Two weeks ago, the Tigers landed their 5th commitment of the cycle in 4* OG Jalil Irvin. I hinted in that article that I thought there might be more on the way but so far that hasn’t happened. Personally, the name I was thinking of was 4* CB Jalyn Armour-Davis who is rumored to be nearing a decision and could pop at any time. Now, however, there is a new name at the top of the list: 3* LB Richard Jibunor.
The Nigerian native has an incredible story, Benjamin Wolk over at SECCountry detailed it this week. Something I thought was incredibly interesting was his relationship with redshirt sophomore OT Prince Tega Wanogho
Jibunor knew the Auburn offensive lineman before either left Nigeria, and he got to know Wanogho better once it became clear both would pursue college football. Jibunor relishes having that friendship on the Plains, which gives him a comfort with Auburn he doesn’t share many other places.
“Going to Auburn, I needed a place where I had a strong relationship with coaches and knew people. With Auburn, Tega has been there. They treat him well and everything. I went to the camp, and coaches told me how great Tega was doing. It was awesome because everything he was telling me was the same as what Tega was telling me, so I knew it was real,” Jibunor said. “He tells me everything that goes on. He’s someone who is like a big brother for me. It’s been years. We’ve known each other for a long time.”
Pretty crazy that two kids who know each other growing up in Nigeria might end up playing collegiate football together in the United State at the same college. Sounds like a hard to believe movie. I highly recommend reading that article linked above.
Despite his low ranking, he is a clear top target for the Auburn staff. He could honestly play almost any position on defense sans CB or DT and also play a few offensive spots like WR or TE. His highlight film shows him doing almost everything you can imagine whether it’s covering kicks, catching passes, tackling ball carriers or even punting. More than likely he will end up at the Buck spot where he can rush the passer. His build and athleticism remind me some of Jeff Holland coming out of high school.
Jibunor plans to be on campus again this weekend after attending Auburn’s most recent junior day and could be back for A-Day as well. I don’t think it’s a stone cold lock he commits this weekend but another visit so soon and with the positive vibes he is sending AU’s way, I don’t think it’s out of the question. I do expect his ranking to improve over the 2018 cycle and wouldn’t be shocked if he ended up this year’s Tadarrian Moultry ending the season as one of Auburn’s top-ranked commits. It’s a long ways to go and Auburn will have to battle some big names such as Alabama, Georgia, and Michigan to land the stud athlete but right now it’s hard not to feel good about where Auburn stands.
3* DT Postpones Commitment
Two weekends ago, 3* DT Timaje Porter tweeted he planned on having a commitment ceremony tomorrow. He was expected to decide between LSU and Auburn. However, after a recent visit to LSU that included him landing an LSU offer, Porter has decided to postpone his commitment. Part of this is probably because he planned on picking Auburn (his leader for some time now) until he had a great visit to LSU but it might also be that neither team is ready just yet to accept his commitment. Auburn only plans on taking two defensive tackles this cycle and the top targets appear to be Texas Tech transfer Breiden Fehoko and 4* Coynis Miller. But that is just speculation on my part.
Still, it appears that AU’s lead for the 320 lb nose guard has evaporated and it’s a clear battle between the two schools. He still wants to announce before his senior season so he’s a name to keep an eye on this summer. Porter played closer to 340 lbs last season which is too big but he supposedly has slimmed down some this summer and is working on getting to a solid 320 lbs of good weight before the season. If he does that, he is a guy that could rise on quite a few school’s boards this fall.
Two Top Targets Release Top Groups
Two of Auburn’s top targets released their top groups this past weekend. First, 4* RB Master Teague tweeted his top 12 that included the Auburn Tigers. South Carolina is thought to be the trending team at this time but there are quite a few schools to watch in this recruitment including Auburn. Personally, Teague is my favorite AU RB target (outside of guys like Zamir White and Lorenzo Lingard) because I think his style of running fits perfectly into Auburn’s system. It’s going to take some work to land him though and I am not sure where he stands on the coach’s board compared to Harold Joiner and Asa Martin but I suspect he is close to the top.
The other big news was 4* WR Jacob Copeland, who made it clear that three teams have separated themselves from the pack: Clemson, Florida, and Auburn. He told Derek Tyson over at ESPN that Clemson is his leader but it appears AU is very much in the thick of it. A big part of that is his close relationship with Kodi Burns. Burns took a lot of heat on AU message boards after last year’s not as flashy WR class but his name has been mentioned quite a few times as a reason for a player’s interest this cycle. If Auburn lands Copeland chances are extremely high it will be in large part because of Kodi Burns.
- 4* DT Alfred Thomas has made it clear that he wants an AU offer telling AL.com he will do “whatever it takes to be at Auburn”. It’s hard not to cheer for a guy like that, so here’s to hoping he does well this summer at AU camps and earns that offer.
- One of Auburn’s top RB targets, 3* Harold Joiner, won RB MVP at Rivals 3 Stripe Camp series in New Orleans two weekends ago. Joiner recently earned an LSU offer (his “dream offer”) making it an AU/LSU battle at this time.
- This past weekend there was another big event in New Orleans, the Opening regional. AL.com has a good recap on the AU targets that were there and how they performed.
- Keith Niebuhr over at 247 put together a nice slideshow giving a quick review on all of AU’s top targets and where their 247 Crystal Ball predictions currently stand.
- Joey Gatewood competed in the Rivals 3 Stripe Camp series in Orlando this past weekend and got some love from scouts despite not winning the QB MVP.
- Niebuhr also took a look at what top 100 targets Auburn has the best chance of landing this cycle. Personally, of that group, I think Auburn lands Justyn Ross, one of Richard Gouraige/William Barnes and Jalyn Armour-Davis.