Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Team Recruiting Countdown: No. 24 Auburn Tigers

No. 24 Auburn Tigers (SEC No. 5)

29 signees, 0 Athlon Consensus 100, 2 JUCOS

Scouting Report:

The biggest change for this football team could be in the offensive design. Auburn hired former Troy offensive coordinator Tony Franklin in order to implement the spread offense. Does the current roster give him the pieces needed to do that? At quarterback, Kodi Burns could be that guy, but if not, athlete Deron Furr (Columbus, GA) could fill that roll. He is lightning quick from out of the backfield. The only major question is can he throw the ball in high division-1 football?

Upgrading the depth in the defensive backfield was also a must in this class and Tommy Tuberville certainly accomplished that. He and his staff landed six potential defensive backs. T’Sharvan Bell (Kissimmee, FL) plays a great high point safety. Add Christian Thompson (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) and Marcus Jemison (McCalla, AL) and the safety position is well stocked. At corner, D’Antoine Hood (Phenix City, AL) and Neiko Lipscomb (Tucker, GA) add needed depth on the outside. Lipscomb could turn out to be the best player in this class.

After losing three out of four starters along the defensive line, Tuberville added two potential stars in Raven Gray (Wesson, MS) and Cameron Henderson (Birmingham, AL).

Auburn also did a great job of adding depth to the backfield with three talented prospects. This running back class is very balanced; Onatario McCalebb (Ft. Meade, FL) is the shifty speedster while Eric Smith (Seffner, FL) will be the bruising short yardage guy. Reggie Hunt (Daphne, AL) is also a nice looking player.

Top Prospect:

Ontario McCalebb – RB – Ft. Meade, FL (5-10, 170)

This was a tough call as this class lacks the clear elite prospect. Furr, Henderson and Bell were also options here. Make no mistake, this little running back prospect is a versatile athlete. Defense is a possibility but it is most likely that he will have the ball in his hands. McCalebb is a home run threat every time he touches the ball. He uses effortless open field moves and great speed to get to the edge and make people miss.

He obviously is going to need some bulk and weight if he expects to be a full-time running back in the SEC. However, in the new Tony Franklin spread, McCalebb will be a perfect fit. He will be used a lot out of the backfield in the passing game. His dynamic athletic ability in space is ideal for the quick, short passing game.

Best of the Rest:

Raven Gray – DE – Wesson, MS (6-4, 260)*
Jermaine Johnson – OT – Chatham, VA (6-6, 305)**
Deron Furr – ATH – Columbus, GA (6-3, 212)
Cameron Henderson – DE – Irondale, AL (6-5, 235)
T’Sharvan Bell – ATH – Kissimmee, FL (6, 175)


Neiko Lipscomb – DB – Tucker, GA (6-2, 180)

This tall, lanky prospect has legitimate potential for three positions (WR, CB, S). Team needs will likely push him to the defensive perimeter. His size is more of that of a safety but he has that rare fluidity for a taller prospect. He is comfortable in press situations as well as zone schemes. He could be a future star for the Tigers.

* - Copiah-Lincoln Community College (JUCO)
** - Hargrave Military Academy (Prep School)

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