AUBURN — With several five-star recruits on campus for official visits, it was the sudden departure of one which consumed the minds of Auburn fans on Sunday with national signing day right around the corner on Wednesday.
Reuben Foster, a five-star linebacker and the consensus top prospect in the state, left his official visit at Auburn early and was in Tuscaloosa on Saturday night, according to multiple recruiting Website reports which broke the sudden departure late Saturday evening.
Rumors circulated rampantly Saturday evening about why Foster, an Under Armour All-American who played at Auburn high school this year, left his official visit on the Plains. He is set to announce his decision live on Fox Sports South’s The New College Football Show: Next Class 2013 today at 9 p.m.
Foster, whose Auburn tattoo on his forearm has drawn national headlines, decommitted after Gene Chizik was fired but is believed to be considering Auburn, Alabama and Georgia.
By rule, Auburn coaches and staff cannot comment on recruiting.
The Tigers did get some very good news Sunday though as five-star defensive end Carl Lawson reaffirmed his commitment to Auburn via Twitter and his Milton (Alpharetta, Ga.) high school teammate, three-star running back Peyton Barber, flipped to Auburn after previously being committed to Ole Miss.
“This will successfully end my recruitment I am an Auburn Tiger. No questions will be answered no calls will be accepted,” Lawson tweeted.
An Under Amour All-American, Lawson is ranked as the No. 1 weakside defensive end in the nation by Rivals and 247Sports and No. 4 overall prospect by Rivals. The Alpharetta, Ga., native was named Class 6A All-State first team by the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
“Haven’t felt this light on my feet in a while. The weight of the world is off my shoulders #WDE,” Lawson tweeted.
According to Scout, Lawson recorded 82 tackles, 36 tackles for loss, and 26.5 sacks this season.
Barber, a 5-11 215-pound tailback, becomes the second tailback commit in Auburn’s 2013 class, joining No. 1 junior college running back Cameron Artis-Payne who is already enrolled, and is the 20th overall commitment. His commitment was reported by multiple recruiting sites.
Barber also fills the void left by Jordan Wilkins, who decommitted two weeks ago and committed to Ole Miss late Saturday night. Four-star tailback Johnathan Ford of New Hope, Ala., a former Vanderbilt commit, is also a possible option for Auburn.
Also among this weekend’s visitors was five-star defensive tackle Montravius Adams, who listed Auburn among his four finalists. The highly-touted Adams also listed Clemson, Georgia and Alabama as his other finalists.
“Auburn — I like the coaches and the players, we got along real good and I like it here,” Adams said. “Clemson is the first school to offer and I loved it. I could see myself there, I loved everything about it. Georgia, I like Georgia, it’s my home state, my momma like it, it’s a great place.
“Alabama, everybody knows that’s a great place. I talked to the coaches they said that they would give me a chance to come in and play. I like it there, they have that great tradition of winning and that’s what I want to do — win. They’ve got some of the best coaches in the league and I know they can help me get in the (NFL).”
The Vienna, Ga., native said his visit to the Plains was “great” and “it made a difference” in his recruitment to get to know the new coaching staff.
“It seems like a great place,” he said. “I got close to both coaching staffs. I was probably closer to the last one because I’ve been over here and I met them a lot.”
Adams said the factors which will help him decide which school to play for are “that my momma like it, the coaches and the people here, that I like it, that it’s the best place for me to get my degree and where I feel at home to play ball.”
During his visit to the Plains, Adams said he spent time with defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator Charlie Garner, whom he knew from Garner’s time at Georgia.
Offensive lineman Deon Mix has Auburn in his mix. The 6-4 315-pound Batesville, Miss., native and former Mississippi State commit listed Auburn among his finalists.