Auburn, Ala.--This weekend is Auburn's annual senior football banquet and also an opportunity for Coach Gus Malzahn and staff to make a final impact on a group of top defensive recruits despite not currently having a coordinator on that side of the ball. With a trio of four-star defenders and a longtime commitment expected in for official visits, the Tigers have a chance to finish strong before the dead period begins on Monday.
The good news for the Auburn coaches is that they won’t have to do anything more to convince Tre Threat that his future is with the Tigers. Committed since April, Threat is coming off a 6A state title with Spanish Fort High as he played a key role on defense at linebacker while getting some snaps at tight end.
Now getting ready for his official visit and final look at Auburn before he enrolls in January, Threat said not having a coordinator is something that makes the visit a little different, but doesn’t change his mind on the Tigers at all.
“I didn’t know when I was going to take my official visit to Auburn, I just knew it was going to be sometime toward the end of the season,” Threat said. “I talked with the guys and they said I should come at the end of the season to the banquet. It’s not a football environment, more of a formal setting so it’s something different.
“Obviously (Will) Muschamp leaving is a big thing,” he added about his visit. “It doesn’t change how I look at Auburn though because I didn’t commit to a coach, I committed to the school.”
Threat Threat poses with the state championship trophy.
With that in mind Threat said he’s just going to enjoy his weekend and the time spent with the players and coaches. While he admits Muschamp’s leaving at this point was a little bit of a surprise, Threat admitted that in the long run it was something he expected so it’s not a huge deal for him in terms of his commitment.
“I didn’t know that he (Muschamp) was going to leave,” Threat said. “I can’t say he looked unhappy at Auburn, but in my heart I knew that honestly he didn’t want to be there. He had just come out of Florida and I just knew that he wanted another head coaching job, but there wasn’t another one out there. I’m happy for him, but I’m excited to see who our new defensive coordinator will be and I’m ready to get to know him.”
Threat will head to the Under Armour All-American Game after Christmas with the game scheduled for Jan. 2 at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando. After that he will return home for a few days before reporting to Auburn on Jan. 10 to begin his collegeiate experience with the Tigers.
A surprise visitor this weekend is four-star defensive lineman Karamo Dioubate from Philadelphia. Currently committed to Penn State, Dioubate has developed a bond with Coach Lance Thompson on Auburn’s staff and is expected to head to the Plains this weekend to check out the Tigers. With still a huge need on the defensive line, the 6-3, 275 Dioubate is another player who would be a big get for the Tigers in the 2016 class.
Ranked as the top defensive end in Pennsylvania and the No. 230 player in this class overall by Scout.com, Dioubate is yet another top defensive lineman looking at Auburn as Coach Rodney Garner looks to add at least eight total players at his positions in this year alone.
Penn State commitment Karamo Dioubate is visiting Auburn this weekend.
Another four-star visitor who has been a frequent visitor to Auburn for the last two years is Antwuan Jackson from Cedar Grove High in Ellenwood, Ga. In town for his official visit, Jackson has a strong relationship with Garner and that is one of the big reasons why the Tigers are among the favorites for Jackson along with Ohio State, USC and several others. At 6-2, 290 pounds, Jackson has the athleticism to play end in a 3-4 scheme and the size and strength to play inside as well.
Rounding out the expected visitors this weekend is big junior college defensive tackle Tyrell Chavis from Nassau Community College in New York. Originally scheduled to be in for the Idaho game, Chavis had to postpone his visit and is expected on the Plains this weekend to check out the Tigers. Originally signing with the University of Virginia, Chavis made 39 tackles and six sacks in just eight games as a sophomore. The 6-5, 305-pounder also has offers from Miami, Penn State, Texas, West Virginia and others. He is scheduled to be an early enrollee so the opportunity for immediate help from Chavis is something that is a big need for Auburn’s defense.