Closer look at Auburn's recruiting class

February 7, 2013 

Signees: 23

Starters Lost: 4 on offense, 3 on defense

Top Needs: WR, DL, LB, DB

Signings by state

Alabama - 7

Georgia - 6

Florida - 5

Colorado - 1

Indiana - 1

Mississippi - 1

Oklahoma - 1

Pennsylvania - 1

Rivals.com rankings

5-stars - 2

4-stars - 9

3-stars - 12

Gem of the Class

Carl Lawson, DE. He automatically gives Dee Ford a partner in crime to terrorize quarterbacks in 2013, which is perhaps the most essential asset of any SEC defense.

Surprise

Prying Montravius Adams away from Alabama and Georgia, and Elijah Daniel from Ole Miss? Take a bow, Rodney Garner. Auburn's associate head coach and top " team player" (his words, not ours) will be rewarded by having all kinds of mongrels to unleash on the defensive line.

Immediate Impact

Montravius Adams DT 6-4, 310 Vienna, Ga.

Comment: A late charge by Rodney Garner stole the consensus top-three run-stuffer away from the wooing of Alabama, Clemson and Georgia.

Elijah Daniel DE 6-4, 250 Avon, Ind.

Comment: A final-weekend visit convinced Daniel he could team with Carl Lawson to give the Tigers some young ferocity on the edge.

Carl Lawson DE 6-3, 251 Alpharetta, Ga.

Comment: If not for a guy named Robert Nkemdiche, Lawson would have been the near-consensus No. 1 recruit in the nation. Huge coup for Garner.

Johnathan Ford RB 5-11, 190 New Hope, Ala.

Comment: The final fax to reach Auburn's offices, Ford (27 TDs this fall) chose with his home-state Tigers over ex-Auburn coaches now at Tennessee.

Earnest Robinson WR 6-2, 200 Pinson, Ala.

Comment: One of several Under Armour All-Americans in this class, Robinson's potential is untapped, provided he gets playing time quickly.

The Rest

Mackenro Alexander S 6-0, 195 Immokalee, Fla.

Comment: Auburn seeked his highly-rated brother Mackensie for cornerback, losing to Clemson. But since coordinator Ellis Johnson requires three starting safeties, Mackenro is crucial to bolstering depth.

Cameron Artis-Payne RB 5-1 1/215 Harrisburg, Pa.

Comment: Auburn's very first recruit of the Malzahn era, Artis-Payne has a 2,000-yard junior college season (in 10 games!) to his name.

Peyton Barber RB 5-10, 210 Alpharetta, Ga.

Comment: When the Tigers lost Jordan Wilkins to Ole Miss, Malzahn was able to convert Barber - bouncing back from injury to record 1,700-plus yards and 22 TDs his senior year - from the Rebels.

Ben Bradley DT 6-3, 310 Norcross, Ga.

Comment: Already enrolled in the university, Bradley will compete with fellow veterans Angelo Blackson, Gabe Wright and Kenneth Carter for playing time.

Daniel Carlson K 6-5, 195 Colorado Springs, Colo.

Comment: A lanky fellow who will, when he takes over for Cody Parkey in 2014, figure out how to keep his big leg when removed from the altitude of the Rockies.

Devonte Danzey OG 6-3/303 Tampa, Fla.

Comment: He outweighs three of the four returning starters, and boasts junior college experience and accolades.

Marcus Davis WR 5-10, 175 Delray Beach, Fla.

Comment: As a high school quarterback who guided American Heritage to a 12-1 record, he's a winner. Now he'll evolve into a slot receiver.

Kenny Flowers LB 6-2, 228 Lilburn, Ga.

Comment: He returns to the southeast after racking up 95 tackles last year with Hutchinson - one of three Blue Dragons now wearing orange and blue.

Khari Harding S 6-1, 205 Edmond, Okla.

Comment: A vicious hitter, Harding is just what Ellis Johnson needs in his hybrid three-safety lineup.

Jeremy Johnson QB 6-5, 215 Montgomery, Ala.

Comment: Alabama's Mr. Football was directly labeled the offensive centerpiece of this class. Johnson stuck with Auburn after flirting with Ole Miss and LSU.

Brandon King DB 6-2, 215 Alabaster, Ala.

Comment: King could potentially play linebacker or safety, and has previously shown a nose for the ball in high school and junior college.

Carl Lawson DE 6-3, 251 Alpharetta, Ga.

Comment: If not for a guy named Robert Nkemdiche, Lawson would have been the near-consensus No. 1 recruit in the nation. Huge coup for Garner.

Nick Marshall QB 6-2, 210 Pineview, Ga.

Comment: A freak-of-nature athlete who knows how to score - 37 total TDs last year at Garden City CC - but must learn to take care of the football.

Kamryn Melton CB 5-10, 170 Dothan, Ala.

Comment: It's not the size of the dog in the fight, so they say. Melton is a turnover machine on defense, and proud Auburn kid from the start.

Deon Mix OL 6-4, 315 Batesville, Miss.

Comment: Landing on the Tigers' radar late, Mix provides at least one high school offensive lineman in this class.

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Jason Smith QB 6-1, 180 Mobile, Ala.

Comment: It sounds like Smith will get his first shot at quarterback. But no one would blame him or his coaches if he shifted into a receiving role.

Tony Stevens WR 6-4, 184 Orlando, Fla.

Comment: Sammie Coates is one deep threat on the roster. Stevens brings the same abilities, and he's two inches taller than the underachieving Coates.

Cameron Toney LB 6-2, 225 Huntsville, Ala.

Comment: He doesn't boast all the bonkers statistics or accolades, but coaches crave his intangibles. Full of heart, and pride in this program.

Dominic Walker WR 6-2, 194 Orlando, Fla.

Comment: Tagging along with Stevens, Walker can play a little more physically than some of the current Tigers.

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