Florida State vs. Auburn: Whose 2014 Recruiting Class Is Better Right Now?
On the sixth day of January, college football's biggest stage will be in California. That is because Auburn will play Florida State for the BCS National Championship in Pasadena.
Both teams have good head coaches, as the Seminoles are run by Jimbo Fisher, while Gus Malzahn leads the Tigers. Aside from good coaching, a reason why both programs are in the title game is because of how well they've recruited in recent recruiting cycles.
This cycle is no different, as Auburn and Florida State both have great recruiting classes. However, which class is better between the two championship contenders needs to be decided.
Jimbo Fisher has done an excellent job at Florida State, as he learned from several great head coaches prior to taking over in Tallahassee. Fisher and his staff pride themselves on making good evaluations, plus they know FSU sells itself.
The Seminoles have a class of 25 commitments with 14 being in-state recruits. Other states such as Maryland, Georgia, Texas, North Carolina, Virginia, New Jersey, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and New York are also represented.
The group has 12 recruits on offense, 11 on defense, one athlete and one long snapper.
Auburn is still in its first year under the leadership of Gus Malzahn, who has done a wonderful job. He's quickly proved he can coach and recruit with the big boys, as the Tigers are major players on the recruiting trail.
Malzahn has gotten 19 commitments, with seven from Alabama. The state of Georgia is next with six, while Mississippi and Florida also have been raided for prospects.
Auburn's class has 10 defensive recruits, eight on offense and one athlete.
Florida State's Top 2014 Commitments
Treon Harris, a 4-star athlete from Miami, could be the key recruit in the Seminoles' class. At 5'11" and 180 pounds, Harris is an athletic player with outstanding quickness.
He could get a chance to play quarterback, but receiver should be where he makes his mark. Speaking of offense, 4-star JUCO offensive tackle Chad Mavety likely will make an immediate impact next season.
Mavety and Corey Martinez, another 4-star offensive lineman, will face good competition in practice from 4-star defensive linemen Demarcus Christmas and Dexter Wideman. Plus, Jacob Pugh is a 4-star outside linebacker who is actually more of a pass-rusher.
Auburn's Top 2014 Commitments
Among the Tigers' best recruits is 4-star JUCO receiver D'haquille Williams. Possessing the size of a linebacker at 6'3" and 213 pounds, Williams has good speed and playmaking ability.
His battles in practice against 4-star cornerbacks Kalvaraz Bessent, Stephen Roberts and Nick Ruffin should be epic. All three defensive backs could play early, as could 4-star JUCO safety Derrick Moncrief.
Tre' Williams, a 4-star linebacker, has the potential to become a defensive captain on The Plains one day. The defensive line will add 4-star defensive end Justin Thornton and 3-star JUCO defensive tackle Dalvon Stuckey.
Florida State's 2014 Headliner
The top player in Florida State's class is 4-star Jacksonville native Kain Daub, who is one of the nation's top linebacker prospects.
At 6'3" and 234 pounds, Daub combines excellent size with strength and physicality. He's quick off his mark at the snap versus running plays, evidenced by his ability to fill gaps in a flash. Daub never backs down from anyone, as he plays like a giant at the point of attack.
He does a great job of using his hands to shed blockers before using his power to deliver punishing blows to running backs. Daub's value on third downs will come as a blitzer, as he is a better athlete when going forward than backward.
He fits best as an inside/middle 'backer.
Auburn's 2014 Headliner
A 5-star recruit, running back Racean Thomas leads Auburn's class. The Alabama native is a good fit for the Tigers' spread offense, as he has natural receiving skills in the passing game.
However, the 5'11", 196-pounder also has the ability to run between the tackles. Thomas shows good explosiveness through alleys, as he runs a bit violently and with force. He can break a tackle or two due to his solid strength at the point of attack.
Thomas possesses solid vision and instincts with the ball, plus he has above-average speed to run by defenders. He should produce big numbers on The Plains.
Florida State has 25 recruits with 12 4-star prospects. Auburn has 19 commitments with eight 4-star prospects, plus one 5-star pledge.
By that logic, one can say the Seminoles boast the better class. However, Auburn has four 3-star prospects who could easily be considered 4-star recruits. The quality that the Tigers have in their class is a bit better than the 'Noles' group.
Auburn has the better class.
2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map
Several commitments for Florida State and Auburn can be found by using the 2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map!