Auburn Brings In More Offensive Weapons
By Dan Harralson
Signing day is in the books and Gus Malzahn officially has his first full signing class as Auburn's head coach.
The Tigers are coming off an improbable season following a dismal year without Malzahn. The architect behind the 2010 national championship offense and the Gene Chizik's effective offenses in 2009 and 2011, Malzahn reloads with prospects that he envisions will keep Auburn productive offensively.
Each year, Malzahn adjusts his offensive schemes around what he has at his disposal. Whether it's Chris Todd scanning the field, Cam Newton producing majority of the offense, Barrett Trotter being just effective enough to maintain balance or using Nick Marshall as a run game catalyst and game manager, Malzahn uses his players to their strengths and his track record proves he coaches them well.
Auburn added more pieces to the puzzle and will continue to field offensive talent for Malzahn to build schemes.
Let's take a look at the 10 offensive prospects now committed to work under Malzahn for the next few seasons.
RB Roc Thomas: Thomas brings explosiveness, speed and the ability to break tackles. The Oxford (Ala.) High School product is a five-star back (24/7Sports Composite) and ranks as the nation's fourth-best running back.
G Braden Smith: Offensive lineman are crucial in Malzahn's offense from the standpoint of size and endurance. Auburn runs a hurry-up, up-tempo pace and also a slow-it-down power run game. At 6-foot-6,, 290 pounds, Smith brings size and strength to the Auburn running game. The Kansas native checks in as the nation's third-best offensive guard (24/7Sports Composite).
WR D'haquille Williams: Size, strength, speed, ball skills, hands, route-running; Williams brings it all to the table. On top of Williams' attributes, the nation's top junior college receiver (24/7Sports Composite) is already enrolled on the Plains and will gain experience going through spring practices.
QB Sean White: White is a pro-style signal caller and checks in at 6-foot-2, 204 pounds. He brings accuracy, a quick delivery and pocket presence with good footwork. He needs to improve arm strength against the quick reacting SEC defenses.
RB Kamryn Pettway: Malzahn has a bigger back now with Pettway (5-foot-11, 221 pounds). Pettway is more of a power back, which will compliment Thomas' speed and elusiveness.
TE Jakell Mitchell: The hometown prospect could be an asset in the Tigers' passing game. Mitchell reeled in 28 receptions for 403 yards as a high school senior and his 6-foot-3 frame is close to SEC ready.
WR Stanton Truitt: Truitt played quarterback in high school, but will switch to receiver as an early enrollee.
WR Myron Burton: Myron has receiver size. Just don't expect him to be a downfield target. At 6-foot-2, 203 pounds, Burton lacks the athleticism and speed, but has a good set of hands. Six of his 53 receptions last year were touchdowns.
TE Chris Laye: Another big body and another position at which Auburn signed complementary players. Jakell Mitchell is more of a passing game tight end while Laye will provide a blocking presence. Laye is already enrolled at Auburn and will go through spring practices.
C Xavier Dampeer: Dampeer is 6-foot-4, 300 pounds and is already enrolled at Auburn. Dampeer brings immediate depth to the center position.