As it stands, Auburn has the No. 28 recruiting class in the country, and it will certainly need a few more top-tier prospects to elevate that ranking. Even with the addition of defensive coordinator Will Muschamp and secondary coach Travaris Robinson, both of whom are reputable recruiters, the Tigers have only secured 11 verbal commitments (four 4-stars, six 3-stars), with Marlon Davidson (Greenville, Ala.) headlining the class as the only 5-star to verbally commit.
We take a look at the five recruits Auburn needs to sign to finish its 2016 class below:
4-star DT Antwuan Jackson, Cedar Grove (undecided)
- Resides: Ellenwood, Ga.
- Ranking: No. 9 DT, No. 55 overall in the country, No. 7 player in Georgia
- Measurements: 6-foot-2, 285 pounds
- Main schools competing for him: Auburn, Ohio State, UGA, Florida, Alabama and Clemson
- Chances of landing him: To no surprise, Auburn was side-by-side with Ohio State when Jackson released his list of top schools earlier this month. But it would appear the Tigers are in a more favorable position. Per 247Sports.com’s Crystal Ball predictions, half of the projections peg Jackson heading to Auburn, with Ohio State coming in at 19 percent. And it helps that he’s developed strong ties with Auburn defensive line coach Rodney Garner, who recruited the 4-star during his time at UGA. That kind of continuity can go a long way. Jackson is Auburn’s to lose.
3-star S Marlon Character, Grady (South Carolina)
- Resides: Atlanta, Ga.
- Ranking: No. 27 in Georgia, No. 19 safety in the country
- Measurements: 6-foot, 170 pounds
- Main schools competing for him: South Carolina and Auburn
- Chances of landing him: If any school is going to flip Character, it’s going to be Auburn. Steve Spurrier’s resignation has only further clouded his commitment to South Carolina and Character has already expressed his concerns surrounding the direction of the program in recent weeks. His relationship with secondary coach Travaris Robinson has been getting increasingly stronger, and he came away impressed from his unofficial visit on Sept. 26. Character has yet to reveal what direction he’s going in light of the Spurrier news, but it’s without question that Auburn is pursuing him aggressively.
5-star WR Kyle Davis, Archer (undecided)
- Resides: Lawrenceville, Ga.
- Ranking: No. 1 WR, No. 22 overall in the country, No. 3 player in Georgia
- Measurements: 6-foot-2, 218 pounds
- Main schools competing for him: UGA, Auburn and Tennessee, among others
- Chances of landing him: Kyle Davis has been hard to read throughout his recruitment, but we know for certain it’s down to UGA, Auburn and Tennessee at this point. How much leverage the Tigers have, though, remains unknown. Davis was originally scheduled to announce his commitment this past Friday but postponed at the last minute. Of the three schools mentioned, Auburn is the one that has yet to receive an official visit. And seeing as though Davis will be an early enrollee, time is not working in the Tigers’ favor. Nonetheless, Auburn appears to still have a seat at the table.
4-star WR Nigel Warrior, Peachtree Ridge (undecided)
- Resides: Suwanee, Ga.
- Ranking: No. 4 safety, No. 57 overall in the country, No. 8 player in Georgia
- Measurements: 5-foot-11, 188 pounds
- Main schools competing for him: UGA, Alabama, Tennessee, Auburn, Ohio State and Florida, among others
- Chances of landing him: Auburn has been in the discussion since Warrior released a top 10 list of schools back in July. And, more recently, the Tigers appear to have gained some ground. Warrior told SEC Country a few weeks ago that he’s developed a strong rapport with secondary coach Travaris Robinson over time. Coincidentally, so too has Warrior’s cousin and teammate, Deangelo Gibbs. Per 247Sports.com’s Keith Niebuhr, Auburn appears to be in the running for an official visit from Warrior, too. If they land it, look out for Auburn.
5-star DT Derrick Brown, Lanier (undecided)
- Resides: Buford, Ga.
- Ranking: No. 1 player in Georgia, No. 3 DT, No. 8 overall in the country
- Measurements: 6-foot-4, 318 pounds
- Main schools competing for him: UGA, Tennessee, Auburn, Alabama and Mississippi State, among others
- Chances of landing him: Brown is by far the biggest longshot of the group to commit to Auburn. Members of the assembled media believe he is leaning heavily toward UGA, though he is likely to take an official visit to Auburn sometime soon. Despite how that visit goes, Brown’s relationship with UGA appears to be too much to overcome. Auburn needs either Jackson or Brown to finish out this class.