As is usually the case when playing a non-conference opponent, Auburn is not expected to host any official visitors this weekend. That doesn't mean it will be slim crowd of visitors however as the Tigers are expecting loads of prospects from not only the 2014 class, but also from younger players as well.
It's no surprise that many of Auburn's current commitments are expected to be on hand for the Florida Atlantic game including Prattville running back Kamryn Pettway, Vigor standouts DeShaun Davis and Justin Thornton, tight ends Chris Laye from Lambert, Ga. and Jakell Mitchell from Opelika.
Expected to take another trip to Auburn this weekend is big sophomore lineman Darius Whitfield from St. Paul's in Mobile. The younger brother of former Auburn commitment Joshua Casher, who will also make a visit this weekend and is continuing to stay in contact with Auburn, Whitfield already has several offers and could play either side of the ball on the next level but would likely be an offensive lineman.
One of Auburn's most recent commitments, offensive lineman Xavier Dampeer, is also expected in on Friday and is bringing along a teammate with him. A talented cornerback, 6-0, 185 Kalen Jackson has several smaller offers including Middle Tennessee. Playing a position of need for the Tigers, he has 39 tackles and a pair of interceptions in seven games this season. Not on Auburn's radar at the moment, he could be a player to watch if the Tigers like what they see when taking a closer look.
That is also true of defensive back Markell Boston from East Coweta (Ga.) High. A true sleeper that we mentioned last week as getting a look from the Tigers, Boston is expected to visit for Saturday's game and has recent offers from East Carolina and Mississippi State. The 6-1, 195 senior plays wide receiver, safety and returns kicks, but would likely be a defensive player on the next level.
A young player from just up the road, talented 2016 prospect Spencer Perry from Newnan (Ga.) High has been impressing Auburn coaches since coming to camp as a big eighth-grader two summers ago. Playing both wide receiver and safety, Perry is going to be a player to watch in the coming years.
Junior defensive back Jarmarkus Sims from Dothan High is expected to make his first Auburn game visit this weekend. At 6-1, 215, Sims is a physical safety prospect that could also play the "star" position at Auburn because of his size and speed. Currently with an offer from Kentucky, he should see the offers roll in as he heads into his senior season.
By The Numbers
Auburn is looking to sign between 23-25 players in this year's recruiting class and already with 16 commitments that means the Tigers have the opportunity to continue to be very selective between now and signing day in February. Out to a 6-1 start and with more highly-recruited players continuing to show interest in the program with each passing week, there's a good chance that Auburn's recruiting list could look much different a month from now with some familiar names taking a second look at the Tigers.
Much of the focus down the stretch will be on the secondary. As the 2013 season has shown you can never have enough cornerbacks and safeties in this day and age of playing five and six defensive backs for much of the game. Already with safety Derrick Moncrief and cornerback Nick Ruffin committed, Auburn will likely take three or four more players in this year's class with the focus on bigger corners. Those are guys that could always make a move to safety if needed and give the defensive coaches more options.
Two of the players still involved in those thoughts will be facing off tonight when Auburn travels to Opelika in a huge rivalry game with playoff implications. Four-star Rashaan Evans plays defensive end for the Tigers and has taken on a bigger role on offense this season, but would likely fit in at the "star" position if he were to choose Auburn. Four-star Alabama commitment Stephen Roberts is seeing double-duty for the Bulldogs as he has taken on the quarterback role with the starter out with a broken collarbone. Roberts has been a frequent visitor to Auburn games this season and would be a great fit in Ellis Johnson's defensive scheme because of his length and athleticism.
They are just two of close to a dozen college prospects that will be on the field tonight at Bulldog Stadium. For Auburn you have UCLA commitment Antreal Allen, Southern Miss commitment Darian Yancey, two-way player Blaise Taylor and several young players that will be college prospects. At Opelika the Bulldogs are loaded even with Auburn commitment Jakell Mitchell out with a knee injury. Senior defensive back Malcolm Buggs is committed to South Alabama with fellow senior receiver Marquise Fulton a player that will play college football somewhere also. At running back Reggie Hall has come on strong as a senior for Brian Blackmon's club. In the 2015 class center Drew Kyser and defensive linemen Jared Gentry and Quandeski Whitlow are both players to keep an eye on.
Defensive Line Focus
With senior defensive tackle Jeffrey Whitaker coming back next season after deciding to take a redshirt year in 2013 because of an injury, Auburn's need for another junior college defensive tackle to join Devaroe Lawrence has been lessened. That doesn't mean the Tigers have abandoned the idea of signing another juco tackle however. A pair of guys are on the Auburn radar at the moment in Dalvon Stuckey and Davonte Lambert. Currently committed to Miami, but still looking around, the 6-3, 325 Stuckey is still a possibility for the Tigers. While he's committed to Tennessee, Lambert has visited Auburn and is a teammate of Lawrence at Georgia Military. Even though he's likely to stay with the Vols, if the Tigers can get an official visit for either the Georgia or Alabama game then it could get interesting.