Auburn's turnaround on the football field has been one of the biggest stories of the 2013 season, but even when the Tigers were down over the last couple of years, their recruiting held up. Once again, head coach Gus Malzahn and his assistants are doing a nice job of selling their program to prospects, and it's paying off with another impressive class.
Auburn's 2014 class currently ranks just seventh among SEC, according to 247Sports' composite ratings, but the Tigers are 13th nationally. With plenty of time left until national signing day -- and a few opportunities left to wow recruits with big wins -- they should be able to move up the ladder and finish with a highly touted group of commitments.
Right now, Auburn has pledges from 16 players, including seven rated as four stars or better. The headlines have been fairly quiet recently, since most prospects are focused on their own seasons, but the Tigers did receive a commitment from three-star athlete Myron Burton on Oct. 12.
Running back Racean "Roc" Thomas, out of Oxford (Ala.) High School, is the top player verbally committed for this cycle. A five-star prospect, he stands 5'11 and weighs 196 pounds, and he's the 33rd-best high school player in the country, per 247. Thomas is ranked No. 4 at his position and No. 2 in the state of Alabama.
Four-star, JUCO wide receiver D'haquille Williams could come in and make an immediate impact. Currently at Mississippi Gulf Coast CC, he's an impressive 6'3, 213 pounds, and he rates out as the best JUCO prospect in the nation.
On the defensive side of the ball, four-star inside linebacker Tre Williams, out of St. Paul's Episcopal in Mobile (Ala.) leads the way. Williams checks in at 6'3, 230, and he's listed as the 36th-best high school player in America, second-best at his position and third-best in his state.
Across town at Mobile's Vigor High School, weakside defensive end Justin Thornton is a four-star prospect who stands 6'5 and weighs in at 222 pounds. Thornton ranks No. 93 in the country, No. 5 at weakside DE and No. 6 in Alabama.
Still to come -- Bud Elliott, National Recruiting Analyst
Auburn is still in on a number of top prospects, including:
- Rashaan Evans, a tremendous four-star linebacker from Auburn (Ala.). Alabama and Georgia are the main competition here, but Evans is expected to select Auburn.
- Auburn is still after a JUCO offensive tackle, and four-star offensive tackle Jordan Prestwood, of Arizona, will visit this weekend. Auburn will fight Florida State and a number of other SEC Schools for his signature.