Before the weekend, Auburn’s 2021 class had an underwhelming four commitments with lots of ground to make up in the recruiting juggernaut of a conference that the SEC is.
Three days later and the Tigers have doubled the size of its class, propelling themselves into the Top 25 (247Sports Team Rankings), and are picking up momentum for what has the potential to be another impressive group. Currently, they are the No. 21 class.
Here’s a quick look at the four commitments Gus Malzahn and his staff landed over the weekend, and what Auburn is getting with each one of them.
QB – DEMATRIUS DAVIS (4-STAR) – 6-0, 190 LBS. – HOUSTON, TX
Steam had been mounting for several months with Davis, and after decommiting from Virginia Tech just weeks earlier, there was little surprise that the dual-threat quarterback from Texas eventually chose the Tigers. Davis, an ESPN 300 prospect and the fourth-ranked dual-threat quarterback in the 2021 class, made the announcement Sunday morning.
“What really made me commit — the opportunity to play in big-time games every week,” Davis said in an interview with Rivals’ Sam Spiegelman. “I’ll have the opportunity to get my name out there once I get on the field and do what I do.”
Davis, whose relationship with offensive coordinator Chad Morris was the driving factor, becomes the first quarterback in Auburn’s 2021 class. Morris has recruited Davis since his freshman year and has sold him on how he could be the quarterback of the future for this offense.
The North Shore product is one of the most decorated recruits in the country, accounting for more than 4,000 combined yards, with more than 1,400 of them on the ground, and 54 total touchdowns in 2019. Davis is a pure passer with mobility that thrives in situations when the play breaks down. He will have the time to mature and learn under Bo Nix, but already has the attributes to fit perfectly in Malzahn’s system down the road.
OT – CALEB JOHNSON (4-STAR) – 6-7, 295 LBS. – OCALA, FL
Offensive line coach Jack Bicknell went outside the state to recruit one of the Tigers’ biggest targets, and was rewarded with a commitment from Johnson Friday. Johnson is ranked as the 29th-best offensive tackle in the class, according to ESPN, and has the traits to blossom into a Power-Five starter in the years to come. Offensive line was a position of emphasis for this class, with the hiring of Bicknell and with the departure of four seniors in 2019.
“He is a straightforward guy,” Johnson said of Bicknell in an interview with Rivals. “We have a good relationship and I like how he teaches. He likes me and I like him.”
The four-star tackle has a long, athletic frame and has the potential to be an effective run-blocker for the Tigers in the future, and has the versatility to compete at tackle or guard.
ATH – TAR’VARISH DAWSON (3-STAR) – 5-10, 175 LBS. – LEHIGH ACRES, FL
Dawson committed during the show Friday morning, so we dissected him and gave our initial thoughts on the Florida athlete, but again, to reiterate, he’s not a three-star to disregard. He is a Top-30 athlete on ESPN’s rankings and chose Auburn over Miami, South Carolina and UCF among others. Dawson compares to former Auburn defensive back Javaris Davis, who now is with the Kansas City Chiefs, and has the upside to be real weapon in Kevin Steele’s defensive scheme.
“It’s a must,” Dawson said in an interview with Auburn Undercover. “I have to go up there. I like Auburn. It’s a big school and they have great players that came from that school. They’ve had a lot of success. They always have a chance to go to the playoffs, so I like that a lot.”
Dawson is lightning quick, being clocked at 10.58 seconds in 100-meter dash, and possesses unique versatility that can translate to a number of positions at the next level. While I expect Dawson to end up playing on the defensive side of the ball at nickel or corner, it will be interesting nonetheless to see how this coaching staff chooses to use him.
OT – GARNER LANGLO (3-STAR) – 6-7, 270 LBS. – OCALA, FL
Langlo, a teammate of Johnson, also committed Friday, joining offensive line commits Johnson and J’Marion Gooch. Langlo, another big target for Bicknell, chose Auburn over Florida State, N.C. State and Mississippi State just to name a few.
“Coach Bicknell definitely knows what he’s doing,” Langlo said in an interview with Rivals. “He doesn’t sugarcoat anything and is going to tell you how it is. He’s been around and will be able to help me get to the next level.”
The combination of two massive linemen in Langlo and Johnson, soon to be under the guidance of a former NFL coach in Bicknell, is a promising early push for this 2021 class.