Auburn, Ala.--A position of need for the Auburn Tigers in the 2017 football class, the linebacker group brought in by Coach Travis Williams is one that has plenty of promise beginning as early as this coming fall.
With early enrollees K.J. Britt and Chandler Wooten already on campus and Tadarian Moultry joining them on campus this summer, Williams said he likes the makeup of his group and is especially glad to already have two on campus.
“It's very important for us because we know if you get them in early you can try to at least get them on special teams,” Williams said. “You can get them some reps on defense and see where they can play. The 15 practices are really important for them to get their feet wet, see me coach, see me in the meeting rooms and everything. It's very good for them.”
Expected to learn from veterans Tre Williams, DeShaun Davis and Darrell Williams in the middle, Britt has all the characteristics of a future leader of the Auburn defense. That’s something that stood out to Travis Williams, as did Britt’s physicality.
“When you're looking for linebackers, you first want to look for tough, tough young men, and good young men because I understand how Auburn was built,” the coach said. “K.J. fits that mold. K.J. is a very, very good young man. Very respectful. Great family. I had a lot of fun recruiting him.
“And he will knock a hole in you, too. He gets there with bad intentions. You cut on the film and it's like, 'Whoa.' You look at the first clip, it gets you to the second clip, the third clip. Then when you meet him, you're like, 'You know what, this young man is an Auburn Tigers man.' He's awesome.”
Moultry and Britt are a pair of talented in-state recruits.
A player who has been on Travis Williams’ recruiting board since day one when he started looking for linebackers in the class, Wooten is an athletic player on the edge who has the ability to rush the passer. Because of that he’s someone who has a chance to be an impact player.
“You have to really trust your evaluation,” Auburn’s LB Coach said. “I watched him in the spring and he came on his Junior Day and I was around his family, I said, 'You know what, I like this kid.' I watched him practice and the was a guy that was really, really high on the board. I penciled him in and he was the guy I wanted.
“I wanted Chandler Wooten. He committed in the spring. He was a guy I really trusted the evaluation on and off the field. Great kid, great family. He's a kid that was raised right. I don't have to chase him to class. He loves football and he's a really, really good football player.”
Chandler Wooten made 124 tackles as a senior.
Rounding out the group is Moultry. A physical linebacker with the speed to track down guys from sideline to sideline, Moultry’s ability to rush the passer became his strength during all-star appearances in Montgomery and San Antonio.
With a history of being able to cover and with the physicality to play at the line of scrimmage, Moultry’s versatility is something that will be a strength said Travis Williams.
“This kid, he can do anything he wants to do,” Williams said. “We watched him and he was playing safety and it was a really good job just evaluating him and kind of projecting him as a linebacker. This was his first year playing linebacker. From there you just saw him continue to get better and better and better. He can be as good as he wants to be.”