Now is the time of year that recruiting takes center stage in the college football world. Another wildly entertaining season has ended, and National Signing Day (February 2) is quickly approaching.
It's safe to say that Gene Chizik and his fellow coaches have Auburn on the right track, as they secured the SEC and National Championship in 2010. However, losing 24 seniors plus Cam Newton, Nick Fairley, and Darvin Adams should cause Auburn to take step back in 2011.
This recruiting class is pivotal to the future of the program. If the coaching staff (who will remain in tact for the third straight year) can put together a couple more productive recruiting classes, Auburn should be able to compete nationally on a yearly basis.
This is a list of 5 Auburn commits to watch out for. Obviously, recruiting is pretty subjective. These are five guys that I think have a chance to enjoy great careers at Auburn, besides the quarterback that everyone already knows about (Kiehl Frazier).
Keep in mind that Auburn is still pursuing many top prospects and has room for those commitments. This list only includes those who have already verbally committed to Auburn. Enjoy!
Jonathan Rose has been committed to Auburn since August. Widely considered one of the top players in the state of Alabama, he has been solid in his commitment to Gene Chizik and the Tigers. His father also played at Auburn in the early 1990s.
He's a tall cornerback at 6'2 and played in the Army All American game. He will have a chance to compete for limited playing time in the secondary and likely in special teams as well. He could open the season as the top reserve to Neiko Thorpe and T'Sharvan Bell.
Rose also is already on campus this spring. Early enrollees tend to be a step ahead of the other freshmen. Keep an eye on him this spring and into next season.
Reese Dismukes is also a January enrollee. He's already in classes at Auburn and will participate in spring practice. He's one of the top recruits at center in the nation and is from Spanish Fort, Alabama. It's another big in-state prospect for the Tigers to pull in.
He should have a chance to earn the starting job as a true freshman. Needless to say, the spring and summer will be invaluable for his development as a player if he is to play in Gus Malzahn's offense in his first season. Keep an eye on him, he may be starting every play for the 2011 Auburn Tigers from the center position.
With the departure of Darvin Adams, Terrell Zachary, and Kodi Burns, Auburn will need some receivers to step up next season. Outside of Emory Blake, there aren't many proven options.
Sammie Coates from Leroy, Alabama and other commits in 2011 will have a great chance to earn early playing time. Coates is 6'3 around 170 pounds, and runs the 40 yard dash in the 4.4 range. His size and athleticism will make him valuable on the perimeter.
Also keep an eye on Jaylon Denson and Quan Bray, who will also be coming to Auburn in 2011.
Brent Calloway made quite a bit of noise when he switched his commitment from Alabama to Auburn 10 days ago. He's almost universally ranked as one of the top high school players in the country.
He played both linebacker and running back in high school. It has been suggested that he will be given a shot at running back at Auburn, and that's one of the reasons he switched schools. Wherever he ends up, Calloway is the kind of athlete that can make an impact.
His high profile switch will only make his career more watched over. Pay attention to where he ends up when he arrives on campus, and how he develops at that position.
Today, all parties are in agreement. For the past week or so, even after he committed to the Tigers, it's been anything but a guarantee that Kris Frost would end up at Auburn.
Frost was a hard Michigan lean for quite a while, then decided Auburn was where he wanted to be. However, it was initially rumored that Auburn didn't have room for him and would decline his commitment, which is saying something since Frost was one of the top linebackers in the country.
All is well now. Frost still wants to go to Auburn, and now the coaches are on board too. (Here's the news writeup: http://footballrecruiting.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1177800). He's another addition to a class quickly filling up with top prospects.
At 6'3 and 210 pounds, Frost will have a chance to compete for playing time with the loss of Josh Bynes and Craig Stevens. He should be able to have a highly successful career at Auburn.
In keeping this list to 5 athletes, there are obviously some big names left off the list. Who are you most excited to see suit up for the Tigers?