Auburn, Ala.--With one week left until national signing day the Auburn Tigers are looking for a big finish to their 2015 football signee class. No matter where the group ends up ranked we won’t know the impact it will have on the program until years later when you can look back and see what each player did on the field.
When you stack up all of the classes signed by Auburn since Scout started in 2001, the leader of the pack is the 2010 group that finished ranked sixth in the country in the rankings. While in it wasn't Auburn's highest ranked class, when you add in what the group accomplished on the field it’s tough to beat their impact on the program.
You have to start with Cam Newton when you talk about the 2010 class. Even though he only played one season with the Tigers, he was able to lead Auburn to the BCS National Championship and win the Heisman Trophy.
Completing 66.1 percent of his passes for 2,854 yards and 30 touchdowns with just seven interceptions, Newton had one of the best passing seasons in school history. When you throw in his 1,473 rushing yards and 20 more scores you get one of the single-best seasons in college football history for a quarterback.
Newton is one of five players in the class who are currently in the NFL along with defensive end Corey Lemonier, offensive lineman Brandon Mosley, Pro Bowler Cody Parkey and defensive back Chris Davis.
When you throw in current AU left tackle Shon Coleman, Ryan Smith, 2010 BCS game MVP Michael Dyer, Steven Clark, Chad Slade, LaDarius Owens, Jonathon Mincy, Jake Holland, Craig Sanders, Jeff Whitaker, Trovon Reed, Kenneth Carter, Demetruce McNeal and Ryan White, you have a group that had a lot of contributions to success on the field for the Tigers.
Chris Davis and Jonathon Mincy were two key players in the 2010 signee class for the Tigers.
Just behind them was a 2002 class that featured seven players that have earned playing time in the NFL and contributed to 39 wins in four years. While the class was only ranked 12th in the country when it entered Auburn, the group left as one of the most successful in school history.
Offensive tackle Marcus McNeill was one of the top players as his position in the NFL after a successful career at Auburn. The same is true of guard Ben Grubbs, who is still doing his thing with the New Orleans Saints. Also still in the league is linebacker Will Herring with the St. Louis Rams.
Wide receivers Devin Aromashodu, Ben Obomanu and Courtney Taylor also saw playing time in the NFL as did offensive lineman Tim Duckworth. Add in contributors such as Tre Smith, Montae Pitts, Brandon Cox, Karibe Dede, Kevin Sears and Jonathan Palmer and it’s no wonder the class won 39 games in four years.
Ben Grubbs had a great career with Baltimore before moving to the New Orleans Saints
Another class that deserves honorable mention is the 2011 group that has seen most of the guys move on from Auburn. Rated the No. 2 class in the country by Scout, the group featured players such as Gabe Wright, Jermaine Whitehead, Tre Mason, Christian Westerman, Kris Frost, Quan Bray, Robenson Therezie, Greg Robinson, C.J. Uzomah, Justin Garrett, Sammie Coates and Reese Dismukes. With Mason and Robinson already in the NFL and several more likely to follow, it was a group that came close to living up to the hype.
Running back Tre Mason was the SEC Offensive Player of the Year in 2013 and earned NFL All-Rookie honors this past season. He also broke Bo Jackson's Auburn record for rushing yards in a single season.
In consideration for the top group were back-to-back classes in 2006 and 2007. The first featured players like Michael Goggans, Byron Isom, Craig Stevens, Mike Blanc, Mike Berry, Ryan Shoemaker, Terrell Zachery, Zach Clayton, Zach Etheridge and Mario Fannin, who all played key roles in 2010 BCS title. The class also featured running back Ben Tate who left after his junior year and is still in the NFL.
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