2015 College Football Recruits with Strong Interest in Both Alabama and Auburn

Edwin WeathersbyAnalyst IMarch 7, 2014

2015 College Football Recruits with Strong Interest in Both Alabama and Auburn

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    Butch Dill/Associated Press

    Alabama and Auburn are bitter rivals who fight on the field once a year in the Iron Bowl. However, the Crimson Tide and Tigers fight every day on the recruiting trail because they go after many of the same prospects.

    This year will be no different, as several top-level recruits have strong interest in both schools. A 5-star defensive tackle's recruitment will come down to playing in Tuscaloosa or on The Plains, while the rivals also both like a 5-star linebacker.

    Plus, there's a 5-star defensive tackle in Georgia who has caught the eye of Alabama head coach Nick Saban and Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn.

    All recruiting ratings and rankings are from 247Sports.
    Player evaluations are based on review of tape at Scout.comRivals and 247Sports.

Jauan Jennings, DB/ATH

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    Credit: 247Sports

    At 6'4" and 185 pounds, 4-star safety Jauan Jennings is a prospect similar to former Alabama defensive back Eddie Williams.

    With his tall frame, gliding athleticism and great ball skills, Jennings has the makings of a classic free safety. The Tennessee native also can play quarterback or receiver, but he's at his best when he's roaming around the back end of a defense.

    Alabama and Auburn are in the mix, along with others such as Tennessee and Northwestern, according to 247Sports.

Kyle Phillips, DT

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Kyle Phillips is a 4-star defensive lineman from Tennessee who can play end or tackle in the trenches. At 6'4" and 255 pounds, he displays impressive power and toughness to stack and shed blocks at the point of attack.

    Phillips has above-average instincts, plus he uses good short-area quickness to close and finish on the ball. 

    Both SEC programs in Tennessee, Clemson, LSU, Florida State and the Iron Bowl schools are among his favorites, per 247Sports.

Drew Richmond, OT

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    Credit: 247Sports

    At 6'5" and 315 pounds, 4-star offensive tackle Drew Richmond has a chance to develop into a solid blocker at the college level. He has a lot to learn as far as his technique and needs to get stronger, but he's a terrific athlete.

    Richmond is a Memphis native who will have a lot of college coaches coming to Tennessee to see him. Schools like Alabama, Auburn, Ohio State, LSU and Oklahoma are in the hunt, according to 247Sports.

Jamal Peters, S

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Hailing from Mississippi, Jamal Peters appears to be plenty comfortable in the box at this point. He's 6'3" and 200 pounds, so playing outside linebacker in college is not out of the question.

    However, the 4-star recruit does have good range when sitting on top of the defense due to his above-average speed. Peters plays with good on-field awareness, which helps in zone coverage.

    Alabama, Auburn and Florida State are among his top schools, per 247Sports.

Byron Cowart, DE

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Byron Cowart is a classic read-and-react player. It's evident when he doesn't explode at the snap as hard as he can, but he still is able to surge to close on the ball.

    Cowart, who is 6'4" and 250 pounds, is a 5-star defensive end from Florida. He has good strength to set the edge, and he also appears capable of rushing over guards in sub-packages.

    Auburn, Florida and Oregon are his leaders, but Alabama is also in the mix, according to 247Sports

Joshua McMillon, OLB

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Joshua McMillon is a 6'3", 241-pound outside linebacker from Memphis. Aside from possessing excellent size for his position, the 4-star defender also has great athleticism and strength.

    McMillon can attack the line of scrimmage quickly, as well as sift through trash and traffic laterally while tracking running backs. His solid strength also allows him to jam and reroute tight ends at the line of scrimmage.

    Auburn, Michigan, Alabama and Ole Miss are some schools McMillon is looking at, according to 247Sports.

Jeffery Holland, OLB

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Although he can play outside linebacker, 5-star prospect Jeffery Holland is also capable of playing well inside.

    The Florida native is 6'2" and 230 pounds, plus he is a great athlete. Holland has no issues filling alleys from the flanks or middle of the field, and he has great range. He can buzz into coverage, as well as cover running backs and tight ends in man-to-man schemes.

    Florida leads, but Alabama and Auburn are also major players for his services, per 247Sports.

Trent Thompson, DT

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    Credit: 247Sports

    From Georgia, 5-star defensive tackle Trent Thompson is a hot commodity on the recruiting trail. The 6'4", 292-pounder is on pace to develop into a dominant force in the trenches.

    Thompson not only has great strength, but he also has explosive quickness at the snap to jump on top of offensive linemen. He can close in a hurry in pursuit, plus he does a solid job of recognizing blocking schemes.

    Georgia and Florida State are out in front right now, but Alabama and Auburn are also high on his list, according to 247Sports.

Kerryon Johnson, ATH/S/RB

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    Credit: 247Sports

    At 6'0" and 185 pounds, 5-star prospect Kerryon Johnson terrorizes high school defenses as a running back. However, he is also a nightmare for offenses as a safety.

    Johnson is an athletic player who has deceptive strength. As a running back, he can power through arm tackles in alleys before building up to top speed in the open field. 

    As a safety, the Alabama native reads and reacts quickly to running plays. He squeezes the line of scrimmage well from the seams, plus he gets his hands on a lot of passes.

    Auburn, Alabama and Florida State are his leaders, says 247Sports.

Daron Payne, DT

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Auburn and Alabama will both be going hard after 5-star defensive tackle Daron Payne. The Alabama native is a 6'2", 316-pound beast who has terrific strength and power.

    Payne also shows good first-step quickness at the snap, plus he has great ball-location skills. He can play defensive end in a 3-4, as well as both defensive tackle positions in a 4-3 scheme.

    The Iron Bowl schools are his prime options, says 247Sports.

    As Andrew Bone of AlabamaVarsity (subscription required) wrote on March 5, "Alabama and Auburn remain co-favorites for the five-star prospect."

    Edwin Weathersby is the College Football Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. He has worked in scouting/player personnel departments for three professional football teams, including the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns.