It’s been a pretty quiet summer on the recruiting trail for Auburn, at least in the verbal commitment department. Auburn went two months without a commitment before Shedrick Jackson broke the drought last Monday (this is about to get confusing). Auburn has now had two commits in two weeks. Jackson’s commitment did not come as much of a surprise as the talented Hoover wideout had been an Auburn lean for some time. Quindarious Monday’s commitment Tuesday night was the exact opposite.
The talented 6’3” safety had Auburn as his leader all the way up until his “dream school,” Clemson, offered. After that, it just seemed like it was a matter of when not if Monday would announce for the national champs. Monday even admitted as much Tuesday night as reported by Benjamin Wolk over at SECCountry:
“I was going to commit to Clemson on the 21st, but I saw what coach [Kevin] Steele had to say. They really brought it out of me,” Monday said. “Most coaches are not going to keep it real with you like that. They told me the real life of recruiting. Coach Steele is the only one that did that. It really touched me.”
I don’t know what Kevin Steele said but he needs to keep saying it to recruits. After Monday’s visit on Tuesday (not confusing at all), he decided to pull the trigger and shock everyone by choosing the orange and blue Tigers, something that did not sit well with Clemson fans. It should sit very well with Auburn fans as Monday helps fill a huge need in this recruiting class and will have a very real chance at cracking the safety rotation in 2018. It should also be noted that Monday is friends with Justin Fields as they both play on Cam Newton’s 7v7 team. Just a fun fact.
Auburn might not be done either. Two names to keep an eye on over the coming weeks are 4* WR Matthew Hill and 4* LB Michael Harris. Yes, I know I have been beating the “Hill is going to commit to Auburn soon” drum for probably over a month now but it seems like a decision could be near. He’s visiting today with 5* QB Justin Fields and 4* WR Kearis Jackson (more on that later) and I wouldn’t be shocked if he finally decided to pull the trigger. Even if he doesn’t today, it’s still looking like Auburn might land the big time wideout in the very near future.
As for Harris, Crystal Ball picks have been rolling in for Auburn. It’s not the volume of picks that should have Auburn fans feeling hopeful, it’s whose doing the picking. Auburn, Ohio State and Georgia insiders have all put in Harris to Auburn picks this week. Those are the three teams battling for his services so it’s usually a good sign when the insiders for those teams are all saying the same thing. If the Tigers do in fact land Harris, that would be another huge commitment for Travis Williams. I personally think Harris is the best linebacker in the southeast and the thought of pairing him with that 2017 linebacker class is very exciting. Oh and his teammate 4* OT Dylan Wonnum is a top OT target as well that could be announcing soon too.
Bottom line, things are getting busy on the Plains. After two months of 0 commits there’s a chance Auburn could leave the month of July with four or more new names on the commit list. That would be a pretty fun month.
Thursday’s Visitor List
Today is a big day for Auburn recruiting. The Tigers are once again hosting the now #1 overall player in the country, according to 247, in Justin Fields. The elite quarterback will be throwing for Chip Lindsey today and then spending the night before heading on to Athens the next day. Fields won’t be alone either as close friends Matthew Hill and Kearis Jackson will be on hand too catching passes from the 5* stud.
Fields has said he wants to make another round of visits to his top schools before committing so this could be Auburn’s last shot before Fields announces. The Tigers showed Tuesday that they can close on top targets and will be looking for a repeat performance today. No, I don’t think Fields is going to surprisingly commit after his visit as Monday did but I do think Auburn could really put themselves in great position with a strong visit. As I have said before, Fields is a giant domino that could change a team’s class from good to elite if it falls their way.
As for Jackson, Georgia has long seemed like the obvious destination for the 4* wideout. He’s visited UGA more than any other school and has had plenty of positive things to say about the Dawgs in the past. But as Jeff Sentell of DawgNation reported, Auburn is very much in this race.
What keeps Kearis Jackson coming back to Auburn?
That answer is two-fold.
“I just like their receivers coach a lot,” Jackson said. “I like coach [Kodi] Burns a lot. We have a good relationship. I can see the things he is trying to do at Auburn, plus that quarterback [Jarrett Stidham] they just got over there at Auburn is pretty good.”
The big reason is there in plain sight for all to see. That depth chart.
“That depth chart is not so loaded, either, or full,” Jackson said.
Having Fields, Jackson and Hill all on campus at the same time is a big plus for Auburn. It could be even more positive if Hill decides to commit but again I am not all that certain it will happen this week. Either way, Auburn is carrying a lot of momentum into this visit after Monday’s commitment and have a great chance at putting themselves in the top spot for Fields while also making up ground on Jackson this week. It’s going to be a battle though for Fields with the likes of Georgia, Florida and Florida State all pushing hard but as of right now I honestly do like Auburn’s chances to land the top signal caller.
Official Visitor This Weekend
Finally, there is one other visitor to take note of this week. That’s junior college offensive tackle Badara Traore. The 6’8” 315 lb monster will be making an official visit this weekend to the Plains. Auburn is a strong contender to land the 4* OT but have some serious competition in LSU. Offensive tackle recruiting has been a bit of a struggle this cycle but if Auburn can reel in Traore that would change in a hurry. Right now, I think LSU is the team to beat but that could change with a great visit this weekend.