Auburn, Ala.--While many prospects have known for months where they will sign on Wednesday, there is also a large group of highly rated recruits still waiting to let the college football world know what college they will be attending on national signing day.
This year there are plenty of bluechip prospects left on Auburn’s recruiting board as the Tigers try to vault into the Top 5 on Scout’s rankings with a strong finish. Considering the names still left, it won’t take many for that to happen for Coach Gus Malzahn’s program.
As prospects prepare to start faxing in their signatures on national letters of intent beginning on Wednesday morning, we take a look at prospects who are left on the recruiting board for the Tigers. With the possibility of now signing as many as 29 total players, including the early enrollees who are already taking classes at AU, the day could turn out to be a huge one for the Tigers if the right things fall into place. As always there could always be a surprise or two on signing day so stay tuned at AUTigers.com throughout the day to keep updated.
The list has to start with five-star end Byron Cowart. Down to Auburn and Florida, the nation’s No. 2 ranked prospect at his position would be a huge get for the Tigers and the addition of Will Muschamp could be big in the end for the Tigers if they pull the Under Armour All-American into the signee class. This one is still too close to call, but I like Auburn’s chances here for a player who could be an immediate difference maker for the Tigers.
On Monday five-star end CeCe Jefferson narrowed his list to just four schools and Auburn made the cut. That is good news and keeps hope alive that the Tigers could land both of the top-ranked defensive linemen in Florida this year. While Ole Miss, Florida and Alabama are still in the mix, Auburn definitely has a shot here because of his relationships with Muschamp and Coach Lance Thompson. In the end, however, I think it's still a bit of a longshot.
CeCe Jefferson has attracted plenty of recruiting attention.
One of the top defensive line prospects in the country, four-star Terry Beckner visited the Tigers and they are still in the hunt, but it would be surprising if he ends up anywhere other than Missouri at this point. The Mizzou Tigers pulled out all the stops for the Midwestern standout on his official last weekend visit and that could be the difference.
Visiting Auburn over the weekend, big Kendrick Norton from Trinity Christian in Jacksonville, Fla., is down to Auburn and Miami as he heads into signing day. A visitor to the Plains several times in the last 12 months, he knows the need for another defensive tackle in this class and with his teammate Jeff Holland also a possibility to sign with the Tigers, that puts Auburn in a good spot here.
Talking about Holland, I think Auburn is the team to beat for the big linebacker with Florida and Ole Miss also possibilities for him. With a strong relationship with AU coach Rodney Garner in addition to Muschamp and secondary coach Travaris Robinson, Holland has kept a strong bond with the Tigers since last spring and that could pay off on Wednesday.
Jeff Holland played on a state championship team as a senior.
The Tigers received early good news on the signing day front on Tuesday afternoon when Prince Tega Wanogho Jr. followed his official visit to Auburn last weekend by committing to Auburn with plans to sign on Wednesday. The four-star defensive end from Edgewood Academy was considering taking several more official visits before making his pick. He had also visited LSU and was looking at possible trips to Tennessee, South Carolina and Mississippi State with other SEC programs trying to line up a visit.
In the secondary Auburn has narrowed the focus to just a couple of players, Carlton Davis and Javarius Davis. Formerly an Ohio State commitment, Carlton Davis backed off that pledge last week and looks to be heading towards signing with Auburn unless something changes. Javarius Davis is keeping people guessing after taking a visit to Florida last weekend. While the Tigers still may be the team to beat here, it’s anyone’s call on signing day.
The top-ranked recruit still left on Auburn’s offensive board is five-star tackle Martez Ivey. Down to the Tigers and the Florida Gators, Ivey has been torn between the two schools for much of the past year. While he grew up wanting to play in Gainesville, best friend Chandler Cox is already at Auburn and enrolled in classes. Having him as a teammate is a big draw for Cox, but is it enough to make the Tigers the winner? At this point it’s another recruiting battle that is too close to call.
Martez Ivey from state champion Apopka High is Scout.com's No. 1 rated offensive tackle in the 2015 class.
While Ivey is the biggest name left on offense, the biggest battle is at the wide receiver position with as many as six players still left in play for what could be two spots in this class with D'Anfernee McGriff no longer expected to sign with the Tigers because of academic issues. Both committed to Georgia, Terry Godwin and Darius Slayton, appeared to be in play for the Tigers. On Tuesday night Slayton flipped his commitment to Auburn, adding another four-star recruit to what has the potential to be a very talented group of signees
Getting a strong push from the Tigers, including a Saturday visit from Malzahn, Godwin has a strong relationship with Garner and also AU wide receivers coach Dameyune Craig. The cousin of former Auburn linebacker Darrell Crawford, Slayton was initially recruited by the Tigers as a defensive back, but is now wide receiver all the way in his recruitment by the Tigers.
Another pair of commitments, these to Clemson, Deon Cain and Ray-Ray McCloud are four-star recruits. Both visited Auburn on the sly last weekend and are definitely interested in the Tigers. A former high school quarterback, Cain has developed into one of the most gifted wide receiver prospects in the country and could be just the guy Auburn is looking for at its third wide receiver spot. More of a slot receiver, McCloud is fast and shifty, both things Malzahn likes in his inside receivers.
Darius Slayton is one of the top prospects in Georgia.
Yet another player at the position is dynamic Ryan Davis out of Lakewood High in St. Petersburg, Fla. Another Auburn-Florida battle is taking place for Davis, but with the Tigers also in the mix for several of his good friends it looks like Auburn could be in good shape here. The same is true of junior college receiver Camion Patrick. Visiting Auburn two weeks ago, he could be an addition to the class if the Tigers have room on signing day.
Quarterback Torrance Gibson is another prospect from the state of Florida the Tigers have been recruiting. A four-star prospect who is one of the top athletes in the country, Gibson is committed to Ohio State but visited both Auburn and LSU officially in recent weeks. With Miami also in consideration, Gibson has kept things interesting. While the Buckeyes are still the favorite, I wouldn’t be surprised by any school landing Gibson on Wednesday.
Another prospect in the offensive group is lineman Mike Horton. Currently committed to Florida, Horton could get a late offer from the Tigers and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him jump on the opportunity. Also athletic enough to get a shot on defense, Horton is a talented prospect who visited Auburn last weekend.