When Auburn hired Hugh Freeze as its new head football coach, the Tigers' 2023 recruiting class ranked outside of the top 50 nationally and was near the bottom of the SEC. Auburn now has a class that is No. 20 in the 247Sports rankings, and the class was bolstered by two major flips on the first day of the early signing period. While he is an offensive-minded head coach, Freeze was able to sign four-stars Keldric Faulk and Kayin Lee away from Florida State and Ohio State.

A 6-foot-5, 240-pound defensive end from Highland Home High School, Faulk is the No. 73 player in the nation and the No. 8 defensive end in the country. While Auburn did not sign any of the Top-10 players in the state of Alabama, Faulk is ranked No. 11 in his home state and could be a difference maker at a position that has become an immediate need for the Tigers with the departures of Colby Wooden, Derick Hall and Marquis Burks.

Although Faulk was committed to Florida State since July, he credits Freeze for swaying him to make the switch to the Tigers.

“He seems like a really cool guy,” Faulk said of Freeze in an interview with 247Sports. “He’s known for winning. He was winning at Ole Miss and he won at Liberty. He’s coming to Auburn and hopefully he does the same thing.”

Faulk is Auburn's highest-rated recruit in the 2023 class. Joining Faulk in that class and on the defensive side, Kaylin Lee was committed to Georgia and then Ohio State in June, but Auburn stayed in the mix thanks to defensive backs coach Zach Etheridge, one of the coaches retained by Freeze.

"That’s my guy," Lee said about Etheridge in a 247Sports interview. "That’s like my big brother almost. We can talk about anything, it don’t have to be about football. We’re just straightforward with each other and that’s my guy." 

Lee is the No. 206 player in the country and ranked as the No. 21 cornerback in 247Sports' rankings. Keyone Jenkins has also left the Tigers' class, opting to sign with FIU, leaving Auburn with one new quarterback coming to the Plains next season.

With the commits of Faulk and Lee, Auburn now has a class that is ranked No. 8 in the SEC and trailing closely behind South Carolina.

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