AUBURN, Alabama — Auburn needs help — and fast — in the future.
The offensive line will be one of Auburn’s top priorities in the 2017 recruiting class as the Tigers aim to replace more starters and prepare for the unknown.
“It’ll be a big class for us,” Auburn offensive line coach Herb Hand told SEC Country. “It’s going to be an important class as well.”
The Tigers signed two offensive linemen in 2016. Three-star Brodarius Hamm is battling Hodgkin’s lymphoma and is expected to make a full recovery, but his development could be slowed much like Shon Coleman when it took three years to recover and regain his strength for the SEC. Prince Sammons was a late edition and a potential star, but will likely need a year or two to develop before playing offensive tackle in the SEC.
Auburn signed seven offensive linemen in 2012 and has averaged less than three signees per class ever since, but that number will jump in this recruiting class. Auburn will sign “a minimum” of five offensive linemen, Hand said.
Three of Auburn’s top 11 targets are offensive linemen, according to 247Sports. Five-star Calvin Ashley, who committed to Auburn May 30, 2015, is at the top of the heap.
Hand said he is also possibly looking for a graduate transfer this summer.
Hand’s recruiting message as he begins his first full recruiting cycle at Auburn is simple.
“It’s Auburn. Just the football brand itself sells itself,” Hand said. “The university and when you get a guy on campus, that’s when it really sinks in with them because of how special of a place it is. The guys get to be around on a daily basis, whether it be the rest of the coaching staff or more importantly the guys in the locker room. We’ve got great young men. They do a great job selling the program.”