ESD Signee Capsules
Auburn signed 22 on Wednesday, a group ranked No. 8 in the country.
Info on all of the Tigers' signees and quotes from coach Gus Malzahn in our 2020 Signee Capsules.
Superlatives: Top five-rated running back nationally … rushed for 1,636 yards and 27 touchdowns ... 2018 Class AA state and region offensive player of the year after rushing for 2,221 yards for a team that finished 11-3 and reached the state semifinals … Under Armour All-American Game … AJC Super 11 … also a track and field letterman … five-star prospect rated nation’s top RB by Rivals … top 7 recruit in Georgia by 247, Rivals, ESPN, PrepStar.
Malzahn: "Tank Bigsby was on our board as the No. 1 running back on our board for a long time. Coach Cadillac Williams did a super job with him recruiting him. He’s a one-play drive type of guy. I mean, from anywhere on the field he can take it to the house. He’s got receiver type skills with his hands. Very excited about Tank. We think he’s an impact player. We think he could help us immediately and he’ll be getting here early too."
Superlatives: Talented big-play receiver who averaged more than 21 yards per catch during his career for Coach Dameon Jones and the Chaminade Lions, winning three consecutive Class 3A state championships … first team all-Broward County as a junior and senior … also a track and field letterman … ranked among the top 75 prospects in Florida and the top 80 receivers nationally by ESPN, 247, Rivals … PrepStar all-Southeast.
Malzahn: "Elijah Canion, he’s got a 4.09 GPA. He is a tall, athletic receiver. Really reminds me of Seth Williams. I think he’s got a chance to be an excellent player. I think he’s got great upside and can really run."
Superlatives: Tall, talented target at wide receiver … 45 receptions for 922 yards, 10 TD as a senior for Coach Terry Crowder at Denmark High … first team all-state, all-region, all-county … Forsyth County News offensive player of the year as a junior, with 60 catches for 1,182 yards and 11 scores … AJC Super 11 … also a basketball letterman … ESPN, 247, PrepStar rank him among top 15 players in Georgia.
Malzahn: "6-4 receiver, really has got a special skillset. This is a guy that I think is an impact player. Really smooth. Runs very good routes. Snatches the ball with his hands. Keeps his feet on the ground. Really think this guy could be an impact player. We’re very excited to have him. And if you look at our receivers, we really wanted to get taller and bigger and longer. That’s what we did in this class with that."
Superlatives: Speedy receiving prospect with dynamic skills … consistent playmaker for Coach Brandon Wilcox, helping the Bulldogs to the Class 4A playoffs … 74 receptions for 1,706 yards and 18 TD as a junior … Class 4A Back of the Year finalist … 38 catches for 617 yards, 7 TD, during an injury-plagued senior season … Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game … 247 ranks him No. 5 among state recruits, ESPN and Rivals No. 7.
Malzahn: "Another big receiver, from Birmingham. A guy that is excellent with the ball in his hands. Really think he’s got a chance to be a very special-type receiver. Like I said, he can really run, and he is strong."
Superlatives: Ultra-talented athlete who projects as a wide receiver prospect … 62 catches for 1,424 yards, 13 TD as a freshman and sophomore for Coach Tanner Glisson and the Troup County Tigers … AJC Super 11 … Class 4A state player of year and Region 5-AAAA player of year as a junior QB, passing for 3,386 yards, 32 TD, and rushing for 1,410 yards, 18 scores … passed for 1,629 yards, 18 TD and rushed for 976 yards, 7 TD as a senior … All-American Bowl … also a basketball letterman … top 10 recruit in state of Georgia by 247, ESPN, PrepStar … Rivals, ESPN, 247 rank him among the top 20 nationally at his position.
Malzahn: "Kobe Hudson, 3.4 GPA, wide receiver, really, I put “/athlete” because I’ve been recruiting this guy since eighth grade. Really think he’s got a chance to be special. Plays quarterback, which he could also get some snaps at from time to time. He’s been committed to us a long time. Really, I think he’s the guy that really kept this class together through some of the ups and downs that goes with it. He’s been very loyal to us. Very excited about Kobe. Really feel like he’s going to be an outstanding player for us."
Superlatives: Highly rated dual-threat quarterback prospect … injury limited his play to eight games as a senior for Coach Bill Castle … passed for 2,028 yards, 18 touchdowns as a junior at Lake Wales High … Lakeland Ledger Super 16 … honor student … ranked among the top 15 prospects at his position by PrepStar, ESPN … Florida top 60 by ESPN.
Malzahn: "Chayil Garnett, quarterback. He's got a 3.9 GPA. Has been committed to us for a while. Really looking at our offense, we really feel like he fits us. He's a dual-threat guy. He can run it. He's got a quick release, and he throws a good deep ball. Really excited about Chayil. He'll be here in January, which I think is very important."
Superlatives: Versatile offensive threat who projects as a tight end at the collegiate level … led Coach Chris Cutcliffe’s Oxford Chargers to the Class 6A state championship as a senior … Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game … Clarion Ledger Dandy Dozen … also a basketball letterman … top 10 prospect nationally at his position by 247, Rivals, ESPN … ranked among top six recruits overall in state of Mississippi.
Malzahn: "A guy that we identified as, really, one of the more versatile players in all the country. He's a big guy. They snapped the ball to him from a wildcat. He's a running back. They split him out, throw slants, fades. Big-time basketball player. Really think, with our offense, that his skill set will really be utilized. Very excited about him. He's going to give us a lot of flexibility for the last couple of years. Really excited about JJ."
Superlatives: Top-rated junior college offensive line prospect … starting tackle for Coach Ted Iacenda, helping the Cougars to the Southern California championship game … SCFA all-league second team … started playing football at age 16 … ESPN and 247 rate him the No. 1 juco prospect nationally at his position … Rivals ranks him No. 11 overall among juco recruits.
Malzahn: "Starting out, Kilian Zierer, offensive tackle. Of course, we’re losing six seniors. We really felt strong that we needed to go out there and find one or two tackles, and of course, it really started with him. He’s got a 3.65 GPA. He’s athletic. He’s only been playing football, I believe, for two years. We really think that he’s got a chance to really be a special player. He’ll be here in January."
Superlatives: Elite blocker with a top 5 juco rating … two-year starter at tackle for Coach Rob Snelling at Butte College in Oroville, Calif., earning all-conference honors … CCCAA state and Golden Valley Conference shot put champion … for Coach Rick Prinz at Paradise High … three-sport competitor for the Bobcats who was a state qualifier in shot put … ESPN rates him the No. 2 juco offensive line prospect … top 5 California juco recruits by 247.
Malzahn: "Brenden Coffey, another junior college offensive tackle. He came on a visit this summer and you could tell right off the bat that he fit. He’s a hard-nosed guy. We really think, potential, that he’s got a chance to really be a good offensive lineman and has a chance to help us right off the bat when he gets here."
Superlatives: Explosive offensive line prospect … first team all-region and all-state for Coach Ryan Herring as a junior and senior … honors student … also a basketball and track and field letterman … rated among the to p20 at his position nationally by 247, ESPN, PrepStar.
Malzahn: "Avery Jernigan, he’s really an Auburn-type player. 3.8 GPA. Tough, hard-nosed. Dad’s an athletic director/coach. Really feel like he fits us real good. Can play center or guard."
Superlatives: Versatile, hard-working lineman with great size and skills … outstanding leader as a senior for Coach Pete Wiggins, spurring the Cavaliers to the state semifinals as a junior and senior … GSWA first team Class AA all-state … Pro Football Hall of Fame World Bowl … ranked among top 15 at his position nationally by Rivals, ESPN.
Malzahn: "Tate Johnson, 3.5 GPA. Also another tough, hard-nosed Auburn-type kid. Really stood out to me when I watched these camps when he went against some of the best defensive linemen in the country and really held his own and stood out to me."
Superlatives: Sizeable offensive line prospect with plenty of potential … played offensive tackle and defensive tackle for Coach Willie Gandy and the Selma Saints … Selma Times-Journal all-Dallas County … ESPN ranks him the No. 13 player nationally at his position … top 30 prospect in Alabama by ESPN, 247, PrepStar.
Malzahn: "He's got a 3.4 GPA. Big, athletic guys. We really felt like if he was in an area like Atlanta, he would be one of the top linemen in the country. He plays offense and defense. He's got an unbelievable skill set. We think he's gonna be a really good player."
Superlatives: Aggressive pass rusher who led the Schley County Wildcats to the playoffs … 85 tackles, 11.0 sacks, 29,0 TFL as a senior for Coach Darren Alford … GHSA regional player of the year as a junior with 10.5 sacks … GSWA all-state … also a basketball and track and field letterman … 247 ranks him the No. 7 prospect nationally at his position … top 15 recruit from Georgia by 247, Rivals, PrepStar.
Malzahn: "Zykeivous Walker has got a 3.3 GPA. Big. Athletic. Plays basketball. You know, he reminds us of Marlon and Derrick at that age. I know that’s big shoes to fill but at this point, he’s got the skillset. He is a wonderful person, has got a great personality. He really fits Auburn. And so we’re very excited about Zykeivous."
Superlatives: Explosive defender who recorded 53 tackles, 7 TFL, 3 sacks, 13 QB hurries as a senior, helping Coach Steve Mask’s Saints advance to the second round of the Class 6A playoffs … Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game … also a basketball letterman … ranked among the top 25 overall recruits in the state by ESPN, 247, Rivals, PrepStar.
Malzahn: "Daniel Foster-Allen, defensive end from Saint Paul's. He's a big guy, think he's very versatile. Think he's got a very good upside. He plays the run well. He's a solid pass rusher, too. So we're excited about him."
Superlatives: Tall, agile defensive prospect … set a school record for sacks as a junior and senior playing for Coach Roger Holmes at Dublin High … led the Fighting Irish to the 2019 Class AA state title … GACA all-star classic … second team all-region … also a basketball letterman … top 30 prospect in state of Georgia by ESPN … 247 ranks him 28th nationally at his position.
Malzahn: "A buck. He’s got a 3-point GPA. He had 16 sacks this season so he’s an excellent pass-rusher off the edge but he plays the run very good too, so we’re excited to add him to our class."
Superlatives: Powerful defender with great commitment and dedication … recorded 81 tackles, 6.0 TFL as a senior for Coach Ryan Crawford and the Houston County Bears … Under Armour All-America Game … HHJ multi-sport athlete of the year … two-time state champion in the discus and a wrestling letterman … ESPN rates him the No. 6 prospect in Georgia … top five nationally at his position by 247, PrepStar, ESPN.
Malzahn: "Wesley Steiner's got a 4.0 GPA. He's fast, he's strong, he's won state championships in track. Coach T-Will did a great job recruiting him. Really think he's got a chance to be an outstanding player."
Superlatives: Terrific athlete productive on both sides of the football … first team all-state linebacker for Coach Rob Stowe’s Wilcox County Patriots … All-American Bowl … Region 2-A defensive player of year … also a basketball and baseball letterman … ESPN and 247 rank him among the top 25 overall recruits in Georgia … rated No. 6 nationally at his position by ESPN.
Malzahn: "Desmond Tisdol is a linebacker we've recruited for a long time. He also played running back for his team. A very good skill set. Coach T-Will has been on him a long time. We're excited to have him, really think he fits what we do defensively."
Superlatives: Productive linebacking prospect with a quick first step … 112 tackles as a junior for Coach Clinton Smith … Jaguars won a state title his sophomore year … Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game … also a track letterman … rated among the top 15 prospects in the state by 247, ESPN, PrepStar, Rivals.
Malzahn: "Cam Riley, linebacker from Evergreen. This guy is 6-4, 207. He's long, he can run, he is going to be a big man. He's got a great personality, got a great family. Really think his upside is really big. He's got a 3.3 GPA."
Superlatives: One of the nation’s top-rated junior college defensive backs … 26 tackles, 8 PBU as a second team all-conference selection for Coach Ryan Mahon at Blinn College … first team all-district in 2017 and 2018 at Heights High for Coach Stephen Dixon … also competed for the basketball and track teams … top 5 juco DB prospect by ESPN, PrepStar, 247 … No. 3 among Texas juco players by 247.
Malzahn: "Marco Domio, a corner from Blinn Junior College. Of course, it was pretty neat — I recruited a guy named Cam Newton 10 years ago from Blinn Junior College, so I got a chance to go back there for the first time. That was a lot of fun. Really think Marco — first of all, he's got a very good skill set. Really think he could come in here and help us right off the bat. He's got a wonderful family. So we're excited about him."
Superlatives: Highly rated cornerback prospect … all-state performer for Coach Rodney Guin, helping the Cavaliers to the state playoffs … Shreveport Times Top 10 … also a basketball and track letterman … 247, Rivals and ESPN all rank him among the top seven recruits in Louisiana … rated among the top 15 nationally at his position.
Malzahn: “Eric is very versatile who is a good cover guy. He’s a good tackler and our type of player. He gives us a lot of flexibility in the secondary.”
Superlatives: Hard-hitting athletic safety prospect … recorded 98 tackles, 24.0 TFL as a senior for Coach Wayne Younger’s Raiders … Space Coast Daily player of the year … all-Space Coast team … also a track and field letterman … ranked as the No. 4 athlete nationally by 247 … top 15 at his position by Rivals, ESPN, PrepStar.
Malzahn: "We felt like he was one of the better all-around football players in the country. I know our defense wanted him. The offensive side wanted him. He’s very good with the ball in his hands. He’s a special type of returner. I really think he’s going to come in here and have a chance to play right off the bat and help us. So we’re excited about Ladarius."
Superlatives: Physical defender who was a punishing tackler for Coach Reginald Samples at Duncanville High, helping the Panthers advance to the Class 6A state semifinals as a senior and finals as a junior … Under Armour All-America Game … second team TSWA all-state as a junior … preseason SportsDay area defensive player of the year … also a track and field letterman … MaxPreps All-American … ESPN rates him the No. 2 safety prospect nationally … top 30 player in Texas by 247, ESPN, PrepStar.
Malzahn: "Chris Thompson Jr., from Texas, 3.9 GPA. Really feel like this guy is a special player. Coach McGriff has done a great job recruiting him. He's like a coach on the field. He's a really good tackler. He can cover. Like I said, a very versatile guy. Really feel like he's an excellent player, and we're excited to have him."
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