In the Monday notebook, you got the top 5 defensive targets for Auburn. Here’s a look at the top 5 offensive targets for the Tigers.
The last three commitments have come on the offensive side of the ball — Jarrett Stidham, Salvatore Cannella and Noah Igbinoghene. Auburn isn’t desperate for a bunch more offensive talent.
The Tigers have 1 quarterback, 3 running backs, 3 offensive linemen, 1 tight end and 1 wide receiver. So there are some additions to be made, but a good bit of the remaining focus will go to the defensive side.
Here’s a look at Auburn’s remaining top wants, even if a few are on the far-fetched side.
5-star OL Alex Leatherwood, Washington (Fla.)
There’s no question who Auburn coaches and fans want most on the offensive side of the ball. It’s Alex Leatherwood.
It might be a long shot — maybe more than a long shot — but that hasn’t stopped the Tigers from trying. He’s the best offensive line target remaining on Auburn’s board even though he has been committed to Alabama since June 2015.
Leatherwood has re-inforced on multiple occasions that Alabama is the place he sees himself playing college football. Florida has tried. Georgia has tried. Auburn has tried. Thus far, everyone has failed.
But nobody will stop until Leatherwood inks his final decision. Auburn welcomed the offensive tackle on an official visit during the final week of the December contact period. The Tigers gave him the red-carpet treatment, but it will be nearly impossible to pull him away from the Crimson Tide.
Auburn has one key factor playing in its advantage: Nick Brahms.
The Tigers’ early enrollee said last week he’s giving his best effort to persuade his best friend. He doesn’t know if it’s going to work, but he’ll absolutely give it his best attempt.
4-star WR Henry Ruggs, Robert E. Lee (Ala.)
At the Alabama-Mississippi all-star game, Auburn’s five participating commitments made subtle — or even not-so-subtle — attempts to recruit some of the top uncommitted talent in the game.
Henry Ruggs might have been the most pressured of the group.
The 6-foot, 175-pound wide receiver doesn’t blow you away with his size. But he will with his speed. The quickness Ruggs shows off the line of scrimmage is unmatched by the rest of the 2017 class at wide receiver.
Alabama is the favorite to land the in-state wide receiver. If the Crimson Tide miss on Nico Collins, their chances of landing Ruggs might jump even higher. As of now, the Crystal Ball gives all 11 predictions to Alabama.
Malcolm Askew, Noah Igbinoghene, Jordyn Peters, Tadarian Moultry and especially KJ Britt were in Ruggs’ ear the entire week of the all-star game. That will continue through Signing Day.
Side note: Check out Ruggs’ basketball film. It might be more impressive than his football tape.
4-star OL Adrian Ealy, East Ascension (La.)
Auburn has three solid pieces in this offensive line class with Calvin Ashley, Nick Brahms and Austin Troxell.
If the Tigers miss on Leatherwood — and they almost certainly will — who will they turn to? There’s a good chance it’s Louisiana prospect Adrian Ealy. Really, Auburn would like to add Ealy regardless.
Herb Hand went to see Ealy during the contact period, and the 6-foot-7 offensive lineman showed his gratitude on Twitter. Oklahoma and LSU are the Crystal Ball favorites to score the offensive tackle, but I would expect the Tigers to make a final push to land Ealy.
He has taken official visits to Kansas and Arizona, which tells me many of the top programs aren’t pushing for him as hard as they previously were. As Auburn tries to close out the O-line class, Ealy — ranked inside the top 300 overall nationally — will be a top option.
3-star FB Chase Lasater, Trinity Christian Academy (Fla.)
Hat tip to Keith Niebuhr of 247Sports, the first to report Lasater’s growing interest in Auburn.
The Tigers plan to add a fullback to the 2017 class, and Lasater is replacing LSU commit Tory Carter as the top option to fill that vacancy. Lasater was once committed to Michigan, but he backed off that pledge in October.
Auburn doesn’t use the fullback in the same way as many offenses, so it’s sometimes a hard position for the staff to recruit. At 6-foot-2 and 238 pounds, Lasater fits the mold of what the Tigers want for their H-back role.
“As of now, I would say Auburn is my No. 1,” Lasater told Niebuhr. “From there, it’s Miami and then some others.”
Lasater also told Niebuhr that Auburn was recruiting him the hardest.
Unranked WR Tamorrion Terry, Turner County (Ga.)
Remember: Auburn needs more wide receivers.
Terry isn’t ranked by the 247Sports composite, but 247Sports has Terry as a 3-star receiver. His film is impressive. At 6-foot-4 and 195 pounds, Terry is the big-bodied receiver people have been asking for.
He unofficially visited Auburn on Nov. 19 when the Tigers played Alabama A&M. Kodi Burns made an in-home visit to Terry on Dec. 3.
There are still some academic issues Terry needs to work through, but Auburn is in the hunt for the lanky wide receiver. Florida State also will be a major factor down the stretch.
As of now, there is only one Crystal Ball prediction in for Terry. That comes courtesy of Niebuhr who, again, first reported Auburn’s interest in the Turner County prospect. That selection went to Auburn, though Terry has since announced the Seminoles might have the slight edge over the Tigers.
Terry’s grades will be something to track.