Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Auburn Tigers football recruiting notebook with Auburn recruiting beat writer Benjamin Wolk. It’s Friday, and SEC Country previews an official visit upcoming with a grad-transfer tackle.
Auburn to host grad transfer on official visit
National Signing Day has come and gone, but Auburn’s recruiting work in this cycle is incomplete.
Most of the complaints received after Wednesday — and throughout the 2018 cycle — centered around the Tigers’ inability to haul in a tackle in this class. Auburn missed on all of its targets at tackle, including but not limited to Richard Gouraige, Jalen Goss, William Barnes and Dylan Wonnum. Few of those prospects, however, bring immediate-impact ability.
Enter Calvin Anderson.
Anderson started 36 straight games at left tackle for Rice. According to Pro Football Focus, he finished the 2017 football season tied for third in the nation with only seven pressures allowed. After his redshirt junior season, Anderson decided it was time to transfer. He has become one of the hottest recruiting commodities among programs searching for a Day 1 starter.
Auburn is a part of that group.
Anderson will arrive for his official visit to the Plains on Friday afternoon. He has already taken official visits to Texas and Michigan. For that reason alone, Auburn trails those two blue-blood programs. The Tigers will try to flip the script this weekend when they host Anderson.
There’s no doubt he’s the top priority for the Tigers.
Gus Malzahn already traveled to Houston for an in-home visit with Anderson. Chip Lindsey and J.B. Grimes (and Herb Hand) all went out to see Anderson multiple times on Auburn’s behalf. The Hand factor becomes interesting in this recruitment given the relationship he built with Anderson before making his move to Texas, which is perceived as the favorite in this recruitment.
Texas has a few things playing in its favor, including Hand. Anderson played high school football in Austin, so it would mean returning home for the 2018 season. On top of that, the Longhorns have made a greater effort to guarantee Anderson a starting role.
It’s easy to assume the home-state school will win out, but this recruitment is slightly different. Anderson is searching for a school with the sole purpose of bettering his 2019 NFL Draft stock. His decision doesn’t come down to family or proximity. It’s all about his ability to move up the draft boards.
Auburn has a few things the other programs do not. The Tigers can boast the Southeastern Conference, which Anderson pointed out during a phone conversation with SEC Country. Auburn also can sell Anderson on the chance to play every day in practice against a defensive line that will, once again, be one of the best in the nation. And lastly, the Tigers have a vacancy at left tackle, which is what coaches have already sold to Anderson.
This weekend will be Auburn’s final chance to impress Anderson, as he expects to make a decision after this official visit.
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