Auburn Looking For Big Finish To 2013 Class

Coach Gus Malzahn and his staff are waiting on announcements from bluechip prospects such as five-star defensive tackle Montravius Adams and four-star prospects Johnathan Ford and Elijah Daniel.

Auburn, Ala.—On the eve of national signing day Coach Gus Malzahn and the Auburn Tigers are still waiting on several top prospects to finish the 2013 recruiting class in style.

One of the most anticipated signing day announcements will come from five-star defensive tackle Montravius Adams and it won't take long on Wednesday to find out just what the massive prospect from Vienna, Ga., will do.

Scheduled to announce his decision at 8:45 a.m. Central time on ESPNU, Adams will pick from his four finalists of Auburn, Alabama, Clemson and Georgia. While Clemson was thought to be an early favorite for Adams following the coaching change at Auburn, the chance to play in the SEC is a strong draw for Adams and may have moved the other three to the top.

Auburn has moved steadily up the list for Adams in the last few weeks after it looked like there was a chance that he may not take an official visit to check out the new AU coaching staff. Taking into account the lack of underclassmen on the defensive line roster at Auburn and also his strong relationship with Auburn defensive line coach Rodney Garner, the Tigers are hoping to land's No. 3 ranked defensive tackle on Wednesday.

"I want to play early wherever I go," Adams says. "Coming to do that anywhere in the SEC would be great."

Adams is just one of the group of talented prospects who the Tigers will be waiting on Wednesday to make their decisions. While none will make or break the class, getting the big defensive tackle could kick off a strong finish for the Tigers.

A four-star defensive end who is currently committed to the Ole Miss Rebels, Elijah Daniel from Avon, Ind., visited Auburn last weekend and is definitely giving the Tigers a long look following his first trip to the Plains. Already very familiar with Garner after his brother was recruited by the coach and signed by Georgia, Daniel could make a decision between the Tigers and Rebels as early as Tuesday.

Elijah Daniel is an athletic defender from Indiana.

While he's been committed to Auburn since last summer, four-star defensive end Tashawn Bower is worth keeping an eye on as the Florida Gators have made up serious ground for the U.S. Army All-American prospect. Even though he paid his own way to make an unofficial visit to Auburn last weekend, Bower is definitely considering Will Muschamp's program and this one may get interesting on signing day.

A pair of brothers from Immokalee, Fla., Mackensie Alexander and Mackenro Alexander have visited the Auburn Tigers separately in the last two weekends and could be a big boost to the class if they chose to play on the Plains. A four-star cornerback, Mackensie is looking at Clemson, Mississippi State, Rutgers and Texas A&M. A physical safety, brother Mackenro is looking at the same four schools in addition to West Virginia. While it's not a definite the two will sign with the same school, it's a possibility. Auburn appears to be in the mix, but may not at the top for the brothers with one day left.

Johnathan Ford is an in-state standout.

That's not the case with four-star running back Johnathan Ford from New Hope. A longtime Vanderbilt commitment until opening things back up two weeks ago, Ford is down to Auburn and Tennessee after visiting both in January. With the addition of former Ole Miss commitment Peyton Barber on Sunday, getting Ford would to help replenish the running back position at Auburn and the Tigers look to have a legitimate shot to make that happen.

Things don't look as favorable for the Tigers with four-star speedster Cornelius Elder. Visiting Auburn last week and Georgia Tech over the weekend, Elder has also visited Ohio State and UCLA and is looking at Vanderbilt as well. He is not expected to announce his decision on signing day, however, as he wants to take his time. Also with a basketball offer from Purdue, Elder wants to play both sports on the next level and that is making this a tough call.

After signing seven offensive linemen in last year's class, Auburn appears to have put all its high school OL eggs in the basket of big Deon Mix from South Panola High in Batesville, Miss., for the 2013 class. Without a huge need at the position this season Auburn's coaches would probably like to add another interior line prospect with the talent of Mix, but it won't be easy. A commitment to Mississippi State before backing off that prior to his official visit to Auburn last weekend, Mix is expected to choose between the Bulldogs, Tigers, Ole Miss and Georgia at 10 a.m. at his school.

With Auburn still wanting to add another linebacker in this class, Zach Cunningham could be an important name for the Tigers on signing day. A four-star prospect and teammate of Earnest Robinson at Pinson Valley, the 6-4 Cunningham is a player the Tigers recruited heavily until backing off him just over a week ago. Now with a linebacker spot open Auburn is hoping to sway him from Vanderbilt and Oregon at the last minute.

Other players who visited Auburn in January that could be guys to keep an eye on Wednesday if they get offers include offensive lineman Devondre Seymour, safety/linebacker Chequan Burkett, and wide receiver Christian Cumberlander.

Also a visitor last weekend, four-star junior college defensive lineman Toby Johnson has Auburn as one of his four finalists along with Georgia, Mississippi State and Oklahoma. Planning to visit Mississippi State on Feb. 15, Johnson says he won't announce his decision until Feb. 19 at Hutchinson Community College in Kansas.

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