The Auburn-Mississippi State game on Saturday will feature two top 10 teams. The success on the field has translated to success in recruiting as both teams have top-15 recruiting classes. Here’s a closer look at how the two schools match up in recruiting and who some of their remaining targets are.
Instant impact recruit
Auburn: ATH Kerryon Johnson -- The No. 4-ranked athlete in the nation displayed his ridiculous athletic ability on a game televised on ESPNU earlier this year. Though listed as an athlete, Johnson was recruited by Auburn to play running back. With the Tigers' emphasis on a strong running game, look for Johnson to work his way into the rotation early in his career.
MSU: S Jamal Peters -- The lone weak spot on a very tough Mississippi State team is its secondary. The Bulldogs rank dead last in the SEC in defending the pass. Peters, who is the No. 2-ranked safety in the country, has the size and athletic ability to play early in his career and starting as a freshman is a real possibility.
Position group addressed through recruiting
Auburn: Offensive line -- With four ESPN 300 prospects committed -- Kaleb Kim, Bailey Sharp, Marquel Harrell and Tyler Carr -- and five-star prospect Martez Ivey heavily considering Auburn, it could end up with one of the top O-line classes it has had in a long time.
MSU: The Bulldogs have commitments from three defensive backs, including one from safety Peters. MSU also has commitments from five “athletes” that could play either wide receiver or defensive back in college.
Top remaining targets
Auburn: Five-star offensive lineman Ivey might be Auburn’s biggest remaining target. Another five-star defensive tackle, Trenton Thompson, is committed to Georgia but visited Auburn for its big win over LSU last week. ESPN 300 outside linebacker Jeffery Holland also visited Auburn last weekend and the Tigers appear to be in a two-team race with Florida for Holland.
MSU: With 29 commitments, there aren’t many spots available for the Bulldogs. Javon Patterson, the No. 3-ranked guard in the country is probably Mississippi State’s top remaining target. Leo Lewis, an Ole Miss commit, also remains a priority and holding on to their prized recruit, Jamal Peters, will not be an easy task for the Bulldogs.
Overview: For Mississippi State, it is on pace for its best recruiting class in the Dan Mullen era. This class is filled with athletes on both sides of the ball. MSU also has a four-star quarterback commitment from Chason Virgil. Mullen has also done an incredible job of competing against MSU's in-state rival Ole Miss. All of the Bulldogs' ESPN 300 commits are from the state of Mississippi. A win over Auburn on Saturday in front of recruits could go a long way not just for this year's class but for future recruiting classes.
For Auburn, the Tigers addressed an area of concern along the offensive line. Head coach Gus Malzahn has always been known for his offense but he has recruited well defensively over the past few years. He has two ESPN 300 linebackers, Richard McBryde and Jordan Colbert, committed and are hoping to finish their class with prospects like Holland and Ivey. Auburn has also recruited well out of state. Thirteen of Auburn's 20 commitments are not from the state of Alabama. A big win over Mississippi State on Saturday would show recruits just how dominant the Tigers have become and there's no signs of slowing down.