AUBURN, Ala. — Auburn football didn’t finish in the top spot in the recruiting rankings on National Signing Day, but the Tigers felt they won Wednesday in several ways.
There aren’t any 5-star signees being added to the roster, but Gus Malzahn has been quick to point out that speed isn’t going to be a problem for Auburn for years to come.
“Anthony Schwartz, a wide receiver. He’s the fastest guy in the country,” Malzahn said. “He’s also going to run track for our track team; I’m very excited about that, but he’s a football player.
“I really believe this guy has a chance to really be special just from the standpoint that he got better and better throughout his high school career and he’s got that drive to make him special, so we’re very, very excited about him.”
Schwartz is the highest-profile speedster in the class, but he isn’t the only one. The Fort Lauderdale, Fla., native simply tops the list of track athletes joining the Auburn program. When it comes to high school prospects, it seems Malzahn and his staff have a type.
“All these guys are fitting the mold of what we’re looking for, as far as character,” Malzahn said. “Big picture, this whole class, we really wanted to focus on speed, too, as we feel like we did that.”
Malzahn even bragged about newcomers who will bring added athleticism and speed in the trenches. One of the biggest gets on Signing Day was versatile defensive lineman Caleb Johnson, who opted for Auburn over Florida. Again, he’s not alone.
“Coynis Miller is a guy that was a priority for us in this class, a guy that everybody in the country came after him late, and he hung in there with us,” Malzahn said. “This guy is a very good athlete. He plays Wildcat quarterback, he can windmill dunk it, he’s 300 pounds, so we’re very excited about this guy.”
This class will compliment players already in place or currently becoming more acquainted with the ways of Auburn football. The members of the 2018 class will challenge classes before them athletically and speed-wise, which will benefit the program as a whole.
“They’re off to a good start,” Malzahn said. “Coach [Ryan] Russell [director of strength and conditioning] gives me a report once a week, and he said the guys, first of all, they’re really good kids. They’re working hard. He said they’re very athletic. He’s pleased.”