Auburn started the 2013 class firing on all cylinders, but the Tigers have recently hit a bump in the road and are slowly losing control as we inch closer to National Signing Day.
With a new head coach taking over, recruits are skeptical about what is going on with the program and its overall ranking is beginning to take a hit.
Make no mistake about it: Auburn still has one of the best recruiting classes in the country when you put it against teams from other conferences.
However, compared to other classes in the SEC cleaning house, Auburn is in the bottom half of its own conference.
According to 247sports, the school currently has six SEC teams ahead of it in their recruiting rankings. Sitting dangerously at No. 7, Auburn is in jeopardy of falling more further if things don't begin to turnaround.
Can things get back on track, and will Auburn finish with a Top 10 class in the SEC?
It should, but let's take a look at what has been going on lately with the recruiting scene.
Auburn Is in Trouble
Auburn looked to be in good shape a week ago, but it is hard to expect remaining in the Top 10 of the conference when the program is struggling to hold onto guys who had already given their commitment.
Forget who Auburn is in the running for. If guys are dropping like flies, there is no way this class is going to improve.
Dee Liner, who is a 4-star defensive end prospect according to 247sports.com, has decided he will decommit from Auburn. He recently told Rivals.com about his decision and that he actually is thinking about joining forces with the Alabama Crimson Tide.
I de-committed from Auburn today. Liner said. I'm going to make my decision on signing day. I had to do what's best for me and I appreciate what Auburn is and has done for me. I appreciate them, I just have to do what's best for me. I appreciate all the Auburn fans.
And with Liner likely not suiting up for the Tigers, defensive end Carl Lawson is also having second thoughts about where he wants to play football. While Lawson's father, Carl Lawson Sr, told the Atlanta Journal Constitution that his son is still committed to Auburn, he also dropped hints that there are other schools in the running.
He’s still committed to Auburn but (his final decision) is something we don’t really talk about that much. I mean, we talk about it, but we’re not going to let it stress us out. If it’s something important, then we’ll talk about it. But right now, Carl is enjoying the process.
Lawson has already visited Clemson and has two other visits scheduled with Tennessee and Auburn. With Liner likely taking his talents elsewhere, Lawson is without question the Tigers' top remaining recruit and it would be devastating to this class if he doesn't remain with the program.
This is a situation that Tiger fans should monitor closely because it could make or break their chances of landing a top class in the SEC.
What the Tigers Must Do to Improve
Besides keeping the recruits that Auburn already has, it can help itself by landing a few other big fish who are still interested.
One of the main guys out there that Auburn has a decent shot to pick up is defensive tackle Montravius Adams. While Alabama and Georgia are in the running for his services as well, Auburn remains high on his list and could end up pulling off one of the biggest surprises of the recruiting period.
Another top player that would help put this Auburn class over the top is linebacker Reuben Foster. This is a player who has committed to Auburn in the past, but remains confused on his ultimate decision. He will likely wait until national signing day before picking a school, but Auburn does have a little help from Jeremy Johnson, who recently committed as well.
Johnson told Josh Bean of AL.com, that he has been in Foster's ear throughout the process.
"I hope he chooses Auburn," Johnson said.
The last recruit that would pay dividends in the rankings for the Tigers is linebacker Zach Cunningham. The 4-star defensive player has been receiving a lot of attention as of late and was impressed after his first official visit was a stop to checkout Auburn. He still plans on visiting Vanderbilt, Oregon and Tennessee, but you have to like the chances of him remaining close to home.
There are many recruits that could make the world of difference in improving this overall class, but those are the three realistic possibilities and would guarantee a Top 10 class in the SEC.
The Tigers Should Finish in the Top 10
As long as Lawson stays committed and at least one of the three names above decides to hop on board, Auburn should have a Top 10 class in this conference.
Current commitment Cameron Toney is even making a strong push to convince Liner to return, according to Charles Goldberg of AL.com.
"We've got to get Reuben back, for sure; and Dee Liner, we've got to get his head back on the right track," Toney said.
It won't be easy, but as long as nothing disastrous happens and another big name joins the party, Auburn should finish with a Top 10 recruiting class in the SEC.
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