Auburn, Ala.--Signing just one back in this class and with Peyton Barber leaving school early to try his hand at professional football,the Auburn Tigers need for at least two true tailbacks in the 2017 class is one of the biggest storylines for Gus Malzahn’s program as recruiting for the next group of stars kicks into high gear.
With talented four-star athlete Alaric Williams already committed out of Southside High in Gadsden and capable of playing the position, the Tigers are off to a good start already but Coach Tim Horton will be looking to stock the cupboard with Jovon Robinson a senior this fall and Roc Thomas a junior. The only other backs on scholarship will be sophomore Kerryon Johnson and true freshman Malik Miller.
Because of that lack of depth Auburn has already been busy on the road offering prospects from across the country with a special emphasis on the State of Florida. With that in mind we take a look at some of the early targets for the Tigers at the running back position.
Devan Barrettt--One of the top backs in the country, Barrett is a teammate of Auburn signee Nate Craig and that puts the Tigers squarely in the mix but Florida may be the team to beat for this talented back from the Sunshine State.
Ty Chandler--With the speed to take it the distance, Chandler is a standout at Montgomery Bell Academy in Nashville. The Vols may be tough to beat in the long run for him, but he recently added an Auburn offer.
C.J. Cotman--A true speedster from Clearwater Central Catholic, Cotman is rated as a wide receiver by Scout but could be a running back on the next level and a good fit in Auburn’s offense down the road. Recently offered by the Tigers, he's the type of game breaker missing from Auburn's attack in recent seasons.
A.J. Davis--Playing for a big-time program at Lakeland High, Davis is a player that could be a speed back in Auburn’s offense but is also versatile enough to play wide receiver if needed. Alrady a four-star he has Clemson on top with Auburn, Florida, Florida State and others also in the hunt.
Adarius Lemons--A home run threat, Lemons is a 6-1, 185-pounder from Clearwater (Fla.) High. Already with offers from schools all over the country, Lemons may be an early lean to Ohio State.
Brian Robinson--Already committed to Alabama, Robinson was impressive as a junior last season at Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa. Also a good receiver, he could be a weapon out of the backfield on the next level and has visited Auburn several times already.
Trey Sermon--Another physical back, Sermon is a 6-1, 203-pounder from Sprayberry High in Marietta, Ga. Auburn is very much in the mix for him after he visited the campus last summer and made a return trip last weekend.
D'Andre Swift--Rated the No. 3 back in the country and 24th overall in the country, this Pennsylvania standout has offers from all over the country. A physical back with breakaway speed as well, he’ll be one of the most heavily recruited players in the country this year when all is said and done.
Damon Williams--With early offers from several smaller schools, Williams has the speed and talent to blow up as a senior. Auburn is a school that he’s already made several trips to over the course of the last year.
Colin Wilson--A true big back that can run between the tackles, Wilson has offers from all over the country and has already been on Auburn’s campus last summer.