The biggest needs for Hugh Freeze and Co.’s 2024 Auburn football recruiting class boil down to the same issues the Tigers have had under the last two head coaches as well thus far: talent in the trenches on both sides of the ball.
The Auburn Observer’s Justin Ferguson said as much during the latest Aubserver Mailbag answering a reader’s question about what the coaching staff’s biggest needs will be beyond the 2023 season.
“The biggest positions of need, without a doubt, are along the line of scrimmage,” Ferguson prefaced before saying, “As I wrote about in a recent mailbag, both lines are tilted toward the older side of the spectrum after Auburn’s transfer overhaul. Right now, the Tigers have zero linemen committed for 2024, but it’s still early. On offense, there are four super seniors and two more regular seniors — and the three juniors aren’t guaranteed to be playing college football for much longer. Auburn has six underclassmen along the offensive line, including four true freshmen. The Tigers really need to add close to a whole offensive line’s worth of players in order to be in the best position for the future. The transfer portal can help out here some, but you would ultimately like to get as many high schoolers to develop as you can.”
Auburn football heavily relied on transfers for the 2023 recruiting class
Credit to Freeze for having an offensive line that looks capable of actually helping a running game find openings and not get hit before crossing the line of scrimmage for the 2023 season, but this recruiting process is not sustainable in the long term.
Just ask Lane Kiffin and Ole Miss.
The additions of Avery Jones, Gunner Britton, and Dillon Wade will go a long way offensively, with Justin Rogers and Mosiah Nasili-Kite doing the same for the defense, but all but one from that group (Wade) are seniors or graduate students. This class will achieve the majority, if not the totality, of their success on the Plains this coming season.
A solid foundation needs to be built for the future beyond them, and the work must be done as soon as possible after the hole Bryan Harsin dug during his Tigers tenure.