Auburn, Ala.--Coming off an improved year on defense under first-year coordinator Kevin Steele the Auburn Tigers have a big head start on that side the ball already, but have key prospects still on the board. We look at some of the guys left for the Tigers on defense with just under a month left until national signing day.
Defensive Line--Signing a big class of defensive linemen a year ago, Coach Rodney Garner is looking to add at least three players in this year’s class after getting the first commitment for the group on Christmas with the addition of Montgomery standout Alec Jackson.
Losing seniors Montravius Adams, Devaroe Lawrence and Maurice Swain as well as junior Carl Lawson, the Tigers need to shore up the depth heading into next season and have several top targets.
Rushing the passer is going to be a priority on defense next season with Lawson’s absence and Markaviest Bryant, Jarez Parks and Ryan Johnson are three players who could help out in that role early in their careers.
Known as “Big Cat,” Markaviest Bryant from Crisp County High in Cordele, Ga. is a premier pass rusher wo would be a good fit at the buck position in Auburn’s defense. Alabama and Georgia are believed to be the biggest threats to the Tigers with Arkansas and LSU also in the mix.
Having already visited Alabama and Florida State, speedy Jarez Parks will visit Auburn and Florida in January and he’s been interested in the Tigers since early in the process. A Top 50 prospect in the country, Parks is a speed rusher who would add instant speed for the Auburn defense.
A physical defensive end who is probably more of a strongside guy on the next level, Ryan Johnson from St. Paul’s in Mobile is someone the Tigers have been recruiting for a long, long time. Making multiple visits to the campus, Johnson is looking at Auburn, Alabama, Notre Dame, Oregon, Stanford and Texas.
On the interior the Tigers are still in the mix for one of the country’s top players, five-star Aubrey Solomon. Originally committed to Michigan, Solomon visited the Wolverines and Alabama in the fall and the Crimson Tide could be the team to beat at the moment. With visits coming up to USC and Auburn in January, Solomon’s recruiting is one that will get a lot of attention down the stretch.
Linebacker--Already with K.J. Britt and Chandler Wooten signed and starting classes next week and four-star commitment Tadarian Poultry on board as well, Coach Travis Williams is off to a great start in the 2017 class. The top guy still out there for Auburn is four-star Tyler Taylor from Lanier High in Buford, Ga.
A big, physical linebacker wig could play in the box or even slide to the Buck position if needed, Taylor played high school football with Auburn freshmen Derrick Brown and that can’t be bad news for the Tigers. With Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State all in the mix, Taylor has a busy January coming up.
Tyler Taylor is one of the top uncommitted prospects in the state of Georgia.
Secondary--Already with early enrollee Malcolm Askew and commitments from Carlito Gonzalez, Traivon Leonard and Jordyn Peters, the Tigers have a big secondary group in the 2017 class, but have their sights set on one more big fish, five-star Devon Hunter.
A frequent visitor to Auburn with trips during the summer and fall, Hunter had a strong bond with former AU secondary coach Wesley McGriff, but still plans to visit the Plains on Jan. 20 even with his departure. Virginia Tech may be the team to beat for Hunter with Alabama, Florida and North Carolina involved as well. Ole Miss is the team to watch for Hunter with McGriff heading to coach the Rebels’ defense.