Auburn, Ala.--There are always players over the years who are reminiscent of a player you have seen before in an Auburn uniform. As Wednesday’s national signing day draws closer we continue our look at Gus Malzahn’s Auburn Tigers with more thoughts on some of the 2015 class. This time we compare some of the current commitments to Auburn players of the past.
With lot of of guys to choose from, it was difficult to narrow my list but I settled on four current commitments, two from each side of the ball. First up is four-star offensive guard Marquel Harrell.
A talented offensive line prospect who saw his stock rise dramatically with a strong senior season at Creekside High in Georgia, Harrell reminds me a lot of former offensive guard Mike Berry when I watch him play the game. Athletic enough to get outside and seal the edge in the running game, Harrell should be a great fit in Auburn’s running game as a guard on the next level. If he can bring the consistency that Berry brought for the Tigers, Harrell would become a mainstay for Coach J.B. Grimes down the road.
Marquel Harrell is a Semper Fi All-American.
Without question one of the most talented players in Auburn’s class this season is four-star running back Kerryon Johnson. A playmaker out of Madison Academy, Johnson was named Alabama’s Mr. Football this year and earned MVP honors in the Alabama-Mississippi Game as well as the 3A state title game.
Able to take over a game on both offense and defense, Johnson brings to the table the same qualities I saw out of Carnell Williams when he was running around, over and through guys at Etowah High School.
Much of that comes as a running back where both have great vision and are more physical than people give them credit for, but it’s more than that. Williams could have easily played defensive back and been a success at Auburn, and the same is true of Johnson. Just like Cadillac, however, Johnson was born to have the football in his hands and should be a huge weapon for the Tigers in the future.
Kerryon Johnson is the state of Alabama's No. 1 ranked running back prospect.
On the defensive side of the ball Elijah Sullivan is a tackling machine out of Tucker, Ga., High School. Despite being undersized, Sullivan uses great instincts and a nose for the football to make play after play. That’s something former Auburn standout and current Tigers’ coaching staff analyst Travis Williams did well on the Plains.
A standout for Auburn at middle linebacker despite weighing just over 200 pounds for much of his career, Williams showed what technique and hard work can get you playing the position in the SEC. While it will be tough for Sullivan to ever get to 235 pounds, he can look back just a decade to see how it has been done before at Auburn.
Elijah Sullivan is an athletic defender.
Rounding out my comparison list is four-star linebacker Darrell Williams out of Hoover. When you watch him play for the Bucs it seems at times he doesn’t make many plays, but he wasn’t asked to play in the box for his high school team very often and that cut down on his wow moments. Instead he was able to play in space because of Hoover’s depth at the linebacker position. That allowed him to drop into coverage where was often 30 yards down the field.
It’s his athleticism that reminds me of what former Auburn and current NFL standout Karlos Dansby brought to the table when he was on the Plains as a veteran player for the Tigers. Early in his career he was mainly a safety, which is what some of Williams did this year for Hoover. Later on he moved into the box and become a force at the line of scrimmage, something I think will be the case for Williams when he gets in Will Muschamp’s schemes.
Karlos Dansby is shown on his Auburn pro day in 2004.
With great feet and speed, Williams should be a fun player to watch at linebacker because of his versatility. That should be on display in a lot of different ways, including blitz packages and dropping into coverage. His multiple talents should be beneficial for the defense moving forward.Most Important Players Left
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