"Unique" Signing Day, Chizik Says

Auburn football coach Gene Chizik discusses how the Tigers did on national signing day.

Auburn, Ala.--As a finalist for nine of the top undecided or wavering football prospects in the country, Auburn was hoping to make a big splash on Signing Day.

While Auburn didn't empty the pool of remaining prospects on Wednesday, head coach Gene Chizik said the Tigers did net some players at positions of need.

"As we targeted and we started out the recruiting process, we wanted to bring in the best guys for Auburn, and we feel great about the quality of the class," Chizik said. "We feel like we targeted needs that we had on our football team, and we addressed those needs."

One of the Tigers' biggest positions of need was along the offensive line, where the Tigers have signed five players for this class.

Chizik said that having so many undecided recruits waiting to make their decision made this National Signing Day an unusual one. He added that there's a little "Russian Roulette" involved in pursuing highly-rated recruits who wait until signing day to announce their college destination.

"This is a year where we were recruiting them from a lot of different places, and I think even down to the last minute today, we were in some battles," he said. "Some we won, some we lost, but it was a very unique year in that regard."

In all, the Tigers brought in 20 signees, including Illinois transfer Jay Prosch, a bruising blocker at fullback who moved to Auburn to be closer to his mother in Mobile where he was a star at UMS-Wright High School.

Jay Prosch

"He's a guy that can play the fullback position if we choose to use a fullback or an H-back or somebody of that nature, he certainly can do that, and he's proved that on the collegiate level," Chizik said. "Great kid, definitely an Auburn-type kid."

The biggest commitment of the day, both in size and ranking points, came from five-star offensive tackle Avery Young, who donned an Auburn hat live on ESPNU as he announced his college destination.

Auburn was able to retain the commitment of four-star wide receiver Jaquay Williams, who was considering a switch to Georgia, and get the recommitment of another four-star wideout, Ricardo Louis, who briefly switched to Florida State commit list during January.

The day started off with a surprise commitment from three-star Central-Phenix High quarterback Jonathan Wallace, who was previously committed to Central Florida. Chizik said that with the departure of Barrett Trotter, the Tigers were left with only three scholarship quarterbacks, a situation he said needed to be addressed.

"He's a very athletic guy that has really blossomed at that position, so we were very happy to see that Jonathan was interested, so we made the move and we think it was a very good one," Chizik said.

Instead of the one-year renewable scholarships typically given to football athletes, each of this year's 20 signees will be given a four-year scholarship, a new policy adopted by Auburn this year.

Auburn isn't done on the recruiting trail yet, though, as the Tigers remain in contention for prospects who still have decisions to make such as five star recruits Jordan Diamond and Stefon Diggs.

Auburn Football Signees


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