Auburn strengthens one of his biggest need positions with one of the best offensive tackles in the transfer portal.
Former Tulsa offensive tackle Dillon Wade signed for Auburn on Friday, gaining some much-needed experience on the outside of the Tigers’ offensive line for 2023, becoming the No. 5 transfer offensive lineman on the market this cycle and the No. 2 offensive tackle transfers.
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Wade chose Auburn over offers from USC, Oklahoma, Ohio State, Ole Miss and others.
The 6-foot-4, 290-pounder was a sophomore at Tulsa Redshirt last season and should still be eligible to play for two more years. A Houston native, Wade appeared in 17 games for Tulsa over the past two seasons and started in all 12 games for the Golden Hurricane in the 2022 season as a left tackle.
While at Tulsa, Wade played for then-head coach Phillip Montgomery, who was hired earlier this month as Auburn’s new offensive coordinator under first-year head coach Hugh Freeze. The two will not be reunited in Auburn, where Wade will provide immediate relief in the tackle where the Tigers will replace starters Kilian Zierer and Austin Troxell and seniors Alec Jackson and Brenden Coffey.
Wade is the latest addition to an offensive line undergoing a major overhaul this offseason. Along with the four players above, Auburn also loses Nick Brahms (who retired before the start of last season but stayed with the team), Brandon Council and Keiondre Jones. The Tigers signed five offensive linemen including a quartet of high school prospects — four-star recruit Clay Wedin and three-star players Bradyn Joiner, Connor Lew and Tyler — on Wednesday, the first day of the early signing period Johnson — this is the most of the program signed in a single class since 2015. The other offensive line signee is JUCO transfer Izavion Miller.
“We tried to focus on big men,” Freeze said Wednesday. “I think this is a league for big men. If you don’t have guys up front on both sides, then these athletic receivers, running backs and quarterbacks have a very difficult time.”
Tom Green is an Auburn beat reporter for the Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @Tomas_Verde.