Auburn's Class Can Be Salvaged Without 5-Star LB Reuben Foster

Barrett Sallee@BarrettSalleeSEC Football Lead WriterFebruary 5, 2013

Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn
Auburn head coach Gus MalzahnJosh D. Weiss-USA TODAY Sports

One of the biggest fish left in the recruiting pond made his decision known on Monday night.

Reuben Foster, the 5-star linebacker from Auburn (Ala.) High School who had been committed to Alabama and Auburn previously in the recruiting process, announced that he will attend Alabama on Fox Sports South's New College Football Show: Next Class 2013 on Monday night.

It's a big hit to Auburn's class of 2013, which is hovering near the top 10 in the team rankings. Foster would have been the headliner in Auburn's recruiting statement to the rest of the SEC, but that statement could still be made if the Tigers close strong with other players.

Could Foster still sign with Auburn? Sure. As Bleacher Report's Andrew Kulha points out, Alabama shouldn't celebrate until the ink is dry on National Signing Day. 

But even if he doesn't, the Tigers could still come away with a mighty impressive recruiting class in Gus Malzahn's first season as head coach.

Carl Lawson, a 5-star defensive end from Milton, Ga., reaffirmed his commitment to the Tigers on Sunday. According to's Justin Hokanson, Lawson has big plans for this recruiting class as it heads into National Signing Day.

Message from Carl Lawson he wanted shared: "AU is going to finish this class 10 times better than anyone will imagine. That's a promise."

— Justin Hokanson (@JHokanson) February 4, 2013

That was before Foster committed to Alabama. Assuming he doesn't pull "a full Kouandjio" and flip back, there's still time for Lawson's prediction to come true.

The Tigers have emerged as much more of a contender for 5-star defensive tackle Montravius Adams than they were just a week ago, according to (subscription required), The Vienna, Ga.-native visited the Plains over the weekend, and is also considering Georgia, Alabama and Clemson.

Auburn has made up ground ever since associate head coach Rodney Garner was hired away from Georgia, and that momentum doesn't appear to be fading.

Plus, don't be surprised if the Tigers are able to sway 4-star defensive end Elijah Daniel—an Ole Miss commit—from the Rebels. Like Adams, Daniel visited Auburn the weekend before National Signing Day and reportedly enjoyed his visit.

Add either one of those players, and firm up the commitment of 4-star defensive end Tashawn Bower, and Auburn's defensive line class will be stout.

Throw in the possibility of the Tigers landing 4-star cornerback Mackensie Alexander, 4-star running back Johnathan Ford, 4-star athlete Corn Elder and perhaps flipping some other star prospects, and Auburn's class still looks like it could finish within the top 10.

Coming off of a 3-9 season, a change at head coach and a complete overhaul of the coaching staff, that would be nothing short of remarkable.