The Final Look Before Signing Day: Auburn Recruiting, 2011

Mike KirklandContributor IJanuary 21, 2011

The Final Look Before Signing Day: Auburn Recruiting, 2011

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    Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

    December 13, 2008.

    That date might ring a bell. It was the day Gene Chizik was hired as head coach. 

    If you remember, the hire wasn't well-taken by most. Jay Jacobs really put his job on the line by hiring a coach who was 5-19 at Iowa State. 

    At Auburn, he's 22-5 with a national championship. My guess is that all the naysayers feel a bit silly. 

    Gene Chizik assembled a stellar staff and, more importantly, he has kept that staff intact. The same coaches will be on the sidelines for a third straight year, which is unheard of. 

    In 2008, Auburn was 5-7. It was a rough year as a fan. I expect it was worse for a player. Chizik came in, turned in a record of 8-5 in 2009. He pulled his team together. Auburn's team is like a family. And it's mostly due to Chizik. That reason alone can be heavily contributed to the national championship of 2010.

    But an outstanding attribute of Chizik is that he is a magnificent recruiter.

    Tommy Tuberville has to be given credit. He was successful at Auburn, right? Of course. Sadly, toward the end of his tenure, his recruiting and effort were questionable in the eyes of many.

    But you have to give him credit for the incredible class of seniors Auburn had this past year.

    Writer's Note: The update is on commitments. I will update this article as commitments come. Thank you for reading. Ray Drew, Isaiah Crowell, and Jadeveon Clowney have been removed as targets.

    Clowney was never really a good shot. I expect him to sign with Alabama or South Carolina.

    Crowell cancelled his visit. I expect him to sign with Georgia.

    Drew committed to Georgia.

    Abdullah cancelled his visit and will remain committed to Nebraska. He was always interested but didn't receive an offer until now. Too little, too late.

Moving On

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    All-American Left Tackle Lee ZiembaChristian Petersen/Getty Images

    To better understand the importance of this class, it is important to look at what Auburn is losing.

    And they are losing a lot.

     

    Offense

    Offensive Line - Perhaps the most crucial piece of the puzzle, is losing six players, four of which are starters. Left tackle Lee Ziemba, left guard Mike Berry, center Ryan Pugh, right guard Byron Isom, as well as touted reserves Bart Eddins and Jorrell Bostrom all will have graduated. Right tackle Brandon Mosley is the only returning starter.

    Wide Receiver - There will be all-new faces here next year. Only Emory Blake returns as a hefty contributor. Terrell Zachery and Kodi Burns are both graduated. Burns, while not a major offensive weapon, was a great leader. You can read more on that here. These two were expected. What I didn't really expect was that the team's leading receiver over the past two years, Darvin Adams, declared for the draft.

    Running Back - Mario Fannin was predicted, by running backs coach Curtis Luper, to be a 1,000-yard rusher. As a senior, he was passed by a sophomore and a true freshman on the depth chart. But (like Burns) while not a major contribution to the offense, Fannin was a great leader. He was also an outstanding blocker. 

    Quarterback - I wasn't surprised to see Newton declare for the pros. His production will be damn near impossible to recreate. Also gone will be backup Neil Caudle, a former five-star who never played out. His leadership, too, will be missed.

     

    Defense

    Defensive Line - Five stars in 2010 will be history in 2011. All-American Nick Fairley was the first to declare for the draft. Zach Clayton and Mike Blanc were stalwart defensive tackles that were spectacular in Nick Fairley's shadow. Antoine Carter and Michael Goggans will be tough to replace at the end position.

    Linebacker - Josh Bynes was a star the minute he stepped in for Tray Blackmon. His presence in the middle can't be easily replicated. Craig Stevens had a subpar year but was an asset at outside linebacker. 

    Secondary - Demond Washington was a solid starting cornerback, who really came out of nowhere. Woody Parramore was a solid reserve. Zac Etheridge is legendary. Aairon Savage was a sixth-year senior. The two safeties had intensely decorated careers at Auburn.

     

    Special Teams

    Kicker/Punter - Ryan Shoemaker was slightly inconsistent but was a solid punter. Wes Byrum finished his career as Auburn's all-time leading scorer.

The Commitments Thus Far

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    Auburn presently has 22 commitments. They have addressed many needs and filled multiple holes.

    But it isn't over yet. Next Wednesday is National Signing Day. And Auburn still has plenty left to do.

    Last year, they shocked the world by reeling in a Top Five recruiting class. In today's rankings by ESPN, Auburn jumped from 11 to 9. If they want a second straight Top Five finish, they'll have to finish strong.

    This staff knows how. Auburn is benefiting from their excellent season. A national championship has been more than helpful on the recruiting trail. Kids who didn't even care before have emailed Auburn expressing interest.

    It will have a greater effect on future classes.

    But this class has a chance to be special.

    Writer's Note: The commitments are listed in the order that they committed.

Anthony Swain, S

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    Anthony Swain

    Height/Weight: 6'2"/215

    High School/Hometown: Gadsden City H.S./Gadsden, AL

    Rivals Rating: 3-star, #24 S

    ESPN Rating: 3-star, #25 S

    247sports Rating: 3-star, NR

    Analysis: Swain was Auburn's first commitment (that is still committed) of 2010. He plays safety at Gadsden City High School. Many believe that he will play linebacker at Auburn. A three-star prospect, Swain was a star at the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic.

    Swain runs a 4.6 40-yard dash. He has solid speed but could struggle against deep threats. He is a solid run-stuffer and could face a redshirt season should he remain at safety. He has room to add bulk as well as speed and could be a defensive playmaker in the future.

Thomas O'Reilly, OG

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    Thomas O'Reilly

    Height/Weight: 6'3"/313

    High School/Hometown: Pope H.S./Marietta, GA

    Rivals Rating:  3-star, #43 G

    ESPN Rating: 4-star, #8 G

    247sports Rating: 4-star, #8 G

    Analysis: Thomas O'Reilly is a stud guard with excellent explosion. He drives with great force and possesses superb technique. He is an early enrollee, graduating high school in December and is presently a student at Auburn. The offensive line, as I mentioned earlier, is a great need this year for Auburn.

    Early enrollees are present for spring practice, giving them an advantage over the other freshmen. O'Reilly can learn the playbook, get faster and stronger quicker and make a push for early playing time. With both guards leaving, O'Reilly may get a solid chance to start as a true freshman. John Sullen could possibly start at guard as a junior. Jared Cooper will be a senior and also have a shot, as well as Eric Mack, Chad Slade, Ed Christian and Tunde Fariyike. The battle for starting position will be an exciting one.

Reese Dismukes, C

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    Reese Dismukes

    Height/Weight: 6'3"/280

    High School/Hometown: Spanish Fort H.S./Spanish Fort, AL

    Rivals Rating: 4-star, #1 C

    ESPN Rating: 4-star, #1 C

    247sports Rating: 4-star, #2 C

    Analysis: Reese Dismukes, like O'Reilly, is an early enrollee. He has great technique and strength. He has good size for an SEC center. He stays flat, stands his man up and drives him out. He opens up good holes and is probably the best center in this class.

    Dismukes will most likely either start or be second team. He has a very low chance at getting a redshirt. The battle for starting center, barring position changes, will be between him and sophomore Blake Burgess. I wrote about Burgess in my article calling for breakout players. I would like to see Burgess perform well, but I won't be surprised if Dismukes is the man snapping the football.

Angelo Blackson, DT

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    Angelo Blackson

    Height/Weight: 6'5"/290

    High School/Hometown: Red Lion Christian Academy/Bear, DE

    Rivals Rating: 3-star, #31 DT

    ESPN Rating: 4-star, #14 DT

    247sports Rating: 4-star, #23 DT

    Analysis: Angelo Blackson, on film, sometimes plays like a five-star. He has good strength and solid technique. Sometimes, he looks like a three-star. He moves around on D but will play D-tackle at Auburn. And he comes into a defensive line that needs players. If nothing more, he is needed for depth. 

    Blackson is a player with a huge upside. He looks like a guy that strength and conditioning coach Kevin Yoxall could mold into a dominant player. Tracy Rocker can get him coached up. He has major potential, and he could be a household name in a few years.

Chris Landrum, LB

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    Chris Landrum

    Height/Weight: 6'2"/215

    High School/Hometown: Sweet Water H.S./Sweet Water, AL

    Rivals Rating: 3-star, #48 LB

    ESPN Rating: 3-star, #105 LB

    247sports Rating: 3-star, NR

    Analysis: Chris Landrum is listed as an inside linebacker. He has good speed and could probably succeed on the outside. After losing Josh Bynes and Craig Stevens, early playing time is always possible.

    Landrum is an interesting prospect in that I don't really know much about him. I do know he was owning the field in the first game of the season. But that's it. He broke his leg in that game. No reason to worry, I'm sure. One injury doesn't make you injury-prone. How he recovers and bounces back will be interesting to watch.

Kiehl Frazier, QB

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    Kiehl Frazier

    Height/Weight: 6'3"/215

    High School/Hometown: Shiloh Christian H.S./Springdale, AR

    Rivals Rating: 4-star, #5 QB

    ESPN Rating: 4-star, #2 QB

    247sports Rating: 4-star, #4 QB

    Analysis: People are excited about Kiehl Frazier. I honestly wish he had enrolled early. I can't wait for this guy to get on the field. He was named state championship MVP three straight years. That's impressive. He has a big arm, and he's pretty accurate. He fits Auburn's offense perfectly.

    Did I mention he's fast? He has a skill set similar to Cameron Newton. I expect him to be very successful as an Auburn Tiger.

JaBrian Niles, DE

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    JaBrian Niles

    Height/Weight: 6'2"/262

    High School/Hometown: Davidson H.S./Mobile, AL

    Rivals Rating: 3-star, #31 DE

    ESPN Rating: 4-star, #19 DE

    247sports Rating: 3-star, NR

    Analysis: JaBrian Niles is a small guy with a good motor. He plays bigger than he is, though sometimes can get stood up. He looks like a player that can add a lot of size. Being 6'2", I wouldn't be surprised if he played DT at Auburn. He's a stout player and could be successful.

Sammie Coates, WR

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    Sammie Coates

    Height/Weight: 6'3"/170

    High School/Hometown: Leroy H.S./Leroy, AL

    Rivals Rating: 3-star, #71 WR

    ESPN Rating: 3-star, #73 WR

    247sports Rating: 4-star, #21 WR

    Analysis: Sammie Coates might be the most underrated player in this class. He has good speed and good hands. I see the kid on tape, and he looks like a solid four-star. But then again, I don't work for Rivals. He is labeled as a "potential sleeper." But this kid can play ball. 

    He was committed to Southern Miss, came to an Auburn camp and impressed. He was offered a scholarship and committed on the spot. I don't know how early he will see the field, but make no mistake, this kid is solid.

Jaylon Denson, WR

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    Jaylon Denson

    Height/Weight: 6'3"/170

    High School/Hometown: Hoover H.S./Hoover, AL

    Rivals Rating: 4-star, #24 WR

    ESPN Rating: 3-star, #85 WR

    247sports Rating: 3-star, NR

    Analysis: Jaylon Denson is an interesting prospect for two reasons: 1) he was very solid but was only a major target for one season, and 2) he has a cool name. Denson played tight end his junior year (mainly just to get him involved) and wide receiver his senior year. He had over 1,100 yards and 12 touchdowns in his team's championship-losing effort.

    Denson is also considered a potential sleeper. He was a guy no one knew about, but Auburn snagged. Then the hype came. That kind of recruiting is fun to watch. Devin Gaulden was a similar style prospect, but he decommitted/was told to decommit. 

Justin Garrett, LB

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    Height/Weight: 6'2"/190

    High School/Hometown: Tucker H.S./Tucker, GA

    Rivals Rating: 3-star, NR

    ESPN Rating: 3-star, #84 OLB

    247sports Rating: 3-star, NR

    Analysis: As you can tell, Garrett is not a large prospect. He's very athletic and can dominate the high school level. You look at Garrett, and you see a great upside. I've seen him rated as a four-star, and you should make no doubt he has potential.

    Personally, I would try to redshirt Garrett. Get him in the weight room. Add some size. With more size and strength, this kid could be special. It's just not easy to take on SEC offensive linemen when you weigh under 200 lbs.

C.J. Uzomah, ATH

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    C.J. Uzomah

    Height/Weight: 6'5"/230

    High School/Hometown: North Gwinnett H.S./Suwannee, GA

    Rivals Rating: 3-star, #20 TE

    ESPN Rating: 3-star, #36 ATH

    247sports Rating: 4-star, #11 ATH

    Analysis: C.J. Uzomah is a player I'm very excited about simply because there are so many things he can do. In high school, he played some quarterback, tight end, wide receiver and carried the ball as well (whether that was from the quarterback position or as a running back, I don't know).

    I know that Malzahn said something along the lines of tight end/slot possession receiver as well as wildcat QB. Uzomah would excel as wildcat QB. I don't know about TE, as we have Lutzenkirchen returning (as well as heavily pursuing Brandon Fulse), but with this guy's athletic abilities, there's no limit to his possibilities. 

Keymiya Harrell, DE

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    Keymiya Harrell

    Height/Weight: 6'5"/235

    High School/Hometown: Dallas County H.S./Plantersville, AL

    Rivals Rating: 3-star, #27 DE

    ESPN Rating: 3-star, #38 DE

    247sports Rating: 3-star, NR

    Analysis: He or JaBrian Niles could either be depth-fillers or stars. I couldn't find much film on these guys, so I don't know. I do know that Harrell tore it up his sophomore year, racking up 15 sacks. He had 10 sacks last year. He had quite solid, but incredibly versatile, stats in only six games this season.

    But once again, when you lose five seniors (all of which played substantially) along the defensive line, anyone could step up and have a shot.

Jonathan Rose, CB

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    Jonathan Rose

    Height/Weight: 6'2"/195

    High School/Hometown: Leeds H.S./Leeds, AL

    Rivals Rating: 4-star, #7 S

    ESPN Rating: 4-star, #11 CB

    247sports Rating: 4-star, #1 CB

    Analysis: Jonathan Rose is a kid that is also enrolled early. Because of this, I expect him to make a push for early playing time as nickel back. He was unimpressive at the all-american game, but made up for it. 

    Rose is a guy with good skill and great potential. He plays a position of great need for Auburn. He has all the right tools, all the right moves, and will likely see the field often in the fall. I cannot wait to see him in an Auburn jersey.

Greg Robinson, OL

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    Greg Robinson

    Height/Weight: 6'5"/295

    High School/Hometown: Thibodaux H.S./Thibodaux, LA

    Rivals Rating: 4-star, #2 OG

    ESPN Rating: 4-star, #10 OG 

    247sports Rating: 4-star, #8 OT

    Analysis: Our annual steal from LSU, Greg Robinson is from the same high school as Trovon Reed. He is a mammoth prospect with terrific ability. He has great strength and could play guard or tackle (I would predict guard).

    He has a lot of upside with multiple strengths. One weakness that is obvious is he sometimes is able to get away with bad angles, technique, etc. and just push people around. You can't do that in the SEC. But with offensive line coach Jeff Grimes returning, he'll have no problem.

Robenson Therezie, S

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    Robenson Therezie

    Height/Weight: 5'10"/185

    High School/Hometown: Jackson H.S./Miami, FL

    Rivals Rating: 4-star, #17 S

    ESPN Rating: 4-star, #11 S

    247sports Rating: 4-star, #8 S

    Analysis: This was the first Auburn commitment of the Under Armour All-American Game. And it started a massive wave of commitments from Auburn. This took place on January 5th. It is presently January 21, and Auburn just snagged their fifth top-ranked recruit in that time frame.

    Call Therezie the one that started it all. He'll likely play corner but could stay safety, who knows? He is a good player with solid speed that loves hard hits and high-speed collisions. Maybe he's better suited for safety after all. His nickname is "Cadillac." I think Auburn had a very successful player once nicknamed "Cadillac." Anyone?

Quan Bray, ATH

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    Quan Bray

    Height/Weight: 5'11"/178

    High School/Hometown: Troup H.S./ Lagrange, GA

    Rivals Rating: 4-star, #5 APB (all-purpose-back)

    ESPN Rating: 4-star, #5 ATH

    247sports Rating: 4-star, #5 ATH

    Analysis: He played QB in high school, but he does it all. He plays receiver, running back, cornerback and return specialist. You better believe Auburn will utilize all they can. He showed at the UA All-American game that he's dangerous, and I'm sure the staff can't wait to get him on campus (I know I can't).

    While receiver is a definite need, Auburn only has two scholarship running backs. Bray could see early playing time at both, as well as return man. It's unlikely he'll play corner at Auburn.

Brent Calloway, ATH

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    Brent Calloway

    Height/Weight: 6'1"/210

    High School/Hometown: Russelville H.S./Russelville, AL

    Rivals Rating: 4-star, #5 OLB

    ESPN Rating: 4-star, #23 ATH

    247sports Rating: 4-star, #3 OLB

    Analysis: Auburn got this guy away from Alabama. Calloway said Auburn was like a family. Alabama was like a business. This is really a testament to this staff and how amazing they are. Calloway was a five-star OLB by most services. But he played running back more at Russelville. He committed to Auburn with hopes of playing running back.

    He'll get his shot. Once again, Auburn has tw on scholarship. McCalebb is a scat back. Dyer will be the No. 1 guy. But Calloway will get his touches. And if it doesn't work out, Auburn has a very good linebacker.

Kris Frost, ATH

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    Kris Frost

    Height/Weight: 6'2"/210

    High School/Hometown: Butler H.S./Matthews, NC

    Rivals Rating: 5-star, #2 OLB

    ESPN Rating: 4-star, #28 ATH

    247sports Rating: 4-star, NR

    Analysis: This was an interesting situation. Frost committed without a committable offer. It's crazy to hear about it because no one knew what was going to happen. But he met with Chizik and walked away with an offer. Kris Frost will be an Auburn Tiger in 2011. 

    Frost plays linebacker and wide receiver. He has said he'd like a shot at receiver, but I think if he added bulk, he would make an outstanding linebacker.

Christian Westerman, OT

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    Christian Westerman

    Height/Weight: 6'5"/288

    High School/Hometown: Hamilton H.S./Chandler, AZ

    Rivals Rating: 4-star, #3 OT

    ESPN Rating: 5-star, #2 OT

    247sports Rating: 5-star, #2 OT

    Analysis: YES!!! Sorry. Be professional, Mike...

    My intention was to have this written and post it as soon as Westerman committed since I've known he was going to. I had it written, but I ruptured my throat. Then my router busted. Anyways. Westerman is a hell of a tackle. I watched him in the UA All-American Game and watched him just throw people around. I remember seeing...Westerman at RT, O'Reilly at LG, Dismukes at C, with Kiehl Frazier at QB and saying "I want that to happen."

    It happened. Westerman is an Auburn Tiger. With four senior linemen graduating, he has a shot at starting early. He could be the next Lee Ziemba. Scenario: Mosley moves to LT, Westerman starts at RT. Unlikely, but possible.

Devaunte Sigler, DT

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    Devaunte Sigler

    Height/Weight: 6'4"/245

    High School/Hometown: B.C. Rain H.S./Mobile, AL

    Rivals Rating: 3-star, #64 OLB

    ESPN Rating: 3-star, #45 DE

    247sports Rating: NR

    Analysis: Devaunte Sigler is now a future Auburn football player. He made it official on Wednesday. Sigler is an interesting prospect who could play multiple positions. He is listed as a DE by most services. He could likely play there, but a move inside may be in the cards.

    Sigler was a long-time Auburn lean. He isn't highly ranked, but coaches rate players differently than you and I. Auburn's coaches were high on Sigler from the start. I expect them to be right. A redshirt year is possible.

Tre Mason, RB

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    Tre Mason

    Height/Weight: 5'9"/185

    High School/Hometown: Park Vista H.S./Lake Worth, FL

    Rivals Rating: 4-star, #14 RB

    ESPN Rating: 4-star, #21 RB

    247sports Rating: NR

    Analysis: Auburn faithful, we needed this one. Isaiah Crowell is likely going to be a Dawg. Andrew Buie committed to West Virginia; Marlin Lane to Tennessee. Though Auburn holds commitments from Quan Bray, who could play running back, and Brent Calloway, who was promised a first look at running back, the Tigers definitely wanted at least one more.

    Watching this kid on film, he looks like a future star. He doesn't have the attitude problems that Crowell is said to have. He doesn't have the arrest record that Lane has. He could be one of the steals in this class. Now you're saying, well Mike, how is a 4-star back a steal? Well, friend, watch his film. He has excellent top end speed and cut back on a dime. He has superb ballcarrier vision and finds lanes to make plays. He could maybe take a redshirt year (depending on what happens with Bray, Calloway, and uncommited prospects), but looks like a star in the making.

Brandon Fulse, TE

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    Brandon Fulse

    Height/Weight: 6'4"/250

    High School/Hometown: Fort Meade H.S./Fort Meade, FL

    Rivals Rating: 4-star, #10 TE

    ESPN Rating: 4-star, #5 TE

    247sports Rating: 4-star, #11 TE

    Analysis: Auburn had been Fulse's leader since November, and Thursday he made it official. Fulse said he loved the coaching staff. He was sold on Malzahn's offense and how they utilize the tight end position. He's a receiving machine, hauling in 10 touchdowns as a senior. Look for he and Uzomah to split time at tight end.

    However, Uzomah can play a number of positions, and I expect Fulse to step in early as a strict tight end. He is a future star and one at a pretty big need for Auburn. 

Marcus Roberson, CB

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    Marcus Roberson

    Height/Weight: 6'1"/170

    High School/Hometown: St. Thomas Aquinas H.S./Ft. Lauderdale, FL

    Rivals Rating: 4-star, #2 CB

    ESPN Rating: 4-star, #9 S

    247sports Rating: 4-star, #2 CB

    Analysis: Otis Mounds, former Auburn player and Roberson's uncle, got the job as cornerbacks coach at Texas Tech. The same day, Roberson committed to Tech. He had listed Auburn as his leader since camp in Florida. He then said he was still open, and it would come down to signing day.

    Roberson committed the day before signing day. While this may put a damper on the late run toward landing 4-star CB Jermaine Whitehead, Auburn is excited to get this young man. With this commitment we lock up what may be the best secondary class in the nation.

And Now, the Remaining Targets

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    Who else will play in front of these fans in 2011?

    If I were a smart alleck, I'd post the rest of the ESNU 150 on here.

    I am one of those, but in all seriousness, I'm talking about who Auburn has a most realistic shot of landing. 

    I believe they're talking to Tony Steward, but I don't believe he's listening.

    I believe they'd like to make La'El Collins switch over from LSU, but I don't think he wants to anymore.

    I figure they'd love to have Savon Huggins, because I would too, but he dropped Auburn from his top schools because he doesn't want to be that far away from home.

    I heard a rumor that Dee Hart and Hasean Clinton-Dix were switching over from Alabama, but I think that's ridiculous.

    But every day is a new day and crazier things have happened.

    So here are the remaining big-time prospects Auburn would most like to have if Mike Kirkland called the shots.

Cyrus Kouandjio, OT

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    Cyrus Kouandjio

    Height/Weight: 6'7"/320

    High School/Hometown: DeMatha Catholic H.S./Hyattsville, MD

    Rivals Rating: 5-star, #1 OT

    ESPN Rating: 5-star, #1 OT

    247sports Rating: 5-star, #1 OT

    Analysis: As you could tell, this guy would be a HUGE get for Auburn. Signing Westerman actually gives us a better shot at landing him, according to the inside guys. The brother of Arie Kouandjio, most people (including me in the beginning), predicted he'd be an Alabama lock. He says this isn't the case, stating if he signed with Alabama, it would be only because it was the best option for him.

    Can you imagine a class where Dismukes, O'Reilly, Robinson, Westerman and Kouandjio all signed together? That's the nation's best two tackles, the nation's best center and two of the nation's Top 10 guards. I'd be a little less worried about the offensive line. The Auburn staff is most likely aiming their sights in on Kouandjio. If he winds up a Tiger, then that'd be a phenomenal feat. I'd sure love to have him.

    Oh, and he officially visits Auburn four days before Signing Day.

    Honest Prediction: Auburn. I think he may. Auburn doesn't necessarily need another but who would turn away the No. 2 prospect in the nation? Alabama a close second. This is my world.

    Okay, honestly. I'm thinking it's either Bama or Auburn at this point.

Gabe Wright, DT

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    Gabe Wright

    Height/Weight: 6'3"/285

    High School/Hometown: Carver H.S./Columbus, GA

    Rivals Rating: 4-star, #13 DT

    ESPN Rating: 4-star, #3 DT

    247sports Rating: 4-star, #9 DT

    Analysis: Gabe Wright is a great player at a great position of need for Auburn. He named Auburn his leader a while back. He recently took a visit to Tennessee and had a great time. Georgia too would love to have him. 

    He visits Auburn four days before signing day, and I think the Tigers land him.

    Honest Prediction: Auburn

Erique Florence, S

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    Erique Florence

    Height/Weight: 6'2"/181

    High School/Hometown: Valley H.S./Valley, AL

    Rivals Rating: 4-star, #3 S

    ESPN Rating: 4-star, #4 S

    247sports Rating: 4-star, #3 S

    Analysis: Florence has long listed Auburn as his leader. It is truly a testament to Auburn's staff of how well they've recruited the state of Alabama, landing five of the state's best six players (Alabama landing the other). He's considering Alabama and USC as well, though most would say he went to Southern Cal just to have a good time.

    Auburn is his leader, and I'd be surprised if he went elsewhere.

    Honest Prediction: Auburn

Spencer Region, OG

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    Spencer Region

    Height/Weight: 6'6"/330

    High School/Hometown: Cullman H.S./Cullman, AL

    Rivals Rating: 3-star, #23 G

    ESPN Rating: 4-star, #9 G

    247sports Rating: NR

    Analysis: What a crazy recruitment it's been. He committed to Alabama, his childhood favorite. Then decommitted and committed to Auburn. Then decommitted. Now, his top five are: Auburn, Georgia, Louisville, LSU and Wisconsin. 

    I played football with Spencer my senior year of high school before he moved to Cullman. He's a solid player. But he tries to push people around, and he can't really get away with that in college. But with coaching, he can be dominant.

    However, I don't think at this point that Auburn would take him. And I've heard that Wisconsin's interest is fading. Louisville is on the rise and Charlie Strong is an excellent coach and recruiter. He may be well-suited there.

    Honest Prediction: Louisville or LSU

Antonio Richardson, OT

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    Antonio Richardson

    Height/Weight: 6'6"/310

    High School/Hometown: Pearl Cohn H.S./Nashville, TN

    Rivals Rating: 4-star, #7 OT

    ESPN Rating: 4-star, #9 OT

    247sports Rating: 4-star, #12 OT

    Analysis: Richardson is a very talented tackle prospect who always had interest in Auburn. I don't know if Auburn had him ranked low and never pursued him hard, but he's not one that has been heavily recruited it seems like.

    Still, Auburn is in the picture. He's set to decide between Auburn, Tennessee, Miami (FL), Georgia, and LSU. And Auburn may just have a shot. However, I don't know how it would go if Kouandjio decided to come to Auburn, or if Collins wanted to switch over. Auburn may wind up with four top-10 guards!

    Kidding.

    Honest Prediction: Auburn or Tennessee

La'El Collins, OT

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    La'El Collins

    Height/Weight: 6'5"/285

    High School/Hometown: Cullman H.S./Cullman, AL

    Rivals Rating: 5-star, #2 OT

    ESPN Rating: 5-star, #3 OT

    247sports Rating: 5-star, #2 OT

    Analysis: Collins is an LSU commit. Auburn is still actively pursuing him, and he officially visited earlier in the process. His visit had him thinking about Auburn. With the decommitment of Jeremy Hill from Auburn, Collins was thinking about not wearing purple and gold. But Jeremy Hill may never play football again.

    So he's still an LSU commit. There's a chance he switches, but I think it's unlikely.

    Honest Prediction: LSU

LaMichael Fanning, DE

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    LaMichael Fanning

    Height/Weight: 6'6"/285

    High School/Hometown: Harris County H.S./Hamilton, GA

    Rivals Rating: 4-star, #18 DT

    ESPN Rating: 4-star, #14 DE

    247sports Rating: 4-star, #18 DT

    Analysis: Fanning is an Alabama commit. However, he's shown a large amount in Auburn recently? Could he follow Calloway and switch over? Only time will tell.

    Fanning has excellent size for a defensive end. He would most likely be welcomed by most Auburn fans as defensive end could some depth. However, there are some issues surrounding Fanning. He quit his high school team after being suspended. Now that's not a major deal, but at the same time it is. Recruiting a guy with a history of quitting is questionable, but the circumstances might be understandable. I hope his transition back into football is good. But I don't think it will be at Auburn.

    After his visit to Auburn, he kindly declined interview. Sounds bad for Auburn, right? Then again, that's exactly what DeAngelo Benton did. He visited, declined comments, and wasn't heard of until Signing Day.

    Honest Prediction: Alabama

Auburn Could Easily Have Another Top 5 Class Come February 2nd

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    Michael Dyer the day he committed to Auburn

    There is a lot of potential for this year's class. Auburn has a very good group of players on board, and if this staff continues to recruit the way they have been, Auburn will have a lot of success.

    Last year's class surprised a lot of people. They got the highly touted stars like Michael Dyer and Trovon Reed. They pulled a few no thought they would like Corey Lemonier and Eric Mack. And they got the ones no one thought were worth it that could be future stars like Chris Davis and LaDarious Phillips (and Jessel Curry if he stays). 

    Don't be surprised to see Auburn land another Top Five class. And don't be surprised when they stay on top. 

    The sky is the limit.

    War Eagle.

    I appreciate every read and comment.