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Auburn Football Recruiting: Updates on 2014 Commits and Targets

Justin LeeContributor IDecember 28, 2013

Auburn Football Recruiting: Updates on 2014 Commits and Targets

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Auburn has put together the best turnaround in college football history under first-year head coach Gus Malzahn, as the Tigers are headed for the BCS National Championship Game just a year removed from a 3-9 season.

    With all of the success that the Tigers have had on the field, it's hard to believe that the Auburn coaching staff has had almost as much success off the field on the recruiting trail.

    Auburn is set to reel in the No. 6 recruiting class in the nation this year, according to 247Sports.com, and that projection has only risen in recent weeks—just as the Tigers have climbed through the national rankings.

    The Tigers have 21 commitments already set to come to the Plains as part of the 2014 signing class, including four junior college transfers who have already signed their Letters of Intent. That means there are only a few spots left for Auburn to fill between now and signing day on Feb. 5.

    Stay tuned to this updating page over the next few weeks, as news breaks from the recruiting world on the Plains, and signing day inches closer and closer.

    All recruiting information via 247Sports.com unless otherwise noted.

Latest News

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    For now, Auburn has turned its attention to Florida State and the BCS National Championship Game, while the current recruiting dead period passes.

    The last big news on the recruiting front for Auburn came on Dec. 27, when 4-star defensive tackle Dontavius Russell announced his verbal commitment to the Tigers via Twitter.

    @Russ_Dont98If you really know me you would know that I will continue playing football at the University of........................AUBURN!!!! WDE

    Russell became the 21st commitment for the Tigers' class of 2014 with his announcement.

    Before then, the Tigers had a big day on Dec. 18—the first day junior college midyear enrollees were allowed to sign Letters of Intent—when D'haquille Williams, DaVonte Lambert, Derrick Moncrief, and Xavier Dampeer all inked with Auburn.

Quarterbacks

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    Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

    Targets

    None

     

    Committed

    Sean White
    4-star Pro-Style Quarterback
    Hollywood, FL (University School)
    6'2", 204 lbs.
    Under Armour All-American

     

    Analysis

    The Tigers seem set at the quarterback position for the immediate future—as junior starter Nick Marshall is ready to return for his senior season in 2014.

    Freshman Jeremy Johnson is also on campus, already earning significant playing time at certain points this season. Johnson started for the Tigers in a romp over FAU in late October as Marshall recovered from injury.

    For now, White will be brought in to add depth behind Marshall, alongside Johnson and sophomore Jonathan Wallace. After Marshall leaves, it would appear that White will be in prime position to battle Johnson for the starting job—but the Tigers will cross that road when they come to it.

Running Backs

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    Racean Thomas
    Racean Thomas247Sports.com

    Targets

    None

     

    Committed

    Racean Thomas
    4-star Running Back
    Oxford, AL (Oxford)
    5'11", 196 lbs.
    Under Armour All-American
    U.S. Army All-American

    Kamryn Pettway
    3-star Running Back
    Montgomery, AL (Prattville)
    5'11", 221 lbs.
    Blue-Grey All-American

     

    Analysis

    Malzahn is always looking for new weapons to add to his offense, and that's exactly what he's getting with Thomas and Pettway at the running back position.

    Both should be able to contribute right away for the Tigers offensively, as Auburn spreads the ball around to as many athletes as possible.

    Malzahn's system has always been an attacking, down-hill running scheme, but in 2013 in particular, the Tigers have relied even more heavily on the ground game. If that trend continues in 2014, even the incoming freshmen could be seeing some significant carries.

    Thomas in particular could make an instant impact for the Tigers.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

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    D'haquille Williams
    D'haquille Williams247Sports.com

    Targets

    Travis Rudolph
    4-star Wide Receiver
    West Palm Beach, FL (Cardinal Newman)
    6'1", 185 lbs.
    Under Armour All-American
    Auburn's biggest competition: Alabama, Florida State

    Malachi Dupre
    4-star Wide Receiver
    New Orleans, LA (John Curtis)
    6'2", 187 lbs.
    Under Armour All-American
    Auburn's biggest competition: LSU, Alabama, Florida State

    Adly Enoicy
    3-star Wide Receiver
    Delray Beach, FL (Atlantic)
    6'5", 205 lbs.
    Auburn's biggest competition: Syracuse, Wisconsin

     

    Committed

    D'haquille Williams
    5-star JUCO Wide Receiver
    Reserve, LA (East St. John, MGCCC)
    6'3", 213 lbs.
    *Signed Letter of Intent

    Jakell Mitchell
    3-star Tight End
    Opelika, AL (Opelika)
    6'3", 214 lbs.

    Chris Laye
    3-star Tight End
    Suwanee, GA (Lambert)
    6'5", 240 lbs.

     

    Analysis

    The nation's No. 1 junior college player sealed his commitment to Auburn in ink in mid-December, signing his Letter of Intent to play with the Tigers. Bringing in D'haquille Williams was more than huge for the Auburn coaching staff—but the Tigers would like to add another receiver from this pool of athletes from the high school ranks by the time Feb. 5 rolls around.

Offensive Line

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    Jordan Sims
    Jordan Sims247Sports.com

    Targets

    Jordan Sims
    4-star Offensive Guard
    Birmingham, AL (Homewood)
    6'4", 345 lbs.
    U.S. Army All-American
    Auburn's biggest competition: Alabama, Ole Miss, Florida

    Jordan Prestwood
    4-star JUCO Offensive Tackle
    Plant City, FL (Plant City, Arizona Western College)
    6'6", 310 lbs.
    Auburn's biggest competition: Florida State

    Braden Smith
    4-star Offensive Guard
    Olathe, KS (Olathe South)
    6'6", 290 lbs.
    Under Armour All-American
    Auburn's biggest competition: Notre Dame, TCU, Texas A&M

     

    Committed

    Xavier Dampeer
    3-star JUCO Center
    Mendenhall, MS (Copiah-Lincoln CC)
    6'4", 300 lbs.
    *Signed Letter of Intent

     

    Analysis

    Offensive line isn't exactly a point of emphasis on the recruiting trail for the Auburn coaching staff this year.

    The Tigers boast an offensive line featuring two juniors, two sophomores, and a freshman, and—barring a Reese Dismukes exit for the NFL Draft, which seems unlikely at this point—it would appear that Auburn will be returning its entire starting five next season.

    On top of that, the Tigers have plenty of depth behind them.

    Still, it would be nice for the Auburn coaching staff to pick up another talented body along with Dampeer for the 2014 class.

Defensive Line

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    DaVonte Lambert
    DaVonte Lambert247Sports.com

    Targets

    Andrew Williams
    4-star Weakside Defensive End
    McDonough, GA (Eagle's Landing Christian)
    6'4", 247 lbs.
    Offense-Defense All-American
    Auburn's biggest competition: Clemson, Ole Miss

    Elisha Shaw
    4-star Defensive Tackle
    Tucker, GA (Tucker)
    6'4.5", 295 lbs.
    U.S. Army All-American
    Auburn's biggest competition: Alabama, Georgia, Ole Miss

    Anthony Olobia
    3-star JUCO Weakside Defensive End
    Yuma, AZ (Arizona Western College)
    6'5", 245 lbs.
    Auburn's biggest competition: Texas Tech, Kansas

     

    Committed

    DaVonte Lambert
    4-star JUCO Strongside Defensive End
    Waynsboro, GA (Burke County, Georgia Military College)
    6'3", 278 lbs.
    *Signed Letter of Intent

    Justin Thornton
    4-star Weakside Defensive End
    Mobile, AL (Vigor)
    6'5", 222 lbs.
    Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game selection

    Dontavius Russell
    4-star Defensive Tackle
    Carrollton, GA (Carrollton)
    6'3", 300 lbs.

    Devaroe Lawrence
    4-star JUCO Defensive Tackle
    Milledgeville, GA (Georgia Military College)
    6'3", 278 lbs.

    Dalvon Stucky
    3-star JUCO Defensive Tackle
    Defuniak Springs, FL (Walton, Pearl River CC)
    6'3", 300 lbs.

    Raashed Kennion
    3-star Weakside Defensive End
    Jacksonville, FL (First Coast)
    6'6", 228 lbs.

     

    Analysis

    The Auburn coaching staff is on a mission to build one of the SEC's best defensive lines, and Rodney Garner is well on his way to achieving just that with this class. This year's group will join stars from the 2013 signing class such as Carl Lawson, Montravius Adams and Elijah Daniel, putting quarterbacks and running backs across the league on notice.

Linebackers

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    Rashaan Evans
    Rashaan Evans247Sports.com

    Targets

    Rashaan Evans
    5-star Outside Linebacker
    Auburn, AL (Auburn)
    6'3", 220 lbs.
    Under Armour All-American
    Auburn's biggest competition: Alabama

     

    Committed

    Tre' Williams
    4-star Inside Linebacker
    Mobile, AL (St. Paul's Episcopal)
    6'2", 230 lbs.
    Under Armour All-American

    De'Shaun Davis
    4-star Inside Linebacker
    Mobile, AL (Vigor)
    6'0", 225 lbs.

     

    Analysis

    The recruiting battle over Rashaan Evans will only get more intense as National Signing Day draws nearer. Evans will likely either decide to stay at home and play for the Tigers, or travel across the state to play for the archrival Alabama Crimson Tide.

    Williams and Davis both make for big pick-ups for Auburn, which will be looking to improve its rush defense in the near future.

    But the big name here is Evans—who could fit almost anywhere on the Tigers' defense with his athletic frame, and make an immediate impact as early as the fall of 2014.

Defensive Backs

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    Derrick Moncrief
    Derrick Moncrief247Sports.com

    Targets

    Tez Parks
    3-star Safety
    Hogansville, GA (Callaway)
    6'0", 198 lbs.

    Lamont Simmons
    3-star Cornerback
    Jacksonville, FL (Raines)
    6'2", 180 lbs.

     

    Committed

    Derrick Moncrief
    4-star JUCO Safety
    Prattville, AL (Prattville, MGCCC)
    6'3", 226 lbs.
    *Signed Letter of Intent

    Kalvaraz Bessent
    4-star Cornerback
    Kingsland, GA (Camden County)
    6'0", 170 lbs.
    Under Armour All-American

    Stephen Roberts
    4-star Cornerback
    Opelika, AL (Opelika)
    6'0", 177
    Under Armour All-American

    Nick Ruffin
    4-star Defensive Back
    Atlanta, GA (St. Pius X)
    6'0", 180 lbs.
    U.S. Army All-American

     

    Analysis

    The defensive backfield is easily one of the Tigers' strongest position groups within the 2014 signing class.

    Featuring three high school All-Americans and one of the nation's best overall junior college players already, the Tigers seem all set to inject a new stream of talent into the secondary. Each of those four commitments could see playing time immediately in 2014.

    At this point, pulling in Parks or Simmons would simply be icing on the cake for Auburn.

Special Teams

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    John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

    Targets

    None

     

    Committed

    None

     

    Analysis

    As of right now, the Tigers are holding their cards when it comes to special teams, having not made an offer to a kicker from the 2014 signing class.

    Placekicker Cody Parkey and punter Steven Clark are both seniors—but the Tigers recruited and signed kicker Daniel Carlson and punter Jimmy Hutchinson last year to replace them.

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