Top five realistic 2015 recruiting targets: Auburn Tigers


Auburn has some equity built up based on its action packed 2013 season–the national runner up Tigers are aiming high with this recruiting class. Look for Auburn to haul in its share of gems and win some big-time recruiting battles with Alabama and the rest of the SEC.

RELATED: One SEC school made five-star QB Torrance Gibson’s top three

Editor’s note: Saturday Down South’s references to ratings follow the composite rankings.

1. Daron Payne, Birmingham (Ala.), 6-2/315, Defensive tackle

  • National rank: No. 10 overall prospect
  • SEC schools: Alabama, Auburn, Georgia
  • The skinny: It is thought that Payne is Alabama’s to lose, but we all know how things can go with this in-state Bama-Auburn recruiting battles. Payne is incredibly strong and can blow by his blocker and plant a quarterback in the dirt. This should be interesting to watch.

Related: Malzahn wants to go FASTER, previews spring practice

2. Jeffery Holland, Jacksonville (Fla.), 6-2/230, Linebacker

  • National rank: No. 34 overall
  • SEC schools: Florida, Auburn, Alabama
  • The skinny: Florida is close by, but Auburn has made a recent push–not surprising for a program that was recently in a national championship game. Holland plays in an outstanding prep program and is well coached, and he’s a natural for the position.

3. Kerryon Johnson, Madison (Ala.), 6-0/185, Athlete

  • National rank: No. 37 overall
  • SEC schools: Alabama, Auburn
  • The skinny: Johnson is another one of those classic Bama-Auburn recruiting battles, with Florida State also playing a small role here. Not too shabby–the last three schools to win national titles. He is of course, versatile–he could dominate at either RB or DB.

4. Roquan Smith, Montezuma (Ga.), 6-2/205, Linebacker

  • National rank: No. 71 overall
  • SEC schools: Georgia, Auburn, Kentucky
  • The skinny: Smith be a tough guy to get out of the state of Georgia, but the Tigers surely are going to try and they may have an outside change of pulling it off. If they do, this outside linebacker would be quite an addition.

5. Eric Swinney, Tyrone (Ga.), 5-10/190, Running back

  • National rank: No. 88 overall
  • SEC schools: Auburn, Ole Miss, Tennessee
  • The skinny: This might be their top possibility among the top five, as the Tigers have made quite the impression on Swinney. He rushed for 1,149 yards and 22 TDs as a junior, and he can catch the ball out of the backfield. He would fit right into this offense.
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