Auburn vs. LSU: Whose 2014 Recruiting Class Is Better Right Now?
Auburn will travel to Baton Rouge to take on LSU this Saturday night at 7:45 (ET), and the game can be seen on ESPN. LSU comes into the game with aspirations of an SEC and national title, while Auburn will be looking to pull off an upset.
However, on the recruiting trail, things are not drastically different between the two schools, as they both have great recruiting classes. The programs are not only rivals on the field, but their coaching staffs routinely go head-to-head for the same recruits.
With this weekend's game being an interesting matchup, and both schools' recruiting classes being impressive groups, it's time to see which has the superior class.
Auburn's 2014 Recruiting Class Capsule
Head coach Gus Malzahn has assembled a solid class of 14 commitments. With Auburn's shaky history of players having off-field problems through the years, look for Malzahn and his staff to stress character as one of the main emphases of player evaluations on The Plains.
As usual, the South is Auburn's preferred region for prospects. States such as Florida, Mississippi and Georgia are represented in the class. However, with a leading six commitments, the Tigers have not forgotten about their home state of Alabama.
The class is split pretty evenly, as it has seven commitments on offense and six on defense, plus a commitment from an "athlete."
Auburn has six 4-star recruits and one 5-star commitment.
LSU's 2014 Recruiting Class Capsule
Miles, who is one of the best recruiting head coaches in the country, does an excellent job of putting a fence up around his state. This is evidenced by eight of LSU's commitments being from Louisiana.
States such as Mississippi, Texas, Florida and Oklahoma are also represented in LSU's class. The group is broken down to eight players on offense, five on defense and a kicker.
LSU has nine 4-star commitments.
Auburn's Top 2014 Commitments
Although the Tigers lost 2013 linebacker recruit Reuben Foster to Alabama, 4-star 'backer Tre' Williams is a nice replacement of sorts. He is 6'2", 230 pounds and plays with good physicality and short-area quickness.
Receiver D'haquille Williams is a 4-star JUCO prospect who should immediately become the Tigers' No. 1 option in the passing game in 2014. The 6'3", 213-pounder has great speed, solid hands and can make plays on the third level.
LSU's Top 2014 Commitments
The people in Baton Rouge will fall in love with 4-star receiver Trey Quinn, who is 6'1" and 200 pounds. He has deceptive speed, is lethal in the slot and has an impressive ability to separate from defenders at junctions in his routes.
Also on the perimeter will be 4-star receiver Tony Upchurch, who will develop his 6'2", 228-pound frame into one of the most physically imposing receivers in the SEC.
Quarterback Brandon Harris, a 4-star prospect, is an intriguing dual-threat passer. He will like throwing to athletic 4-star tight end Jacory Washington, and 4-star guard Will Clapp will help protect Harris.
On defense, keep an eye on 4-star safety Devin Voorhies. He has some developing to do, but he has a nice upside. Plus, 4-star defensive end Deondre Clark is not coming from Oklahoma to let SEC quarterbacks have a ton of time in the pocket.
Auburn's 2014 Recruiting Class Headliner
The top player for Auburn's recruiting class is 5-star running back Racean Thomas of Oxford High School in Alabama.
Thomas, who is 5'11" and 196 pounds, has great initial quickness out of his stance, which allows him to get a jump on front-seven defenders. He displays a terrific burst upfield, can slash through alleys with force and has the lateral quickness to jump to the edges.
Thomas showcases good vision, makes solid decisions with the ball and has impressive instincts. However, what makes him such a good fit for the Tigers offense is his ability to catch the football out of the backfield.
He can be used on screens, swings, check-downs, flats and option routes in the passing game. Thomas can even align in the slot, work on a linebacker and catch the football cleanly to quickly transition upfield for a big gain.
LSU's 2014 Recruiting Class Headliner
The leader of LSU's class is 4-star defensive back Edward Paris of Mansfield Timberview High School in Texas.
At 6'1" and 190 pounds, the Texan can play as a big cornerback on the perimeter due to his fantastic short-area quickness. He can press receivers at the line, pin them into the sideline on the boundary and carry them upfield with solid speed.
If he misses his jam, Paris can quickly recover. His short-area quickness also comes in handy when a receiver separates from him underneath with a quick cut, as Paris easily darts to his man to re-attach himself in coverage.
Paris can also play safety, as he displays great range and ball skills. His versatility, size and skill set will be welcomed in Baton Rouge.
Although LSU's class is impressive, Auburn seems to have the slightly better group of football players—but not by much.
Auburn could have as many as five impact players from this class, including two JUCO recruits who should be starters. LSU has a great class in the works, and it could ascend to the No. 1 spot if things go right between now and February, but right now Auburn has the better group of players.
2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map
Don't forget to check out the 2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map. This is a mobile-ready tool with a great amount of recruiting information on the top prospects from across the nation!
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