6:56am: I’m up! Ready for Braden Smith’s announcement! And…completely forgot he postponed a couple hours. Oh well, let’s see who’s faxes are already in!
7:11: 4-star CB Kalvaraz Bessent, 3-star DE Raashed Kennion, 4-star QB Sean White and 4-star DL Davonte Lambert are all officially in. Not a bad start to the morning.
7:28: The ESPNU signing day extravaganza coverage is officially underway as Les Miles gives a characteristically nonsensical interview over his morning coffee.
7:30: 4-star CB Nick Ruffin is the 5th fax received. This year’s secondary class is really taking shape and should fill some big needs on the roster.
7:39: 4-star DE Justin Thornton is in. Hopefully this kid can make grades because he looks like an absolute beast off the edge. He has got to be one of the tallest Auburn commitments in years. If he makes it to campus he could be next in the long line of elite pass rushers at AU.
7:43: 3-star FB Kamryn Pettway is in. One of this class’s earliest commitments, Pettway looks to cut from the same cloth as recent AU H-back Eric Smith. If he can bring that combination of toughness and skill to a position now made famous by Jay Prosch, it will be in good hands for years to come. Also, don’t sleep on this kids ability to make an impact carrying the football, as he did rush for over 2,500 and 29 TD in his high school career.
7:54: 4-star DB Stephen Roberts is in. Yet another highly skilled defensive back who can slot in as either as corner or safety. If any of these kids pan out, Auburn’s secondary should be much improved, and quickly.
7:58: 3-star TE Jakell Mitchell is in. This is a prospect I haven’t heard a whole lot about due to an ACL injury that robbed him of his senior season. Still, it is telling the coaching staff never wavered from accepting his commitment. At his point, he appears to be a long and lanky Tight End with the potential to develop into a dangerous Red Zone threat. Adding weight and staying healthy will be his biggest obstacles.
8:05: The faxes continue to stream in, the 10th come from 2-star DE Devaroe Lawrence. A fairly obscure JUCO D-lineman, Lawrence will look to shed his low star rating and establish a role on Ellis Johnson’s defense. He has the size (6’3”, 275) to make an impact, but may take a redshirt year to continue bulking up in the weight room and slide inside to DT.
8:21: 11th man in is 3-star WR Myron Burton. Burton showed out and last year’s summer camps and, in turn, earned himself an offer from the AU staff. By all accounts, Burton has good size and soft hands, and will have a chance to develop into a dependable possession receiver in the Tiger attack.
8:25: The 12th fax is a big one, 5-star LB Tre Williams. The #2 ILB in the nation, Tre fills an absolutely enormous need for Auburn. He is a prototypical, hyper-active, middle linebacker and has earned as reputation as a dependable leader early on in his career. With Kris Frost and Cass McKinzy slated to return as the nucleus of the LB corps, don’t be surprised to see Williams crack that rotation, and possible supplant one of those incumbents earlier than expected.
9:03: 5-star RB Racean Thomas is the 13th fax in. with Tre Mason leaving early for the NFL, “Roc” will have an immediate opportunity to contribute this fall. While Cameron Artis-Payne will almost assuredly be the primary tailback, Thomas will have a great opportunity to split carries with CAP, Corey Grant and Peyton Barber in what should be an extremely talented backfield
9:24: #14 is 4-star DT Dontravious Russell, a former Georgia commit who later stated his heart was with Auburn all the time. Thankfully, Coach Garner kept up with his recruitment, eventually getting him to flip to the plains.
9:45: Well, the Rivals servers are officially destroyed, so it’s a bit harder to keep up with that is going on specifically related to Auburn. But it looks like fax #15 has come through, and it is…Ike Powell?? He must be a long snapper…
10:10: Rivals site now 100% down and out, re-directing to NCAAF main page on Yahoo sports. Pretty epic fail as it hasn’t even reached peak traffic hours yet. Trying to get whatever the latest may be on Rashaan Evans and Braden Smith.
10:29: 3-star LB Dashaun Davis is #16. Similar to Mitchell, Davis missed his entire senior season due to injury. Also like Mitchell, that has allowed him to fly under the radar. Many thing he will be a rangy, hard-hitting linebacker who will become an asset to Johnson’s defense in a couple years.
10:31: 4-star OL Braden Smith has committed to Auburn live on ESPNU. Huge addition to this class, and will immediately bring being groomed to replace big Greg Robinson.
10:50: And Rashaan Evans commits to Alabama. Yet another slap in the face from an elite linebacker out of Auburn high school. This one really stings.
11:00: 2-star S Markell Boston is officially on board. I won’t lie and say this almost feels like insult to injury with the Evans news, but that wouldn’t be fair to Boston. He appears to be an underrated pure safety with good instincts and is a strong hitter. Could be the next Daren Bates.
11:38: Playing Xbox until the Andrew Williams announcement to blow off some steam. Still can’t understand how these 5-star players from Auburn turn their backs on the program.
11:55: The Rivals message board is still down, trying to figure out when exactly Andrew Williams will announce. If he puts on a UGA hat I’m going to be pretty damn bummed.
11:57: Will there be any surprise last second commitments? We know at least one spot is open, will be curious to see if any additional recruits are added today.
1:31: 4-star DE Andrew Williams has committed to Auburn. So AU closes out with two-of-three of their signing day targets. Not terrible, but obviously losing Evans was a gut buster. Doesn’t really feel like we will have any further surprises today, good or bad. I’ll be monitoring for any updates.