While National Signing Day for the recruiting class of 2016 was just over a month-and-a-half ago, Auburn has already laid much groundwork for the next cycle.
The Tigers have put themselves into good position for several top 2017 talents, which we’ll delve into next week, and secured the commitments of three others with consensus blue-chipper Calvin Ashley serving as the early centerpiece.
Today, we look at Auburn’s three early commitments.
OT / 6-foot-6 / 310 / Orlando, Fla.
Highest Ranking: No. 6 (ESPN)
Ashley committed all the way back on May 30, 2015, and has been solid ever since.
While it’s never easy signing a consensus five-star recruit from the Sunshine State, the stud offensive tackle has, to-date, given the Tigers little reason to worry.
Even with the departure of offensive line coach J.B. Grimes, Ashley has held firm.
After visiting in early March, he had the opportunity to meet Herb Hand, the new leader of Auburn’s offensive front, and came away feeling as strong as ever about his commitment.
In fact, Ashley claims there is no school he would even place as No. 2 on his list behind Auburn and is actively recruiting for the Tigers.
— Calvin Klein (@whiteboii_Cali) March 3, 2016
RB / 6-foot / 200 / Gadsden, Ala.
Highest Ranking: No. 103 (247Sports)
Williams pledged to Auburn on July 25, 2015.
I am officially an Auburn Tiger!! #WarEagle thanks everyone who has helped me with my decision. AU17
— ⚡️Alaric Williams⚡️ (@Alaric_8) July 25, 2015
A talented player who could play multiple positions, Williams appears happy with his commitment, but Notre Dame is potentially a contender to keep an eye on.
The gifted athlete visited South Bend last year and, more recently, Georgia in February.
Auburn is only guaranteed to lose Jovon Robinson after the 2016 season, but is likely to take two running backs in the class.
S / 6-foot-1 / 190 / Stone Mountain, Ga.
Highest Ranking: No. 245 (ESPN)
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A true safety prospect, Gonzalez committed to the Tigers on August 8, 2015.
The Georgia native has admitted that an offer from the in-state Bulldogs would be meaningful to him.
Should the Georgia offer come, it is my belief that Gonzalez would instantly become the least solid of Auburn’s three pledges.
It probably doesn’t help that the man he believed would be his position coach at Auburn, Travaris Robinson, is no longer on The Plains.
Gonzalez, for his part, has recently stated that he is firmly committed to the Tigers.