Tigers Hope For BIG Finish

Waiting on several heavily recruited linemen from across the South, the Tigers are hoping for a big finish to an already solid recruiting year.

Auburn, Ala.--Wednesday is National Signing Day, a day that many consider to be one of the unofficial national holidays every year.

For Auburn Tiger football fans this day is expected to put the finishing touches on one of the better recruiting classes in recent memory. An old saying in football recruiting is that "the big dogs walk late" and for Auburn fans that analogy could become gleefully true on Wednesday.

With four of the top uncommitted players in the South considering signing with Auburn on Wednesday, there could be a rumbling heard in the SEC recruiting world if all four ink with the Tigers. Considering the class already in hand for coach Tommy Tuberville and staff, this would sound the alarm that the big dogs are not only walking late, they are charging through the gate on the way to the Plains.

Marcus McNeill

All eyes will be focused on Ellenwood, Ga., and Cedar Grove High School as teammates Marcus McNeill and Jonathan Palmer make their college intentions known to the public at a 9 a.m. press conference at the school. McNeill, a 6-8, 316 offensive tackle, is considered one of the top prospects regardless of position in the state of Georgia. With the strength, size and quickness to see early playing time on the collegiate level, he has had schools from all over the country hoping to garner his signature on the dotted line. Narrowing his choices down to Auburn and North Carolina over the weekend after considering Clemson, Miami, Tennessee, Georgia and others, the mammoth McNeill would be a big addition to either program.

Palmer, a 6-6, 312 mountain himself, is perhaps the fastest rising prospect in the South this year among offensive linemen. Somewhat of an unknown just several months ago, he has garnered calls from programs such as Notre Dame and Ohio State the last few weeks in addition to his schools of choice that included Auburn, Clemson, North Carolina and Georgia Tech. A very versatile lineman who played every position up front this season on offense and also excelled on the defensive side of the ball, Palmer is also an excellent student who has a 3.7 GPA and a 1030 on the SAT. He plans to major in engineering and will choose between Auburn and Clemson.

While McNeil and Palmer have hinted at their choices, the same can't be said for Westover High School lineman Troy Reddick. The 6-6, 285 pound Albany, Ga., native is thought to be high on the Tigers but has kept his intentions quiet to this point. Considering Auburn along with Clemson, Georgia Tech and Florida, Reddick is a very physical offensive lineman who could play either guard or tackle on the next level. Odds are he will be a Tiger in college, either an Auburn or Clemson Tiger.

LaRon Harris

On the defensive side of the ball, Auburn is hoping for some good news from the Memphis area as tackle LaRon Harris from Kingsbury High is still considering the Tigers after committing to the Tennessee Volunteers early in January. A 6-3, 305-pound bruiser in the middle with surprising 4.92 speed in the 40-yard dash, Harris is the type of player who could push for early playing time for coach Don Dunn this coming fall with the lack of depth at defensive tackle for Auburn. Although he committed to the Vols, AU has been and remained in the running for Harris since before his visit on the weekend of January 18.

Tiger Ticket Extra: One of the players Auburn has been recruiting now appears headed for a junior college. Offensive lineman Kurt Quarterman, a 6-4, 300-pound teammate of Reddick at Westover, is still being recruited by Louisville, Middle Tennessee State and others but appears headed the juco route. Quarterman is the two-time state champion in the shot put and discus.

Editor's Note: Inside the Auburn Tigers will first post updates on who has actually signed throughout the day on the Tiger Ticket message board. If the anticipated high network traffic causes problems with that message board, we will post updates on the Football Forum.


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