Part 2, Key Remaining Recruits for the Tigers

Christian Westerman

Jason Caldwell of Inside the Auburn Tigers gives his take on football prospects who would be excellent additions to Auburn's signee class.

Auburn, Ala.--With Auburn's football recruiting moving into the final stages for the 2011 signee class, the following is the second of two reports on some of the key prospects the Tigers are looking at possibly adding to their commitment list.

In part one editor Mark Murphy of Inside the Auburn Tigers and AUTigers.com listed five prospects who he believes would make excellent additions to the 2011 class based on who is already committed to Coach Gene Chizik's team. That report is on his link:

Key Remaining Recruits, Part 1

In part two Jason Caldwell looks at Auburn's needs and gives his take on some key recruits that would make nice additions to this year's class.

The Tigers, who have 18 commitments, are expected to sign a full class of 25 prospects. National signing day is Feb. 2nd.

*Erique Florence--Perhaps no prospect in the 2011 recruiting class brings the combination of blinding speed and athleticism to the safety position like Valley High School's Florence. Playing strictly quarterback as a senior for the Rams because his team needed him there, he still managed to wow onlookers at both the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game and the Under Armour All-American Game this year when he was back in the secondary.

Erique Florence has excellent speed.

Rated the number five safety in the country, Florence is a special talent who has the ability to be a game-changer on the next level.


*Marcus Roberson--Cover corners are worth their weight in gold in college and professional football and Roberson is one of the best to come out of the Southeast this year. A dominant camp performance at Auburn, he followed that with a stellar senior season at St. Thomas Aquinas High in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., that has him primed to be one of the biggest risers in the country this year.

Marcus Roberson is known for his excellent pass coverage skills.

With Demond Washington a senior this season and Neiko Thorpe a senior in 2011, Auburn is looking for a difference-maker at the position and Roberson could be that guy.


*Gabe Wright--In football perhaps the only position that can compare to the quarterback spot is defensive tackle when it comes to making an impact on a game. Nothing has shown that more in the college game than just last week when Auburn junior Nick Fairley dominated Oregon up front as the Tigers won the BCS National Championship.

With help from seniors Zach Clayton and Mike Blanc, the Auburn defensive tackles controlled the middle for the Tigers' defense in their first-ever meeting with the Oregon Ducks.

Gabe Wright is shown at practice for the Under Armour All-American Game.

With all three players gone next season defensive line coach Tracy Rocker is going to need immediate help to go along with sophomores-to-be Jeffrey Whitaker and Kenneth Carter plus little-used reserves Derrick Lykes and Jamar Travis.

With only one true interior defensive lineman committed at the moment in Angelo Blackson, Auburn needs at least one more, and possibly two more players, in this class to shore up the position. That brings us to Wright. The number seven tackle prospect in the nation, Wright played his high school football from just down the road at Carver High in Columbus, Ga., making him as close to a must-get as Auburn has this recruiting season.


*Running Back (Fill in the blank, Part 1)--Whether it is Isaiah Crowell, Marlin Lane, Tre Mason, Andrew Buie or someone else, the numbers show the Tigers really need to add a running back down the stretch.

With Mario Fannin graduating Auburn is left with just one true tailback heading into the 2011 season, returning starter Michael Dyer. Coming off a very successful freshman season, Dyer will be the likely starter heading into next season with speedy Onterio McCalebb the perfect complement back. Behind those players the cupboard is bare though making this a very important position for the Tigers.

Big Brent Calloway from Russellville, Auburn's most recent commitment, is on board and a promising player, but the Tigers need at least one more prospect at the position and possibly two to build the kind of depth required in the Southeastern Conference.


Offensive Tackle (Fill in the blank, Part 2)--Any of the players from a group that includes Auburn recruits Cyrus Kouandijo, Christian Westerman, Cameron Clear, Antonio Richardson, Xzavier Ward and La'el Collins would be an excellent addition to the class.

Cyrus Kouandijo participates in a practice drills for the Under Armour All-American Game earlier this month.

With four starters gone from one of the best offensive lines in Auburn history, there are plenty of spots up for grabs for the Tigers heading into 2011, but perhaps the most important one is at left tackle, a position that was filled this past season by All-American Lee Ziemba, a four-year starter for the Tigers.

Ziemba will head to the NFL after starting more games than any player in Auburn history, making finding his replacement of utmost importance. There are candidates on campus, but with all five of the recruits ranked among the Top 40 line prospects in the country and all but Ward rated in the Top 20, adding just one of the group as a signee could mean a big boost for the future of Auburn's offensive line.

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