Auburn, Ala.--Summer classes start this week on the Auburn campus and while most of the football team will be taking part, the rest of the newcomers are expected to arrive later this week and weekend to begin their academic and athletic careers on the Plains.
With eight members of the 2015 class going through spring practice with the Tigers after enrolling in January, Auburn is expecting the remaining 19 signees to be on campus by next week to get a head start on the 2015 season.
Perhaps the most important guys coming in are players who will be used in the back seven of Auburn’s defense where new defensive coordinator Will Muschamp and secondary coach Travaris Robinson are short on numbers with the losses of Kamryn Melton and Joseph Turner at cornerback and Derrick Moncrief at the nickel linebacker position.
Carlton Davis, a Class 6A All-State selection at Norland High in Miami, Fla., last season, will have a chance to play this season.
At cornerback the Tigers are expecting Javaris Davis, Carlton Davis and Jeremiah Dinson to be on campus for the first summer session, and all three could be in the mix for early playing time this fall for Robinson.
Javaris Davis was a Class 6A All-State player at Ed White High in Jacksonville, Fla., as a senior.
With projected cornerback starter Jonathan Jones and reserve T.J. Davis both injured in spring drills and Davis likely out for several weeks into the season as well, the Tigers need at least two newcomers to provide depth in the fall. There is a chance that Ohio State transfer Jamel Dean could enroll in May as well, but he may be forced to wait until the second summer session if there is a hold up with his transfer paperwork.
Montavious Atkinson made 137 tackles as a senior at Langston Hughes High in Fairburn, Ga.Athletic and capable of playing multiple positions, Montavious Atkinson, Jordan Colbert, Darrell Williams and Richard McBryde are also possibilities for early playing time and getting in school now is an important part of that process. While Atkinson is likely a safety, Colbert could be used as either a safety or at the nickel spot where Tim Irvin played in spring drills. Both linebackers have the speed to help on the perimeter as well. Williams and McBryde give Muschamp some different options.
Up front five-star recruit Byron Cowart is the highest rated name in the group expected in this weekend and should get into the mix for early playing time this fall for the Tigers.
Prince Tega Wanogoho Jr. is a tall defensive end from Edgewood Academy.
Prince Tega Wanogho Jr. and Jauntavius Johnson round out the expected group of defensive line signees in this class with Maurice Swain already on campus. The wildcard is big linebacker Jeff Holland, who could play in the middle, but is also capable of playing the "buck" position along with Cowart.
On the offensive side of the ball Auburn is expecting to get help from a pair of receivers who will be coming in this weekend. Rooming with good friend Cowart, speedy Ryan Davis has the tools to get into the mix as a slot receiver and also a return man. A lengthy speed receiver who can stretch the field, Darius Slayton could also help early as an outside receiver.
Kerryon Johnson, who was named Mr. Football for the state of Alabama, led Madison Academy to a state championship during his senior season.
One of the most decorated players in the incoming class, running back Kerryon Johnson is a candidate for early playing time as well because of his versatility. Capable of running between the tackles or lining up outside as the speed back, Johnson will be tough to keep off the field in some capacity this fall.
Rounding out the offensive skill players is tight end Jalen Harris. While he has gotten bigger and stronger since last fall, Harris is likely headed for a redshirt year even with a need for the Tigers at the position.
Kaleb Kim was an early commitment to the Tigers who followed that with a strong senior season.
Kim will likely get his first look at center with Harrell at guard and Horton at tackle. None of those offensive linemen are expected to challenge for playing time this fall, but that’s not the case with Shannon. He will have an opportunity to compete for the starting punter job immediately during preseason practice.