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Friday, February 14, 2014
Early Offer: Auburn adds DB depth

By Jeremy Crabtree

The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's regular feature, giving you a daily dose of recruiting in the mornings. Today’s offerings: Auburn already has one of the top 2014 classes, but it got even better this week after adding a solid, three-star junior college defensive back; and you didn’t see any Big 12 coaches on the final ESPN recruiter power rankings, but there were still several coaches who did plenty of good things on signing day.

Tigers add late juco signee
Auburn’s eighth-ranked signing class became even better Wednesday when the Tigers signed College of San Mateo three-star cornerback Joseph Turner. The 6-foot-2, 190-pound corner was originally a Washington State commitment, but after not graduating at semester, the Cougars went a different direction. That change left the door open for Auburn, who hosted Turner on an official visit earlier in the week. It was that visit that sparked Turner to pledge with the Tigers, picking Auburn over Texas A&M. “I’m excited for the opportunity to play in the SEC,” Turner said. “They’re one of the best programs in college football, and I really liked the coaches and feel like it’s the right fit for me.”

Overlooked Big 12 recruiters
The Big 12 didn’t have a coach who landed in the final ESPN recruiter power rankings, but several recruiters made a mark with their efforts on signing day and deserve some sort of recognition. Baylor’s Kendal Briles was in and out of the top 10 for most of the recruiting season, and the job he did recruiting ESPN 300 prospects Davion Hall and K.D. Cannon were critical, but I also liked the job Jeff Lebby did for the Bears. I remember the days when Lebby was a heralded recruit coming out of Andrews, Texas, in 2002. He took the experience learned while he was a recruit and used it to help him sign talented players such as running back Terence Williams out of Ennis, Texas. “Coach (Art) Briles is smart,” one Big 12 assistant coach said. “He has surrounded himself with some great young and energetic recruiters that know every back road in Texas. It paid off with a great 2014 class. As long as those guys stick together, they’re going to be a real thorn in the side of everybody that recruits in Texas.” You also have to give credit to OU’s Cale Gundy. Year in and year out, Gundy does a tremendous job, but is seemingly overlooked for his efforts. This year, Gundy scored the Sooners’ top prospect in No. 6 running back Joe Mixon. He also played a big role in landing Samaje Perine, another four-star running back who grew up in the shadow of the University of Texas.