Auburn Football Recruiting: 2014 Junior College Signing Day


The Auburn football recruiting class officially welcomed more members Wednesday on Junior College Signing Day. Who did the Tigers land? Who did they miss?

Patrick Ochs of was at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College this morning, and shared tweets and updates on the signing day festivities there.

Jason Smith, QB/ATH: Smith is a long-time commit (and former signee) that is now officially a member of the Auburn football team. He is expected to be on campus January 12.

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A quarterback at MGCCC, Smith is listed as an Athlete by the major recruiting services and ranked in the top 20 among JUCO prospects. The 6-foot-1, 195-pounder threw for 1,566 yards and 18 touchdowns on 102-for-165 passing with just two interceptions this season. He is a dual threat signal caller that ran for 424 yards and a team-leading ten TDs this year.

Smith is expected to be given a shot to play quarterback at Auburn, but with the ultra-talented Jeremy Johnson in line to take over for the departing Nick Marshall, Smith could probably see playing earlier at another position. Wide receiver and defensive back are both needs for the Tigers looking ahead to 2015, and Smith could find himself in the mix in either area.

“I know they’re going to stick to their word. Coach (Gus) Malzahn is a good guy and I know he wouldn’t lie,” Smith told Ochs. “I know they’re going to get me started at quarterback and I wouldn’t mind that. If my position is receiver, I wouldn’t mind that, either.”

Tony Bridges, DB: The one that got away. Tony Bridges – the nation’s top rated junior college defensive back – was once committed to the Tigers, but flipped to Ole Miss last month.

“I committed to Ole Miss,” Bridges told in November. “Family-wise, my mother wanted me to be closer to home. First and foremost, you have to love the coaching staff and football players. I love the players at Auburn, but I love the Ole Miss players too. Campus-wise, I love everything about it.”

Auburn fans and coaches hoped that the hiring of new defensive coordinator Will Muschamp might persuade Bridges to with allegiances once again.

“It’s a great deal,” Bridges said of Muschamp last week. “I think it’s great. It’s a great step for Auburn.”

But it wasn’t great enough to make Bridges a Tiger. He signed with the Rebels Wednesday.

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  • “I listened to everything Coach (Muschamp) had to say,” Bridges told Ochs Wednesday. “The process was hard for me. I had a lot of choices and narrowed it down to two, Auburn and Ole Miss,” Bridges said. “I chose what’s best for me in the long run.”

    Maurice Swain, DT: Swain is a three-star prospect from MGCCC via LaGrange, Georgia. The 6-foot-4, 295-pound defensive tackle is ranked among the top 25 JUCO prospects by the 247Composite and gives an immediate boost to the interior defensive line for the Tigers, who lose Angelo Blackson, Ben Bradley, Jeff Whitaker and Gabe Wright to graduation.

    “I’m all about family,” Swain told Ochs. “Auburn stayed loyal to me the whole time through this process. It was a big deal about family,” he said. “I appreciate every school that came and offered me. They saw the player I really am and Auburn is where I really want to be.”

    The Tigers nabbed Swain, who also considered along with Mississippi State and Kentucky.

    Kevin Phillips, Kicker/Punter: An under the radar name that signed with Auburn this morning was Kevin Phillips, a specialist from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.

    Phillips has accepted a walk-on spot with the Tigers, according to Keith Niebuhr of 247Sports, and therefore will not count against scholarship limitations. Phillips is likely to compete to with Jimmy Hutchinson to take some of the kicking duties off of Daniel Carlson‘s hands (foot?). He averaged 39.9 yards per punt this season at MGCC.

    Auburn also made a push for Marquavius Lewis, a highly touted defensive end that was committed to South Carolina, but he stayed true to the Gamecocks and signed with them this afternoon.

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