The group of newcomers includes four high school All-Americans–running back Michael Dyer from Little Rock Christian Academy, linebacker LaDarius Owens from Jess Lanier High School in Bessemer, wide receiver Trovon Reed from Thibodaux, La., High School and defensive tackle Jeffrey Whitaker from Warner Robins, Ga., High School.
LaDarius Owens is shown in action at the Under Armour All-American Game in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Also scheduled to enroll in classes on Thursday are a pair of in-state defensive linemen–Kenneth Carter from Greenville High and Justin Delaine from Linden High. They will be joined by safety Ryan Smith from Cordova High and punter Steven Clark from Park Hill High in Kansas City, Mo.
Dyer, rated a five-star prospect by Scout.com, is an Under Armour and a Parade All-American who was named Gatorade Player of the Year in Arkansas. He set a state record with 8,097 rushing yards. As a senior he rushed for 2,502 yards and 31 touchdowns. He is rated as the No. 1 prospect in the 2010 signee class at any position in Arkansas by Scout.com.
"To actually achieve the thing you wanted to achieve since you were younger to be here in college, I am just excited," Dyer tells Inside the Auburn Tigers. "I actually have friends that I got to know through the recruiting process. We are all together right now and it is fun and exciting."
Dyer and the other new enrollees have been on campus this week getting prepared to start classes on Thursday.
"We are getting new equipment and it is the whole college feel right now," Dyer says. "It feels like it is feel here. We all came together and did exactly what we told each other we were going to do (attend Auburn) and stayed true to our word. Now we are just bonding and enjoying each other, talking and getting closer. I just feel like after a while we will have that bond on the field and we will be pretty special this year."
Commenting on what it means for him to arrive on campus in May prior to practice starting in August, Dyer says, "It is pretty good. We are all just getting a head start on everybody and we are just trying to get ready for to prepare ourselves for the summer and June when everything really gets started when the other guys get here."
Dyer adds that he is eager to play football at for the Tigers. "I am so looking forward to it," he says. "I am just ready to get in shape and be able to get my body right and know that it is there. When it is there it is time to put those pads on."
One of those players Dyer has been bonding with for a while is Owens, who made 20 1/2 sacks as a senior on the way to being named an Under Armour All-American. Owens mainly played defensive end in high school, but projects as an outside linebacker at Auburn where his uncle, James Owens, was an outstanding running back for Coach Ralph "Shug" Jordan teams.
Reed, who is ranked as the No. 1 prospect in Louisiana by Scout.com, will be making a move from quarterback to wide receiver. The U.S. Army All-American was a two-time All-State selection who was offered by colleges from coast to coast.
Trovon Reed is shown at practice for the U.S Army All-American Game.
The Tigers won a heated recruiting battle with Georgia, Miami and many others to sign Whitaker, a U.S. Army All-American who is rated as the No. 11 defensive tackle prospect in America by Scout.com. In addition to participating in the U.S. Army all-star game in San Antonio, Whitaker played in the Georgia North-South All-Star Game in Columbus.
Carter, an early verbal commitment to the Tigers, made 90 tackles with two sacks and 21 quarterback pressures as an All-State senior at Greenville High. He was named Class 5A Lineman of the Year and played on one of the top teams in the state last fall.
Delaine, in his first season at Linden High, helped the Patriots to a 12-1 record with 49 tackles and eight sacks while blocking two kicks and returning a fumble for a touchdown.
Smith, who originally committed to Kentucky, switched to the Tigers after getting a late scholarship offer from Auburn. He rushed for 1,856 yards and 26 touchdowns as a senior while leading Cordova High School to the state finals for a third straight year. He made 80 tackles on defense as a senior.
Clark, a 6-5, 230-pounder, was a Missouri All-State punter. He played other positions in high school, but is expected to only be a punter for the Tigers where he will compete for the vacant starting spot with senior Ryan Shoemaker.
Linebacker Jessel Curry and defensive end Craig Sanders, early high school graduates, have been at Auburn since January as have three junior college transfers–quarterback Cameron Newton and offensive tackles Roszell Gayden and Brandon Mosley.
Newton will go into preseason practices No. 1 on the depth chart while Mosley and Gayden will compete for the vacant first team right tackle spot held last year by Andrew McCain, who has graduated.
More signees are expect to report to the Auburn campus throughout the summer.