Auburn assembled one of the best recruiting classes this year and finished as the No. 11 class according to ESPN. Considering the 3-9 season and the new coaching staff that was brought in late during the recruiting process, this feat is even more impressive and three members of this class will be key members to the 2013 season.
Carl Lawson, the No. 2 ranked player in the nation was the first big domino to fall for Gus Malzahn and the 6-2, 250-pound defensive end gave the Tigers momentum into signing day when they picked up commitments from top rated defensive tackle, Montravious Adams and were successful in flipping Elijah Daniel from Ole Miss.
Recruiting coordinator, Rodney Garner told Joel Erickson of al.com, “I’m excited about our defensive line class. I think they definitely have an upside, we’re definitely looking forward to working with them, but it’s going to take time…they’re going to go through a learning curve.”
Lawson may take the shortest amount of time to see action in Ellis Johnson’s 4-2-5 defense this year, and Adams should work his way into the tackle rotation early in the season, but it’s Lawson that will be the biggest playmaker on the line and I’m betting he’ll earn a starting job for the start of the season.
Lawson finished his high school senior season with an eye-popping 27 sacks and with an open spot on the defensive line left by Corey Lemonier, who should be selected in the first two rounds of the NFL draft in April, Lawson should be following a similar path of Lemonier and could be a future first round draft pick.
That’s not for a few years, so the first priority for Lawson, Adams and Daniel is summer camp and they will be pressed in early action and while growing pains are inevitable, the ride should be fun for Tigers fans as they get an early glimpse of the future stalwarts of the defensive line.
All three are supremely talented players with enormous potential and will have an early opportunity to develop as true freshmen when many are sitting on the bench.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Lawson and Adams are members of the All-SEC freshman team this year.
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