7 Days to Kickoff! – Christian Westerman

As we continue our march to kickoff, we take a look at the top 100 recruits to sign with Auburn of all-time*. The rankings are based on 247’s composite recruit rankings, which unfortunately only date back to 2000.

“One of the top OL prospects nationally and it is easy to see why. Westerman is a physical speciman that gets after defenders. Gets off the ball well and uses his tremendous strength to bury opponents. But he is not just a mauler, Westerman is a gifted athlete and technician. Very sound in pass protection and has great feet. Plays RT now and could stay there or move inside and play OG at the next level. Is a player that can contribute right away.” – 247 Sports

When you win a national title, you get a big bump in recruiting. After the 2010 season, Auburn secured a commitment from one of the top linemen in the country in the 2011 class. Auburn had always been a close second to Westerman, who was a Texas commit all the way until January. But, when the Horns made a change at offensive line coach, Westerman felt his strongest tether to the program was gone.

“There was no more relationship to hang my hat on, and my position coach is [who] I will spend about 90 percent of my time [with]. It was just too little too late. Auburn had it all and I was very close to my position coach there over the last 8-10 months” Westerman told ESPN.

Westerman’s mom’s side of the family lived in the Lake Martin area, which is what drew him to Auburn in the first place. He was Auburn’s top offensive lineman signing of all time.

Westerman never really got to see the field as a Tiger. Despite his pedigree, he redshirted in 2011, and dealt with injuries in 2012. He did start the Alabama A&M game, but only played in two games during the 2012 season. Even with the OC he originally committed to coming back to Auburn, he had already made his mind up he wanted to transfer. The 2012 season was a disaster for everyone, as we mention in almost every article.

The former 5* transferred back home to Arizona State, where he got to play in a similar offense to Malzahn’s. Mike Norvell, who had worked under Gus at Tulsa, was the offensive coordinator in Tempe.

Since he had played so little in 2012, the NCAA gave Westerman a waiver to be immediately eligible in 2013. He served as a primary backup for an experienced offensive line, and in 2014 and 2015 he bounced inside and started all 25 games in two seasons at left guard.

Westerman was drafted in the 5th round by the Cincinatti Bengals in the 2016 Draft. Over the last three years, he has played in 18 games with two starts for the Bengals.

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Ryan Sterritt

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