Nine players who have already committed to the Tigers are expected to be in Auburn along with a dozen players still looking to make their decisions before signing day on Feb. 2.
One of Florida's top prospects is expected in this weekend as defensive end Geno Atkins from St. Thomas Aquinas in Fort Lauderdale will take a trip to check out Auburn. Named the Class 5A Defensive Player of the Year as a senior, the son of former NFL player Gene Atkins had a strong year on the line after playing linebacker as a junior. Atkins has already visited N.C. State and Pittsburgh and will visit Georgia immediately following his Auburn visit with a trip to Michigan State closing out his visit scheduled on Jan. 20.
Another South Florida product will be in for an official visit as Deerfield Beach standout Mike Blanc will trip to see the Tigers this weekend. A 6-4, 270 defensive lineman, who could play offense if needed, Blanc has come on strong and has offers from several programs around the country. Having already visited Rutgers and Michigan State, Blanc is scheduled to visit Arizona State next weekend with a trip to Miami in the works for the last weekend.
Continuing the trend of South Florida defensive standouts in to see Auburn is big Charles Deas from Dillard High in Fort Lauderdale. A 6-4, 325-pounder, Deas didn't play his senior season because of academics, but that hasn't kept him from being one of the nation's most sought defensive line prospects. Deas has already visited Nebraska and is scheduled to visit both Georgia and LSU before making a decision on or around signing day.
Hoping to add depth to the tight end position, Auburn is bringing in one of the top players in the state of Alabama this weekend in Michael Goggans from Benjamin Russell High in Alexander City. At 6-3, 246 with good speed and hands, Goggans has the frame to play right away if necessary. Having already visited Alabama, Goggan is scheduled to trip to Tennessee on Jan. 20 before making his final decision. He was an earlier commitment to the Vols before opening up his recruitment again during his senior football season.
The Tigers are hoping to reach into South Florida for another defender as end Bryant Miller is scheduled to visit Auburn this weekend. A physical player who camped at Auburn over the summer, the 6-4, 240 Miller will visit Auburn and Ole Miss and also likes all three Florida schools.
One of the visitors for the weekend is fullback prospect Aram Olson from Irmo, S.C. The 5-11, 240 Olson has already visited Ohio State and is scheduled to visit both Alabama and Florida State before making his decision.
Auburn coaches noted they were not in the market for a fullback this recruiting season and didn't offer any prospects at that position, but changed directions and decided to offer Olson, a prospect who did not attract much attention from major programs until recently.
Auburn doesn't journey into the steate of Kentucky very often for a prospect, but Louisville's Corey Peters changed that this season. A talented defensive lineman who was a standout at an Auburn football camp, the 6-3, 280 Peters has the quickness to play tackle on defense and play early. He has already visited both Louisville and Kentucky and has plans to trip to Michigan and Ohio State as well before making a decision. He says AU and Kentucky are his current leaders.
One of Auburn's top targets this season has been in-state standout defensive lineman Jermarcus Ricks from Colbert County High. The brother of current Auburn linebacker Courtney Harden, the 6-4, 285-pounder narrowed his choice early to Auburn and Alabama despite having offers from schools such as Tennessee, LSU, Florida State and Georgia. Ricks was one of the more impressive players at Auburn's 2005 summer camps.
Coming onto the radar late hasn't kept defensive end Darrell Roseman from Dunedin, Fla., from becoming a hot name for several schools. Having already visited Rutgers and North Carolina State, the 6-4, 235 Roseman is expected to make his decision soon after his visit this weekend to Auburn. Following his trip to check out the Wolfpack, he noted that Auburn is his favorite.
Virtually every year there is a new name late in the process and this recruiting season Jason Sherman fits that description. A basketball player only until his senior season, the 6-4, 205 Sherman was a solid performer for First Coast High in Jacksonville, Fla., and has garnered attention from several colleges. Although he doesn't have an offer from the Tigers, he notes that he is very interested in the Tigers and he's also looking at South Florida, Central Florida, Cincinnati and several other schools.
The most highly-rated prospect due in this weekend is defensive end Deantwan Whitehead from West End High in Birmingham. Rated as the number three defensive end in the country, the 6-6, 245 Whitehead has already visited Louisville and will also visit Tennessee and Alabama before making his decision. As a senior he totaled 125 tackles and 25 sacks.
In addition to the uncommitted players expected in this weekend, Auburn will also be very busy playing host to nine commitments who are taking their official visits to the Plains. Both quarterback commitments will be in town as Neil Caudle and Steven Ensminger are scheduled to check out the program beginning Friday. Coming off his second knee surgery in two years, Caudle is recovering nicely and is hoping to play baseball this spring. Ensminger led his team to the large school state title in Louisiana and had a strong senior season as a passer and runner.
Defensvive end Zach Clayton, who had a big season for Opelika High School, is a verbal commitment who will take his official visit this weekend.
Clayton, who played at Auburn High as a junior, is an oustanding shot put and discus thrower and the son of Auburn University assistant track coach Jerry Clayton.
A player who fans have wondered about since he made his commitment is defensive tackle Kareem Crowell from Godby High in Tallahassee, Fla. From the sound of things there's little to worry about as the 6-3, 290 Crowell says he's excited about his visit because of the chance to talk to other players into attending Auburn with him. After flirting with Clemson and Louisville some during the process, Crowell says he's solid with the Tigers coming into the visit.
Up front defensive lineman Bart Eddins is also expected in this weekend after taking part in the U.S. Army All-American Game last week in San Antonio. Named as one of four team captains for the East squad, the 6-5, 260 Eddins was Auburn's second public verbal commitment for this class. He was named an All-State performer and was a finalist for Class 4A Lineman of the Year.
Not looking for much help in the secondary, Auburn will sign just one defensive back in this class and that player is Charles Henderson standout Zaccheus Etheridge. A physical player who could play corner or safety on the next level, the 6-0, 185-pounder was one of the top players at Auburn's summer camps last year. He also considered Oklahoma State and several other schools.
Auburn's newest commitment is scheduled to visit the Tigers this weekend as Bo Harris will be in to look around a program he'll be joining in one year if everything goes right. A standout running back and linebacker, Harris says he will not qualify this season and will instead enroll at Milford Academy in Connecticut to work on his academics to prepare for the 2007 season.
One of Auburn's earlier commitments also scheduled in this weekend is linebacker Hendrick Leverette from Oak Grove High in Hattiesburg, Miss. A 6-0, 212-pounder with great speed and instincts, Leverette made 152 tackles as a senior as Oak Grove lost in the state playoff semi-finals. Originally Leverette was scheduled to visit Southern Miss and Ole Miss in addition to Auburn, but this weekend is likely to be his only visit now.
A player who has gotten more and more interest during the recruiting season is commitment Alex Rose from Jacksonville, Fla. A 6-2, 177-pounder, Rose gave a verbal to the Tigers back in September and since then Auburn has fought to keep him from looking elsewhere. That has been tough with schools such as Florida State coming in late, but Rose says that he's solid with the Tigers.
Wide receiver commitment Chris Slaughter from Peach County (Ga.) High is also scheduled in for an official visit. One of the most productive players in Georgia during the 2005 season, the 6-3, 165 Slaughter helped lead his team to a state championship with a huge senior season. Despite facing constant double-teams, Slaughter caught a school record 23 touchdowns and finished with more than 1,300 receiving yards.