Tray Bishop, a 6'3, 193 lbs 4* "Athlete" from Terrell County High School in Dawson, GA, had long planned for July 25th to be the date of his commitment. He waivered from that after a few new schools entered the picture for him, but after a weekend visit - with quite a few family members - to Auburn for the War Damn BBQ event, he decided to go ahead with his July 25th plans.
That boded well for Auburn, and today Bishop made it official that the #3 Athlete in the country in the 247Sports composite is committing to the Tigers. He made his intentions known in an exclusive with Keith Niebuhr of 247Sports.
Auburn's primary competitors for Bishop were Georgia and Florida. The Gators, in particular, came on strong for Bishop over the last few weeks. He visited them prior to coming to town for the BBQ in Auburn this weekend. Why did he choose the Tigers? Well, I'd bet it has something to do with the fact that Auburn has offered him the chance to compete at QB, first. The Tigers need a QB of some sort in the 2017 class after Lowell Narcisse decommitted and Kellen Mond chose the Aggies of Texas A&M. There could be another QB out there that they'll pursue, but Bishop is enough of a freak athlete that he'll get a shot to show what he can do behind center, first.
He definitely has the moves, and at 6'3 he has the frame to add more weight and be more durable in a SEC environment, that's for sure. His throwing motion looks a little off to me, but I am by no means an expert at QB mechanics. For all of that, the highlights do show a number of good looking balls thrown, though not necessarily with a lot of velocity.
His other position is Free Safety. Unfortunately, there isn't much video in the highlights below that feature him in that position. I know that's where a number of schools want him, though, and I can't help but think that FS is the position that would give him the best chance of making it to the NFL. It would also likely give him the best chance to see the field quicker depending on how the QB situation looks following 2016.
Auburn had the 18th ranked class in the nation, 8th in the SEC prior to Bishop's recruiting. That is including 2*s Anders Carlson (PK) and Bill Taylor (Long Snapper). We don't know whether Taylor will end up in the final scholarship count or not. Bishop makes commit #12 for the Tigers with everyone included and bumps the Tigers up to 13th in the nation and 6th in the SEC. They leapfrog Florida and Mississippi State with this addition.
Bishop, an ATH, is likely not the last ATH/QB the Tigers take in this class. The class could also grow a bit more as running back target 4* Devan Barrett will be announcing his commitment this Thursday evening. Barrett would push the class up to 11th in the nation, just behind Tennessee.
The Tigers made a move with a number of other big name prospects over the weekend at the recruiting event. I'll try to have a wrap up of that for you very soon, as well.