June 25, 2024

Hugh Freeze ‘excited about the class’ after first day of Early Signing Day ends

Wednesday marked the first day of the 2024 Early Signing Day, and head coach Hugh Freeze was thrilled about his incoming class.

Twenty-four players have officially put the pen to paper to seal their commitment to the Tigers with 19 coming from high school, three coming from the transfer portal and two from JUCO.

“Excited about this class, obviously,” Freeze said. “Just thrilled with the effort, and I really believe that the young men that we’ve signed and the families they come from, I love these kids. I love them as individuals. I think they’re genuine. I think they want to help a program reestablish itself as one of the elite programs in the country, and I think they love to work at it and excited to get a lot of them here soon and go to work.”

Cam Coleman, Central, Wide Receiver

A large chunk of Auburn’s class that signed Wednesday came from the high school ranks, a tactic that Freeze and his staff implemented by design. Last offseason, Auburn signed 20 players from the transfer portal.

While the Tigers will certainly add more after Wednesday, right now they only have three commitments from the portal. In what seems to be a different tactic from last season, Freeze is not looking to be overly reliant on the portal this season.

“We focused on the high school class,” Freeze said. “… I don’t know if that’s the right approach, but I wanted them to feel like they’re the priority. So, we did not chase hard and portal on everyone that could play, and there was a lot that could, because we were just committed to making sure that our high school class felt like they were the priority of us establishing the true rebuild here at Auburn.”

Leading that class of high school commitments were the two jewels of Auburn’s 2024 class: Cam Coleman from Central High School and Perry Thompson from Foley High School. Both Coleman, who was previously committed to Texas A&M, and Thompson, who was once committed to Alabama, are rated as 5-star wide receivers and are the two highest-rated players in the Tigers’ 2024 class according to 247Sports.

Freeze publicly reaffirmed his commitment to 2023 starting quarterback Payton Thorne earlier this week by saying, “If we get the right pieces around him and Holden (Geriner), I think our quarterback room is going to be fine next year.” And with the addition of two of the highest-rated commits in Auburn history running routes for him next season, Thorne’s job should become a whole lot easier in 2024.

Additionally, Auburn has two other top-200 wide receivers coming in with Malcolm Simmons from Benjamin Russell High School and Bryce Cain from Baker High School also signing with Auburn on Wednesday – meaning all four of Auburn’s wide receiver commits are staying in-state.

Perry Thompson, Foley , Wide Receiver

“And then you move to where it was no secret, we needed to get some difference makers at the receiver position,” Freeze said. “And to land two of the top 10 in the nation in Perry and Cam, and then two others that I think are sleepers… Now they’re gonna have to get thrown in the deep end of the pool and swim pretty fast, but I think they have that ability.”

Freeze compared this incoming receiver class to the 2013 class he signed during his time at Ole Miss when he brought in 5-star receiver Laquon Treadwell, who left Ole Miss as the program leader in career receptions and finished fifth in school history in receiving yards.

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