-by Braden Gall (@AthlonBraden)
Athlon Sports continues its Class of 2011 national team recruiting rankings today with the No. 5 class in the nation.
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5. Auburn Tigers (24 signees – 8 AC100)
Yes, winning a national championship will help recruiting. Of the eight Athlon Consensus 100 signees, five committed post-National Championship. No team in the nation closed stronger over the final months of the recruiting calendar than the Tigers.
The offensive line class is astounding. Three of the four are AC100 prospects - including four of the top 15 nationally. This list has the No. 2 blocker in the nation in Chrisitan Westerman as well as possibly the nation’s No. 1 center in Reese Dismukes. Greg Robinson and Thomas O'Reilly wrap up what could be the most talented foursome of linemen Auburn has ever signed.
The loaded front line should have plenty of talent to block for as Gene Chizik signed a pair of running backs, receivers and tight ends apiece. Game-changing tailback Quan Bray heads this group as one of the most electrifying speedsters in the nation. His explosiveness and change of direction skills are unmatched. Wideouts Sammie Coates and Jaylon Denson bring excellent size (6'3") to the receiving corps. Athlete Brandon Fulse brings great size and toughness to the tight end spot — if he isn't moved to the defensive side of the ball.
Auburn also added a superstar quarterback who is a physical running presence — sound familiar? Kiehl Frazier, behind this special offensive line class, puts the Auburn power rushing attack in good shape for years. Frazier, listed at 6'3" and 215 pounds, will have a chance to compete for playing time right away. He is a leader, a winner, a hard-nosed competitor and will need only minimal work on his mechanics before he is college ready.
On the defensive side of the ball, defensive back and linebacker got plenty of attention after the loss of many seniors. One of the nation's elite safeties, Erique Florence, leads a deep and talented secondary class that features three nationally rated covermen. Kris Frost, who played wide receiver and linebacker, should be an explosive tackler on the next level.
Nine of the 13 defensive signees are slated to play in the back seven. Along the defensive line, tackle Gabe Wright leads the small four-man class.
Excelling inside the state in head-to-head battles with rival Bama will always be key for Auburn. Despite missing on some players (Brent Calloway, for example), Chizik’s 10 in-state signees doubled the five Saban landed — a good sign for War Eagles everywhere.
No. 7 Christian Westerman, OL (Chandler, Ariz.)
No. 50 Kiehl Frazier, QB (Springdale, Ark.)
No. 62 Erique Florence, S (Valley, Ala.)
No. 74 Quan Bray, RB (Lagrange, Ga.)
No. 78 Kris Frost, ATH (Matthews, N.C.)
No. 82 Gabe Wright, DT (Columbus, Ga.)
No. 86 Gregory Robinson, OL (Thibodaux, La.)
No. 95 Reese Dismukes, OL (Spanish Fort, Ala.)
No. 115 Jonathan Rose, DB (Leeds, Ala.)
No. 193 Brandon Fulse, ATH (Fort Meade, Fla.)
No. 222 Robenson Therezie, DB (Miami, Fla.)
No. 260 Thomas O’Reilly, OL (Marietta, Ga.)