Transfer targets Auburn football fans need to be familiar with as portal heats up

AUBURN — Things have been quiet so far in the transfer portal for Auburn football.

The Tigers have lost two players since the portal opened Tuesday — buck linebacker Brenton Williams and cornerback JD Rhym — and have yet to add anyone, though it's early in the process and things can change rapidly.

Auburn will surely bring in a handful of new players. The Tigers, just like every other Division I team, are allotted 85 scholarships. They currently have less than 80, leaving some wiggle room to scoop up at least a few transfers who pique their interest.

Coach Hugh Freeze made it known throughout spring practice: His staff is searching for defensive linemen and wide receivers. That aligns with who the Tigers have reportedly been in contact with so far.

With a long way to go before the deadline to add new players, here are three targets to keep an eye on:

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DL Philip Blidi

With one year of eligibility remaining, veteran defensive lineman Philip Blidi is in search of a third and final program to cap his collegiate career. He recently visited Auburn, and he canceled a visit to Oklahoma shortly after his trip to the Plains. Blidi, a three-star recruit in the Class of 2020, spent three seasons at Texas Tech before transferring to Indiana in January 2023.

Blidi had his most productive season in 2023, totaling a career-best 30 tackles and logging a 72.9 overall defensive grade from Pro Football Focus. That mark from PFF was comfortably better than his previous high of the 60.5, which he secured at Texas Tech in 2022.

WR KeAndre Lambert-Smith

If Freeze wants to make a splash, this is it.

KeAndre Lambert-Smith is one of the best receivers in the portal, as the soon-to-be fifth-year senior was Penn State's leading receiver in 2023 with 673 receiving yards on 53 receptions. He also grabbed four touchdowns while appearing in all 13 games for the Nittany Lions.

Adding Lambert-Smith, who Christian Clemente of Auburn Undercover reported will be taking a visit to AU this upcoming weekend, would take Auburn's group at receiver — freshmen such as Cam Coleman and Perry Thompson along with veterans like Camden Brown and Roberts Lewis — from intriguing to an arguable advantage.

EDGE Keyron Crawford

The connections between edge defender Keyron Crawford and Freeze are evident. Crawford is set to leave Arkansas State, where Freeze was the offensive coordinator in 2010 and the head coach in 2011. Crawford also attended Briarcrest Christian High School in Memphis, Tennessee. That's the same school Freeze coached at before he received an opportunity in the college game.

Crawford, who has two years of eligibility remaining, collected 44 total tackles and 5.5 sacks last season. Those numbers include 10.5 tackles for loss and a pass rush grade of 74.7 from PFF. He also accounted for two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and a pass deflection. Crawford is expected in on a visit this weekend, per Cole Pinkston of Auburn Live.

Richard Silva is the Auburn athletics beat writer for the Montgomery Advertiser. He can be reached via email at or on X, formerly known as Twitter, @rich_silva18.

This article originally appeared on Montgomery Advertiser: Auburn football: Transfer targets fans should be aware of