What are the positions that need to be addressed in the 2023 recruiting class?

Auburn has a need for talent in the 2023 recruiting class. It is evident that the team lacks depth as head coach Bryan Harsin has put an emphasis on the transfer portal as of late. It isn’t just depth that is a problem though. The talent level over the past few years has seemed to have dropped. Ever since the miraculous 2013 season, the team hasn’t had “that” guy whether it be via the transfer portal or even the recruiting classes.

Players like Cam Newton, Nick Fairley, and Carl Lawson were all generational talents that changed the trajectory of the Auburn football program in the best way possible. That is what I mean when I say that the Tigers have a need for elite talent. The 2023 recruiting class could very well be one of the stronger classes in the 21st century. The state of Alabama alone has ten prospects that are ranked in the top 150 for the cycle. That means that the coaching staff needs to put an emphasis on this class.

Things have been heading in the wrong direction for quite some time. Now, it is make it or break it time for Harsin and his staff. As other SEC schools seem to be improving, this upcoming recruiting class may be the Tigers’ most important one that the Auburn faithful has ever seen. Auburn Wire breaks down the positions that the coaching staff needs to address in order to create sustainable success in this new era of college football.

Wide Receiver:

[Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr]

It has been a hot minute since the Tigers have had a solidified No. 1 receiver. Over the years, players like Darvin Adams, Emory Blake, Terrell Zachary, and several others have all had the spotlight as the primary receiver on the Tigers’ offense. Well, the landscape of college football has changed. With the transfer portal becoming a hot commodity for programs across the country, it is important that the Tigers’ coaching staff becomes acclimated sooner rather than later.

The offense will lose Shedrick Jackson along with the possibility of several others entering the 2023 NFL draft. The upcoming recruiting class has a fair share of weapons at the wide receiver position. Although it is early in the recruiting class, Central High School wide receiver Karmello English. He is ranked a four-star according to 247Sports.

The Tigers could get things started off in the right way by landing one of the state’s best receivers. There are other recruits that the team is prioritizing, but we will have to wait to see how things unfold. Wide receivers coach Ike Hilliard will need to do a great job with this class for sure.

Offensive Tackle:

[Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr]

There is no such thing as having too many offensive tackles. With the way that college football has evolved over the years, the need for offensive tackles continues to increase. One of the key reasons that I included this position on my list was largely due to the fact that Auburn has inconsistency at quarterback sometimes.

If the quarterback is well protected and has trust in the offensive tackles, it opens up a lot for the offense. With this recruiting class having some mammoth offensive tackles, I would expect offensive line coach Will Friend to hit the ground running. In-state offensive lineman Stanton Ramil is a player to keep an eye on. He stands at 6-foot-7 and 290 pounds. His weight is relatively small for a tackle, but that can be fixed when he joins the program.

He also plays for the powerhouse program in Alabama – Thompson High School. Several others like Connor Stroh and Wilkin Formby are also priority targets that have shown extended interest. Football games are won in the trenches, so the Tigers could use some help upfront.

Linebacker:

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Linebacker has been an interesting position over the last several years. Players like Jamien Sherwood and KJ Britt have both found success at the professional level. Several others like Kris Frost and Cassanova McKinzy never heard their names called in the NFL draft.

It is somewhat confusing to see some of the famous top tacklers missing out on opportunities to play at the next level. Times have changed and it is a new day in Auburn, Alabama. Former Florida and newly-hired Tigers linebacker coach Christian Robinson is ready to make an immediate contribution on the recruiting trail.

The position is relatively thin and may get even thinner if Owen Pappoe and Eugene Asante elect for the 2023 NFL draft. Therefore, it is crucial to recruit linebackers in this cycle. Players like Dee Crayton. Phil Picciotti, Grayson Howard, and Stanquan Clark are just several of the prospects that the coaching staff has their eyes on.

Quarterback:

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I think everyone can agree that the quarterback position can make or break a successful season. Over the years, the Tigers have seen their shares of ups and downs at the position. It is crucial that the coaching staff creates some stability at the position.

With the inconsistency over the years, the Tigers have put an emphasis on one quarterback in particular – Brock Glenn. The Tennessee native has already visited the Plains and is one of the top targets for the coaching staff. It isn’t clear if the staff is pursuing any other quarterbacks at the present time, so it is key that they stay locked in on Glenn. Although the team will likely return several quarterbacks for the 2023 class, it won’t hurt to add one more.

Cornerback:

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One of the most crucial positions that the Tigers coaching staff will need to address is cornerback heading into the 2023 season. The team will likely lose both Nehemiah Pritchett and DJ James to the 2023 NFL draft. With that being said, cornerbacks coach Zac Etheridge will need to do a great job of recruiting in this cycle.

The coaching staff has shown interest in several in-state prospects like five-stars Tony Mitchell, AJ Harris, and Alabama commit Jahlil Hurley. However, none of those recruits seem to be trending towards the Tigers. Hurley took a visit recently but is still locked in with the Tide.

The coaching staff has put recruited Aveion Terrell and Dale Miller heavily over the last few months. Terrell is the younger brother of Falcons cornerback AJ Terrell. It does not seem like the coaching staff is in heavy pursuit of any other cornerbacks. They will certainly need to in the coming months if they hope to land some of the more elite cornerbacks in the class.

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