Auburn recruiting 2013: Malzahn bringing in top class in first year

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sport

New head coach Gus Malzahn has hit the ground running as Auburn's head coach.

Auburn has struggled in the post-Cam Newton era, but new coach Gus Malzahn is trying to get the Tigers back on track. He's led them to a 4-1 start, including an upset win over Ole Miss, while bringing in a strong recruiting class that is considered one of the best in the nation.

The 247sports composite rates Auburn's class as the 15th best in the nation, thanks to one five-star recruit and six four-stars among the squad's 15 commitments. In the stacked SEC, however, the Tigers rank just eighth.

Auburn's most recent commitment is Mississippi center Xavier Dampeer. The three-star prospect is considered the second-best center in the country.

Racean Thomas is the most highly-touted member of the Tigers' class. The running back from Oxford (Ala.) High School is considered a five-star by the 247sports composite. He is rated as the fourth-best running back in the nation and the second-best player in the state.

Tre' Williams is another big part of Auburn's class. The inside linebacker from St. Paul's Episcopal (Ala.) is rated a four-star by the 247sports composite. He is considered the second-best inside linebacker in the nation and the third-best player in the state.

Justin Thornton is also a top player for Malzahn's class. The defensive end from Vigor (Ala.) High School is considered a four-star by the 247sports composite. He is rated as the fifth-best weakside defensive end in the country and the sixth-best player in the state.

Nick Ruffin is another talented player coming in to Auburn. The defensive back from St. Pius X (Ga.) is rated a four-star by the 247sports composite. He is considered the 18th-best cornerback in the country and the 13th-best player in the state.

Still to come?

In addition to trying to keep its committed prospects to stick with the program, admittedly a big task, Auburn also has strong interest from three more four-star recruits.

  1. Rashaan Evans, outside linebacker, Auburn (Ala.): As you can tell from the location of Evans' high school, Auburn has a leg up on his recruitment. Evans has a great combination of quickness, strength and length. Auburn's main competition for Evans is Georgia.
  2. Andrew Williams, defensive end, McDonough (Ga.) Eagle's Landing Christian School: Williams is a powerful defensive end at 6'4 and 250 pounds. He could provide immediate depth for the Tigers. Notre Dame and Clemson are also somewhat in the mix.
  3. Joshua Casher, center, Mobile (Ala.) St. Paul's Episcopal School: Casher is a former Auburn commitment and one of the top centers in the country. He decommitted in July, bust most feel he will end up back at Auburn over Alabama.

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