Wild recruiting weekend for Auburn Tigers

February, 4, 2013
2/04/13
9:12
AM ET
This time of year usually makes anyone associated with or interested in college football crazy. With national signing day creeping closer and closer, strange things will happen and be said until kids finally put pen to pad.

Auburn experienced quite the weekend, as players took their final visits to the Plains. The biggest -- and best -- news of all came when five-star defensive end Carl Lawson (Milton, Ga./Milton) decided to keep his commitment with the Tigers Insider. After the coaching turnover at Auburn, Lawson, who is ranked the No. 2 player in the country, took time to reevaluate where he stood with his Auburn commitment.

But even with top schools making hard runs at him, he left his official visit to Auburn this weekend with a firm commitment to the Tigers' program.

"This will successfully end my recruitment," Lawson said on Twitter. "I am an Auburn Tiger. I haven't felt this light on my feet in a while. The weight of the world is off my shoulders. WDE."

What a major get for Gus Malzahn and his staff. He's the signature player in this class and has a chance to compete right away for good playing time this fall.

The visit by Reuben Foster (Auburn, Ala.), who is the No. 1 inside linebacker in the country, was a bit weirder. He took his official visit to Auburn, where he was once committed, and reportedly left in the middle to take a visit to Alabama, another school he was once committed to.

It also sounds like Foster had company as well, with four-star running back Alvin Kamara (Norcross, Ga.) joining him. Foster and Kamara both have Alabama and Georgia at the top of their recruiting lists. It's unknown where Foster really stands with Auburn, but leaving an official visit early to check out that school's biggest rival certainly isn't a good sign. It's a slap in the face, really. I wonder what it feels like for him when he sees that Auburn logo he had tattooed on his arm when he looks down or into a mirror ...

So Foster might have bolted from the Plains, but the Tigers received more good news over the weekend when four-star running back Peyton Barber (Milton) flipped from Ole Miss to the Tigers Insider after his official visit to Auburn.

Barber is a big pickup for Malzahn and Co., considering Mike Blakely decided to transfer last week. He will now give the Tigers four scholarship running backs to work with this fall, as he joins junior college transfer Cameron Artis-Payne in the Tigers' 2013 class.

Here's what his father Ken Barber said about his son's decision to change his pledge from Ole Miss to Auburn:
“It’s just a combination. I guess you could say it’s the perfect storm, to a degree. Peyton was at Ole Miss last week, had a great visit also. After this weekend, it just really confirmed that it was the right fit for him.

“The great thing is that Peyton will have an opportunity to get a great education. Auburn University definitely offers that. Being close to home really means a lot. Family is very big for Peyton and all of us, also. It was just a great fit.”

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