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 move to defense and start with defensive ends and the Buck position.
- Current depth chart: Paul James III (senior), Marlon Davidson (junior), TD Moultry (sophomore), Nick Coe (sophomore), Big Kat Bryant (sophomore), Richard Jibunor (freshman), Caleb Johnson (freshman) and Kayode Oladele (freshman) .
- Potential departures: James, Davidson and Coe.
- How many commits at position: None.
- How many more Auburn plans to take: 2 to 4.
- Already offered: 5-star Chris Hinton, Norcross, Ga.; 5-star Zacch Pickens, Anderson, S.C.; 4-star Nathan Pickering, Seminary, Miss.; 4-star King Mwikuta, Lagrange, Ga.; 4-star Charles Moore, Louisville, Miss.; 4-star Jaren Handy, New Augusta, Miss.; 4-star Braylen Ingraham, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; 4-star Justin Eboigbe, Forest Park, Ga.; 4-star Derick Hunter, Fort Myers, Fla.; 4-star Quashon Fuller, Lehigh Acres, Fla.; 4-star Brandon Smith, Mineral, Va.; 4-star Lloyd Summerall, Auburndale, Fla.; 4-star Curtis Fann, Twin City, Ga.; 4-star Eric Gregory, Bradenton, Fla.; 3-star Jamond Gordon, Meridian, Miss.; 3-star D’Sean Perry, Miami, Fla.; 3-star Colby Wooden, Lawrenceville, Ga.; 3-star Ahmad Craig, Buford, Ga.
- Other known potential targets: 5-star Nolan Smith, Bradenton, Fla.; 4-star Steven Faucheux, West Chester, Ohio; 4-star Derrick McClendon, Tucker, Ga.
- Importance of more blue-chip additions (1-10): 6
What I think Auburn will do
One place Auburn never seems to worry in recruiting is on the defensive line, especially at end and Buck.
Defensive line coach Rodney Garner has developed a track record of recruiting dominance, which is why Auburn can see prospects such as Byron Cowart and Antwuan Jackson transfer while maintaining one of the best defensive lines in all of college football. Only elite-level recruiting can make that happen. Even in a so-called down year in the 2018 cycle, Auburn still brought in Jibunor, Oladele and Johnson, who will all play end or Buck at some point for the Tigers.
I expect Auburn to do what it always does with defensive linemen — close strong with talented players.
Because of this, there are probably a handful of names the Tigers are recruiting who won’t crack the above list until after the spring or beyond. Garner likes to work in silence, so those top target oftentimes don’t surface until later in the recruiting cycle. Still, spring visits from guys such as Egboigbe and Pickering have them higher up on the prospect board than others for the time being.
When the class is all said and done, Auburn will have landed another solid group, which is likely made up of two or three prospects, depending on the NFL potential for Davidson and Coe.
What I think Auburn should do
I’m a cautious person by nature, so I always recommend the safer-than-sorry approach.
In Auburn’s case — as it pertains to ends and Bucks — that means looking ahead a few football season. After the 2018 season, it’s possible Davidson and Coe leave. Even if they don’t, they’ll be NFL ready after the 2019 season. After that same 2019 season, Moultry and Bryant will have the potential to leave. Both are physically capable enough to do it. So, with the depth chart as is, that could leave Jibunor and Oladele only at end if Johnson were to grow into a tackle as expected.
To be safe, I think it would make a lot of sense to load up in the 2019 class to prepare for that offseason in between the 2019 and 2020 seasons. These prospects who Auburn brings in for the 2019 cycle may not crack the rotation much in the 2018 season, but it’ll pay dividends when the mass exodus takes place over the next two years.
The post Rodney Garner, Auburn poised for yet another big defensive end, Buck recruiting haul in 2019 appeared first on SEC Country.