It happens every year. A player that no one knows much about or has really paid much attention to shows up to camp and blows the doors off the place. Last year, it was Jordyn Peters who put up eye popping numbers, leading to an offer and eventually signing with the Tigers. This year, it looks like it might be 2* TE Michael Parker. Parker entered this past Saturday with four D1 offers from Miami (OH), South Alabama, UCF, and USF. However, after being impossible to cover, posting a 4.64 40 yard dash, a 10 ft 3 inch broad jump and a 32.2 inch vertical all at the size of 6’6” 230 lbs, he left the camp with an Auburn offer in hand.
It sounds like his recruitment is still in the early stages and with an Auburn offer now you have to expect other teams will try and get in on the Huntsville native. However, at this time there might only be one real threat and it’s the usual one: Alabama. Both of Parker’s brothers are currently walk ons at Alabama. If the Tide were to offer you have to think it might be tough for him to turn down. Outside of Bama though, with Parker being an instate kid and Auburn the first SEC team to offer, you have to think the Tigers are currently in the driver’s seat.
Parker wasn’t the only player to post a standout performance Saturday though the other star is a name you should recognize. 3* WR Shedrick Jackson seems to get better at every event or camp he shows up at. If there were any doubts Jackson was only a priority because of his uncle, he removed them with his performance this past Saturday. Jackson won every 1v1 rep, posted a 4.37(!!!) hand timed 40 yard dash, a 10 ft 11 inch broad jump and a 40 inch vertical leap. The 6’2” 205 lb wideout is expected to be a top receiving target for the Hoover Bucs this fall and has become one of Auburn’s top WR targets on the trail. The buzz is Jackson could have a commitment video out at any time. It feels like he’s been on commit watch forever but it does sound like his recruitment might soon be ending and it’s hard to see him wearing anything but orange and blue in 2018.
I also wanted to make a note of a player who did not need to camp but showed up anyway and got the work in. 3* OL Kameron Stutts has been committed since A-Day and doesn’t need to show the coaches anything more. However, Stutts decided to make the trip and work with Herb Hand this past Saturday because “there's still people that want to come over here and try and beat me out”. More than 40 times or broad jumps, that attitude right there is what will make a player successful at the next level. I have said before that I think Stutts is extremely underrated and a steal for this staff. Seeing his comments and taking a weekend to go to a camp he doesn’t have to go to so he can get some reps in with his future position coach, well that reaffirms my suspicion that AU is getting something special with this young man. Can’t wait until he’s on the Plains.
Tiger Night Offers
Before Jackson and Parker’s standout performances Saturday, Auburn hosted a rising junior camp this past Friday night dubbed “Tiger Night”. Right before the event started, the 2019 recruiting class hashtag was revealed, something I know readers on here have been dying to know:
I am hoping Gus Malzahn is here 20 years just so I can see what animal related hashtag we are down to at that point....
Hashtags aside, there were some top 2019 and beyond targets on campus with three players earning offers. AuburnUndercover’s Keith Niebuhr had a free thread with some info on targets that showed up to the event. The biggest name on that list is 4* TE Ryland Goede. It’s already shaping up to be a hotly contested AU/UGA battle with Clemson lurking. He’s a massive kid as a rising junior at 6’7” 235 lbs with elite hands, great strength and some decent mobility. He won’t be scoring many 60+ yd TDs at the next level but he’s a guy that can dominate the middle of the field and be a tough player to defend in the redzone.
Another name I wanted to highlight from the list of players in that thread is RB Kenneth Bothwell Jr. He’s former teammates with 4* RB Alaric Williams and I am incredibly impressed with his tape. He’s a guy with great vision paired with outstanding strength and the ability to get north and south quickly. He lacks the top end speed to pull away in the open field at the next level but he strikes me as a perfect fit for a RB in our system. He was also on campus for A-Day I believe so file that name away. He might end up a top AU RB target in the 2019 class which is absolutely loaded with running backs.
As for the three offers, the Tigers extended two to 2019 prospects and one to a 2020. First there is WR George Pickens. Pickens is a 6’5” 190 lb WR out of Hoover. The big man is expected to play a large part in Hoover’s passing offense this fall. Auburn is hard after his teammate Shedrick Jackson but after an outstanding performance Friday night, the Tigers extended an offer to the big wideout as well.
IM GRATEFUL AND BLESSED TO RECEIVE AN OFFER FROM AUBURN UNIVERSITY ‼️ pic.twitter.com/k1wstyfCOn— George Pickens Ⓜ️ (@geo_Thagoat) June 17, 2017
Pickens says that Auburn is his favorite offer as of now. But, there is a long way to go in his recruitment with plenty more offers coming his way. More than likely, we will see another AU/BAMA battle over a 6’5” instate WR next season.
The second offer was to OT Howard Allen Jr, who happens to be Jeff Holland’s cousin. Allen already held a South Carolina offer but after an impressive performance Friday, he left with an Auburn one as well.
This kid is already one of my favorite OT prospects in the 2019 class. He’s 6’5” 266 lbs with great feet and excellent power. I wouldn’t be shocked if he is an early contributor wherever he signs. You have to think with that family connection there that the Tigers will be a competitor for the Jacksonville native.
Finally, there is 2020 DE prospect Andy Boykin. Boykin plays at Troup County in Lagrange, GA who is absolutely loaded with 2019 and 2020 prospects. The Tigers are also after his 2019 teammate 4* LB King Mwikuta and 2020 WR Kobe Hudson. I could not find much film on Boykin so it is hard to give an amateur scouting report; however, he already holds 8 offers with half coming from SEC teams. I feel pretty confident in saying this kid can play.
- It was the weekend of tight ends (insert inappropriate joke here) for Auburn as they hosted numerous targets. One of the more intriguing visitors arrived Sunday in recent Arkansas decommit 4* TE Luke Ford. Right now the Tide appear to be his top team but AU looks like they have positioned themselves to make this a battle.
- Auburn has emerged as a top candidate for 4* CB Kyler McMichael who had said he was going to hold off on committing this summer. However, it turns out he does have a decision made and will commit tomorrow. I don’t think chances are good for Auburn right now and he will probably end up at one of Alabama, Georgia or Clemson. No matter where he commits though I expect Auburn to keep up their pursuit.
- Three top AU targets dropped top lists this week. First, there was 3* CB Juanyeh Thomas who made it official that he has a top 3 of Auburn, Florida and Georgia Tech. Then later, 5* WR Justyn Ross tweeted his top 5 of Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida and Florida State. Finally, while writing this article Thursday morning, 4* DT Coynis Miller announced his top 5 of Auburn, Alabama, Florida, Louisville and Oregon. All three are top priorities.
- Some good news and bad news for Auburn when it comes to 4* LB Michael Harris. The good news is Harris left Columbus uncommitted. The bad news is it still sounds like the Buckeyes are far and away his top school and he’s willing to wait. I still think AU’s chances are good here especially if the Buckeyes nab 4* K'Vaughan Pope. It’s a bit ridiculous how good this Ohio State recruiting class is going to be... As for Harris, this recruitment might take some time as the Buckeyes sort out their linebacker board.