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Friday, January 21, 2011
Auburn takes big step in rebuilding line

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

With four senior offensive line starters departing from its national championship team, Auburn faces a major rebuilding job up front.

The Tigers took a positive step in replenishing some of the talent they're losing Friday when highly touted offensive tackle prospect Christian Westerman of Chandler, Ariz., announced that he was changing his commitment from Texas to Auburn.

The 6-4, 290-pound Westerman is rated by ESPN as the No. 2 offensive tackle prospect in the country. He's No. 6 overall on the ESPNU 150 list and had been committed to Texas since last April.

Keeping Jeff Grimes as offensive line coach was obviously a key in landing Westerman. Grimes interviewed for the Texas offensive line job last week, but decided to stay at Auburn. Westerman has formed a close relationship with Grimes during the recruiting process.

Westerman's commitment also vaults Auburn's class into the top 10 nationally at No. 9.

Here's an updated look at ESPN's top 15 classes:

1. Florida State

2. Texas

3. Alabama

4. USC

5. Florida

6. Oklahoma

7. Ohio State

8. LSU

9. Auburn

10. Notre Dame

11. Georgia

12. Clemson

13. North Carolina

14. Nebraska

15. California