I have said it a few times and will continue to say it probably until the football season starts, it’s early. There will be coaching changes, recruiting ranking changes, commitment changes and plenty of other changes over the course of the next 11 months. Still, from all early indications, the Tigers seem to be putting themselves in position for a strong 2018 recruiting class.
Last week, the Tigers landed 4* OG Jalil Irvin giving Auburn their 4th commitment of the cycle. Three of those commits are rated 247 composite 4*s (Joey Gatewood, Daquan Newkirk, and Jalil Irvin) while the lone 3* in Shaun Shivers might be one of the most explosive players this cycle. That’s a solid group to kick off the class but what should make Auburn fans even more excited is how Auburn looks with some top uncommitted talent right now. It would not be shocking if 4* WR Justyn Ross, 4* CB Jalyn Armour-Davis, 4* RB Asa Martin, 4* OG Tank Jenkins, 4* ATH Nathaniel Watson, and 4* DT Coynis Miller all landed with the Tigers. All six of these guys have AU as either a leader or in their top group and all of them are ranked in the top 10 in the state of Alabama. Only once since Nick Saban arrived at Alabama has Auburn signed more top 10 instate talent than the Tide and that was in the class right after winning a national championship. Auburn has also never signed the 247 composite #1 player in the state during Saban’s tenure. Both of those could change in 2018 if the Tigers are able to close on the above players. A tall task but not unimaginable at this point either.
Then there’s the out of state talent like 4* WR Jacob Copeland, 4* TE Tyneil Hopper, 4* LB Quay Walker, 4* WR Matthew Hill, 4* S Quindarious Monday and 4* S Myles Sims who all are very seriously considering Auburn. I would be surprised if all of the listed names signed with Auburn but I also wouldn’t be stunned if we ended up landing them all as well. The Tigers have positioned themselves as a legitimate player for all of these recruits, now they have to finish. Obviously, the Tigers will need to have a strong showing on the field in 2017 to keep the good vibes going and keep their current coaching staff somewhat together but if they do, then the Tigers might be able to sign one of if not their best class under Gus Malzahn.
Again, though, it’s very early….
Auburn Sets High Bar for Fehoko
The biggest visitor for Junior Day was not a junior in high school, it was Texas Tech DT transfer Breiden Fehoko. Auburn was the first official visit for the former top 50 player and apparently, it left him “speechless”.
“I was really speechless,” Fehoko said after his visit. “First and foremost, I enjoyed the hospitality. Second, I really enjoyed how everybody was really transparent and just real honest about seeing me play here and how they can better my skill set and how they develop me as a football player. I think that was a big thing. … Being this is my first visit, sets the bar really high for other schools.”
He still has four more visits to make but it seems like the Tigers did a great job of positioning themselves to land the big fella. Georgia is the team to watch, in my opinion, as their new DL coach is close with Fehoko and there’s a chance they will be without Trent Thompson down the road as he deals with some off the field issues. But the Dawgs along with LSU, Louisville, and Ole Miss are all going to have to work hard to top Fehoko’s Auburn visit.
Junior Day Recap
Last weekend was Auburn’s 2nd junior day of the 2018 cycle. The Tigers welcomed a plethora of talent to campus including recent commit Jalil Irvin. From all indications the weekend was a success and helped position the Tigers to hopefully land a few more studs down the line. Benjamin Wolk over at SECCountry compiled a list of the talent that made the trip:
4-star WR Justyn Ross, Central (Ala.)*
4-star QB Joey Gatewood, Bartram Trail (Fla.)*
4-star OG Jalil Irvin, Stephenson (Ga.)*
4-star ATH Nathaniel Watson, Maplesville School (Ala.)*
4-star DT Alfred Thomas, Lanier (Ala.)
4-star OLB Quay Walker, Crisp County (Ala.)*
3-star RB Charles Strong, Union County (Fla.) — FSU commit*
3-star WDE Kelvin Stokes, Stanhope Elmore (Ala.)
3-star ILB Michael Harris, Tucker (Ga.)*
3-star OLB Richard Jibunor, Athens Christian (Ga.)*
3-star OLB Braelen Oliver, Douglas County (Ga.)
3-star WR Jammal Houston, John Ehret (La.)
3-star CB Juanyeh Thomas, Niceville (Fla.)*
3-star RB La’damian Webb, Beauregard (Ala.)
3-star OG Johnny Harris, Mill Creek (Ga.)
3-star WDE Kingsley Enagbare, Hapeville Charter (Ga.)
3-star WR Jaray Jenkins, Jena (La.)
3-star ATH Kolbi Fuqua, Cordova School (Ala.)*
3-star OLB La’Dedric Jackson, Lanier (Ala.)
3-star DT Timaje Porter, Theodore (Ala.)*
3-star OT Kameron Stutts, Brooks School (Ala.)*
Unranked DT Jalen Cunningham, Saint Clair County (Ala.)
Unranked WR DeLonte Evans, Minor (Ala.)
Unranked WR Shedrick Jackson, Hoover (Ala.)
Unranked safety Keyon Helton, West Florida Tech (Fla.)
Unranked OLB Shaka Heyward, Mill Creek (Ga.)
Unranked OL Ches Jackson, Tift County (Ga.)
Unranked OLB Caleb Kelly, Hapeville Charter (Ga.)
Unranked WDE Trey Laing, Tallahassee Leon (Fla.)
Unranked OLB J.D. Bertrand, Blessed Trinity (Ga.)
Unranked CB Devin Bush, Edna Karr (La.)
Unranked OT Adrian Medley, Pensacola (Fla.)
4-star QB Bo Nix, Scottsboro School (Ala.)
4-star CB KJ Wallace, Lovett School (Ga.)
Unranked RB Reggie Bracy, St. Paul’s Episcopal (Ala.)
Unranked LB Jackson Bratton, Muscle Shoals (Ala.)
Unranked ATH Quitman Kincaid, West Port (Fla.)
Unranked OT Kyle Mann, Douglas County (Ga.)
The big name that jumps out is 4* WR Justyn Ross. This was his 2nd trip in as many weekends to Auburn. His mom is currently serving overseas so don’t expect him to make any decisions soon. Still getting the stud wideout on campus as often as possible can only benefit the Tigers. Bruce Pearl might want to get him on the hardwood as well after seeing this ridiculous dunk last week.
Not many offers were doled out over the weekend but one 2019 recruit did get one. CB Devin Bush out of New Orleans, LA landed only his 2nd overall offer and first Power 5 offer. Bush told Wesley Sinor at AL.com that the offer had him “amped up” and felt like validation for all of his hard work. 2019 NSD is a very long ways away but being the first to offer a player usually keeps you in the hunt throughout the cycle.
- One of the more interesting visitors was 3* FSU RB commit Charles Strong. The longtime Nole commit decided to visit after a recent conversation with WR coach Kodi Burns and came away impressed with the Tigers.
- Strong isn’t the only FSU RB commit giving AU a look. 5* RB James Cook (Dalvin Cook’s little brother) tweeted a top 8 last week, despite being committed to the Noles. The Tigers came in at #6 and are expecting to receive a visit over the summer.
- 3* DT Timaje Porter has set a commitment date of March 24th. The big 320 lb nose guard has had AU as a leader for a long time but is also strongly considering LSU. He will choose between the two Tiger programs in two weeks.
- Keith Niebuhr over at 247 put together a slideshow of possible commit candidates for Auburn. This was before Irvin committed but I still think a few names on there are possibilities to be next after Irvin such as Jalyn Armour-Davis and Richard Jibunor.
- He also has a slideshow listing Auburn’s most important recruiting targets.