After a slow start on the football recruiting front for Auburn’s 2021 class, four verbal commitments last weekend doubled the size of the group while adding star power in the process.
Dematrius Davis, a 6-0, 190-pound quarterback, is one of the more interesting members of the class. Rated four stars out of North Shore High in Houston, he will go into his senior year having led his team to a pair of Class 6A Texas state championships.
An accurate passer with a quick release, he also has quick feet, which enables him to buy extra time to find receivers.
Davis has put up impressive numbers. In the past two seasons he has thrown 73 touchdowns with just seven interceptions. He has 5,743 passing yards combined as a sophomore and junior.
Previously committed to Virginia Tech, Davis is a high-priority recruit for Coach Gus Malzahn and his new offensive coordinator and quarterback coach, Chad Morris, who was heavily involved in getting the Texan on board.
Two of the new commitments are offensive tackles from the same high school, who are each listed at 6-foot-7 as they head into their senior seasons.
Caleb Johnson, who was offered by Auburn more than a year ago, chose the Tigers over Florida, Notre Dame, Penn State and others. A 295-pounder, he attends Catholic High in Ocala, Florida.
Garner Langlo, who weighs in at 270 pounds, is a three-star prospect who chose the Tigers over Baylor, Georgia Tech, Duke, Florida State and others. He committed to the Tigers a month after receiving a scholarship offer from Auburn.
While it looks certain that Johnson and Langlo will play on the offensive line and that Davis will line up at quarterback, it is not certain where the other new commitment will play in college. Rated four stars as an “athlete” by 247Sports, Tar'varish Dawson might be a receiver in college or he might be a cornerback.
Dawson, who is 5-10, 175 pounds, played five positions as a junior for Lehigh High School in Florida in addition to being a standout sprinter in track, where he ran a time of 10.58 seconds in the 100 meters.
Other members of Auburn’s class include four-star defensive tackle Lee Hunter from Blount High in Prichard, four-star running back Armoni Goodwin from Hewitt-Trussville High, three-star safety Phillip O’Brien from Deerfield Beach High in Florida and three-star offensive tackle J’Marion Gooch from The King’s Academy in Seymour, Tennessee.
With Auburn not being able to bring prospects on campus this spring due to restrictions related to the coronavirus scare, that has probably been a major handicap for Malzahn and staff because they do a lot of their best recruiting when prospects and their families are visiting the Auburn campus.
The four new commitments will give Malzahn’s staff a chance to build much-needed momentum in putting together their next signing class.
Mark Murphy is the editor of Inside the Auburn Tigers magazine and newsletter