I typically don’t write articles about recruits that commit elsewhere but occasionally there’s a recruit important enough to warrant some type of discussion. 4* OG Trey Hill is that type of recruit. The big man has long been one of Auburn’s top offensive line targets and arguably at times Auburn’s top overall target. He’s visited Auburn more than a dozen times and was frequently on campus this football season. Just a week and a half ago Auburn felt really good about where they stood and it looked like the Tigers might be on the verge of snagging a top 50 recruit.
Tonight he committed to Georgia.
There’s no sugar coating it, this stinks for Auburn. Hill is the type of recruit that could make an early impact and has elite potential. I am very much in the minority on this but I personally think he’s the best offensive guard prospect in the country, that’s including 5* Jamaree Salyer (who is also expected to commit to UGA soon...). He could have played anywhere in the interior of Auburn’s offensive line and I have no doubt he would have challenged for early playing time this spring if he were suiting up for the Tigers. But what Kirby Smart is building in Athens was too big of an allure and the GA native elected to stay home.
So what does Auburn do now?
Well the first name that jumps out is 4* OG Tank Jenkins. The Montgomery, AL native is very high on Auburn. In fact, after the Iron Bowl it sounded like he was about ready to commit. But it wasn’t exactly clear if he had a spot or not with Auburn still waiting on Trey Hill. The coaching staff might now turn the heat back up on the #14 rated OG in the country. Of course while Auburn has been looking elsewhere other teams have made big pushes for Jenkins. Louisville is a team that has made Tank a priority for awhile now and could be the favorite to land him. He’s also officially visited Oklahoma. The good news for the Tigers is that Jenkins won’t sign until February so Auburn has some time here to get back in the race if they wish. Definitely a name to track.
Another prospect who does plan on signing early and is high on Auburn’s board is 3* Jerome Carvin. Carvin could honestly play either OT or OG at the next level and supposedly the coaching staff love his potential. Like Hill, Auburn felt they were in a very good spot with the Tennessee native after the Iron Bowl. But things change fast in recruiting. Carvin once appeared a lock to Mississippi State but then Dan Mullen packed up his things and headed south. Mullen also took his OL coach with him. With the former coaching staff he fell in love with in Starkville now in Gainesville, the Gators have emerged as the team to beat. As of now, I think the 6’4” 330 lb offensive lineman signs with Florida.
But there are some new names to watch or more like names from the summer that went away and have come back. One of those names is 3* OG Ed Montilus. He and his teammate, 4* OT William Barnes, have long been Auburn targets but after a brief flirtation over the summer, both sides seemed to drift apart. However, last night Keith Niebuhr of AuburnUndercover reported that both are now planning on taking an official visit to Auburn in January. Both were thought to be heavy Florida leans but with the recent coaching turnover that might have opened the door for the Tigers. Montilus and Barnes are high school teammates at Apopka (Chandler Cox’s old stomping ground) and would like to be teammates at the next level. There is no doubt that the Tigers would have no problem taking both.
There’s also the possibility that Auburn elects to pass on a third interior player and instead focus on finding two offensive tackles or only take one OT and save that extra spot for a different position. Either way, the Tigers are going to want to sign an offensive tackle and it appears 4* Richard Gouraige once again has become a top target. He was at the Iron Bowl a few weeks ago and called the experience an “eye opener”. He’s still committed to the Gators but again the coaching change might have opened an opportunity for the Tigers’ coaching staff. Expect him to also officially visit Auburn in January.
Finally, I would not be surprised to see some new names pop up on the board in the coming weeks. 3* OT Noah Banks was expected to officially visit this past weekend but bad weather cancelled his visit. It’s unclear if that visit will be rescheduled but I wouldn’t be surprised to see some more junior college names pop up and even possibly some grad transfers.
Bottom line is this is a tough blow to Auburn’s offensive line recruiting but it’s far from a fatal blow. The Tigers still have some really good options on the table and it’s important to remember they have two really good players already committed in 4* Jalil Irvin and 3* Kameron Stutts. The Tigers typically close strong and I fully expect that trend to continues in the coming months.