Auburn Looking For Strong Recruiting Finish

With signing day now less than a week away we take a look at some of the key positions for the Auburn Tigers and the names still on the radar for Gus Malzahn and his staff.

Auburn, Ala.—Currently holding at 19 commitments, Coach Gus Malzahn and the Auburn Tigers are looking to finish their 2013 football signing class in style on Feb. 6.

Playing host to an impressive group of visitors this weekend, and still in the mix with other top prospects, Auburn still has several need areas on both sides of the ball as signing day draws closer.

With that in mind we take a look at some of the key prospects at need positions who remain on the board for Auburn in the 2013 class:

Running Back

With unior college commitment Cameron Artis-Payne already on the Auburn campus, the Tigers have one piece of the puzzle in place at the position, but much more help is needed for returning 1,000-yard rusher Tre Mason now that backup Mike Blakely has left the team. With only two scholarship running backs on campus for spring practice, both being juniors, Auburn needs to sign two more in this class and could probably make room for all three.

The Candidates: Johnathan Ford, Tarean Folston, Cornelius Elder, Peyton Barber

Visiting Auburn for a mid-week trip, the four-star Elder is a true speedster. At 5-10, 165 he is a two-time back of the year in the state of Tennessee for his classification and ran for 39 touchdowns this season. He's looking at Ohio State, UCLA, Georgia Tech and Auburn in football and also has a basketball offer from Purdue.

A long-time commitment to Vanderbilt, Ford de-committed from the Commodores earlier this week and has a final four of Auburn, Florida State, Georgia and Tennessee. A four-star prospect who has exceptional speed, Ford is expected to make his decision on or around signing day.

Committed to Notre Dame when he visited Auburn two weeks ago, the four-star Folston put the Tigers in a dead heat with the Fighting Irish with less than a week until signing day, but may be back on board with ND once again. At 5-9, 190 with power and speed, Folston is a player who could handle multiple roles in Malzahn's offense if he chose the Tigers.

Tarean Folston

An Ole Miss commitment, Barber has shown interest in the Tigers and it will be interesting to see if he decides to make a visit to Auburn this weekend. A physical runner, Barber could be a good fit for Malzahn's between the tackles ground game.

Fullback/H-Back

With Jay Prosch a senior and the only other player at the position being converted linebacker Chris Landrum, the need to find someone at the position is a pretty big one for the Tigers. A former commitment to Penn State, Bayside Academy athlete Jonathan Walton is a player who could fill that role for the Tigers. Down to Auburn and South Carolina, the 6-1, 238 Walton is a talented runner with good hands.

Defensive Line

While Auburn has veteran depth on the defensive line, the production up front has been suspect the last two seasons. Throw in the fact that Auburn has just four scholarship underclassmen on the roster (Gimel President, Keymiya Harrell, Jabrian Niles, Tyler Nero) and you have a true area of need in the 2013 class at both defensive end and defensive tackle.

Already on campus, junior college defensive tackle Ben Bradley is a good start, but adds another upperclassman to the roster. That makes Montravius Adams one of the most important prospects left on the board for the Tigers.

A five-star defensive tackle, Adams has already visited Clemson, Georgia and Alabama and is expected to make his decision on signing day. Auburn is also recruiting junior college defensive tackle Toby Johnson and he's expected to choose between the Tigers, Georgia or Mississippi State. Coming off a serious knee injury that required surgery, Johnson says that he's on track to be full speed by this fall. At 6-3, 296 he has the ability to play tackle or end on the next level.

At defensive end Auburn has commitments from four-star prospects Carl Lawson and Tashawn Bower. While both have taken visits elsewhere, they are both expected to be on the Auburn campus this weekend and the Tigers have a solid shot to keep both on board for the 2013 class. If that happens it would be a huge boost to a position that features three seniors on this year's roster.

Carl Lawson

In addition Auburn is expected to have fellow four-star prospect Elijah Daniel on campus this weekend as well. An Ole Miss commitment, the 6-2, 260 Daniel has family in the Auburn area and is very familiar with the Tigers' defensive line coach Rodney Garner. Getting him to flip could give Auburn a huge haul at defensive end.

Linebacker

The linebacker position has been a need area for the Auburn Tigers since Gene Chizik took the job four years ago with a lack of quality depth a concern. With just five scholarship linebackers on the roster and only Jake Holland and Justin Garrett with starting experience, Auburn looks to add quality and quantity at the position in this class.

Already with Cameron Toney and junior college standout Kenny Flowers on board, Auburn is looking for a man in the middle to solidify things. That player is Reuben Foster. The number one rated linebacker in the country and a former Auburn commitment, the 6-1, 240 Foster is a devastating hitter and the classic middle linebacker. Building a strong relationship with the current staff on several unofficial visits, Foster has visited Alabama, Georgia, Washington and most recently San Diego State. He will announce his decision Monday night at 9 p.m. central time on FOX Sports South with Scout.com'sChad Simmons on the show The Next Class 2013.

Also still on the list is Rodderick Hoskins. Currently committed to Florida State, the 6-3, 215 Hoskins is a teammate with Auburn wide receiver commitments Tony Stevens and Dominic Walker at Evans High in Orlando. He could be a player to watch down the line if the Tigers are still looking to add a linebacker in this class.

One player who isn't on the radar for the Tigers any longer is four-star linebacker Zach Cunningham. The Pinson Valley standout got an offer and visited Auburn, but with the spots filling up and time running out the Tigers have moved on to other prospects while Cunningham decides on his college choice.


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