AUBURN, Ala. — Since his arrival, Auburn offensive line coach Herb Hand has raided the recruiting trail in search of viable replacements.
The former Penn State coach hit the ground running when he was hired in early January, scouring the junior ranks and establishing relationships with 2016 targets in hopes of filling the voids left behind by starting tackles Shon Coleman and Avery Young.
But signing day yielded little results. The Tigers signed just two offensive linemen, one of whom, Prince Sammons, is a converted defensive end. Securing offensive linemen has now become a top priority in the 2017 recruiting cycle.
And Hand appears to have a jumpstart with top in-state target Kendall Randolph, who visited Auburn this past weekend.
“Right now, we’re pretty tight,” said Randolph, the No. 21 offensive tackle in 2017. “We got to know each other today. He asked some certain questions concerning if I did come play here. Overall, we’re pretty cool.”
The four-star prospect from Madison, Ala., was one of several recruits in attendance for the program’s Junior Day, where he spent a majority of his time with Hand and running backs coach Tim Horton, his area recruiter.
Auburn has sent out offers to 26 offensive linemen in 2017, including Randolph, who left Saturday’s visit feeling that he was high on the coaching staff’s board.
“I definitely feel like a priority,” said Randolph. “Next year, they said they hope to have the top recruiting class for offensive lineman. Maybe I’ll be a part of it.”
Randolph does not have any official leaders at this time. At 6-foot-5 and 270 pounds, he is rated the No. 7 prospect in Alabama.
All rankings are according to the 247Sports Composite