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Recruiting Primer for Auburn 2013 Class

By on December 14th, 2012 in Football 21 Comments »

 Hello once again everybody, and War Eagle!

Your regular Friday lineup has been trashed, and you are stuck with me today. Derrick will return next week at his regularly scheduled spot.

We are going to be talking about recruiting this week. We will look at the current commits, their measurements and then take a guess at how Coach Malzahn wants to finish this class. Also, I would like to remind each of you that we will be here on National Signing Day to cover all the days events.

The big question on everyone’s mind is, “How many recruits are we going to lose because of the coaching change?” The answer is very few, if any. Coach Malzahn simply has to assemble his staff, and then send them out to re-sell these young guns on what Auburn has to offer.

The highly publicized decommitment of 5* Line Backer Reuben Foster was expected. He was simply afraid of change, and has to learn that change is inevitable. I would put his chances at recommitting to Auburn at around 50%.

Let’s take a look at the current list of recruits. Very special thanks to 24/ and the Auburn Undercover crew for providing this for us.


Carl Lawson
Milton (Alpharetta, GA)
Carl Lawson Videos



Dee Liner
Muscle Shoals (Muscle Shoals, AL)
Dee Liner Videos



Tashawn Bower
Immaculata (Somerville, NJ)



Jordan Wilkins
St. Benedict at Auburndale (Cordova, TN)
Jordan Wilkins Videos



Jason Smith
McGill Toolen (Mobile, AL)
Jason Smith Videos



Jeremy Johnson
Carver (Montgomery, AL)
Jeremy Johnson Videos



Earnest Robinson
Pinson Valley (Pinson, AL)
Earnest Robinson Videos



Cameron Toney
Huntsville (Huntsville, AL)
Cameron Toney Videos



Arshad Jackson
Lovejoy (Hampton, GA)
Arshad Jackson Videos



Cameron Artis-Payne
Allan Hancock College (Santa Maria, CA)
(Early Graduate)



Jarrad Davis
Camden County (Kingsland, GA)
Jarrad Davis Videos



Jahmere Irvin-Sills
Eastern Christian (Elkton, MD)
Jahmere Irvin-Sills Videos



Lemond Johnson
Cooper City (Fort Lauderdale, FL)
Lemond Johnson Videos(Early Graduate)



Kamryn Melton
Dothan (Dothan, AL)
Kamryn Melton Videos



Daniel Carlson
The Classical Academy (Pike Ntl Forest, CO)
Daniel Carlson Videos



Jimmy Hutchinson
Harrison (Kennesaw, GA)
Jimmy Hutchinson Videos



As to Jahmere Irvin-Sills and his change of heart, I think he committed too early, and is rethinking what he wants to do. Irvin-Sills is rated by Rivals as a 3* Cornerback, and is from Maryland. Coach Tommy Thigpen was his recruiter, and Irvin-Sills may now elect to go to UT where Coach Thigpen has been hired.

Now, I’ll take a guess at where Coach Malzahn will focus his recruiting to finish out this class

It’s important to note that Auburn can sign up to 25, but only 23 of them can be on scholarship as of **August 1st unless there is some attrition of the current roster.

Even with the change to the 4-2-5 defense which comprises of 4 down linemen, 2 Linebackers, and 5 Defensive Backs. 3 of which are Safeties, and two true cover Corners. Auburn needs Line Backers. Jake Holland and Cassanova McKinzy are the two question marks here. McKinzy had some really good moments last season, but was inconsistent. Holland played hurt most of the season. Justin Garrett and Kris Frost must make up for the loss of Daren Bates, and Jonathan Evans.  This position is a high priority.

Defensive Linemen will be the next big need for the Tigers going forward. Pushing the existing D linemen to work beyond their limits in the off season is a must as well. This area has been the biggest disappointment defensively for Auburn for two seasons. That must change!

Offensively, I think Auburn must add one or two more Running Backs, depending on whether Jovon Robinson can return in 2013 or not. I am not quite sure what to tell you on this situation, except that Robinson has repeatedly said that he is coming back to Auburn.

Although Auburn has brought in the top 2 classes of O linemen the last two cycles, I think they go after an experienced JUCO standout here. Maybe even a Center.

As far as Quarterback goes, the development of Kiehl Frazier will be crucial, but it hasn’t stopped Auburn from changing the position of Jason Smith. He has played QB in high school, but had been forecast to play WR in college. Now AU is looking at him as a QB, a wise choice in my opinion. Smith is a gifted athlete, who runs very well. Auburn will not seek any other QB’s in this class.

Auburn has a plethora of Wide Receivers but will take any athlete that has potential to be really good here.

Look for Malzahn and company to infiltrate the JUCO ranks to get some immediate help, and target some potential for the seasons to come. Sitting at 16 commits, I think the positions that we outlined here are a must to find quality recruits.

Look for:

  1 additional Defensive Lineman

  2 additional Linebackers

  1 additional Running Back

  2 additional Defensive Backs

  1 Offensive Lineman

These are strictly guesses on my part, and of course I welcome any and all discussion on this subject. It has been a pleasure to write for you today.



  1. KoolBell KoolBell says:

    My apologies for the few mistakes.
    1st- Christian Westerman has been granted a full release, and will transfer out.
    2nd- Jahmere Irvin-Sills was waffling back and forth on his commitment. Looks like he wants to go elsewhere.

    Those two changes alter the number of targets and the positions AU will seek in this class. I’ll try to keep you updated.

  2. Pine Mt Tiger Pine Mt Tiger says:

    We are never “stuck” with KoolBell. I was hoping we would still be able to get your insight to recruiting this year.

    You said, “I think they go after an experienced JUCO standout here.” Do you think if they get the nation’s #1 juco offensive guard, Devonte Danzey, to commit that they would look at any high school athletes?

    I will be following recruiting even more so this year and I’m looking forward to your regular TET National Signing Day Coverage. Thanks for this post today.

    • KoolBell KoolBell says:

      Auburn has an outstanding shot with Devonte Danzy the #1 JUCO “O” lineman in the country right now. February is still a good way off to make promises, but it looks great. As to the HS lineman, maybe a yes, now that Westerman is transferring out.

  3. Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

    Kool, I’m curious: you don’t mention the development of qb jonathon wallace. Is there a reason for that? I would love to see Frazier in a good place to contribute, I just don’t have a lot of confidence with him at qb. It’s criminal how he has been miscoached!

    • KoolBell KoolBell says:

      I consider Jonathan Wallace as the starter. Yes, he needs to keep learning, but he was light years ahead of our other two QB’s last season.

      Auburn needs Keihl Frazier. The best scenario would be a serious QB battle between Frazier, and Wallace, and Johnson sitting out a year to gain strength. Same with Smith.

  4. SandMountainTiger SandMountainTiger says:

    I was in the process of making a youtube list of commitments, but it looks like you saved me a lot of time and did a much better job.

    I am really excited about Jeremy Johnson. I swear, he looks like Randall Cunningham.

    • KoolBell KoolBell says:

      Please, by all means make that list. We can use it with our next recruiting post, and co-author the post too if you want. Or, better yet, you can take my notes and add them with yours. Can’t have enough eyes and ears when it comes to recruiting.

  5. SandMountainTiger SandMountainTiger says:

    I was in the process of making a youtube list of commitments, but it looks like you saved me a lot of time and did a much better job.

    I am getting really excited about Jeremy Johnson. I swear, he looks like Randall Cunningham.

  6. AUwaterboy AUwaterboy says:

    I think Frazier will be a different guy after Malzahn works with him. He may be the surprise starter. As regards: “Smith is a gifted athlete, who runs very well. Auburn will not seek any other QB’s in this class.” Do you think Jeremy Johnson or Smith will play something else besides QB if Frazier and Wallace winds up as the top 2?

    • KoolBell KoolBell says:

      At this time I do not think Johnson will play any other position. Smith on the other hand, he may want to play regardless of where Malzahn puts him. Dude is a stud!

      • SandMountainTiger SandMountainTiger says:

        Yeah, Johnson is like 6’6″, throws an effortless deep ball and has a great touch. Asking him to play any other position would be a waste. This kid is the real thing, I’m convinced. He’s not just an athlete playing QB. Watching film on him and looking at old film of Kodi and Frazier, its apples to oranges

    • cmatt90 says:

      I think Wallace is by far the best option we have. I don’t know whether Frazier was ruined by getting thrown in too early, or whether he just doesn’t have the composure to compete at this level, but at this point he clearly lacks confidence, makes slow decisions, has a very slow and methodical release, and is simply not a college level QB. I see him going to WR similar to Kodi Burns. Meanwhile, the #1 priority on Malzahn’s recruiting list should be a legitimate SEC-level QB. Other than Cam Newton, it’s been a long time since we had one and, in college, that’s what wins championships (along with defense).

  7. soxpatch says:

    Guys, I’m an older AU fan from the Pat Sullivan days. I arrived at AU after 3 tours to Vietnam so I’m getting up in years and am not a whiz on “puters” etc.. Love reading your comments and expectations ! I am excited about the hiring of Malzahn and feel he will do everything in his power to get us back on the right path. Us older folks may be gone soon, but we sure would like to go out knowing our team is in good hands. Right now I am thinking we will once again be competing with the upper crust of the SEC West by 2015, and having winning seasons starting in 2013. After the Chiz debacle a 7-5 season would be like a breath of fresh air….thanks for the comments.

    • KoolBell KoolBell says:

      First, Thank You for your service! I mean that sincerely.
      It is guys and dolls like you, that allow us to be college football fans in the first place. Our debt to you could never be repaid!

      As to Malzahn, and being in good hands. I believe Gus is a sound character type of guy. But if Auburn were to win 9 games next season including a Bowl game, and challenge for the title the year after, we may lose him to the NFL.
      I have been laughed at before for saying this, but look at how efficiently the Patriots ran that last week. It even drew comparison to the Malzahn/Auburn offense from noted coach Jon Gruden. Also, the Saban defense gets nods from NFL coaches all the time, and we have heard him say that it’s an unfair offense.

      All that being said, I think Auburn is in good hands because of Auburn men and women. Not any individual.

      WAR EAGLE to you sir!

      • SandMountainTiger SandMountainTiger says:

        As far as the NFL goes, I’m not so sure. The “spread” is a dirty word in NFL circles, and offensive minded coaches tend to be defined by there schemes. That’s one of the reasons I’ve been so suprised at Chip Kelly’s nane being tossed around. I think it would take years of sustained success (like Kelly) for this kind of coach to get a crack at the NFL. And let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We can only hope that Gus will have that kind of success.

    • domaucan1 says:

      Welcome to the best Auburn blog on the net, Soxpatch. I’m an old timer too, from the Jimmy Sidle era and a veteran of the non-combat era. I SALUTE YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE TO THIS NATION. THANKS AND GOD BLESS. As Auburn men, we are in a unique brotherhood. It will always be GREAT TO BE AN AUBURN TIGER! I agree that we are in good hands with Coach Gus driving the bus.

      WAR EAGLE !!!

      GO BIG BLUE !!!

    • War_Eagle_2010 War_Eagle_2010 says:

      Thank you for your service Soxpatch, and all of the other TET readers who served.

      Count me on the side of “I’ll be happy going to a bowl next season”. We will take our lumps, I could see Auburn winning 6-9 games. But you never truly know, we might go all the way like in 2010, stranger things have happened in college football.

  8. AubTigerman AubTigerman says:

    The TET Recruiting Season has Officially begun …

    With the posting of KoolBell’s 2013 Recruiting Primer. Good stuff Kool.

    Is it too early to project how big this class will be? Do you expect Malzahn to sign 25? Any idea how many juco’s he’s looking at?

    I’m glad we still have our resident recruiting guru with us here at TET.
    The next seven weeks are going to be an interesting time to watch for who Gus signs as well as who he hires.

  9. sparkey sparkey says:

    Reuben Foster went to visit Auburn Sunday all on his own. Nobody led him there it was his choice. In addition, he said in an interview that Trooper Taylor told him to not make a decision based on where he went. He said to go where was best for him and not simply to follow him as a coach wherever he went. I really think that RF is headed to Auburn and if he is you can expect Carl Lawson and Dee Liner to come with him. My question is whether or not we pick up Montravius Adams. If we do, you can consider it the best defensive recruiting class to ever be brought to Auburn in terms of rating. I have to think Ellis Johnson can do better with that kind of talent than what we’ve seen at Auburn in a while.

    • KoolBell KoolBell says:

      That is really good news. Foster is a game changer, regardless of what people think of him personally. We really don’t know him.
      Glad to see Trooper Taylor talking sense to the young man, it is what he really needs to hear and from someone that he trust.

      I’ll predict right now, that if Tracy Rocker comes back to Auburn, which I believe will happen, then Adams will sign with AU as well.