Cornerback Stephen Roberts of nearby Opelika High has been committed to the Crimson Tide since April 23, but has made eight unofficial visits to Auburn since Aug. 1 and the 247Sports Crystal Ball is calling for a flip to the Tigers at a climbing rate, including my prediction that was added today.
Proximity (Opelika is 10 minutes from Auburn), relationships at Auburn, the opportunity for early playing time, plus the turnaround season the Tigers are having under first-year head coach Gus Malzahn all are factors in the potential flip, according to sources familiar with his recruitment.
Roberts is a taller, talented cornerback prospect who will play in this year's Under Armour All-America Game. The 6-foot, 177-pounder is ranked as the No. 17 cornerback prospect nationally in the 2014 cycle according to 247Sports Composite rankings.
This would be the second prospect to flip from the Crimson Tide this week and opt for a program closer to home. Four-star offensive guard Viane Talamaivao (Corona, Calif./Centennial) flipped to USC on Monday.
Auburn currently has the No. 13 recruiting class for the 2014 cycle. Flipping Roberts would likely move the Tigers into the top 10. Alabama has the top-ranked class and losing Roberts likely will not lower the Crimson Tide's point total enough to drop from that spot.