Auburn’s latest recruit, 4-star Line backer Richard McBryde. (photo:Dennis Victory,al.com)
The middle of the dog days of summer means one thing in the south – college football is almost here. The off season is almost over and in just a few days Auburn will begin preseason training camp.
While the coaching staff has to get the Tigers prepared to defend their SEC Championship, another challenge always lies underneath the surface no matter what time of year it may be. Of course we’re talking about recruiting, the life blood of the sport.
Last year Auburn not only had unexpected success in reaching the BCS Championship game, the Tigers also had success in putting together a star studded Top Ten recruiting class.
In fact 247Sports Composite recruiting rankings (which equally weigh the ratings of all the major recruiting services) had the Tigers 2014 class ranked at No.6 in the nation. Auburn surprised many when they signed four of the top seven players in the state of Alabama and came close to going five out of seven.
Will Auburn be able to match that success in 2015?
This time last year Auburn had 13 verbal commits. The Tigers are ahead of schedule this year with nineteen having already committed. Just this past week, three top recruits committed to Auburn including Wide Receiver Nate Craig. Rivals rates him the No.1 overall prospect in the nation for the 2016 class.
While his commitment doesn’t make an immediate impact on this years rankings it could serve to influence some other top players to join the Tigers. The 6’3″ receiver is a consensus 5-star prospect out of Tampa Catholic. He chose the Tigers over offers from Alabama and Ohio State.
Also committing this week for the 2015 class was 3-star Defensive Back Chris Westry from Orange Beach, Fla. along with 4-star Inside-Line backer, Richard McBryde from Charles Henderson. McBryde chose Auburn over Alabama and Westry picked the Tigers over his in state school, Florida.
Not surprisingly, both players said they were swayed by the family atmosphere they felt on The Plains. McBryde was quoted as saying, “Every time I go to Auburn, they show me love.” He became Auburn’s 19th commitment, pushing the Tigers’ 2015 class in to fifth place nationally.
It seems that “Auburn Fast” applies to more than just the pace of the game. National signing day is still six months off and the Tigers do not have many spots left. However, there are still some top recruits left out there that Auburn is interested in signing.
To name just a few:
- DT Daron Payne: A 5-star tackle from Birmingham says he grew up an Auburn fan and has the Tigers, in his top four along with Alabama, Mississippi State and Texas.
– OT Martez Ivey: The 5-star Lineman from Florida is being heavily recruited by Auburn and Florida. He grew up a Gators fan but his best friend is current Auburn commit and team mate Fullback, Chandler Cox.
– DT Trent Thompson: The No. 1 overall prospect in the country from Westover High in Albany, Ga. has listed Georgia and Auburn as one and two on his list.
– LB Jefferey Holland: 4-star receiver and linebacker from Jacksonville, Florida. Holland has wavered this summer between Auburn, Florida and UCLA. It may prove difficult to pull him away from his in state school.
Recruiting is something that is a 365 day endeavor for a winning program. The Tigers will be dueling the rest of the SEC the next few months not only on the field but on the recruiting trail as well. No fewer than seven SEC teams are presently ranked in the top 10 with Auburn at No.5.
It’s a battle every week. Successful programs can’t afford to take their time lining up new talent. So far though, Gus and crew are proving that they recruit just like they coach … Auburn Fast.
List of 2015 Auburn commitments after the jump: