One player who is coming onto the radar for the Tigers is massive 6-5, 325 Antonio Logan-El.
Rated as the number 10 offensive lineman in the country by Scout.com, Logan-El was an early commitment to the Maryland Terrapins, but has since opened up his recruiting. While offers have poured in from around the country and are numbering in the dozens, Logan-El says that he's already narrowed his choices to a workable number with one school possibly joining the mix soon.
"I have a top six at this point of Maryland, Penn State, Oklahoma, University of Virginia, Tennessee and Florida," Logan-El tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "As time goes on I believe Auburn can get in there once I learn about their program and possibly getting an offer from them.
"When I committed to Maryland it was my sophomore year," Logan-El adds. "It was the first offer I had and basically it was the first school I had ever seen. With that said I didn't know what the future had in store for me. I verbally committed and as time went by and I progressed as a player, colleges got a chance to see me and really liked what they saw. Offers started to come in and I wasn't sure on my decision on committing early.
"I sat down with my head coach and my family and the coaches at Maryland and expressed to them how I felt. I really just told them how I was still interested in Maryland, but at the same time I wanted to make sure I made the right decision. I think that's one of the worst feelings you can have is making a decision before seeing what is out there because you'll second-guess yourself the whole time. That's a terrible feeling. Maryland understands completely and I just opened my recruitment back up and that leads me here today."
Logan-El says that he's looking to major in either criminal justince or business management in college and wants to be a college coach once he finishes his career.
A dominating player on both sides of the ball for Forestville High, Logan-El has started since his freshman season on both offense and defense. This season he has played tackle, guard and tight end on offense while seeing time at tackle, end and even middle linebacker on defense. His versatility and athleticism have made him a top priority for some of the nation's top teams, some of which he has already visited this fall.
"I have visited Penn State unofficially, Maryland unofficially and Oklahoma officially," Logan-El says. "I don't have any other official visits planned because all of our football games are on Saturdays. It's really tough for me to make any official visits. After sitting down with my head coach and my family and my mom, we decided that I would just wait until after the season to make any more visits."
Auburn's likely connection with Logan-El is with running back Benjamin Tate. A commitment early in the summer to the Tigers from Maryland, Tate is likely familiar with Logan-El and possibly could have tipped the Auburn coaches off about the outstanding linemen. While they haven't talked recently, Logan-El says he remembers meeting the charismatic running back over the summer.
"I have met him on a couple of occasions before he made his commitment," Logan-El says of Tate. "I talked to him up at Maryland and things like that. He's a pretty good guy, well-sounded, and he knows what he's looking for. When he committed to Auburn that impressed me because I knew there must have been something he saw that he really liked."
Because Auburn joined the fray late for Logan-El, it would seem very likely that they have very little shot of landing him in the long run, but he says that's not entirely the case when it's Auburn that comes calling late.
"In a way, taking into consideration the other schools have been around and I've been hearing from them for a longer period of time, it gives the other schools an advantage," Logan-El says. "At the same time Auburn does propose a great opportunity. I will take my time and see what is the exact opportunity they propose to me."
A big athlete who reports a personal-best 40-yard dash time of 4.9 seconds at a recent practice, Logan-El is a three-year starter on the basketball team and averaged 11 points and 11 rebounds as a junior. Also one of the top throwers in Maryland last season, he had a top shot put throw of 47 feet. Not shy about hitting the weights either, Logan-El benched 360 pounds with a squat of 540.
His speed and strength make him a possible immediate impact player for any school he chooses. Throw in a chance for playing time at a school like Auburn and you have a good combination. Logan-El says that the Tigers are in the hunt and could move up quickly. That's good news all the way around on the Plains.
"I know that they have a good academic program and a good athletic program as well," Logan-El says. "I don't know a lot other than the basic information. I have been looking at Auburn for a while and I started hearing from them last week. I got a chance to talk with my recruiting coach (Hugh Nall) and he's sending me some information on Auburn. We're going from there."