AUBURN, Ala. — Merry Christmas, Auburn football.
Auburn signed Devonte Danzey, rated the No. 1 junior college offensive guard by 247sports.com, to a National Letter of Intent Tuesday, announced by head coach Gus Malzahn. Danzey, out of Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College, has three years of eligibility remaining.
Immediately, Danzey (6-foot-3, 303 pounds) would seem to fit right in as a potential replacement to outgoing senior John Sullen, who played 50 games and started 23 over the past two seasons. Highly-touted recruit Christian Westerman would have been a logical next-man-in, but he transferred to Arizona State this month. Sophomore guard Chad Slade is a returning two-year starter.
Christmas came early when Cameron Artis-Payne, the nation’s top available running back, signed with Auburn on Dec. 19. With Tuesday’s news, Auburn has now inked a pair of top-50 juco players overall based on 247sports.com’s ratings.
A native of Tampa, Fla., Danzey was named a first-team All-Jayhawk Conference as a redshirt freshman in 2012 after helping Hutchinson to a 9-3 record and a No. 12 national ranking.
Hutchinson was also the previous stop for Chris Todd, a former Auburn quarterback in 2008-09.
Danzey was a starting offensive tackle for a Hutchinson offense that scored the second-most points in team history and three times broke the 700-yard mark for total offense, including 724 yards against Air Force Prep. Danzey blocked for running back Terrell Lane, who broke both the HCC single-game rushing record (308 yards) and single-season rushing record (1,632 yards).
Previously promising he would make his official decision on Christmas Day, Danzey was also considering Baylor, Kansas and West Virginia.