Could the SEC’s strongest finish be in the cards for Auburn?

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Just over a month ago, everyone was wondering why Auburn was losing so many recruits in their stellar class and wondering if any would stick around. And what a difference a month makes, because we are now talking about Auburn having one of the strongest closes in the country.

Usually when a new head coach is hired, he retains at least a couple coaches from the previous staff to help with recruiting and transitioning over the new staff. Gus Malzahn cut ties with every Auburn coach, bringing in nine new coaches and brand new faces for the recruiting class. And as a result, Auburn lost multiple huge commitments.

Here’s a look at some of those:

  • Jarrad Davis, LB: Florida flipped Davis’ commitment, and he became the Gators’ fifth – now fourth – linebacker commit in the ‘13 class.
  • Reuben Foster, LB: The top linebacker in the country decommitted after Malzahn cut ties with ace recruiter Trooper Taylor, but that was the right call to let Taylor go, even if Foster goes elsewhere.
  • Tre Johnson, LB: Johnson opened things back up, and Ohio State, Florida, Penn State, USC and Auburn were in the mix until he committed to Ohio State and Urban Meyer.
  • JaQuay Williams, WR: Williams signed with Auburn last season, but he enrolled in prep school after not qualifying for Auburn. Williams, however, shunned Auburn and committed to Texas A&M.
  • Dee Liner, DT: Liner is one of the top linemen in the country. He decommitted from Auburn, and it’s looking like he’ll sign with Alabama next Wednesday.

As it stands now, the Tigers have 19 commitments and own the SEC’s seventh best recruiting class, according to 247Sports. However, they have a shot to land some hawses down the stretch between now and National Signing Day:

  • Reuben Foster, LB: Foster was the biggest decommitment, but it’s very likely he lands with the Tigers on signing day. He lives in Auburn, and he seems settled there with his little girl.
  • Montravius Adams, DT: Adams is down to Auburn, Clemson and Georgia. Although Clemson feels like they will get him, Auburn could have a better chance to land him over Georgia because of Rodney Garner, Auburn’s ace recruiter. UGA’s staff doesn’t feel too strongly about Adams at this point, and he’s visiting Auburn this weekend. That word “SEC” keeps coming up for Adams, and the Tigers could be the team to sneak in and get him.
  • Tarean Folston, RB: The Notre Dame commit has a very realistic chance of flipping to Auburn on signing day. He’s coming off a visit to the Tigers, so keep an eye on this one.
  • MacKensie Alexander, CB:  Alexander is one of the top corners in the country, and he seems to be trending towards Auburn. What a big pickup it would be for Malzahn to land Alexander.
  • Johnathan Ford, RB: The Vanderbilt decommitment looks like he’s Auburn-bound. He’s an Alabama native who looks like he’ll stay home, but Georgia and FSU have made a very late push.
  • Cornelius Elder, RB: Elder visited Auburn this week, but also has offers from Ohio State, UCLA, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Georgia Tech and Miami. So, Auburn isn’t a shoo-in here.
  • Zach Cunningham, OLB: The Alabama native is down to Auburn, Oregon and Vanderbilt, and Auburn could potentially run out of room to sign him.

Four five-star recruits are scheduled to visit this weekend in Carl Lawson, Reuben Foster, Montravius Adams and Elijah Daniel. Lawson is committed to Auburn, but most are quick to say he’s Tennessee bound.  However, he could wind up sticking with this staff. Daniel is committed to Ole Miss, but grades are a big issue no matter where he signs next Wednesday.

Keeping the current class intact and adding Reuben Foster, Montravius Adams, MacKensie Alexander and two running backs would be a stellar finish for Malzahn.

Photo Credit: John Reed-US PRESSWIRE

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