Chad Simmons

Monday Auburn Football Recruiting Notebook Looking At In-State Prospects, Defensive Tackles

Looking at top in-state prospects that were on campus for Saturday's junior day at Auburn.

Austin Troxell (above) is one of the state's top class of 2016 prospects.

Big Year In-State

While the 2017 football prospect class in Alabama may not have the big names that were part of last year’s group, the depth of in-state prospects continues to increase and this year’s group may be one of the best we have seen. Already 17 prospects in this class have been rated as four-star prospects by Scout and several of those were on the Auburn campus over the weekend.

That started on Friday when athletic defensive back Malcolm Askew made the drive down from McCalla where he stars for McAdory High School. A player similar to Auburn 2016 signee Marlon Character because of his ability to play safety or cornerback, Askew has a big group of early offers.

The majority of the guys were on campus Saturday for Auburn’s first big junior day of the year with linebackers and offensive linemen well represented. Two of the top linebackers in the state and guys very high on Auburn’s board who were in town were Markail Benton from Central-Phenix City and Tadarian Moultry from Jackson-Olin in Birmingham. Also visiting was Thomas Johnston from Spanish Fort. With guys like Tadarrius Patterson and K.J. Britt getting offers from the Tigers while on their visits as well, the linebacker group in Alabama is a strong one.

That doesn’t even count big-timer Will Ignont who is now at IMG Academy in Florida, but is originally from Buckhorn. With Auburn looking to sign four linebackers in this class it’s a great time to have one of the deepest linebacker classes ever in the state to evaluate and recruit.

 

©M. Samek / SCOUT

Markail Benton is one of Auburn's top targets in the 2017 class

The same is true of the offensive tackle position. Already with a commitment from five-star Calvin Ashley, the Tigers definitely need at least another player at that spot and maybe two. A pair of the top guys in the state were on campus Saturday and Auburn is in the mix for both. An athletic player who has two former teammates (Kerryon Johnson and Malik Miller) already at Auburn, Austin Troxell has always been a big kid, but a knee injury has allowed him to spend extra time in the weight room and the results have been dramatic. Now over 300 pounds, Troxell is going to be a dominant force for the Mustangs as a senior.

He was joined by another athletic tackle, Kendall Randolph from Bob Jones High. The younger brother of former Alabama basketball player Levi Randolph, he was joined on the trip by teammate and four-star defensive back A.J. Harris. Even though the Crimson Tide may be the team to beat, they signed a big class of tackles a year ago and that could work in Auburn’s favor.

Always On The Hunt For Defensive Tackles

The defensive tackle position is one that you always need to find players in every class. Even though the Tigers signed two of the best in the country from Georgia in the 2016 class, they’re looking to keep open the pipeline in the state with both Aubrey Solomon and M.J. Webb visiting on Saturday.

A physical player who should continue to see his stock rise, Solomon will be a major target for just about every college in the country. Auburn is in the mix for him early with Florida, Clemson, Georgia and Ole Miss also in the hunt. A frequent visitor to Auburn, Webb is getting bigger by the day and has a ton of upside out of Morgan County High in Madison. With Auburn, Alabama, Clemson, Georgia and others on his list, the Tigers are once again a player in the Peach State for top defensive tackles.  


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