football Edit

Malzahn: 2016 class is 'special'

Auburn coach Gus Malzahn was all smiles after receiving a commitment from Nate Craig-Myers.
Auburn coach Gus Malzahn was all smiles after receiving a commitment from Nate Craig-Myers.

AUBURN | Gus Malzahn's fourth recruiting class at Auburn included 21 signees that ranked No. 8 in the country. It was the Tigers' seventh straight top-10 recruiting class, according to Rivals.com.

Auburn signed 10 players on offense and 11 on defense, and Malzahn talked about each during his Signing Day press conference on Wednesday.

"I'm very excited," Malzahn said. "I know every year I've been here I've gotten up before you (media) and said how excited I am, which I was, but this class is a little bit different. This class is a special class.

"I'm real excited and real proud of our staff. This class, I think people will look back on in years to come."

“We started recruiting Woody when I got the head job here. Coach Lashlee did a great job with him. We hand picked him. He’s a true dual-threat quarterback. He can run it. He can throw it. He has that leadership ability. We really appreciate his loyalty too. Some big schools came after him and he hung in there and helped keep this class together.”

"John Broussard from Phenix City is a corner. We recruited him for a long time and we really think he’s got the ability to come in and give us some depth right off the bat."

"Derrick Brown, the No. 1 player in the State of Georgia. We've been recruiting him for two years, probably over two years. Coach Garner did a wonderful job with him. He's got a wonderful family. He's a true impact player. We believe he's one of the best players in the entire country. I got a chance to watch him in person play, and it was one of the more impressive performances that I got a chance to watch at any position. We're very excited about him."

“We really appreciate Marlon’s loyalty to us. He stayed committed to us through the transition of defensive coordinators and our secondary coach. Those guys kept recruiting him. He hung in there with us. He waited until we hired a defensive coordinator, we hired a secondary coach and I really appreciate his loyalty to us. He’s going to be a fantastic player. He’s got a very good skill set.”

“I think he’s a state champion wrestler for a couple of years. He’s got a chance to do it again. He is a very big, athletic guy. We’re very excited about him.”

"Nate Craig-Myers, we identified him two years ago. We really felt like he was one of the best overall players in the entire country. He's a big guy. He can go get the football. He's tough to tackle. He's got that competitive edge. He's got a great family. He's a wonderful person. Coach Craig did a very good job recruiting him. We're excited about him. He's got a chance to be an impact player."

"We signed what we believe is the top player in the State of Alabama in Marlon Davidson, a guy we identified well over a year ago, almost two years ago. We believe he’s an impact player. He’s a big, athletic guy that can run and we feel very good about him."

"Kyle Davis is a big receiver. We really put an emphasis in this class on big guys that can run and do some things with the ball after they catch it. We think he’s got a chance to be a phenomenal player."

“John Franklin has got great speed. We think he throws the ball well. He’s familiar with our offense so we’re definitely excited about what he can do."

“He’s an offensive lineman and I believe we only signed two. He has the ability to play inside or at tackle. He’s a big athletic guy, a very smart guy and we’re excited about coaching big Brodarious.”

"Antwuan Jackson on the defensive line, we feel like he’s one of the best defensive linemen in the country. Coach Garner recruited him extremely hard and it has been well over a year or two years that we’ve recruited him. We think he’s got a bright future and he’s a fine young man."

"Paul James, we needed some pass rushers and we really feel like he fills the need. He stayed loyal through us through the transition. We lost the coaches and there was about a week or so that other coaches came after him, but he hung in there with us and we really appreciate that.”

"Tashawn Manning is a young man who was diagnosed with cancer close to three months ago. He's a guy we're very excited about in the future. I really feel like it'll be a Shon Coleman story all over again. He's a tough young man. After he signed his papers, I said, 'what are you going to do to celebrate?' And he went to go get chemo. If you would, keep your thoughts and prayers with him and his family. He's got a great attitude, and we truly believe he'll be with us in a short period of time."

“Is another big receiver. He’s about 6-2, 200 pounds and has a 40-inch vertical and runs a 4.5. He came to camp and really stood out to us.”

“This is a guy we recruited for almost three years. This guy is a true football player. He’s got very good running skills. He catches the ball well. He protects. He does everything well that we ask for in a running back.”

"Jayvaughn Myers, a defensive back, is a guy who is long, very athletic. Coach McGriff is very excited about this guy. We think he'll have a chance to come in and compete for playing time."

“This is a guy that has been committed to us well over a year, almost two years. This is a guy that has been extremely loyal to us and one of the top tight ends in all of the country. He didn’t take any other visits and helped us recruit. He’s just a very loyal young man that we’re excited about and can help us really next year.”

“He is a guy that Herb Hand was recruiting before at Penn State. He had made a visit before as a defensive lineman. We really went hard the last month or so at offensive tackle. He is a guy that a lot of people wanted as a defensive end. That tells you his physicality. We think the sky is the limit for this young man and we’re very excited about him.”

“We’ve been recruiting for almost two years. He’s got a wonderful family. He’s got a very unique skill set. We think he’s got a chance to be an impact player. He can really do some things with the ball. Once he gets the ball in his hands, we think he’ll do a great job for us. We think he can help us next year.”

"Daniel Thomas, a defensive back from Montgomery, is a guy that has been on our radar a long time. We've known a lot about him. He's come over to games, we brought him over on an official visit this past weekend. We just feel in love with him and his family. He's a football player, so we're very excited to have Daniel in the secondary."

“Tre Threat is a linebacker from Spanish Fort. I believe he’s the only linebacker of this class. He has the unique ability that we think he can play inside or out. He’s going to give Coach Steele and Coach Williams some flexibility. He’s a talented young man.”