Thursday, 3 February 2011

Analysing the 2011 Recruiting Class

I apologise for my lack of blogging lately. Last week I had some final deadlines I had to meet which meant a lot of scrapping around for amendments and such. But I wanted to return with a post covering our recent recruiting class. I'll try to give a low-down on our recruits and who can be real impacts on this team. Let's start with the Offense:

QB Kiehl Frazier
Kiehl was one of America's most sought after Quarterbacks, and his highlight film will tell you why. The Arkansas native has been recruited by Guz Malzahn ever since his 8th grade year and if a man like Gus Malzahn thinks you have potential, its usually a good thing. Frazier is a dual-threat Quarterback who is a decent passer as well as an impressive runner, as his forty time is listed at 4.57.

Kiehl doesn't have the freak size that Cam Newton has, but he is still an impressive player who I see starting at some point between now and his senior year. With the Quarterback race open this spring, Kiehl will come in and compete for the starting spot. Don't be surprised if he gets named the starter for the 2011 season.

RB Tre Mason
The coaches originally planned to take two RB's but because of several circumstances it didn't happen. In the end, the coaches took Tre Mason who I am personally quite excited about. Tre Mason holds all the tools to become a game changer at the next level. At this point he is listed at 5'10 and around 190, however he could get to 200 eventually and play at that weight throughout his career. Mason has great vision, and is a very elusive runner, he can make the quick cuts and is very decisive. Mason will be an instant impact guy and I think he is ready for it. In 2011 I see him taking around 5-10 carries from Dyer per game and will be very productive.

(P.S for those worrying about RB depth, don't be. These coaches know what they are doing, and I have no doubt that we will pull two more top RB's in the 2011 class)

WR Jaylon Denson, Sammie Coates, Quan Bray
We lose three receivers (T-Zach, Darvin and Kodi) and we gain these three. A solid haul I think. Jaylon Denson is a receiver we have been missing. A big physical receiver who will develop into a real weapon for us. He is listed at 6'3 190, and could get a bit bigger. Denson impressed a lot at camps last summer, and he got an early offer from our coaches and he took it. He quickly moved up the rankings and will continue to get better at Auburn. Sammie Coates, I feel is one of the most underrated players in this class. Sammie is a tall and slim receiver (a la Darvin Adams) and you can see from his film that he is agile, fast and possesses good hands. He may get some solid playing time this season and I wouldn't be surprised if he did. A solid pickup indeed.

Finally we have Quan Bray. He may move to RB into the Onterrio role but I wouldn't be upset if he did. Bray is an exciting player who brings a lot to the table. He looks much bigger than listed (5'11 180) and has the speed and agility to hit the hole quickly and never looked back. He has incredible open field speed that may be hard to match.

All three of these could see solid playing time as freshman, and I don't see any of these three getting redshirted unless they have some injury issues.

TE Brandon Fulse, CJ Uzomah
The coaches took two tight ends in this class, and both were decent pickups. Brandon Fulse is a quick off the line and has very reliable hands. He is also a decent blocker and may get some time on the line this year, even as a true freshman. Same said for CJ Uzomah, he played some Quarterback in high school but our coaches see him as a Tight End. CJ is a big guy listed at 6'5 230 and may end up being more of a blocker with that size.

OL Christian Westermann, Greg Robinson, Thomas O'Reilly, Reese Dismukes
This OL class is another solid haul to go with last years. Auburn loses the majority of it's starters on the line and I think all four of these guys will get a shot at the starting jobs this fall (Spring for Reese). If we snag Kouandjio then he would be an excellent addition, if we don't we will still have a solid class on an area of great need.


DL Gabe Wright, Angelo Blackson, Keymiya Harrell, JaBrian Niles
The DL position is a top need right now. I feel Angelo Blackson is the classes most underrated player who could be a monster at the next level, Gabe Wright will also provide some needed depth at the DT position and may see some good playing time next season. The DE position is already a strong position but both Harrell and Niles will still see good playing time as well. Both are excellent additions to a strong class.

LB Kris Frost, Justin Garrett, Chris Landrum, Devaunte Sigler
Yet again, Auburn pulls in another quality LB class which will really help enforce the depth at the position. Frost may start out at WR but I expect him to be moved back to LB eventually. Frost has the talent to be a real player at the next level, and will push for a lot of playing time this season. Garrett also has potential to be a good one, although the coaches may let him take a year out to gain a bit more weight depending on injury or general need at the position. Landrum is a physical player at OLB, though he played a good bit of RB in high school. Sigler was a late addition but with how late he held out I think he may be worth it. I am impressed with this LB class and it could prove to make the position stronger almost immediately.

DB Erique Florence, Robenson Therezie, Anthony Swain, Jonathan Rose, Jermaine Whitehead

A lot of Auburn fans know that DB was a need for this team and the coaches went ALL IN and found some very good prospects. Erique Florence was the signing day commit and he is impressive on all levels. He has great size and is a straight up ball hawk. I think he will push for the starting safety spot this fall and don't be surprised if he gets it. True freshman starters in the SEC are rare, however if he impresses and the coaches like him, then whats the harm? Most of the team is reloading and Florence will only improve with experience. The same can be said for Robenson Therezie. He reminds me of a faster Daren Bates, who is a real headhunter at the safety position. With how physical the Auburn team was this year Therezie may fit right in.

As for Anthony Swain, I think we very well may see him get switched to LB this fall. He is a big guy and his speed may let him down a tad. However he could be a much better player at LB, and though I think this may happen we will see if the coaches feel the same.

The two corner's we recruited were also two massive gets. There is talk that Rose may be moved to Safety because of his rangy size. I couldn't disagree more. The coaches know that we need some corner's and Rose is a very good player at that position. He has solid speed and has the height that AU needs against the big receivers (Alshon Jeffrey for instance). Whitehead was a signing day switch from Mississippi State (if you haven't already go check how their class finished LOL) and I think dropping Roberson for Whitehead was a solid move by the coaches.

Plenty of scouts ranked Roberson ahead of Jermaine, however commitment to the program is what counts and Whitehead obviously wanted to be here. He got the offer and I couldn't be happier for him. Recruiting studs is great and all, but recruiting studs who genuinely want to sport the O&B is what you want. Don't sleep on Whitehead, he is a decent player and has a good height and size to tackle any task given to him.

So there we have it, the 2011 class has had it's twists and turns ever since last March and I don't expect the 2012 class to be any different. You all saw how much of an impact the 2010 class made on our Championship season and I am excited to see what this class will do. The results will take it's course, and as the depth builds up so does the play of this team.

Here is to a great 2012 class! And as always War Eagle!