7 big names you need to know as Auburn tries to pull off a top-10 recruiting class
With two weeks from the Early Signing Period, the Tigers are No. 11 in the country — and they've got several flip candidates still on the board.
2024 DB KJ Bolden (Instagram)
Look, I get it.
Some of you out there are diehard Auburn football fans. You probably wouldn’t be reading this if you weren’t. It takes a certain level of fandom to be willing to pay money for any sort of subscription involving a sports team.
But you just don’t closely follow recruiting.
You might feel like it’s too much to keep track of each year. You might not think it’s too important. (It is important, but it’s not the only thing required of a championship program.) You might want to ignore any of the drama and only pay attention when the names are signed on the dotted line.
If that describes you, this is a recruiting story for you. And, even if you are a diehard recruiting nerd, you probably will get something out this anyway.
Auburn’s 2023 regular season on the field wasn’t overly successful. The Tigers went 6-6, got beaten thoroughly in a game it shouldn’t have lost and came close to two upsets over elite rivals that would have changed the tone around the year. Getting to a bowl game was big, but you can tell that Hugh Freeze and his team felt like they were capable of more.
But the new direction of Auburn football was never going to be determined by the win-loss total at the end of the 2023 campaign. A lot of it was going to come down to recruiting, where the Tigers needed to shrink the gap between themselves and the true contenders in a cutthroat SEC.
In that respect, 2023 has been quite successful. With two weeks to go until the start of the early signing period, Auburn sits at No. 11 in the 247Sports Composite for the Class of 2024 — which is already on pace to be the highest-rated class for the Tigers in four whole years.
Freeze and his staff have delivered early on the belief that they would turn the program around on the recruiting trail. During this cycle, Auburn has flipped four different top-100 recruits from SEC rivals: Cam Coleman, Perry Thompson, Demarcus Riddick and Jamonta Waller. Coleman is the latest and greatest one of these hauls, coming in as a consensus top-10 player in the country.
As it stands right now, Auburn has 19 commitments for its 2024 class. All but five of them are rated as 5- or 4-stars, which should cause the Tigers’ Blue-Chip Ratio to rebound in 2024.
And while nothing is over until the letters of intent arrive — as evidenced by Auburn’s flipping spree — the vast majority of the commitments seem strongly locked into the program with two weeks to go. That’s a tremendous help, especially during a time when the staff also has to commit time and manpower to the transfer portal.
With most of the class already in place, Auburn can truly go big-game hunting in the high-school ranks between now and the end of the cycle. And, considering the Tigers are tied for the fewest commitments of any team in the top 14 nationally, there’s a real chance they could finish in the top 10 this cycle.
That would be a huge first step toward getting Auburn back to where it feels like it belongs in the college football landscape.
Keeping that in mind, let’s take a look at seven big names Auburn fans need to know between now and the end of the 2024 recruiting cycle. These players are listed, roughly, in order of composite ranking and potential importance to the Tigers’ class.
As always, we’re not trying to provide every single detail about recruiting here at The Observer. That’s a full-time job, and several people across multiple outlets — 247Sports, On3 and Rivals — do an excellent job at that for Auburn. Please read their stuff and consider subscribing to their sites, if you don’t do that already.
This, instead, is more of a snapshot of what Auburn is trying to do down the stretch. And, considering the way this class has shaped up and Freeze’s history of snagging big-name recruits at the 11th hour, it’s good to know what fireworks could be coming.
Auburn already has a great class. Just getting one or two of these names would make it even more special.