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Auburn's offensive signees: The coaches speak

Feb. 6, 2014

Daymeyune Craig says his wide receivers class includesimpact players

By Phillip Marshall

AUBURN, Ala. - With national signing day having come and gone, Auburn has added 13 defensive players for the 2014 season. With 23 signees, including enrolled junior college transfers, the Tigers went heavy on defense.

Position coaches and head coach Gus Malzahn offer their opinions about the newest Tigers on oggrndr.

Position coach: Rhett Lashlee

Sean White **** 6-2, 200, Boca Raton, Fla./University Nova South

Lashlee says:

"He is probably the class of the country at quarterback. He's a better athlete than most people realize. He's the most accurate passer I've seen out there. The bottom line is all he does is win and prove people wrong."

Malzahn says:

"A guy that Coach Lashlee loved since day one. He had the chance to throw for us in the summer and has been committed to us for a long time. A guy that could have taken other trips, could have opened it up, but hung in there with us - we feel really good about Sean."

Position coach: Tim Horto

Kamryn Pettway *** 6-0, 220, Prattville

Horton says:

"You are going to see a big, strong, physical, north-south downhill runner. He can do a lot of things, which is catch the football out of the backfield or block or do what he does best and run the football."

Malzahn says:

"Just a big, physical, hard-nosed guy. We really feel like he has great potential. He's a big man and he can run, he's got very good ball skills and can give us a lot of versatility."

Roc Thomas ***** 5-11, 202, Oxford

Horton says:

"He's really an impressive player on video, as impressive as any I've seen coming out. He has great speed and quickness and vision. He can accelerate. We are looking forward to getting him here."

Malzahn says:

"He was the top running back on our guys' board. Our offense staff identified him early. They recruited him extremely hard. Once again a key to this class, he was very loyal to us. He could have gone anywhere and he chose to not go anywhere and stay with us. We really feel like he has the ability to come in immediately and make a huge impact."

Position coach: Dameyune Craig

Myron Burton Jr. *** 6-3, 200, Lawrenceville, Ga./Peachtree Ridge

Craig says:

"He wasn't as highly recruited as the other guys. He came to camp and did an outstanding job. At the camp he came to, he was the best receiver there. He really impressed me. It's hard to catch a coach's eye with 300-500 kids out there. He was out there making plays, fighting for the football. He ran well, 4.52.

"He is over 6-2, about 200 pounds. He is physical natured the way he plays football. He plays with an edge and loves contact. I expect some huge things from this kid. To me, he may be the surprise of the class because of his approach to the game, his work ethic."

Malzahn says:

"A guy who came to camp and really stood out to us. He was at the front of the line, very physical and he played with that edge. He was on our mind early in the season. Coach Craig stayed on him and we ended up offering and he committed. We feel he's got a lot of potential."

Stephen Truitt **** 5-10, 185, Monroe, Ga./Monroe Area

Craig says:

"He's a great kid, an early enrollee. His highlight film is like a video game. He touches the ball and he scores touchdowns. I went to watch him play and he scored three or four touchdowns in the first quarter. He is very fast. Last year, he ran a 10.3 100. He's probably faster now. He's very strong. He's able to run through tackles. He's able to stick his foot in the ground and get north and south."

D'haquille Williams ***** 6-3, 205, LaPlace, La./Mississippi Gulf Coast CC

Craig says:

"Great kid. Great athlete. We feel good about his potential. He has a great upside. He's a competitor. He's going to be a hard guy to match up with one-on-one. He's physical. The game comes natural to him. He's adjusting to Auburn football and the way we do things. He's getting adjusted to school. He's doing an outstanding job. This kid is a natural athlete and natural receiver.

Malzahn says:

"He is the number one rated junior college player in the entire country. He has unbelievable skills. I got a chance to get to know him back in his high school days. I really think he will have a chance to be an impact player right off the bat."

Position coach: J.B. Grimes

Xavier Dampeer *** 6-3, 300, Mendenhall, Miss./Copiah-Lincoln CC

Grimes says:

"First of all, you see a defensive lineman that moved to the offensive line. It gets back to that athleticism that you are looking for. You have a defensive tackle that played pretty well on defense. You turn around and watch him snap in a college game. He's not playing against high school kids. He's playing against legitimate talent in the Mississippi junior colleges. He's snapping the ball and it's accurate. It's right there where the quarterback can take it every time.

"A, you get a big guy. He's 300-plus pounds. B, you get a strong guy who has legitimate numbers in the weight room. Then you get an accurate snapper. And, oh yeah, he has athleticism and can run. Those are the makings of a very good center."

Malzahn says:

"He is going to provide some depth up front, especially in the center position. He did that last year. He is just a big strong guy that we really feel could help us."

Braden Smith **** 6-6, 285, Olathe, Kan./Olathe South

Grimes says:

"You put the tape on and a he's playing guard, so he's running a lot. They pull their guards a lot like we do. You sit there and you are watching this kid and you know he's a legitimate size guy. He's 6-6 ½ standing in his bare feet and he's 285 pounds.  He's stronger than train smoke. And then you put the tape on and watch him run. Then you watch him bend. He plays with really, really low pad level.

"I see a guy I think is long enough to play tackle and I see a guy that can run and is athletic enough to play tackle. My first thought is let's find out if he can play tackle. Since we lost a good tackle, it'd be nice to get an athletic guy and find out."

Malzahn says:

"We got on him late when Greg Robinson declared for the draft. Coach Grimes did a great job of developing a great relationship in a short period of time. Came on a visit and just hit it off. Auburn is his type of place. He is very athletic, one of the strongest guys in the entire country. He will really fit in for us. I think he will give us the ability to help early."

Position coach: Scott Fountain

Chris Laye (TE) *** 6-5, 240, Cummings, Ga./Lambert

Fountain says:

"The main thing with him is just focus on being a true hand-down tight end position and see what he can do to help us there. With a big body, he's a guy that can help us with blocking at that position. He's more of a true tight end. We'll see what he can do in the passing game as we go, but he won't be splitting out a ton."

Malzahn says:

"We really feel like he has very good ball skills. He is going to be an outstanding player."

Jakell Mitchell (HB) *** 6-4, 215, Opelika

Fountain says:

"In high school, the last time I saw him play before he got hurt, he did everything we do. He has done this offense for two years now. My big thing with him is we have to get him in and get some weight on him. He's about 218 now. He's a fantastic athlete that is going to be able to do a lot for us."

Malzahn says:

"He's going to play our three back. He's a guy we identified when he was a junior. He runs a very similar offense. He can block, he can catch, he's got a little bit of running back skills. He played a bit of wildcat when he was a junior and then hurt his knee. We feel the sky is the limit for this guy."


Phillip Marshall is a Senior Writer for Follow Marshall on Twitter:




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