The hiring of Herb Hand continues to bolster Auburn’s offensive line recruiting.
The Tigers offensive line coach secured a third offensive line verbal commitment to Auburn’s 2017 class as four-star prospect Nick Brahms gave his pledge Saturday night.
Brahms, a 280-pound offensive lineman from Navarre, Fla., choose Auburn over scholarship offers from North Carolina, Miami (Fla.) and Tennessee.
Brahms, who is listed by Rivals.com as the 30th best prospect in the nation at tackle, is expected to provide depth at three lineman positions including possibly center.
Brahms joins Auburn’s pair of bookend tackle prospects in the Tigers upcoming class following five-star offensive tackle commit Calvin Ashley and four-star tackle recruit Austin Troxell. The last time Auburn has had just two offensive tackle prospects in the same class rated four stars or higher in every recruiting service was 2012.
Hand, who was the primary recruiter for Brahms, sent out an emotionally charged message on Twitter Saturday night after Brahms committed stating “Three BEASTS on board and I’m STR8GHT JACKED!!”.
Hand, who was hired this past offseason to replace J.B. Grimes, has said this spring he plans to sign five offensive linemen in the 2017 class.
Brahms, who is participating this weekend at The Opening 2016 football camp hosted at Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon, is Auburn’s 10th commitment in the 2017 class, six of whom Rivals.com ranks a four- or five-star recruit.
According to 247Sports.com, Brahms told each of the coaching staff where he would be committing Thursday night but Brahms was scheduled to make his verbal pledge from the Nike World Headquarters in Oregon over a national television broadcast.
It’s certainly not an understatement to suggest offensive tackle was the biggest priority of Auburn’s 2017 recruiting class after watching Shon Coleman and Avery Young declare for the NFL draft.
Auburn’s projected plan at both tackle spots is to convert former starting center Austin Golson, a Prattville native who originally signed with Ole Miss and played tackle as a freshman for the Rebels, and hope senior Robert Leff can hold down right tackle.
However, Auburn was unable to find depth behind those two players during spring practices. Mike Horton saw more time at guard and Texas transfer Darius James is still adapting to game speed following a knee injury with the Longhorns.
“You have to have eight or nine guys you can really count on the offensive line at a minimum to play in this league and be successful,” Auburn offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee said on April 7.