I apologize ahead of time for this obnoxiously long article but there’s a whole lot of information to cover.
Last Thursday, I speculated that AU could see as many as five commits this past weekend. Realistically, I didn’t think that would happen but felt pretty confident Auburn would get two in 3* WR Shedrick Jackson and 4* WR Matthew Hill.
Auburn got zero....
I want to take this moment to remind the wonderful readers here at College and Magnolia that I am not a paid expert….
The zero commitments aside, it appears the Tigers had a great weekend. Auburn solidified themselves as leaders, or at least appeared to do so, with some of their top targets including Shedrick Jackson, Matthew Hill, 3* S Joseph Foucha, 3* DE Andres Fox, 3* CB Juanyeh Thomas and S Charles McClelland. It appears Auburn has also battled their way to a close #2 for 4* LB JJ Peterson (Alabama #1), 4* LB Channing Tindall (South Carolina #1) and 4* LB Michael Harris (Ohio State #1). I think Travis Williams will get one, if not more, of those 3 before it’s all said and done.
If you want a play by play recap of this past Saturday, I highly recommend the 247 live thread that Keith Niebuhr ran. It’s long but gives you an idea of the flow of the day. Also, Benjamin Wolk over at SECCountry put together a nice recap as well. Based on those and reports by AL.com and Rivals, I have compiled a list of players that made the trip. I have it broken down by position with notes on each player:
Auburn had zero QB visitors this weekend but that shouldn’t worry anybody. Auburn commit 4* Joey Gatewood and the Tigers’ top target, 5* Justin Fields (more on him later), were both in Oregon at the Elite 11 competition.
- 4* Asa Martin - Martin’s recruitment has become a 3 team battle between Auburn, Alabama and Florida. There hasn’t been much info out on his visit this past weekend but from what I can tell it was another successful trip. He will be choosing between his top 3 on August 24th. I personally think he lands with Auburn though Alabama is absolutely a major threat.
Unfortunately, 4* Jacob Copeland did not make the trip. I have seen a few reports that Auburn might be focusing in on some different guys but not sure how true or not true that might be. There was apparently also a chance 4* Marquez Ezzard might stop by but didn’t. However, as you see below, there were plenty of big names on hand
- 4* Justyn Ross - This was a big visit as Ross was accompanied by his mom who is back from serving overseas. His name is consistently brought up by AU commits as a guy they are recruiting hard to Auburn. More than likely his recruitment will last to National Signing Day in February and the results of the season will have a big effect. It appears Auburn, Alabama and Clemson all feel good about their chances right now.
- 4* Tommy Bush - Now this was one of the big surprises of the day. Bush is on a tour of the SEC and stopped by AU for Big Cat Weekend. The visit apparently `exceeded expectations` and he plans on making a return trip at some point. Although Bush currently resides in Texas, his father serves in the military so he’s been all over the country making him not a typical Texas recruit. Will be interesting to see if AU can become a factor.
- 4* Kearis Jackson - Georgia has been considered the frontrunner for sometime but Auburn is hanging around. He’s been very vocal about waiting to see how his top teams perform this fall before making a decision. He also hopes to be a package deal with 4* OG Trey Hill. That would be a major boom to land both of those targets.
- 4* Matthew Hill - Honestly thought Hill would jump on board if he made the trip but sounds like he wants to wait a bit longer. He did name Auburn his leader and you have to feel good about the Tigers chances.
- 4* Lawrence Keys - Unless something drastic changes, it doesn’t appear Auburn is going to be a major player in his recruitment. Still, recruiting moves fast so if he visits again this summer that could change. LSU is probably the likely landing spot.
- 3* Shedrick Jackson - I am honestly shocked Jackson didn’t pull the trigger this weekend but it sounds like it could come in the next 2 weeks. I will be even more stunned if he doesn’t pick Auburn.
- 2019 Dominick Blaylock - Blaylock will be one of the top players in the 2019 class and is a big time AU target. This is the 3rd time he’s visited AU and it sounds like it went real well. As of now though I think Georgia lands his commitment.
- 2019 Austin Stogner - Stogner was the only player to leave Big Cat Weekend with an offer. Auburn will be looking to sign at least one TE each class moving forward and Stogner appears to be an early top target.
- 4* OG Trey Hill - Auburn is quietly hanging around for the stud offensive guard out of Warner Robins. I think there’s a very good chance Hill ends up a composite 5* before this cycle is over. Hill said the visit gave AU a bit of a bump up and that there is still no timetable for his decision.
- 4* OT Christian Armstrong - The Seminoles appear to be the team to beat for Armstrong but Auburn seems to be trying to make this a contest. Not much info has come out on his visit or how it might affect his recruitment but with Auburn searching hard for OTs I think Armstrong is a name to track.
- 3* OG/C Jalil Irvin (AU Commit) - I thought a few more commits would stop by and it was good to see both Irvin and Stutts make the trip. There’s a very good chance Irvin ends up at center when he gets to Auburn.
- 3* OG Kameron Stutts (AU Commit) - Stutts proved his eating prowess this past Saturday winning the pie eating contest. I say this every time I mention his name but I think Auburn is getting a beast in this kid.
- 2019 OT Amari Kight - The state of Alabama looks to be loaded in 2019 and Kight is one of those top prospects. He holds an Auburn offer and will camp with Alabama this week to try and earn one from the Tide. Remember this name as it will pop up a bunch in next year’s cycle.
- 4* DT Coynis Miller - I am a big Coynis Miller fan but I have a hard time seeing him sign anywhere other than Alabama. Still, Rodney Garner is selling early playing time hard and his former teammate Tadarian Moultry is on campus, so who knows what might happen. FWIW Keith Niebuhr swapped his Crystal Ball pick to Alabama Tuesday night only to switch it back to Auburn not long after. He has a VIP post talking about all that but to summarize, AU is definitely in this race.
- 4* DT/DE Daquan Newkirk - Newkirk originally planned to sign with Auburn in the 2016 class before grades forced him to JUCO. Despite all that he has been committed to Auburn though had not returned to the Plains in sometime. He was back on campus this past weekend and it sounds like he’s still very much in love with the Tigers.
- 4* DE/Buck Caleb Tannor - This was Tannor’s 4th trip to Auburn this year and it’s becoming clear that this will be an Auburn/Georgia battle. As of right now, I think the Dawgs are the favorite but when it comes to DL out of GA, you can never count Rodney Garner out.
- 3* DE/Buck Andres Fox - Fox has a top 3 of Auburn, Alabama and LSU with the two Tigers most likely tied at the top. Ed Orgeron has been a thorn in AU’s side since landing at LSU swiping away targets such as Arden Key and Tyler Taylor. At this time though I like Auburn’s chances just a bit more.
- 3* DT Jalen Cunningham - Well the good news is Cunningham no longer hates Auburn. The bad news is we are still only #3 on his list. Unless the Tide pass on Cunningham the 6’6” 350 lb giant will be wearing Crimson in the not too distant future.
- 3* DT Tramel Walthour - Walthour was recently offered by Auburn and it appears to have become a priority for the Tigers. No doubt UGA will be tough to beat but I suspect Auburn makes it a race.
Unfortunately 3* Richard Jibunor and 4* Zakoby McClain were unable to make the trip. Still Auburn had quite a few of their top targets on hand:
- 4* JJ Peterson - His recruitment is reminding me a lot of Nate McBride’s last year. McBride always had UGA as a clear leader but loved Travis Williams and kept taking visits. Eventually though he picked who everyone knew he would and I think the same probably happens with Peterson but this time the other team being Alabama. Still, T-WILL is giving it his best shot and every visit increases Auburn’s chances.
- 4* Channing Tindall - It wasn’t all that long ago Tindall was a relatively unknown prospect with a few offers including Auburn and South Carolina. Now he’s a composite 4* that is flying up recruiting rankings and team’s boards. He said that AU moved to #2 on his list just behind South Carolina after his recent visit but don’t count out the Georgia Bulldogs either.
- 4* Michael Harris - I have written about Harris’s recruitment before and things still remain the same. He wants to be a Buckeye but Auburn is making it tough. Ohio State landed a bit of a surprise in 5* Teradja Mitchell who was trending FSU. Now the question will be if Ohio State will take him when he visits June 17th. If not, then I think he ends up an Auburn Tiger. I will say it again, I think this kid is the best LB in the southeast and would be an absolute huge pull for Travis Williams.
- 4* Quay Walker - It’s really looking like Walker is going to be rolling with the Tide in the not too distance future. He left Big Cat Weekend early to head to Tuscaloosa.
- 3* La’Dedrick Jackson - Lanier has some serious talent this year but none have an Auburn offer. I have said before that I wish they would take 4* DT Alfred Thomas but Jackson is another name to watch. He will camp this summer in hopes of landing an offer.
4* Jalyn Armour-Davis elected to go to Tuscaloosa Saturday instead of Auburn. That ship looks like it has all but sailed away... The good news is Auburn has emerged as a top threat for another highly rated CB.
- 4* Kyler McMichael - That other highly rated CB is McMichael. Auburn really wasn’t on his radar a few months ago but now might be battling Clemson for the top spot. He was set to commit soon but Auburn’s recent push has made him hold off. Definitely a name to watch moving forward.
- 3* Juanyeh Thomas - I thought there was a chance Thomas might commit this past Saturday and he even said the thought crossed his mind. However, the talented athlete out of Florida decided to hold off and take his visits. He didn’t eliminate the possibility he could commit on a return trip in July.
- Xavier Lanier - I know nothing about this kid and it doesn’t appear the recruiting services do either. However, the fact he got a Big Cat Weekend invite shows that AU has some serious interest in him. Lanier said that if AU offers, then it will be tough to turn that down.
- 2019 Jammie Robinson - Crisp County has become a fertile recruiting ground with Markaviest Bryant in 2017, Quay Walker in 2018 and now Robinson in the 2019 class. As of now the Tide are the leader.
- 3* Jamien Sherwood - After the evaluation period, Sherwood has emerged as one of Greg Brown’s top safety targets. I have seen some make Jabrill Peppers comparisons in that he’s a hybrd safety, linebacker and even wide receiver type of player. It will be hard to pull him out of Florida but Auburn is making a push.
- 3* Joseph Foucha - Foucha was another recruit that almost pulled the trigger Saturday. The New Orleans native plans to release a top 3 later this summer and Auburn should make the cut. I personally think Foucha is one of the top safeties in the southeast and if AU could get him and Quindarious Monday that would be a major success.
- 3* Charlie Thomas - Thomas committed to Georgia Tech this week so obviously Big Cat Weekend didn’t have too big of an affect on him.
- Charles McClelland - AU offered McClelland last week and the GA native decided to make the trek to Auburn for Big Cat Weekend. I am unsure where he is on Auburn’s board but he’s definitely somebody to keep an eye on.
The athlete tag means that either the coaching staff isn’t quite sure what spot they want them at but still want to sign them or there are multiple positions they think they could play once they arrived.
- 3* Kolbi Fuqua - I have never been completely sold on Fuqua being an SEC WR. Not that he’s a bad player just that I think he projects more as a safety at the next level. It’s starting to sound like that’s where he might end up next season. Barring something crazy happening Fuqua seems like a lock to sign with the Tigers.
- 3* Tae Provens - This is an interesting recruitment to track. He has had Tennessee as his favorite but AU has recently gotten back involved. As Saturday progressed, rumors started emerging he might commit but it never happened. It could be because he wants to play running back but Auburn wants him as a defensive back. If he rejects the athlete label he will probably pick Tennessee when he commits in August, if not then I like AU’s chances.
Justin Fields Decommits
Buckle up folks, things are about to get wild. This past Tuesday night, Auburn’s top remaining QB target, 5* Justin Fields, announced he was decommitting from Penn State. This isn’t a shock but it no doubt ramps up the recruitment for the 5*. If you don’t know why there is so much hype around this kid, watch his highlights. Seriously do it right now:
Fields has gone from a player that was considered a quality QB in this class to challenging all world recruit 5* QB Trevor Lawrence for the top spot in this class. Fields is a true dual threat QB who can take it 80 yards with his feet or chuck it 80 yards down the field.
Auburn, Florida, Florida State and Georgia appear to be the top four teams though Alabama, LSU and of course Penn State will also try to get in the picture. For Auburn, Cam Newton could prove the difference as Fields plays for his 7v7 team and the two have become close. The Tigers need to get him on campus before you can feel confident about AU landing him. I personally think Auburn has a better than good chance of snagging Fields but it’s going to be an insane battle no matter what. No doubt I will be talking more about him in future posts.
- I have been on the Master Teague bus since AU offered back in February. I personally think he’s the 4th best RB in this class behind Zamir White, Lorenzo Lingard and James Cook. I could even be convinced he’s #2 behind White. Well I think more people are catching on especially after his ridiculous performance at Alabama’s camp Sunday.
I give God the glory 4 my performance 2day at Nick Saban Camp.— Master W. Teague III (@33_blackman) June 5, 2017
Long Jump=10ft 10in.
Short Shuttle=4.0O pic.twitter.com/h8BaV0TfTn
At this time it sounds like the Georgia Bulldogs are trending but Auburn’s a threat. Watch out though for Alabama and Ohio State who could both be offering soon.
- Speaking of offers, it was not a great weekend for AU and 4* S Quindarious Monday. He camped at Georgia Thursday, who is pushing hard for the talented safety, missed Big Cat Weekend because of a 7v7 event and now a school he has been wanting an offer from the most in Clemson finally pulled the trigger over the weekend. It will be interesting to see how this affects his recruitment. Just a few months ago I thought AU was in line to land both 4* CB Jalyn Armour-Davis and Monday but now there’s a very good chance they get neither. That’s recruiting for you…
- Finishing on a happier note, I do think things are going to pickup for Auburn over the next few months. I know I hinted at big things that didn’t happen this Saturday but it does seem like a number of top targets are getting closer to decisions and quite a few I think will pick the Tigers. Camp season is now underway so some new names might pop up too. After the next two weeks of camp, I plan on doing a big update on Auburn’s recruiting board and possibly even attempt a class projection. All that to say, stay patient, good news should be on the way soon for Auburn Recruiting.