The Midwest has not been a regular recruiting area for the the Tigers, but this weekend Auburn is bringing in a pair of highly-regarded prospects from that region along with another offensive line prospect from the West Coast as the Tigers hope to finish strong on the offensive line for the 2012 class Auburn.
A four-star rated player and the number 23 offensive tackle in the country, massive Kyle Dodson from Cleveland Heights High in Ohio visited Auburn back in January and has had the Tigers high on his list since that time. Excited about his trip this weekend, he said there is a lot to like about Chizik's program at the moment.
"I'm pretty interested in Auburn," Dodson tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "That's why I'm taking a visit there. I just want to see what's going on down there and refresh my memory on them."
Rated the number nine offensive tackle in the country by Scout.com, Jordan Diamond is a 6-6, 290-pounder with good feet and tremendous size. Having already had an official visit to Ohio State last weekend, Diamond will make his second trip to the Plains to see the Auburn campus, coaches and facilities. On his first trip Diamond said he enjoyed everything about the visit.
"It was phenomenal," Diamond said. "I got a chance to meet about everybody. I just enjoyed myself and got in deep with the coaches. I met Coach (Gene) Chizik. He is a down-to-earth, good guy. I was with Coach (Jeff) Grimes all day. He is straight forward, down-to-earth. That is the way I like it."
Another second-time visitor to Auburn, Alex Kozan, is rated the number 18 guard in the nation by Scout.com. A 6-4, 295-pounder from Valor Christian High in Highlands Ranch, Col., Kozan has already visited Iowa and Ohio State officially and is also looking at LSU, Oregon, Colorado and Michigan in addition to Auburn.
Bonding with Grimes on his first trip to Auburn, Kozan is very familiar with commitment Shane Callahan, who is also from the state of Colorado. Expected to play guard on the next level, Kozan said one of the biggest reasons for his interest in Auburn is the family atmosphere and his relationship with Grimes.
A massive offensive tackle from Saddleback College in California, 6-7, 310 Menelik Watson is one of the more interesting prospects to come for an Auburn visit. Playing basketball for Marist College as a freshman in 2010 after catching the eye of their coaches while playing for his travel team from England, he averaged 4.7 points and 3.3 rebounds for the Red Foxes.
Waston decided to give football a try and transferred to the California junior college and was good enough to earn second-team all-conference honors in his first year playing the sport. He also has offers from Cal, Kansas State, Washington, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Oregon and several others, but is looking heavily at Florida State, USC and UCLA. Watson is originally from Burnage High in Manchester, England.
A long-time Auburn commitment who finished his senior year with 30 catches for more than 500 yards with nine touchdowns, Dadeville's Darrion Hutcherson has never backed off his choice of the Tigers and is expected to have a chance to make an early impact on the next level because of his 6-7, 245 frame. A frequent visitor to the Plains for much of the past year he'll be taking his official visit this weekend.