Greenville, Ala.--One of the biggest pieces of the recruiting puzzle for the Auburn Tigers in the 2016 class was put into place on Wednesday morning when four-star defensive lineman Marlon Davidson made it official by signing with Coach Gus Malzahn’s program. Ranked as the No. 33 player overall in the country, Davidson’s addition is huge for the Tigers as he plans to enroll in January and go through spring practice.
Despite a late attempt from both Alabama and Georgia with both coaching staffs making visits on Sunday, Davidson stuck with his original commitment to be an Auburn Tiger.
The younger brother of former Auburn defensive lineman Kenneth Carter, who is now on the support staff for the Tigers, Davidson visited for seven games this season at Jordan-Hare Stadium and took his only official visit to Auburn.
Those frequent trips to Auburn wound up being a big plus for the Tigers because it allowed Davidson to continue to build his bond with Malzahn and future position coach Rodney Garner. Those relationships were big for Davidson and he said it’s one of the things that stands out about Auburn for him.
“It’s just family, the coaches family and their wives and how they treat you,” Davidson said of Auburn. “Just walking around the school you see everybody walking around saying War Eagle. That’s what you want to be around.”
Even with Auburn still searching for a defensive coordinator it didn’t keep Davidson from signing with the Tigers. Knowing he’s got a chance for immediate playing time at a school he’s been watching closely since before his brother played for Auburn, Davidson said his choice came down to where he wanted to be and not who would be coaching him.
“It doesn’t impact things at all because I’m not coming here for a coach,” Davidson said. “I’m coming here for the structure, culture, and everything Auburn has. To me it’s not really a coaching change for me knowing (Gus) Malzahn and my coach (Rodney Garner) is still here so I’m not really worried about nothing.”
Marlon Davidson was one of the top performers in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic.
What It Means:
This is a huge boost for Malzahn and the Tigers in the 2016 class because Davidson is definitely a player that should be able to play very early as a true freshman. Physical at 6-4, 260 pounds, Davidson has a very quick first step and should be a player that hits the ground running in the spring because of his work ethic and knowledge of the game.
Auburn’s lack of impact plays from the defensive line makes the addition of Davidson even more important. Even if Carl Lawson returns the Tigers need more playmakers on the defensive front with Garner wanting more of a true rotation. If Lawson decides to turn pro however it could mean very early minutes for Davidson and a real chance to work himself into a heavy playing rotation.
“Davidson is really how you draw up a strongside end. Someone who can set the edge, play the run, and be very effective as a pass rusher. Anticipation off the ball can be a little better, but he plays fast, and he really knows how to close on the quarterback. Really flashes violent hands and when he stays low, he is tough to handle. Very good frame and has good reaction quickness. Needs to add moves off the ball and not be, just power.”