|ESPN.com: Football||[Print without images]|
Alabama still has the top-ranked recruiting class in the country, but on Wednesday the Crimson Tide lost their second ESPN 300 commit in the past three days.
Defensive back Stephen Roberts (Opelika, Ala./Opelika) flipped his commitment from Alabama to Auburn after four-star offensive guard Viane Talamaivao (Corona, Calif./Centennial) switched his pledge from the Tide to USC on Monday.
According to Opelika coach Brian Blackmon, Roberts' comfort level with Auburn was a main factor in his decision to make a switch.
"It's close to home -- Stephen grew up an Auburn fan -- and I think the fact they are having success and he's been able to see that success and build a relationship with their coaches because of the proximity to home ... it's easy for him to get in the car and go over there," Blackmon said. "I think that there was such an unknown in the spring last year with what Auburn was going to be, who they were going to be, what they were going to be like. I think that had a lot do with it."
The decision didn't come as a big surprise to many. Roberts, the No. 69-ranked player in the country, has attended every Auburn home game this season, and teammate Jakell Mitchell is also committed to Auburn.
The Tigers now have 18 2014 commitments, including seven ranked in the ESPN 300. Alabama, meanwhile, still has 21 commits, including 16 in the ESPN 300.
Auburn has the No. 14-ranked recruiting class in the country.
Information from ESPN.com's Auburn Tigers reporter Greg Ostendorf contributed to this story.