With the dead period ending last Wednesday night and there being just a few short weeks until National Signing Day (3 February), it's time for the biggest Official Visit weekends of the year.
Many prospects do their official visits during game weekends in the fall, but a lot of the bigger names choose to wait until just before signing day. Some also do it out of necessity, as their high schools are playing in their state playoffs and they can't get away to do all of their visits.
Eleven prospects were in Auburn this past weekend doing things like playing Madden NFL on the scoreboard. Five of those are Auburn commits who were just there to get their official visit in, meeting new coaches, or trying to make sure they're making the right decision on where to go to school.
Of the uncommitted prospects, one was committed to the Tigers for a while before opening his recruitment. That would be Auburn legacy Stephen Davis Jr. He may be the perfect example of just how things can change in the recruiting world based on coaches.
5* DT Derrick Brown
4* WR Nate Craig-Myers
4* CB Jayvaugn Myers
3* DB Stephen Davis Jr
3* LB Joshua Uche
3* OT Lucas Niang
Did Auburn sway any of the players visiting this weekend? I'd say they did with at least one, and that's former commit Stephen Davis Jr. He told AL.com it would be hard for South Carolina - his other finalist - to beat the Auburn trip. Davis committed based on Auburn's staff prior to Will Muschamp and Travaris Robinson coming in. He de-committed during the fall for some reason, but now is back high on the Tigers. It sounds like the staff is part of the reason. If that's the case, you have to like Auburn's chances over the place where Muschamp and T-Rob are at, now.
How about with 5* Derrick Brown? Auburn received a big boost when Montravius Adams decided to return for his senior season, but they'd still love to have a 5* DT in the class to join 4* Antwuan Jackson. He also spoke with AL.com after his official visit. He's taking two more visits (to UGA and Tennessee), and it's hard to get a feel for where he'll end up. He's from Georgia, but I've seen reports he may want to play outside his home state.
It sounds like things are improving for Auburn with 4* CB Jayvaughn Myers. Auburn treated him as an elite prospect himself - which he is - rather than just the half-brother of Nate Craig-Myers. Auburn has been trending lately, here. One of 247Sports' top recruiting people, Luke Stampini, said on Twitter the other day that he was changing his "Crystal Ball" prediction for Myers to Auburn.
That certainly won't hurt with Nate Craig-Myers. He was one of the first members of the 2016 recruiting class when he committed before signing day last year. He later de-committed, but has remained close with Auburn. Adding him to the fold to go along with Kyle Davis (already on campus), Eli Stove, and Marquis McClain would give the Tigers an excellent class of receivers.
The final two prospects who were in town each play a position Auburn either desperately needs or just really wants. Joshua Uche is a linebacker from Miami that Auburn really likes. Three of the Tigers' linebackers are graduating and won't be around next season, so replacing them with new blood is essential. It's a similar situation with Lucas Niang, an offensive tackle. Auburn does have Hamm in the class, but Auburn's starting tackles are going pro, and they need people to replace them with.
How will things go with those two? I'm honestly not sure, right now. You can read things like 247Sports' assessment of how the recruiting weekend went (if you're a member of the site), but I just haven't read enough other than that one article to feel comfortable writing anything about them. Anything I wrote would basically be breaking the paywall.
4* QB Woody Barrett
4* WR Eli Stove
4* OT Brodarious Hamm
3* DE David Marshall
3* WR Marquis McClain
From the sounds of things, Auburn did well with shoring up the commits. Woody Barrett is obviously a big priority, as he's the only QB committed in this class, and he's a top-rated dual-threat guy. Eli Stove and Marquis McClain are also big priorities, though. Auburn doesn't know if it will snag out of the two big name wide receivers they're still targeting, so they need to keep the two in the class that are already there.
Brodarious Hamm was caught off guard when JB Grimes left, so it was important that Auburn and new OL coach Herb Hand put the full-court press to keep the only offensive tackle currently in the class on board. It sounds like they did just that. That's behind a paywall, but you should be able to get the idea just from the headline.
As far as David Marshall goes, I'm not real sure where things stand. He still plans on visiting Georgia, and he's been talking to them a lot, recently. Marshall was one of the first people to join the 2016 class, then de-committed, then later rejoined it. He's only a 3*, but it sounds like this is one of those things where the staff loves his potential and don't pay any attention to the "stars."
The Class Right Now
247Sports still has Auburn at 17 in the class, right now (9 enrolled, 8 committed). That does include Tashawn Manning, who will not official sign and count against this class, so it's essentially 16. They will sign no more than 25, so that means Auburn has a lot of room to play with. 9 slots are out there to be filled.
I'd bet on two of them going to DBs (Myers and Davis Jr), at least one to an OT (whether it's Niang or a JUCO), one is open for Derrick Brown if the Tigers can snag him. Auburn will take Craig-Myers if he commits. The real question is if 4* WR Ahmmon Richards wants to join Auburn, as well. Will Auburn take two more WRs for five in the class? It's possible, but only if it's two elite receivers.
If you figure two DBs, one OT, one WR, that leaves five positions to leave open for a linebacker or two, elite DT, another WR, and then whomever else the Tigers decide to sign. They don't have to sign 25, but they definitely won't take more. It sure would be nice to snag Brown, Craig-Myers, and Myers, though. Those three alone would vault the Tigers into one of the top classes in the nation.
*All recruiting info derived from AL.com and 247Sports.