Wide receiver Nate Craig (above) will try to break into the playing rotation this season.
Auburn, Ala.--Already with nine members of the 2016 football signing class on campus for spring practice, the Auburn Tigers will welcome nine more players this week as the team gets ready for summer workouts on campus. Leading the way for this new wave of recruits is a wide receiver group that will have the chance to play early this season.
One of the top prospects in the country, four-star Nate Craig is a player the Tigers will count on right away to push for playing time at a wide receiver spot that needs help. Arriving along with brother and four-star defensive back Jayvaughn Myers, Craig has the physical tools to be an immediate contributor.
The same is true of fellow four-star recruit Elijah Stove. An elusive receiver who likely fits better in the slot in Auburn’s offense, Stove has the speed to be a deep threat for the Tigers, something desperately needed with the loss of 2015 senior Ricardo Louis.
Elijah Stove has a great opportunity to play this fall.
Rounding out the trio of receivers arriving this week is big Marquis McClain from Crestview, Fla., High. At 6-2, 215, McClain had to play quarterback, running back and defensive back last season in addition to wide receiver. That put him behind in terms of development, but there is no questioning his potential.
Rounding out the offensive players getting to campus this week is offensive tackle Prince Sammons from Cincinnati. A physical presence who was a basketball player before turning to football exclusively, Sammons started out as a defensive end, but transitioned to offensive tackle as a senior. Showing good footwork and strength, Sammons has the talent to be a key player down the road and with his increasing size (6-6, 293) could be a steal for Auburn who added him to the class late in the process.
Prince Sammons is a player new offensive line coach Herb Hand recruited for the Tigers.
Two offensive players who won’t be joining their teammates this week are quarterback Woody Barrett and offensive lineman Brodarious Hamm. Still finishing up academic requirements, Barrett is expected to be on campus in June for the second summer school session.
Hamm is one of two Auburn signees currently going through cancer treatments along with defensive lineman Tashawn Manning. Neither player will start classes this fall for the Tigers, but the hope is that both could get to the Plains by January to begin classes if things go well.
Big Derrick Brown is ready to go.
Defensively, the big name is five-star tackle Derrick Brown. One of the prized recruits in the class for DL coach Rodney Garner, Brown being on campus early gives him a great opportunity to be ready to play right away in the fall. Auburn’s most depth is at defensive tackle, but Brown will likely battle with fellow freshman Antwuan Jackson for a spot in the playing rotation this fall. Jackson graduated in December and participated in spring training at Auburn.
In addition to Myers, fellow secondary member Daniel Thomas is on campus and will start classes this week. A player capable of playing either cornerback or safety, Myers has the size that Coach Wesley McGriff is looking for in the secondary. The same is true of Thomas. Likely a true safety, he has got the athleticism to play the nickel position if needed.
Two defensive signees won’t be on campus until the end of June, much like Barrett. Needing to finish academic work, safety Marlon Character and end Nick Coe are expected to enroll in late June and be ready to go for the second summer school session.