Auburn pieced together yet another impressive recruiting class in 2016, one that was built on the strength of its defensive linemen.
The Tigers signed six recruits rated four-stars or better at the position, including elite defensive tackle Derrick Brown, the No. 1 prospect in Georgia. Under defensive line coach Rodney Garner, who is widely considered one of the SEC’s best recruiters, Auburn will look to carry that momentum into 2017.
SEC Country examined the program’s top defensive line targets in this year’s recruiting cycle.
MJ Webb, four-star defensive end, Madison, Ga.
Webb was on Auburn’s campus back in February for the program’s Junior Day event. He raved about his visit and hinted that the Tigers and the South Carolina Gamecocks were “standing out” in his recruitment.
“(Coach Will) Muschamp was over here and was a part of my recruitment,” Webb recently told SEC Country. “Now, he’s over there and I have a great relationship with him. It’s going to be a good competition between Auburn and South Carolina for me.”
Georgia also appears to be a contender for Webb, who is one of the top prospects in the state. Webb is rated the No. 6 strongside defensive end in the country.
Ryan Johnson, four-star defensive end, Mobile, Ala.
An in-state battle is likely brewing for Johnson, who is rated the No. 4 strongside defensive end in the country in 2017. Auburn appears to be the early favorite, with Alabama close behind. The Tigers extended an offer to Johnson in February of last year, and the rising in-state defensive lineman has since visited the program on five separate occasions. He last made a trip to The Plains on Jan. 30.
Aubrey Solomon, four-star defensive tackle, Leesburg, Ga.
It would appear Auburn and Georgia are among Solomon’s early favorites. Solomon, the No. 5 defensive tackle in 2017, has only reported eight offers thus far, but each is from powerhouse programs across the country. The Tigers got an early jump on Solomon due in part to Garner’s recruiting efforts. Under coach Gus Malzahn, Auburn has fared well in signing elite defensive linemen from Georgia. Could Solomon be the next in line?