With the 2016 football season now behind them, the Auburn Tigers turn their attention to finishing out the 2017 class heading towards the Feb. 1 national signing day. Already with a good head start on the group, Coach Gus Malzahn and his staff are looking toward several specific targets on both sides of the ball and we start with an eye towards offense.
Quarterback--Auburn is done at the position for the 2017 class with Jarrett Stidham and new commitment Malik Willis both enrolling this week for classes. A five-star coming out of high school and after transferring from Baylor, Stidham is expected to compete for the starting job right away.
A very late offer by Auburn following a huge senior season at Roswell (Ga.) High, the 6-2, 190 Willis is a player that the Tigers have high expectations for at the position. With a ton of upside he’s expected to come in and redshirt, but getting a head start on his career by going through spring practice could speed up his progress rate.
Running Back--Another position that is done for the 2017 class is running back where Auburn has three commitments who are all capable of making an impact right away for the Tigers. Juco back Octavius Matthews and high school standouts Alaric Williams and Devan Barrett are players who are taking visits elsewhere, but are committed strongly to Auburn. With the return of Kamryn Pettway and having Kerryon Johnson, Kamryn Martin and Malik Miller all on the roster, the position is in good shape even with the transfer of Stanton Truitt.
Wide Receiver--Coach Kodi Burns has a strong group of young players on campus to work with and with the addition of speedy four-star Noah Igbinoghene the Tigers should be in good shape at the position for years to come. That doesn’t mean Auburn is done at the position, however, with Burns hoping to add another difference-maker to the group. Likely the top two targets for Auburn are four-stars Henry Ruggs from Lee-Montgomery and Tamorrion Terry from Turner County (Ga.) High. Ruggs isn’t a big target, but extremely athletic, while Terry has the size Auburn is looking for.
Tight End/Fullback--Sophomore Jalen Harris’ development is good news for Auburn, but adding juco Sal Cannella was a must get for the Tigers moving forward to provide another option at the position. A former basketball player and wide receiver, Cannella has three years left to play and already at 6-5, 225 he could easily play in the 235-240 range next season and be a threat in the red zone. With Chandler Cox the only fullback on the roster, Auburn is looking at Chase Lasater to add to the mix as well. Expected to visit the Tigers in January, the former Michigan commitment would be an important addition to the offense.
Offensive Line--Another position where Auburn is in good shape, the Tigers have three commitments in the class and are looking to add another before signing day. The biggest issue for the Tigers right now is holding onto five-star tackle Calvin Ashley. While Maryland is making a strong push, Auburn is still very much the team to beat.
On the interior commitments from four-stars Nick Brahms and Austin Troxell give the Tigers two players who could help out at guard with Brahms also capable of playing center.
Big Jordan Tucker is a talented prospect.
Now Coach Herb Hand is hoping to add another edge blocker to the mix and Jordan Tucker is a guy the Tigers are focusing on in January. At 6-6, 325, Tucker is a dominating run blocker who is athletic enough to pull in the run game from his tackle position. He would be a good fit for Auburn’s scheme and has the Tigers among the many schools still on his list.