Derrick Brown (above) is a highly-regarded defensive tackle prospect.
Auburn, Ala.--It’s the first of three important January football recruiting weekends on the Plains with more than a dozen official visitors possibly visiting the Tigers this weekend led by a pair of five-star prospects at positions of need for Coach Gus Malzahn’s Auburn program.
Even though Auburn already has a good start to its defensive line class in the 2016 class with Antwuan Jackson, Paul James and Marlon Davidson already on campus, adding at least one more true tackle in February is a major priority for the Tigers. That makes the visit of Derrick Brown this weekend a big one for Rodney Garner and company.
One of the more impressive players at the U.S. Army All-American Game where he played alongside Jackson, Brown has been a frequent visitor to Auburn for almost two years and the Tigers will be in the running along with Georgia and several other schools.
Another defensive line visitor is current commitment David Marshall. With Daquan Newkirk headed to junior college and Tashawn Manning’s playing status in question after being diagnosed with cancer and currently going through treatments, keeping Marshall is of the utmost importance for the Tigers in this 2016
Joshua Uche will be checking out the Tigers.
Another player that could help out rushing the passer is speedy visitor Joshua Uche from Miami. A former Miami commitment, Uche could be a speed rusher off the edge or play an outside linebacker spot in Auburn’s defense.
The second of the five-stars expected to be in this weekend is Nate Craig. The former Auburn commitment will be joined by his brother Jayvaughn Myers on the visit and both are top targets for the Tigers. With a need to add at least one more wide receiver in this class, Craig is a player who could see the field very early in Auburn’s offense. A defensive back, Myers is also a guy that could get on the field early because of his ability to play either cornerback or safety.
Nate Craig is shown at the Under Armour all-star game.
Also scheduled to be in this weekend is four-star quarterback commitment Woody Barrett. Showing up very well at the Under Armour All-American Game, Barrett had a huge senior season at West Orange (Fla.) High and has all the tools to challenge for playing time very early in his Auburn career. With junior college transfer John Franklin already on campus, Auburn’s quarterback position could already have a different look in 2016 and with Barrett a true dual-threat guy at the position it would make the Tigers are more dynamic offense.
A blast from the past for Auburn that has confirmed his visit is athlete Stephen Davis Jr. out of South Carolina. Committed to the Tigers at one time before backing off that decision, he’s got a strong connection to Garner and with a change in coaching staff Auburn remains very much in the mix for Davis with South Carolina also a team to watch.
Another player expected to be in this weekend is big offensive tackle Lucas Niang out of Connecticut. Visiting Auburn over the summer and earning an offer following a solid camp performance, Niang is a player with a lot of upside at the position. With former Auburn linebacker Jason Miska as one of his high school coaches the Tigers have a very good shot at Niang if they want to push for a commitment.
Lucas Niang attended a football camp at Auburn last summer.
Several more of Auburn’s current commitments are expected to visit this weekend as well including four-star wide receiver Elijah Stove, three-star receiver Marquis McClain and four-star offensive lineman Brodarious Hamm. Having a solid performance at the Under Armour game, Stove is getting a strong push from Florida, but remains firmly committed to the Tigers heading into the weekend.
Forced to play running back, quarterback and defense as a senior, McClain has the size and talent to be a big-time receiver on the next level but has to work on the fundamentals of the position once he gets on campus. A physical blocker who has fully recovered from a knee injury his junior year, Hamm is Auburn’s only offensive line commitment so far in the 2016 class.