With linebackers Zakoby McLain and Chandler Wooten parting ways with the Auburn football program and preparing to transition to the NFL, the Tigers have big shoes to fill on the defensive side of the ball.
Owen Pappoe is currently still sidelined with an injury, so returners Wesley Steiner and Cam Riley have been taking first-team reps during spring practice while UNC transfer Eugene Asante and redshirt freshman Desmond Tisdol have been participating on the second team.
While those four linebackers will be the focus heading into the 2022 season, Auburn football’s coaching staff and specifically linebackers coach Christian Robinson are still looking forward to 2023 and working on recruiting top LBs to add to the roster.
One of those linebacker prospects is 4-star CJ Allen, who visited the Plains over the weekend and had a great experience. Not only is Coach Robinson heavily involved in Allen’s recruitment, but so is team leader Owen Pappoe, which is a big deal for Allen, per Auburn Undercover:
"“Just coming back and being with Coach Robinson, this is the best experience I’ve had,” Allen said. “It was way better than the first time. Just being inside and seeing the practice and the linebackers, it was a great experience. Talking with Owen was great.”"
According to Auburn Undercover’s Jason Caldwell, getting to spend time with Pappoe was a highlight of Allen’s visit to the Plains, and Pappoe’s story and his message really stood out to the 4-star LB:
"“He played his freshman year and he’s a great guy to watch,” Allen said. “It’s a big deal (to be able to talk with him). He’s on the same path I’m on and I’m trying to get to his level. It’s one thing when you hear it, but it’s another thing when you see it from the source. It’s a great thing.”"
Allen noted that Auburn football made a great impression during his visit, and he looks forward to getting back on campus again before making a final decision about where he will play college ball.