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Auburn Football Recruiting: 11 Players to Watch in High School All-Star Games

Justin LeeContributor IJanuary 7, 2017

Auburn Football Recruiting: 11 Players to Watch in High School All-Star Games

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    247Sports.com

    Most Auburn football fans already have all of their attention turned to Jan. 6 and the Tigers' upcoming BCS National Championship Game against Florida State.

    Before that game concludes the 2013-14 college football season, though, there two other games on the horizon that Auburn fans will find worth watching, as future Tigers shine in the nation's two premier high school football all-star games.

    The country's best high school players—both committed and still up for grabswill be showcased over the next few days in the Under Armour All-America Game and the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

    In the Under Armour All-America Game, most of the Auburn commitments and targets will be wearing red helmets and playing for Team Highlight. A few others will be donning "Hyper Green" helmets and playing for Team Nitro.

    Meanwhile, the U.S. Army All-American Bowl will split its teams as East and West, with East wearing black and West wearing yellow.

     

    All ratings via the 247Sports' Composite system. All recruiting information via 247Sports.com and AuburnUndercover.com unless otherwise noted.

Racean Thomas, 5-Star Running Back

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    247Sports.com

    Committed

    Under Armour All-America Game: Jan. 2, 4 p.m. ET, ESPN

    Racean Thomas is one of the Auburn coaching staff's most prized recruits from the class of 2014, and the 5-star back from Oxford, Ala. will be looking to prove why—and give Tigers' fans a taste of what's to come—on Thursday.

    When he eventually arrives on campus, Thomas should be able to make an instant impact in Gus Malzahn's offensive system. Auburn will continue to be an aggressive, downhill running team in 2014 and beyond, and with Malzahn spreading the ball around to as many athletes as possible, that means Thomas could find himself in the Tigers' backfield taking significant carries as early as his freshman season.

    Thomas was selected to play in both the Under Armour All-America Game and the U.S. Army All-America Bowl, but he chose to play in the former. Thomas will be wearing No. 8 for Team Highlight.

Tre Williams, 4-Star Inside Linebacker

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    247Sports.com

    Committed

    Under Armour All-America Game: Jan. 2, 4 p.m. ET, ESPN

    Auburn may be headed to the national championship game, but the Tigers have several big needs on the defensive side of the ball—the most obvious of which lies in the center of the defense.

    Help just may be on the way in Tre Williams, a 6'2", 230-pound inside linebacker from St. Paul's Episcopal in Mobile, Ala.

    Earlier in December, Williams shined in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game, recording 12 tackles.

    Williams will be wearing No. 20 for Team Highlight on Thursday.

Kalvaraz Bessent, 4-Star Cornerback

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    247Sports.com

    Committed

    Under Armour All-America Game: Jan. 2, 4 p.m. ET, ESPN

    The defensive backfield is clearly one of the strongest positional groups in Auburn's 2014 signing class, and Kalvaraz Bessent is a big reason why.

    Bessent flipped his commitment from Alabama to Auburn just days after attending the Iron Bowl during an unofficial visit to Auburn at the end of November.

    Before Bessent takes his talents to the plays, though, he'll be playing corner for Team Highlight in the Under Armour All-America Game.

    Bessent will be wearing No. 6 on Thursday.

Dontavius Russell, 4-Star Defensive Tackle

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    247Sports.com

    Committed

    Under Armour All-America Game: Jan. 2, 4 p.m. ET, ESPN

    Auburn's newest commitment is Dontavius Russell, who announced on Twitter on Dec. 27 that he'll be attending Auburn.

    The Tigers' fans will get their first chance to see Russell strap up and play as an Auburn commit this Thursday, when he dons No. 55 as part of Team Nitro.

    Russell and four other heralded defensive linemen from the 2014 signing class are set to ink with Auburn—joining the talent already on the Plains to potentially give the Tigers one of the deepest and most devastating line groups in the SEC.

Stephen Roberts, 4-Star Cornerback

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    247Sports.com

    Committed

    Under Armour All-America Game: Jan. 2, 4 p.m. ET, ESPN

    Like Kalvaraz Bessent, Stephen Roberts is another 4-star corner who flipped his commitment from Alabama to Auburn late in the season. Roberts decided to switch from the Tide to the Tigers 10 days before the Iron Bowl.

    Instead of going across the state to Tuscaloosa, Ala., Roberts will stay close to home to play at the next level. Roberts was a standout at Opelika High in Opelika, Auburn's neighboring city.

    Roberts will be wearing No. 4 and playing for Team Highlight on Thursday.

Nick Ruffin, 4-Star Cornerback

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    247Sports.com

    Committed

    U.S. Army All-American Bowl: Jan. 4, 1 p.m. ET, NBC

    Nick Ruffin rounds out the Tigers' additions to the defensive backfield in this year's signing class, as yet another 4-star corner that the Auburn coaching staff will reel in.

    With Bessent, Roberts, and JUCO signee Derrick Moncrief, Ruffin will be part of a new group that injects a fresh boon of talent into the Auburn secondary.

    At the moment, Ruffin stands as the only Tigers' commit set to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Ruffin will be wearing No. 13 and playing for the East.

Sean White, 3-Star Quarterback

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    247Sports.com

    Committed

    Under Armour All-America Game: Jan. 2, 4 p.m. ET, ESPN

    Quarterbacks only get a limited amount of snaps in high school all-star games, so Auburn fans will have to keep their eyes open for Sean White.

    White is the Tigers' sole quarterback commit from the class of 2014, out of University School in Hollywood, Fla. White will be wearing No. 13 for Team Highlight on Thursday.

Rashaan Evans, 4-Star Outside Linebacker

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    247Sports.com

    Uncommitted

    Under Armour All-America Game: Jan. 2nd, 4 p.m. ET, ESPN

    Rashaan Evans has been the most discussed Tigers' target in recent weeks, as signing day draws nearer and nearer for the hometown product.

    Alabama, Ole Miss and Georgia are all lining up to ask for his services, but most signs indicate Evans is leaning toward Auburn at the moment.

    The last time Evans took to the field, he recorded eight tackles, returned a pick-six and was named Alabama MVP at the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game.

    With his 6'3", 220-pound athletic frame, Evans is a versatile player and can fit almost anywhere on the defensive side of the ball; however, his versatility will likely be limited Thursday by the vanilla defensive schemes that usually come with all-star games.

    Auburn defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson could certainly find a place for Evans on his defense. Evans could take significant snaps as early as his freshman season if he signs with the Tigers.

    Evans will be wearing No. 14 for Team Highlight on Thursday.

Travis Rudolph, 4-Star Wide Receiver

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    247Sports.com

    Uncommitted

    Under Armour All-America Game: Jan. 2, 4 p.m. ET, ESPN

    The Auburn coaching staff is in a full-court press trying to get Travis Rudolph to sign with the Tigers, but they will have to fend off Alabama, Florida State and a number of other elite-level schools to get him.

    Rudolph's last official visit to Auburn was Nov. 16. Most recently, Rudolph visited Alabama on Dec. 13.

    Still, the Auburn coaching staff is hot on Rudolph's heels—and Tigers' fans will have an opportunity to see just what all the hype is about when he suits up for Team Highlight, wearing No. 7.

Jordan Sims, 3-Star Offensive Guard

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    247Sports.com

    Uncommitted

    U.S. Army All-American Bowl: Jan. 4, 1 p.m. ET, NBC

    Auburn could add Jordan Sims to its offensive line, but the 6'4", 345-pound guard from Birmingham, Ala., is also considering other schools, such as Ole Miss, Alabama and Florida.

    Sims' commitment is still to come, but in the meantime, Auburn fans can tune in to see him in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

    Sims will be wearing black—and No. 78—as part of the East.

Elisha Shaw, 4-Star Defensive Tackle

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    247Sports.com

    Uncommitted

    U.S. Army All-American Bowl: Jan. 4, 1 p.m. ET, NBC

    Defensive tackle Elisha Shaw is injured and will not be competing in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

    Shaw, however, will still be a big part of the game, as he's set to make his commitment during the broadcast, according to Barton Simmons of 247Sports.

    Shaw has narrowed his list down to five finalists—Auburn, Alabama, Georgia, Ole Miss and Florida State.

    Most signs point to Shaw taking his talents elsewhere, but Auburn fans are just going to have to watch to find out.

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