Auburn Football Recruiting: Breaking Down Tigers 5 Best 2013 Commits

Randy ChambersAnalyst IJanuary 11, 2013

Auburn Football Recruiting: Breaking Down Tigers 5 Best 2013 Commits

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    Even with a head coaching change and coming off such an atrocious 2012 season, the 2013 recruiting class has been good to the Auburn Tigers. The program has done a great job of bringing in top talent and has held its own against rivals Alabama and Florida.

    While the class isn't as loaded as some of the other SEC schools, it does feature its own fair share of recruits that should make a big impact as soon as their first year. The defensive side of the ball should drastically improve with many great linemen giving Auburn their commitment, and there are a couple of skill position players on offense that are also worth mentioning.

    With national signing day quickly approaching, here are the five best commitments that the Auburn Tigers have managed to pick up so far. 

5. Jason Smith, ATH

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    247Sports Ranking: 4-stars

    Strengths: Jason Smith is a versatile player, who gives Auburn options on the offensive side of the ball. He played a lot of quarterback in high school, but will likely line up at wide receiver due to his speed. As a quarterback, he is more of a threat to run and would give Auburn a playmaker at the position. At 6'1", and with his athleticism, Smith is a big play waiting to happen at wide receiver.

    Weaknesses: He is still very raw at the quarterback position as a passer. He isn't polished or accurate enough, and has more of a playground feel to his game. As a receiver, he must work on his route-running if he wants to reach his full potential.

4. Tashawn Bower, DE

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    247Sports Ranking: 4-stars

    Strengths: Tashawn Bower is a big kid at 6'5", 240 pounds and is a long athlete, which helps him be effective against the run. He plays with good pad level and can get off the ball quicker than usual with guys his size. He is strong at the point of attack and is solid in chasing down the ball-carrier in pursuit. Bower is just one of many great defensive linemen in this 2013 class for Auburn. 

    Weaknesses: He isn't much of a pass-rusher. Although he gets off the ball quick, Bower doesn't use his hands well and his moves are limited when trying to shake an offensive lineman. While he is very effective against the run, don't expect a sack machine when it comes to this 4-star player.

3. Jordan Wilkins, RB

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    247Sports Ranking: 4-stars

    Strengths: What you see is what you get with running back Jordan Wilkins. At 6'2" and 205 pounds, he is a physical runner who is always looking for the positive gain—he isn't going to spend a lot of time dancing in the backfield and looking to hit the home run. Wilkins has great vision of the field and runs well for a guy that is as big as he is. His game should translate well in Auburn with his size and ability to carry the workload for an offense.

    Weaknesses: While Wilkins runs well for his size, he doesn't have the ability to hit another gear in the open field. Once he hits that top speed, there isn't something extra that can help him pull away from a defender and finish the big run for a score. 

2. Dee Liner, DT

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    247Sports Ranking: 5-stars

    Strengths: If you are looking for that athletic defensive lineman that gets off the ball in a hurry and makes his way into the backfield, Dee Liner is your guy. He is very explosive off the ball, which makes him one of the better true pass-rushers in this class. He has relentless pursuit and his motor allows him to fight to the quarterback on every down. He also has the versatility to play anywhere on the line that the coaching staff sees fit.

    Weaknesses: At 6'3" and 270 pounds, Liner is a bit of a tweener on the defensive line. He does have somewhat of a thick build, but needs to bulk up a bit and add some more strength to his upper body. Another area that he could work on would be his hand usage to help break free of defenders. 

1. Carl Lawson, DE

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    247Sports Ranking: 5-stars

    Strengths: Carl Lawson is that explosive player that you hope to see at the defensive end position. He gets off the ball well and has that explosive first step that allows him to beat slower offensive linemen. His size, at 6'2" and 251 pounds, could allow him to eventually play inside if he continues to bulk up. Right now, Lawson is the complete package on the defensive side of the ball, and he can help this Auburn defense out in many different ways.

    Weaknesses: Due to his tweener build, Lawson isn't as effective against the run as you would like to see from a 5-star recruit. He has a hard time shedding blocks at times and can get caught in traffic, losing sight of the ball-carrier.