Pencil in a win for Gus Malzahn.
The first week of February brought Auburn its fourth consecutive top-10 recruiting class, led by 11 four-stars and one five-star prospect.
But the true strength of the Tigers’ 2016 recruiting cycle lies in their defensive linemen. Each of the five recruits Auburn signed are rated four stars or higher.
“Our defensive line class, I really believe, is the best in the country,” Malzahn said in his press conference on Wednesday. “I believe we’re building a foundation for a top-10 defense. Coach (Rodney) Garner deserves a lot of credit.”
On Wednesday, Auburn added two more defensive lineman in five-star defensive tackle Derrick Brown and four-star defensive end Nick Coe. They joined four-stars Antwuan Jackson (defensive tackle), Marlon Davidson (defensive end) and Paul James (weakside defensive end).
Brown and Jackson, both U.S. Army All-Americans, rank in the top-10 among defensive tackles in the country, while Davidson, James and Coe are each rated in the top-13 at their positions.
Malzahn spoke briefly about each defensive linemen during his Wednesday presser.
On Jackson: “We felt like he is one of the best defensive lineman in the country. Coach (Rodney) Garner recruited him really hard. It’s been almost two years we’ve been recruiting him and we think he’s a fine young man.”
On Davidson: “We think he’s an impact player. He’s a big, athletic guy that can run, and we feel very good about him.”
On James: “We needed some pass rushers and we really feel like he fills the need. He stayed loyal to us through the transition. When we lost the coaches, there was about a week or so where other coaches came after him. He hung in there and we really appreciate that.”
On Coe: “He’s a very big, athletic guy, and we’re very excited about him.”
On Brown: “The No. 1 player in the state of Georgia. We’ve been recruiting him for probably a little over two years. Coach Garner did a wonderful job with him. He’s got a wonderful family. He’s a true impact player. We believe he’s one of the best players in the entire country. I got a chance to watch him in person, and it was one of the more impressive performances I’ve had a chance to watch at any position.”
All rankings are according to the 247Sports Composite