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Making the Case: Four-star DE Caden Story


Caden Story committed to Auburn on the first day of August.

It was a big win for the Tigers as coach Bryan Harsin and his staff won out for the four-star defensive lineman who lives about 30 minutes from campus.

Story was one of the better defensive linemen at the All-American Bowl practices and it looked like he could be a tremendous asset for the Tigers’ defense.

But in mid-January, Story backed off his pledge and now has Auburn, Clemson and Florida as his three finalists.

The four-star visited Clemson last weekend and those Tigers could have taken a tremendous leap in his recruitment, especially because Story is super close with assistant coach Nick Eason, who was hired away from Auburn earlier in January.

The Lanett standout visits Florida this weekend. Minds are not made up yet, but it looks like the Gators will have to blow Story away or this could be a situation where Clemson wins out for his commitment come National Signing Day.

In today’s Making the Case, experts from around the Rivals network make an argument for a particular school and then National Recruiting Director Adam Gorney issues his verdict as to where he sees Story ending up.

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AUBURN  

For Auburn and Story it all comes down to Auburn and its desire to re-acquire his commitment. Auburn knew Story was shaky in his commitment and when he didn’t sign during the Early Signing Period that was the first big sign.

The departure of Nick Eason was the second big sign. Eason was the primary recruiter and the main one who wanted Story. If Auburn’s staff changes its mind and pushes for Story then getting a commitment from him is possible, but that seems unlikely. Clemson or Florida are the two to watch with UCF a potential dark horse outside his top three. – Christian Clemente, AuburnSports.com

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CLEMSON  

The dream school tag is often the kiss of death early in a recruitment. But Clemson appealed to Story and his family in his recruitment’s early stages for the culture Dabo Swinney espouses. The Tigers just didn’t offer, in part for position projection. Yet now with his former Auburn recruiter at the position into which Story has grown, everything appears adding up to Clemson having the four-star fall into its lap. – Paul Strelow, TigerIllustrated.com

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FLORIDA 

As soon as they arrived in Gainesville, coach Billy Napier and co-defensive coordinator Patrick Toney identified Story as a player of interest. Those two, plus the work defensive analyst Jamar Chaney has put in, has the Gators sitting in a good spot with Story heading into the last official visit weekend.

The Florida staff does not have the relationships with Story and his family like some of the other teams, but they have made up for lost time. Hiring defensive line coach Sean Spencer was the last piece of the puzzle for Napier. This will come down to the last official visit weekend for Story and his family, and I think that gives the Gators an advantage going into the weekend. – Jason Higdon, 1standTenFlorida.com

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THE VERDICT  

Florida could make this way more interesting with an exceptional visit this weekend and I’m not counting out Auburn, either, since it’s right down the road, but this feels like Clemson is going to be very tough to beat.

Story jells with what Swinney does in his program and now with Eason on staff there, the comfort level has to be super high. If the Florida visit goes incredibly well and he’s sold on the program then the Gators could surprise here, but right now it would be a stunner if the four-star defensive lineman doesn’t end up in Clemson’s class. – Gorney



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