Auburn Football: Will Tigers' Recruiting Surge After 5-Star LB's Verbal Commit?

Barrett Sallee@BarrettSalleeSEC Football Lead WriterJuly 13, 2012

Auburn commit Reuben Foster / Photo Credit: 247Sports.com
Auburn commit Reuben Foster / Photo Credit: 247Sports.com

Reuben Foster flipped from Alabama to Auburn at a press conference at Auburn (Ala.) High School, and his decision indicated a seismic shift in the recruiting world and could signify that Auburn is gaining momentum in the Class of 2013.

The 5-star linebacker prospect, who is rated as the No. 7 overall player in the country in 247Sports.com's latest rankings, had been an Alabama commitment since last July. 

While Alabama may have a higher-ranked recruiting class overall when compared to Auburn, Foster's pledge means the Tigers have commitments from six of the top 11 prospects in the state of Alabama, compared to four for the intra-state rival Crimson Tide.

But it isn't just the numbers that indicate Auburn is on the upswing. Foster's method for committing to Auburn served as a gut punch to the Crimson Tide.

Foster's statement was almost identical to the one long-time Auburn commit T.J. Yeldon read when he flipped to Alabama one day before the recruiting dead period in December of 2011. 

That was not an accident, it was a statement.

Whether that's a statement made by Foster or one orchestrated by the Auburn football staff, it surely isn't a coincidence, and absolutely was meant to resonate across the state in Tuscaloosa.

But it isn't just in-state power that could swing towards the Tigers. 

Foster is good friends with 4-star safety Tray Matthews, and the duo has stated on numerous occasions that they would like to play together at the college level. Matthews now has to make a decision what's more important, sticking to his commitment or playing with his friend.

Matthews may stay committed to Georgia, but Foster's flip certainly puts the attention on him.

Shaq Wiggins is another guy to keep an eye on. According to ESPN, he held a meeting at The Opening last week with Foster, Matthews and other players about playing together. 

Could he be the next chip to fall in Auburn's direction? He told Auburn freshman Josh Holsey that he will be there on Saturday.

@HeyItsJholsey I'll be dwn there Saturday bro

— Shaquille Wiggins (@ShaqWiggins21) July 12, 2012

Foster's commitment is big as a stand-alone news story, but it could lead to big things for the Auburn Tigers.

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