May 27, 2024

Auburn’s defensive front underwent a major transformation as Keyron Crawford became the third transfer commitment within a 24-hour period. Crawford, arriving from Arkansas State with two years of eligibility, adds to Auburn’s defensive line reinforcements sourced from the transfer portal. Joining him are Philip Blidi from Indiana and Isaiah Raikes from USC, all acquisitions since Sunday afternoon. Head coach Hugh Freeze’s focus on bolstering the defensive line through transfers has materialized with these signings.

Auburn’s struggles in run defense and pass rush last season, compounded by the departure of Marcus Harris to the NFL Draft, underscored the significance of these additions. Coaching changes also reshaped the defensive staff, with Josh Aldridge transitioning to oversee edge rushers and D.J. Durkin taking charge of linebackers. Vontrell King-Williams’s promotion to defensive tackles coach played a pivotal role in securing Raikes and Blidi.

Despite previous additions from high school and the winter transfer window, Freeze pursued further reinforcements, resulting in the acquisitions of Crawford, Raikes, and Blidi. Crawford, likely to provide depth initially, brings significant experience, having started all 13 games for Arkansas State last season and tallying impressive statistics.

Keyron Crawford, Arkansas State, Edge

With numerous new additions, Auburn anticipates substantial improvement in the defensive line and pass rush units, provided the recruitment from the portal pays off. The team’s activity in the spring transfer window indicates ongoing efforts to strengthen both offense and defense. With over 30 new faces expected on the roster next season, including Crawford as the 12th transfer addition, Auburn’s roster continues to undergo significant changes.

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