One of the top prospects expected for the weekend is five-star quarterback Torrance Gibson. Recently coming out with his top seven schools, the athletic signal-caller has Auburn and Tennessee tied at the top before his trip to the Plains for Big Cat Weekend. He is expected to be joined by teammate and class of 2016 wide receiver Dredrick Snelson.
No question that finishing strong on the defensive side of the ball is a priority for the Tigers in the 2015 class and they will have several key targets on hand, including a pair of the top defensive tackles in the country. The No. 1 interior defensive lineman is Trenton Thompson from Albany, Ga. Having already visited Auburn four different times dating back to a camp last summer, Thompson is high on Georgia, but the Tigers are definitely in hunt.
Another frequent visitor to Auburn who is expected to be back for Big Cat Weekend is five-star defensive tackle Daron Payne from Shades Valley. Growing up following the Tigers, he was in Jordan-Hare Stadium for several games last season including the Iron Bowl. This one will likely be an Auburn-Alabama battle until the end.
A player Auburn offered early in the process, Lincoln's Jauntavius Johnson, has seen his recruiting pick up steam since the start of spring practice with Louisville and Mississippi State among the schools on his list. With the Tigers a strong leader heading into his Big Cat trip, Williams could be one to watch this weekend. The wildcard of the group is massive Maurice Swain from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. Originally from Troup County, Ga., High, Swain is 6-5, 290 and had offers from several big-time schools before heading to junior college.
In addition to looking for help in the middle of the defensive line, Auburn is also hoping to add some pass rushing ability from the end spot. One of the top junior college players in the country, Johnathan Calvin from Copiah-Lincoln Community College in Mississippi was a teammate of Auburn center Xavier Dampeer and has an offer from the Tigers. At 6-3, 265 he is a physical presence who could be a big addition to this class.
A true speed pass rusher, D'Andre Walker is a teammate of Auburn commitment Montravius Atkinson at Langston Hughes High in Fairburn, Ga. Rated a four-star outside linebacker by Scout.com, Walker is being recruited to get to the quarterback by the Tigers. Georgia looks to be the main competition for a player who has totaled 41 sacks the last two seasons.
Two offensive line targets from in-state, Tyler Carr from Southside-Gadsden and Darryl Williams from Bessemer City, are also expected in for visits. A four-star and the No. 20 guard in the country according to Scout.com, Carr is looking at Auburn, Alabama, Georgia and several other schools. A fast-rising prospect since his impressive performance at the Birmingham NFTC Camp, Williams has offers from Auburn, Cincinnati, Florida State, Kentucky, Louisville, Mississippi State and others. Recruited as a center by the Tigers, Williams could be a huge piece of the puzzle for Coach J.B. Grimes in the 2015 class.
Huge is the word to describe Mike Horton from Lakeside High in Atlanta, another offensive line visitor this weekend. Getting an offer from Auburn after a visit for spring practice in March, the 6-4, 304 guard has Duke, Florida, LSU and Miami on his list in addition to Auburn.
Javon Patterson, a highly regarded offensive guard from Mississippi, was originally scheduled to be in for Big Cat, but did did not make the trip.
Staying on offense a prospect making his first trip to Auburn is four-star wide receiver Christian Kirk from Scottsdale, Ariz. The MVP of the Los Angeles Nike NFTC Camp, Kirk is ranked as the 35th overall player in the country by Scout.com. Looking at Arizona State, Georgia, Texas, UCLA, USC and several others in addition to the Tigers, getting a visit from this Percy Harvin-type prospect is big for Auburn's chances.
Kirk, who came in a day early for Big Cat, had to leave before the event was over on Saturday, but noted he had a very good visit and will return.
Trying to continue to upgrade the talent on defense has Auburn bringing in several big-time players who could see action at linebacker or even in the secondary. Putting the Tigers as his leader following an A-Day visit, four-star Jeff Holland from Trinity Christian in Jacksonville, Fla., has all the tools to be an early contributor on the next level. A physical player at 6-3, 230, Holland is athletic enough to play outside if needed. Also visiting rom Trinity Christian is Kendrick Norton, a 6-2, 280 FSU commitment who plays on both the defensive and offensive lines.
Another player who could be an early contributor in college is Roquan Smith from Macon County, Ga., High. Not as big as Holland, Smith packs a punch and has the speed to be able to play in space. That is also the case with Richard McBryde from Charles Henderson High in Troy, Ala. At 6-2, 215, McBryde has the skills to play in a number of different spots down the road. He has Auburn very high on his list with Kentucky and Alabama among his other favorites.
Jeff Holland is high on the Tigers
Currently committed to Georgia, five-star defensive back Terry Godwin has been a regular visitor to Auburn and is once again expected to be back on the Plains this weekend. Toying with the idea of playing both ways in college, Godwin likes Auburn's offensive system in addition to the possibilities for early playing time at the cornerback position.
The weekend visitors will not only have the opportunity to spend plenty of time with the coaching staff and their families, but also with a large group of players already committed to the Tigers. A player who has been recruiting for the Tigers for a year since making his decision, four-star quarterback Tyler Queen will be on campus for part of the weekend before heading back home to take part in a 7-on-7 tournament.
Queen is just one of several Auburn commitments from Georgia and he'll be joined by many of those such as offensive linemen Kaleb Kim and Bailey Sharp as well as defenders Jordan Colbert, Montavius Atkinson and Elijah Sullivan. Also expected to be in are teammates Jason Smith and Tony Bridges from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. Smith is being recruited as an athlete while Bridges is one of the top defensive back prospects in the country.
Skill players are always a focus for Malzahn and the Auburn offense and three of the best in the country are already committed to the Tigers and will be on campus for Big Cat Weekend. The number one running back in the nation, junior college standout Jovon Robinson is already very familiar with Auburn after signing with the Tigers two years ago and will return this weekend as will four-star Kerryon Johnson from Madison Academy. Rounding out the group is the versatile D'Anfernee McGriff from Leon High in Tallahassee. At nearly 230 pounds he could play a number of different roles for the Tigers, but is expected to play receiver in Auburn's offense.
Another expected Big Cat visitor who can play multiple positions is Darrell Williams. A talented four-star linebacker and Auburn commitment out of Hoover, Williams is athletic enough to play either of the linebacker spots in Auburn's 4-2-5 defense, but has the speed to play outside if needed.