AU Entertaining Talented Prospects for Opener

Many top senior, junior and even sophomore football prospects in the region are expected to be in Auburn on Saturday as the Gus Malzahn Era opens.

Auburn, Ala.--The football season opener is a time for excitement on any college campus, but with new coach Gus Malzahn ready to start his time at Auburn it should be a big weekend on the Plains.

Facing off against Washington State at 6 p.m. Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium, Malzahn and his staff are expecting a large and talented group of prospects on hand to check out the action.

Leading the charge are many of Auburn's current commitments, including five-star running back Racean Thomas from Oxford, fellow running back Kamryn Pettway from Prattville, tight ends Jakell Mitchell from Opelika and Chris Laye from Lambert High in Suwanee, Ga., linebackers Tre Williams and DeShaun Davis from Mobile, defensive end Justin Thornton from Mobile, wide receivers Stanton Truitt and D'haquille Williams, and defensive backs Nick Ruffin along with junior college standout Derrick Moncrief. Also expected in is 2015 quarterback commitment Tyler Queen from North Cobb High in Suwanee, Ga.

Making the very short trip to Saturday's game will be several players from both Auburn and Opelika, including four-star linebacker Rashaan Evans. One of the top prospects in the country, Evans is looking at Auburn, Alabama, Georgia and UCLA among his top schools at the moment. Teammate and South Alabama commitment Darian Yancey is also expected to visit as is UCLA commitment Antreal Allen.

Rashaan Evans

In addition to Mitchell from Opelika, several more Bulldogs are expected to visit including South Alabama commitment Malcolm Buggs and three quality juniors. A talented defensive end, Quandeski Whitlow was impressive at one of Auburn's summer camps. The same is true of offensive lineman Drew Kyser, a young center with good size. Rounding out the trio is physical defensive lineman Jared Gentry.

Other 2014 players expected in who could be options for the Tigers down the road include Landy Capetillo from Carver-Montgomery, Braxton Hoyett from Pelham, Draequon Murphy from Carver-Montgomery, tight end Gabe Hill from Gardendale, running back Garian Bradley from McAdory, linebacker E.J. Moss from Ashville, offensive lineman Deion Calhoun from Restoration Academy in Birmingham and wide receiver Demarcus Bingham from Foley.

Quandeski Whitlow

They will be far from the only big names on campus, however, as the Tigers will have top prospects from the 2015 and 2016 classes as well including big Tyler Pritchett from Calera. A top 2016 offensive lineman, the 6-4, 265 Pritchett has made several trips to Auburn in the past two years with fellow Calera prospect Ronnie  Clark, but he says this time he's coming on his own.

"I have been there for a game or two, but this is my first time as a recruit," Pritchett tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "I'm very excited about this weekend."

During the spring both Calera standouts made a trip to Auburn to watch the Tigers in action, but this will be Pritchett's first chance to see the guys since then. He says he's especially looking forward to watching the offensive line to see just how much improvement they have made.

"Myself and Ronnie came down to visit and I got to sit down and talk with coach J.B. Grimes. I'm really looking forward to getting down there and seeing how those guys have developed. That could be me one day. I look at him as one of the best offensive line coaches in the country so I just wanted to get down there and see how things are going."

Tyler Pritchett

From inside the state the Tigers are expecting several more talented underclassmen including the nation's number four running back prospct for 2015 Kerryon Johnson from Madison Academy. Rushing for 138 yards and a touchdown on just nine carries while also adding an interception in his season opener, Johnson can do it all for the Mustangs.

Another top 2015 prospect is offensive tackle Tyler Carr from Southside High in Gadsen. Already with offers from many of the SEC schools, including Auburn, Carr is a frequent visitor to the Plains as is big tight end Jalen Harris from St. James in Montgomery. Harris could be closing in on an offer from Auburn in the near future.

Massive offensive line teammate Kenny Thomas is also expected to make the visit from Montgomery with Harris. Another name to remember is 2015 defensive end Anfernee Jennings from Dadeville. He has the physical tools to turn into an SEC level prospect down the road.

Kerryon Johnson

From just across the state line in Georgia comes one of the top juniors in the country. A five-star defensive back prospect also capable of playing wide receiver, Terry Godwin from Callaway High in Hogansville already has Auburn high on his early list along with both Georgia and Alabama. He made two trips to Auburn during the summer and already has a strong relationship with coach Rodney Garner. That could be important as he begins to narrow down his list heading into his senior year.

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