Auburn football: 2024 signees who will make the biggest impact as freshmen

Hugh Freeze signed the No. 7 recruiting class in the country on early signing day and it includes plenty of players who can make a splash in the SEC as true freshmen next season.

Picayune defensive end Jamonta Waller (11)
Picayune defensive end Jamonta Waller (11) / Dominic Gwinn / Hattiesburg American /
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525. Auburn Waller. EDGE. player. Picayune, MS. . . 4-star. Jamonta Waller. Jamonta Waller

Auburn needed more pass rushers last year. It was a huge issue for the Tigers on defense. They only ranked 47th in sacks per game, but that’s even a bit misleading becuase the pass rush was not quite that effective. 

Jalen McLeod was the leading rusher with 35 pressures off the edge at 6-foot-1 237 pounds, and Waller fits that mold perfectly. Auburn plays with a “Jack” linebacker which is just an edge rusher that is capable of dropping into protection. 

Waller is perfect for that role, though his measureables don’t pop at just 6-foot-2 225-pounds. He’s very stout and strong with tons of speed and twitchiness at the line of scrimmage. 

As a pass rusher, he can win with power on a straight bull rush, with speed, or with his great hands. He has a variety of options to get to the quarterback and plenty of counters, which is rare for a high schooler. He’ll be the perfect fit opposite McLeod or spelling him at times next season. 

On tape, he didn’t show much in pass-coverage, but that’s not nearly as important. He’ll be able to get to the quarterback in the SEC as a freshman and that’s rare, especially for someone as light as he is.