Auburn wrapped up its 2018 recruiting class with 24 signees, which was the 12th-ranked class in the country and third-best in the SEC, according to the 247Sports composite rankings. Full attention now turns to the 2019 class. SEC Country will look at each position group on offense and defense for the Class of 2019. Let’s end the week — and the offensive side of the ball — along the offensive line.
Current depth chart: Prince Tega Wanogho (junior), Kaleb Kim (junior), Marquel Harrell (junior), Mike Horton (junior), Bailey Sharp (junior), Tyler Carr (junior), Prince Sammons (sophomore), Calvin Ashley (freshman), Brodarious Hamm (freshman), Nick Brahms (freshman), Jalil Irvin (freshman), Kam Stutts (freshman) and Tashawn Manning (freshman).
Potential departures: Wanogho, maybe?
How many commits at position: None.
How many more Auburn plans to take: 5 or 6.
Already offered: 5-star T Devontae Dobbs, Belleville, Mich.; 5-star T Pierce Quick, Trussville, Ala.; 5-star C Clay Webb, Oxford, Ala.; 4-star T Wanya Morris, Loganville, Ga.; 4-star T Quinn Carroll, Minneapolis; 4-star T Harry Miller, Buford, Ga.; 4-star T Amari Kight, Alabaster, Ala.; 4-star T William Putnam, Tampa, Fla.; 4-star T Darius Thomas, Jonesboro, Ark.; 4-star T Jaelin Humphries, Lawrenceville, Ga.; 4-star T Warren McClendon, Brunswick, Ga.; 4-star T Michael Tarquin, Belleview, Fla.; 4-star T Trente Jones, Loganville, Ga.; 4-star G Evan Neal, Bradenton, Fla.; 4-star G Deyavie Hammond, Bradenton, Fla.; 4-star G Caeden Wallace, Princeton, N.J.; 4-star G Keiondre Jones, Hogansville, Ga.; 4-star G Dontae Lucas, Bradenton, Fla.; 4-star G Jackson Lampley, Nashville, Tenn.; 3-star T Mark Fox, Miami; 3-star T Adrian Medley, Pensacola, Fla.; 3-star T Carter Colquitt, Buford, Ga.; 3-star T Chris Akporoghene, Bradenton, Fla.; 3-star G Riley Simonds, Buford, Ga.; 3-star C Charles Turner, Bradenton, Fla., Unranked T Howard Allen, Jacksonville, Fla.
Other known potential targets: That’s a wide net already offered. Other targets are sure to emerge, but it’ll likely be after spring practice.
Importance of more blue-chip additions (1-10): 9
What I think Auburn will do: There’s no hiding what the big disappointment was in the 2018 class.
Auburn missed on many of its top offensive line targets and only signed two — both interior linemen. The Tigers’ coaching staff doesn’t feel the sense of desperation that many of the loudest voices in the fan base do. From talking with people inside the program, Wanogho, Sammons, Brahms, Hamm, Ashley and Kim are all offensive linemen who coaches feel strongly about heading into the 2018 season.
Plus, look at the age of the roster. Unless someone greatly improves in 2018 — Wanogho is the likeliest given his size and athleticism — it’s possible Auburn returns the same offensive line for the 2019 season as it has for 2018. Regardless, there is a lot of youth to feel great about on this depth chart even though the last two recruiting hauls have been underwhelming from a depth standpoint.
Auburn felt the misses in the 2018 cycle, but there were also decisions made by the staff that indicated patience with linemen. The Tigers could’ve pushed for Jalen Goss during the early signing period, but didn’t. Auburn had chances to go after William Barnes and take his teammate Ed Montilus, but the package deal wasn’t necessarily the best option. Walker Culver could’ve been offered earlier — so on and so forth.
That tells me Auburn doesn’t think it needs to take a huge haul in the 2019 class. With that said, I expect the Tigers to try to fill out an offensive line with two tackles, a center and two guards. Right now, the most ideal (realistic) scenario for that would probably be Wanya Morris, Darius Thomas, Clay Webb, Keiondre Jones and Carter Colquitt — though there will be plenty of moving and shaking in this cycle.
What I think Auburn should do: I’m not in the panic-button corner for Auburn’s offensive line situation. There is plenty of talent to go around on the offensive front right now and could realistically see eight players cracking the rotation in 2018 — nine if a grad transfer comes.
In fact, I didn’t subscribe to the theory that Auburn “failed” at offensive line in the 2018 class. Irvin adds immediate center depth. Stutts is going to be the hidden gem from last cycle. Sure, there were misses, but the immediate need for offensive linemen truly wasn’t there, plus none of the offensive tackle options were Day 1 types.
Still, a big class on the offensive line class makes sense to me.
There are 13 scholarship offensive linemen on the roster. I think it’s always smart to run with 15 because it allows a three-deep offensive line chart, which is great for depth purposes. There will be little to no offensive line turnover after the 2018 season, but a few transfers could happen depending on how reps shake out this spring and fall.
On top of that, the turnover following the 2019 season will be large, so getting guys in the 2019 class would be more beneficial than loading up in 2020. For that reason, I’d take three interior linemen and three tackles for a class-wide six offensive linemen. It’d be a big class, but it’d be worth it in the long run.
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