Auburn football is at its lowest point in decades, and it's showing during recruiting season.
Star recruits Reuben Foster, Dee Liner and Trey Johnson have all decommitted from the school since Gene Chizik was fired in November and 5-star defensive end Carl Lawson is scanning the horizon.
But that's not all. Four-star defensive end Tashawn Bower is also not a lock. The Auburn commit has already visited Florida State and Florida and he's scheduled to visit LSU on Friday.
It's a credit to new head coach Gus Malzahn that Auburn has still been able to retain quarterback Jeremy Johnson, athlete Jason Smith and receivers Tony Stevens and Earnest Robinson. The Tigers have also seen two JUCO players commit since Malzahn's hiring and they are going after Notre Dame commit Tarean Foster, Florida commit James Hearns and Florida State commits Austin Golson and Marquez White.
But there is still a lot of uncertainly surrounding Lawson and there's no telling if any of the other big-time recruits will join Auburn after a 3-9 campaign highlighted (or lowlighted) by a season-ending 49-0 drubbing at the hands of historic rival Alabama.
Auburn must focus on keeping what it has now, first and foremost. Lawson is up in the air, but there's still a considerable amount of hope that the Tigers will be able to convince Bower to stay.
Bower displays the size, length, burst and strength to be a standout pass-rusher at the next level. He has also shown the awareness and tackling ability to defend well against the run in the big, bad SEC. As other top recruits have turned their backs on the Auburn football program, Bower has quickly become a big priority for the Tigers, rivaled only by Lawson.
It was inevitable that Auburn would lose some top recruits after a miserable 2012 season and the firing of Chizik, but Malzahn and company still have a shot at coming away with a top-20 recruiting class. Given the circumstances, that would be a win for the Auburn football program.
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