One prospect doing his part and more is the second commitment of the class, tight end Bailey Woods of Walton High School in Marietta, Ga.
"Guys like Lee Ziemba and Enrique Davis (who recently committed), I've just been telling them for a while that they need to come down so we can win some championships," Woods says. "I'm trying to convince Michael McNeil to come down and play with us because FSU and Alabama are having some tough times this season and Auburn is having a good season. I think putting him on the board would be nice."
Woods says he talks to most of the 16 other current commitments on a regular basis as well.
"I talk to Ryan Pugh, Kyle Coulahan, John Douglas, Enrique Davis every once in a while, Mike Slade sometimes," Woods notes. "I talk to all of those guys. Recruits-wise I talk to Lee Ziemba and Kodi Burns a lot. I've gotten a chance to talk to Michael McNeil and Josh Bynes at the games that they've come to. I've gotten to talk to them a good bit. I actually sat with Enrique at the LSU game this year. That's when I first started talking to him a lot and I had met him at camp earlier this game.
"They're all competitive guys and really good athletes and they're all factoring in other things," he continues. "If it came down to the best team then almost all of those guys would end up at Auburn because they are one of the top teams in the nation."
Burns, quarterback at Northside High School in Fort Smith, Ark., is one of many high-profile prospects Auburn is still after that stays in touch with Woods.
Woods has made trips to Auburn for three games this year--Washington State, LSU and Florida--and he was particularly thrilled with the atmosphere in the win over Florida.
"That was awesome," he says. "That was the loudest game I've ever been to by a long shot. I was sitting right behind the goal post about 10 rows back. Tre Smith landed about 20 yards in front of me in the end zone."
In a primarily rushing offense that doesn't pass the ball much, Woods says that this season has been a chance for him to work on his blocking and his hand placement, which has helped him improve in that area. The Walton Raiders are also improving and they're coming off a 49-46 double overtime victory over Kell High School and running back prospect Jonathan Dwyer.
"We had a tough start," Woods notes. "In our first five games we were minus nine in the turnovers. We were having trouble keeping the ball in our hands and getting it out of the other teams' hands. We started off slow, but we've won our last two games and we've won all of our sub-region games. The region games play into as well if there is a tie in the sub-region. We're 3-2 in our overall region and 2-0 in our sub-region. If we win the next three games we should be the number one or the number two seed."
Woods, who sees limited action at defensive end, says that it was a tough, hard-fought game and a tremendous effort by Kell's Dwyer, a Georgia Tech commitment.
"We probably should have won the game by the end of the second half," Woods explains. "We were up 18-0 and we had Jonathan held to negative yards. We kicked the ball off and our kicker normally kicks it into the end zone and he kicked the ball off and it landed on the one-yard line. Jonathan picked it up and took it to the house on the kick return. That kind of brought a spark back (to Kell) and they kicked to us and we had a three-and-out. We gave them the ball again and they scored again going into halftime. From there on out it was pretty much a battle of our offense versus Jonathan Dwyer.
"We have one of the better defenses in the county," he adds. "He got mad and we couldn't tackle him to save our lives. We'd have three guys hit him in the backfield and he'd break it for a 50-yard run. That was a defensive coordinator's nightmare. Other than that we played pretty well."
Woods, who is actually a recruiting fan himself keeping up with it by calling other prospects and reading on the Internet, says that the Tigers' look like they will be in position to have one of the top classes in the country on Feb. 7, which is Signing Day for football prospects.
"I think the only team that really has a chance at putting together a better class than us this year in the nation is definitely Texas," he says. "They've already got about as stacked of a class as you can have. The only others that can compete with Auburn are Florida and Georgia. They're putting together a pretty good class, but Georgia is having a really tough time this year. I think that might kind of divert some of their recruits. I think the number two and three spots are going to be between Auburn and Florida this year."