247Sports broke the news tonight that 4* Athlete D'Anfernee McGriff is no longer listed as a commitment to Auburn, and Auburn will not be sending him a Letter-of-Intent to sign on Wednesday. Right now the exact reasons are unclear, but AuburnUndercover does mention that grades were possibly a question in that article.
This means that Auburn is now back down to 20 commitments going into Wednesday's signing day. Auburn is expected to sign 28 people to this year's class, so that leaves 8 more spots on the board. Only one of the original 7 spots (prior to tonight's McGriff news) was likely to go to a wide-receiver. Has that now changed?
Over the past few weeks, Auburn has really turned up the heat on two UGA commits. 5* Terry Godwin and 4* Darius Slayton have been getting the full-court press from Malzahn and company. There are other targets on the board, but those two are the ones that Auburn has focused on the most.
Understandably, the UGA folks are upset at this. Some have even taken to claiming Auburn's Gus Malzahn has been using Godwin's father being sick as a reason to stay close to home. Godwin is from Hogansville, GA, which is less than an hour up the road from Auburn. Godwin set the record straight on Twitter, today.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>I only have one thing to say!! Coach Malzahn is not using my father sickness to get me there!!!!</p>— DreamTeam_Austin (@TerryGodwin_4) <a href="https://twitter.com/TerryGodwin_4/status/562321492051230720">February 2, 2015</a></blockquote>
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Slayton committed to Georgia as a defensive back, but it's no secret he'd rather play wide receiver. That is the position that Auburn is recruiting him for. Both would be big steals from a fellow SEC school. It would be even bigger since they would come from such a big rival.
This weekend, Auburn had two secret visitors in town that were not known until after they left. It's behind the pay-wall, so I can't go into too much detail, but I can tell you that 5* Deon Cain and 4* Ray-Ray McCloud - both Clemson commits - visited Auburn this past weekend. The news that they visited was all over Twitter once it broke.
I don't know that Auburn will still take only one wide receiver to fill those 8 remaining slots, or if they will consider going with two now that McGriff is no longer on board. It is possible they will re-assign that slot to ensure that the Tigers pick up the defensive lineman they want/need. That could also be the slot that allows them to sign Javarius Davis if they intend to go with a third defensive back. There was some chatter about that being a possibility in the past few weeks, and 247Sports has mentioned that Javarius Davis could get a look on offense if he signs with the Tigers.
I am no recruiting expert by a long-shot, but here's how I figure the Tigers will approach this... With McGriff no longer in the picture, they will sign two wide-receivers IF those two are a combination of Godwin, Slayton, McCloud, Cain, or Ryan Davis. If Auburn can only sign one of those, then I believe they will hold the extra slot to snag Javarius Davis or Kendrick Norton along with the other big names on the defensive line. The slot could also be set aside for Prince Tega Wanogho, Jr, who plans on delaying his decision until after signing day.
Things change by the minute in the final hours of recruiting. I'm sure this isn't the last bit of news we'll have before Wednesday morning, and Wednesday will be filled with ups, downs, excitement, disappointment, etc.