Auburn has added three more players to its 2020 signing class, putting some finishing touches on the group Wednesday on February’s National Signing Day.
Auburn picked up new letters of intent from two junior college defensive linemen and from a high school tight end out of Texas.
Auburn had already signed 23 players on December’s National Signing Day during college football’s early signing period. Wednesday’s movement brings Auburn’s signee number up to 26.
Auburn’s three new players are:
» Dre Butler, a 6-foot-7, 275-pound defensive tackle signing out of Independence Community College originally from Covington, Ga.;
» Marquis Burks, a 6-foot-3, 305-pound defensive tackle signing out of Iowa Central Community College originally from Chicago;
» Brandon Frazier, a 6-foot-5, 237-pound tight end signing out of McKinney North High School in McKinney, Texas.
Both Butler and Frazier were publicly committed to sign with Auburn ahead of Wednesday. Burks marks Auburn’s only signing-day decision out of this batch.
February’s Signing Day is not what it once was after the advent of December’s early signing period. Like several teams, most of Auburn’s class was signed and delivered in December and Wednesday offered room for only a few pickups for Auburn.
“We signed three players today to add to a class that I feel like is one of the best classes we’ve had since I’ve been here,” Malzahn said in a press conference Wednesday.
Butler arrives with three years of eligibility left to play out on the Plains. Burks has two years left to play.
Butler is rated as four-star prospect by both Rivals and 247Sports, and as a three-star player by ESPN. Burks is a consensus three-star.
Frazier is rated as a four-star by 247Sports and ESPN and is a three-star by Rivals. He was a longtime commitment for Chad Morris at Arkansas and his commitment followed Morris to the Plains. He will join December signee at tight end J.J. Pegues and current Tiger John Samuel Shenker as passing options for Nix at tight end.
And of course there’s the addition of Morris, whose new handprint on the program could call for more of their involvement.
“I know a lot of people and a lot of our fanbase say, ‘When are we going to throw to the tight end?’ Well, it’s here,” Malzahn said with a smile on Wednesday. The frustration of not throwing to the tight end enough — I think we’ve got two guys that can really help change it. And the guys we’ve got.
“If you look at what Coach Morris did the last two years, I think they targeted the tight end either the most or second-most in college football.”
Meanwhile, Butler and Burks are bringing their talents to the interior of Rodney Garner’s defensive line, just as standout Derrick Brown heads off to the NFL Draft.
“We needed some guys that had experience losing the guys we had,” Malzahn said speaking on Butler first. “One of the best junior college players at any position this year. Just a wonderful person, wonderful family. We’re very excited about Dre and getting him here.”
Then on Burks: “Really felt like he’s got big-time athleticism,” Malzahn said. “Very good athlete and really gets after the quarterback. We really think he’s got a chance to help us.”
Malzahn noted that the program could still add another player as a graduate transfer in the summer, mentioning it could be along the offensive line or at corner.
Auburn will open spring practices on March 16. The team’s A-Day game is set for April 11.