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.”
Washington, DC/St. John’s College
Tampa, FL/Tampa Catholic
Big Cat Bryant
Cordele, GA/Crisp County
Arlington Heights, IL/Scottsdale CC
Colorado Springs, CO/Classical Academy
Montgomery, AL/Jefferson Davis
West Palm Beach, FL/Oxbridge Academy
Muscle Shoals, AL/Muscle Shoals
John Samuel Shenker
Moultrie, GA/Colquitt County
Stephenville, TX/McLennan CC
Tuscaloosa, AL/American Christian Academy
Gurley, AL/Madison Academy
Augusta, GA/Lucy Laney
Acworth, GA/North Cobb