest Remaining Targets Tigers Must Land
Auburn saw a lot of change hit the program after the terrible 3-9 season that saw the program go winless in the SEC for the first time since 1980. The team was loaded with talent, but it was unable to perform consistently as a team on Saturdays.
A big piece of the future is still getting top talent on the Plains, and Gus Malzahn and Co. have done a good job so far of keeping the current class together and adding new players to the fold.
There are a number of top targets that remain on the Tigers' board and they have a great shot at landing a number of them as Auburn seeks out 10-12 more recruits to fill their 2013 class.
These are the six players that would help transform the Tigers back into a title contending team in 2013.
Montravius Adams: DT, Dooly Country High School
Montravius Adams was high on the Tigers early in the recruiting period, but as the season progressed and the Tigers coaches were fired, he moved away from Auburn as an option.
Then the Tigers hired defensive line coach Rodney Garner from Georgia.
With Garner came a lot of recruiting prowess and a possible official visit from Adams. He is one of the best defensive tackles in this class and Auburn has an immediate need for playmakers on the front of the defensive line.
This would be a major pickup for the Auburn program. The Tigers need a player like Adams to land in this class. He would be a headliner from Georgia and help this class produce in September.
Adams is a 5-star according to the 247Sports.com Composite ranking. He is the No. 1 defensive tackle and No. 7 overall player in the country.
Reuben Foster: ILB, Auburn High School
Reuben Foster is one of the most dynamic linebackers in the 2013 class. A number of programs are on his finalist list, but a recent visit to Auburn has the Tigers' staff feeling good about where they are with the Auburn, Ala. native.
Foster had committed to the Tigers and even gotten a forearm tattoo with the interlocking AU, but he said that he would keep it no matter what in memory of his recently deceased cousin and former Auburn player Ladarious Phillips.
After his recent visit's success and the proximity to his family, Auburn is still very much in the race for Foster. He would be a major part of the 2013 class and could be a starter for the Tigers at linebacker from day one.
The Tigers are in need of solid linebackers that can fill holes and Foster fits the spot well. Being close to his family and being able to play right away may be big enough selling points to land Foster’s signature on signing day.
Foster is the No. 1 linebacker and the No. 8 overall player in the country according to the 247Sports.com Composite score.
Derrick Green: RB, Hermitage High School
Derrick Green is one of the best running backs in the country for the 2013 recruiting class. Auburn has a commitment from Jordan Wilkins and they have also signed JUCO star Cameron Artis-Payne.
Green would bring a bruiser mentality to the offense that would mimic what Ben Tate was able to do for the Tigers during the 2009 season. Green is a solid prospect that would bring a lot of versatility to the running back position for the next four years.
Michigan is thought to be the current leader for Green, but the Tigers were high on his list before the coaching shuffle. The Tigers are attempting to work their way back into the discussion and would pull off a great recruiting grab if they could get Green to campus.
According to 247Sports.com Composite score Green is the No. 5 running back and the No. 45 overall player in the country. Green is listed as a 4-star recruit.
Antonio Connor: S, South Panola High School
Tony Connor was expected to announce between Ole Miss and Alabama at the Under Armour All-American game, but he instead decided to delay his decision to National Signing Day.
He now is expected to visit Auburn in January. The Tigers were not expected to be big contenders for the 5-star athlete, but they are now in the fold for his signature.
Ole Miss is still expected to be the leader, but Alabama and Auburn should not be counted out. The Tigers need a solid safety to come in and fill the spur position in Ellis Johnson’s 4-2-5 defense and Connor fits that mold well.
Whether he will buy that when the Tigers' staff sells it hasn’t been answered.
According to 247Sports.com Composite score, Connor is the No. 2 safety and the No. 15 overall player in the country. Connor is listed as a 5-star.
Ben Bradley: DT, Hutchinson Community College
Ben Bradley is a JUCO defensive tackle that was looking to walk into a program that he could make an immediate impact. Auburn is a school that recently jumped into the discussion for Bradley, and it is a program that fits his needs.
Bradley is one of the best defensive front men in the JUCO ranks and could come in and make an impact for the Tigers right away.
Auburn needs players that are ready to compete and that will bring a physical nasty streak to the defensive line. Bradley fits that role well and will be a crucial pickup for the Tigers if they can land his signature.
The Malzahn staff is embracing the JUCO ranks and if they land Bradley, it will be paying major dividends.
According to 247Sports.com Composite score, Bradley is the No. 5 JUCO defensive tackle and the No. 15 overall JUCO player in the country. He is a 4-star prospect.
**1.7 Update: Bradley has committed to Auburn
I KNOW NOW THROUGH THIS LONG JOURNEY WHERE I BELONG AND THE PLACE I'M SPENDING MY NEXT 2 YEARS IS THE UNIVERSITY OF AUBURN #WAR EAGLE— Ben Bradley (@IamAmbition98) January 7, 2013
De’Runnya Wilson: WR, Wenonah High School
Auburn has had a lot of issues translating top talent into production at receiver. They are looking to add a few more playmakers into the fold this fall and Wilson is a top target. The hope is that new receivers coach Dameyune Craig will be able to change the receiver culture.
This class has one playmaker in Earnest Robinson already, but to add a guy the size of De’Runnya Wilson will be a huge pickup for Auburn.
The Tigers don’t have anyone with the size of Wilson—he is 6’6”—and his mix of size and speed could make him an immediate contributor.
The Tigers will need big plays next season early on offense and if Wilson finds his way to Auburn, he may be a part of a few of them.
According to 247Sports.com Composite score Wilson is the No. 95 receiver in the country and a 3-star player.