Since this morning’s preview there have been a few intriguing updates to report. Nothing groundbreaking or panic inducing but definitely some news worth noting before tomorrow.
Which Offensive Tackle Will It Be?
Nothing official has come out just yet but it’s sounding a lot like 4* OL Jerome Carvin will be going somewhere not named Auburn. If that’s the case, then chances are high that 3* OT Jalen Goss will join the class tomorrow. None of this is set in stone just yet but Benjamin Wolk over at SECCountry had an update earlier today that seemed pretty confident one of these two would be landing in the class tomorrow.
With that said, a source close to Carvin’s situation has confirmed Auburn won’t be among his final three programs. Tennessee, Mississippi State and Florida are the three programs to watch for Carvin as his Wednesday decision approaches. Carvin will be an early enrollee and would be a great pickup for any of those three new head coaches.
Goss’ decision likely will come down to Auburn, Michigan and Miami, but the Tigers appear to be in the driver’s seat following his official visit over the weekend. He isn’t 100 percent set on signing early like Carvin, an early enrollee, was. But the belief is that Goss will ink his early signing paperwork on Wednesday to his preferred school.
Goss is an intriguing prospect whose stock has been rising this fall. He will need some time to put some weight on that frame but I was impressed with how well he moved for a dude with his height. He’s got the length you love to see in an OT and has all the tools to be an effective blocker at the next level. This will be an interesting storyline to track tomorrow.
Change of Plans for Kolbi Fuqua
Add another name to the list of prospects not signing tomorrow. Longtime commit, 3* S Kolbi Fuqua, will no longer sign tomorrow as originally planned. However, it doesn’t sound like it was his decision. Keith Niebuhr first reported the news over at 247 but Wolk had a follow up not long after confirming the same thing. The instate athlete is recovering from shoulder surgery and it sounds like the staff wants to be 100% sure he will be cleared to play before taking his signature.
Fuqua injured his shoulder late in the 2017 football season, which had him in a cast during the Iron Bowl visit. Auburn told Fuqua to rehab his shoulder and let them monitor his progression. Fuqua has to be checked by the team doctor on his official visit before he can finalize his commitment and signing process.
I wrote a few weeks ago that some tough decisions would be ahead for this coaching staff as numbers started to get tighter. Seems like some of those decisions are starting to be made.
More than likely, there are two things going on here. First, I do believe the coaching staff wants to be sure that Fuqua will be given the ok by Auburn’s medical staff. You don’t want a kid to sign with your school only to show up for his physical in the fall and not be cleared.
But I think chances are good he will be cleared. My guess (and this is speculation on my part) is that Auburn is hoping to keep an extra scholarship spot open for the late signing period. Fuqua first committed to Auburn as a wide receiver at A-Day. He then later agreed to switch to safety. However, since then the Tigers have added two big time safety prospects in 4* Quindarious Monday and 4* Jamien Sherwood. There’s also 3* Josh Marsh who could play in a hybrid safety role. All of a sudden, safety isn’t a huge need anymore.
So what the coaching staff might be doing here is waiting to see how this recruiting class unfolds before locking Fuqua in. In Keith Niebuhr’s update, Fuqua mentions that the coaching staff asked him about possibly taking a greyshirt. That would give the coaching staff an extra scholarship for this class but Fuqua couldn’t join the team until after the 2018 season. My guess is if Auburn ends up filling out their class in January they will ask Fuqua to take a greyshirt. If not, then he signs in February like originally planned. Again this is all speculation on my part but I have seen these type of stories play out before.
A number of recruits were planning on signing Thursday with the Tigers. It sounds like the coaching staff encouraged all of them to bump up those dates. Guys like Quindarious Monday and Jamien Sherwood are now going to sign Wednesday instead of Thursday. My guess is the coaching staff wants to get this done tomorrow so they can focus solely on Peach Bowl prep after tomorrow. I don’t blame them.
So expect things to get real busy Wednesday. Auburn should have at least 16 commitments sign and there’s a good chance they add another commitment and signee as well. As of now, I don’t expect any major surprises for Auburn, good or bad but you never know in recruiting. Here’s to a stress free tomorrow that sees a good chunk of this Auburn class end their recruitments and officially become Auburn Tigers!