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Drama-free: Gus Malzahn applauds loyalty of latest recruiting class

Gus Malzahn evaluates each member of Auburn's Class of 2017

Auburn coach Gus Malzahn shares his thoughts about each of the 23 signees from the program's Class of 2017.
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Auburn coach Gus Malzahn shares his thoughts about each of the 23 signees from the program's Class of 2017.

National signing day was as peaceful as it gets for Auburn.

The team received national letters of intent from all 13 players verbally committed to the school going into Wednesday’s festivities.

Auburn added three additional commitments as well — defensive lineman Markaviest Bryant, defensive lineman Tyrone Truesdell and wide receiver JaTarvious Whitlow — to join the team’s previously announced seven early enrollees.

“There wasn’t a whole lot of drama today,” Malzahn said. “I think that says a lot about the signee’s loyalty. I think it says a lot about our staff. They did a wonderful job of developing relationships. Everything went pretty much as planned today, which is a blessing.”

Malzahn referenced loyalty five times during a lengthy opening statement, which included a sentence or two on each of Auburn’s 23 signees.

“When you go to bed last night and you look at the guys who committed, you felt as good as you can,” Malzahn said. “Every time you develop long-term relationships, it makes you sleep better at night. It went exactly as expected. There were a couple that obviously signed today. But there wasn’t a lot of drama. Like I said, that says a lot about the class we’re signing and the type of people they are.”

Three players — offensive lineman Calvin Ashley, running back Alaric Williams and defensive back Carlito Gonzalez — were verbally committed to Auburn for more than a year.

Many signees stayed committed through turnover on the coaching staff as well.

The four signees at defensive back — Malcolm Askew, Carlito Gonzalez, Traivon Leonard and Jordyn Peters — didn’t waiver when Wes McGriff left for Ole Miss while signees on the offensive side of the ball embraced new offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey.

“It’s exciting, especially a day like today and seeing the things that are going on for us,” Lindsey said on Auburn’s in-house signing day broadcast. “It has been a whirlwind, but it’s been a lot of fun, too.”

The stability of Auburn’s latest recruiting class didn’t come as a surprise to Malzahn given his staff’s focus on building long-term relationships with their top targets.

“We’re a relationship staff, a relationship school,” Malzahn said. “If we can develop long-term relationships with guys and people where football is important to them, academics is important to them, getting them ready for life, they fit here at Auburn. It’s just a matter of identifying those type of guys and developing long-term relationships.”

Michael Niziolek: 334-332-8572, @wareagleextra

Name

Position

Height

Weight

Hometown/School

Calvin Ashley

OL

6-foot-7

330

Washington, DC/St. John’s College

Malcolm Askew

DB

5-foot-11

185

McCalla, AL/McAdory

Devan Barrett

RB

6-foot-1

195

Tampa, FL/Tampa Catholic

Nick Brahms

OL

6-foot-4

280

Navarre, FL/Navarre

K.J. Britt

LB

6-foot-0

235

Oxford, AL/Oxford

Big Cat Bryant

Buck

6-foot-4

225

Cordele, GA/Crisp County

Sal Cannella

TE

6-foot-5

230

Arlington Heights, IL/Scottsdale CC

Anders Carlson

K

6-foot-3

185

Colorado Springs, CO/Classical Academy

Carlito Gonzalez

DB

6-foot-1

195

Decatur, GA/Stephenson

Noah Igbinoghene

WR

5-foot-11

190

Trussville, AL/Hewitt-Trussville

Alec Jackson

DL

6-foot-5

280

Montgomery, AL/Jefferson Davis

Traivon Leonard

DB

6-foot-0

190

West Palm Beach, FL/Oxbridge Academy

T.D. Moultry

LB

6-foot-2

230

Birmingham, AL/Jackson-Olin

Jordyn Peters

DB

6-foot-1

185

Muscle Shoals, AL/Muscle Shoals

John Samuel Shenker

TE

6-foot-4

240

Moultrie, GA/Colquitt County

Jarrett Stidham

QB

6-foot-2

210

Stephenville, TX/McLennan CC

Bill Taylor

LS

6-foot-4

240

Tuscaloosa, AL/American Christian Academy

Austin Troxell

OL

6-foot-7

315

Gurley, AL/Madison Academy

Tyrone Truesdell

DL

6-foot-3

335

Augusta, GA/Lucy Laney

JaTarvious Whitlow

WR

6-foot-0

200

LaFayette, AL/LaFayette

Alaric Williams

RB

6-foot-1

210

Southside, AL/Southside

Malik Willis

QB

6-foot-1

185

Atlanta, GA/Roswell

Chandler Wooten

LB

6-foot-2

225

Acworth, GA/North Cobb

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