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Auburn stays hot on recruiting trail

5/15/2014

Alabama and Auburn hosted their spring games on the same day last month, and while Auburn might have fared better on the field, it was Alabama who won the day with its efforts on the recruiting trail. The Crimson Tide landed four ESPN 300 commitments, including the nation’s top outside linebacker, the No. 3 wide receiver and the No. 4 cornerback. They took the No. 1 class and made it even better.

But Rome wasn’t built in a day, and the same can be said for a recruiting class.

Auburn didn’t go empty-handed on A-Day, flipping ESPN 300 safety and former Ohio State commitment Ben Edwards and picking up a commitment from offensive tackle Bailey Sharp, but it’s what the Tigers have been able to do since that day that has made the most noise.

The Tigers have added six commitments since April 19, and in less than a month, they have gone from unranked to No. 3 in the latest ESPN class rankingsInsider.

It all started the week before the spring game when ESPN 300 athlete Kerryon Johnson chose Auburn over the likes of Alabama and Florida State, and it peaked on Thursday when junior college running back Jovon Robinson, a former Auburn signee, chose to return to the Plains and commit to the Tigers.

Assistant coach Dameyune Craig was among those elated to bring back Robinson, who many consider to be one of the top running backs in the class of 2015.

Don’t expect the current run to slow down either. Auburn hosts its Big Cat weekend at the end of the month, and it would be surprising if there wasn’t commitment or two at the event.

For now, here’s a look at the Tigers’ recent haul:

ATH Kerryon Johnson

Committed: April 15

Ranked: No. 23 in the ESPN 300

Scouting reportInsider: “Johnson is just a darn good football player that you take even if you don’t know which position you’re going to play him yet. He brings a physical, tough demeanor to his style of play on both sides of the ball.”

S Ben Edwards

Committed: April 19

Ranked: No. 170 in the ESPN 300

Scouting reportInsider: “Edwards can run and hit as good as any DB in this class and shows he can make plays in coverage with athleticism as well. Fast and physical defender who projects best as a college strong safety.”

OL Bailey Sharp

Committed: April 19

Ranked: N/A

Scouting reportInsider: “Sharp needs to keep developing physically and as a player, but is tough and possesses some good tools to work with and grow into a productive player with starting ability at the power-conference level.”

OL Marquel Harrell

Committed: April 21

Ranked: No. 271 in ESPN 300

Scouting reportInsider: “Harrell is a high school OT, but will likely see a move inside, where he could fit well and be real effective at the college level. Needs to keep developing, but prospect with some tools to develop into good contributor to a starting-five.”

ATH D'Anfernee McGriff

Committed: April 22

Ranked: No. 205 in ESPN 300

Scouting reportInsider: “McGriff is one of those unique athletes that you take now and worry about where to play later. Big, physical prospects like him don’t move the way he does. It’s easy to see why coaches would be excited about his upside.”

OL Kaleb Kim

Committed: April 24

Ranked: No. 192 in ESPN 300

Scouting reportInsider: “Kim is a high school tackle who could transition to next level at that position, but could also potentially see a move inside to guard ... has some good physical tools to work with and upside to grow into a starter at the power-conference level.”

LB Jordan Colbert

Committed: April 26

Ranked: No. 71 in ESPN 300

Scouting reportInsider: “If there was a hybrid SS/OLB position to rank in this class, Colbert would be right at the top. We still feel like he has all the tools for success as a pure college linebacker as well with continued maturity while retaining current speed and athleticism.”

LB Darrell Williams

Committed: May 7

Ranked: Four-star (No. 22 OLB)

Scouting reportInsider: “Williams certainly passes the eyeball test and has range and pass-rush ability that will make him sought after at the college level. A bit more size and flexibility would raise his stock but has a lot of developmental upside.”

RB Jovon Robinson

Committed: May 15

Ranked: N/A

Scouting report (2012)Insider: “Robinson has every-down, featured back qualities that could be falling under the radar. His quick-twitched movements on a near 220-pound frame are rare, and he has a lot of physical tools for his future running back coach to develop.”