Finally, things are starting to heat up on the recruiting trail for the Tigers. Auburn went two long months without a commitment but since then have reeled in six commitments with four coming in the past week. I will let Gus Malzahn speak for us all
Boom!!!!!!!!!!! War Eagle!— Coach Gus Malzahn (@CoachGusMalzahn) July 25, 2017
Here’s a quick rundown on Auburn’s four most recent commits.
It sounds like even the coaching staff was shocked when 4* WR George Pickens committed to the Tigers this past Friday. It was a welcomed surprise I am sure, as the 6’5” 190 lb Hoover wideout is expected to be one of the top players in the 2019 class.
“They were very happy. Coach (Gus) Malzahn was like, ‘Are you serious?'” Pickens said. “I’m very glad that I just committed to Auburn. Auburn is a great campus. I feel really good about the school I chose. I feel very comfortable around here.”
Honored and blessed to be offered by Auburn! 100% committed! War Eagle! pic.twitter.com/zp6nlxshH4— Josh Marsh (@joshuamarsh20) July 22, 2017
Last Friday was Auburn’s last camp of the summer and Josh Marsh made the absolute most of it. The tackle machine out of Decatur apparently impressed the coaching staff enough to land an offer. Marsh, an admitted Auburn fan, committed immediately. I incorrectly guessed that he would be a Buck or maybe grow into a defensive end but it sounds like he will play more as a hybrid linebacker/safety for the Tigers.
"I was kind of speechless and didn't know what to say," Marsh said. "He got up to walk out of the room and see if coach Steele was ready for me. I was with my mom and dad and said, 'I want to commit, but I don't know how this works.' They were like, 'Neither do we; we've never been in this situation. Just tell him.' Coach came back and we started talking and I said, 'I want to come play ball here. I want to commit.' He was taken off guard a little bit. He was like, 'OK, I'll go talk to the other coaches, and after today's over, I'll tweet out a 'Boom'.' "
I don’t know why but the line “I’ll tweet out a `Boom`.” is hilarious to me...
Harris is a boss. Like I said when he committed, I think he’s the best linebacker in the southeast. He was a top target for Auburn’s coaching staff. Harris, in an interview with Keith Niebuhr earlier this year, said that Travis Williams specifically said he was targeting him and 4* Zakoby McClain. T-WILL is halfway there. Williams played a huge role in this commitment:
“Coach T-Will checks with me every day. I send a text. He sends one right back. He treats me like I’m his own child,” Harris said after his most recent visit. “After me texting coach T-Will, man, he gives me the same amount of love every time or even more. When I come visit, every time I come, it’s more and more love. It’s like I’m always a part of the family. They already treat me like I’m a War Eagle, and I like that.”
It became apparent that after the evaluation period, Jamien Sherwood was a high priority target for the Tigers. In fact, I feel comfortable saying that Quindarious Monday and Jamien Sherwood are Greg Brown’s top guys at safety. He got them both. For Sherwood, the Tigers had to beat out Florida and this past weekend’s visit helped seal the deal:
“This past weekend really kinda sealed the deal. This past weekend just sealed the deal for me. I just knew that I want to go there,” Sherwood said. “It was a hard decision for me to choose from those two schools. Those were my top schools (Auburn and Florida). Those two were neck-and-neck. Besides the football part, I just felt like I could be at Auburn more. That’s what separated Florida and Auburn. They were my top two, and they were right there.”
Commitments weren’t the only news of the week. The Tigers had plenty of top targets on campus this past week with most arriving for the cookout event on Saturday. However, the Thursday before the event, two of Auburn’s most coveted targets visited in 4* OG Trey Hill and 4* LB JJ Peterson. It appears the Tigers have work to do on both but I also think Auburn is a bigger threat for both than some may think, especially Hill.
Saturday though was the big day. Auburn hosted a Big Cat Weekend part 2 that was apparently even more informal than the first. The focus was on building further relationships with top targets. Keith Niebuhr of 247 had a free play by play thread for the event that’s worth a read if you want to get a feel of how the day went. Benjamin Wolk over at SECCountry also had some live updates and later put together a nice recap. Here’s the list of attendees put together by Wolk:
3-star RB Shaun Shivers*
4-star WR Seth Williams
3-star OL Kameron Stutts*
4-star RB Asa Martin
3-star DL Daquan Newkirk*
4-star DB Quindarious Monday*
Unranked OL Brady Ward (2020 prospect)
4-star DL Caleb Tannor
3-star WR Shedrick Jackson*
3-star DB Jamien Sherwood
4-star 2019 DE King Mwikuta
4-star LB Michael Harris
4-star RB Dameon Pierce
Unranked 2020 WR Kobe Hudson
3-star DB Derek Turner
4-star LB Quay Walker (Alabama commit)
3-star CB Miguel Edwards (Oklahoma commit)
3-star TE Daniel Barker (Illinois commit)
3-star WR Cornelius McCoy (Purdue commit)
3-star ILB Rosendo Louis
4-star 2019 OLB Ge’mon Eaford
Unranked 2020 WR Deajaun McDougle
Unranked 2020 DE Andy Boykin
3-star DE Andres Fox
That’s quite the group. The big name that should stand out is 4* LB Quay Walker. It’s not often Alabama commits visit Auburn after committing but even more rare to be decked out in AU gear as Walker reportedly was Saturday. There seems to be some rumblings that Walker might not be all that solid and the Tigers and Georgia Bulldogs are making a push. Definitely a recruitment to follow.
This was also important visits for 4* RB Asa Martin and 4* DE Andres Fox. Martin is planning on committing August 24th and with the dead period approaching this was one of his last chances to visit AU before he commits. He was in Alabama the previous day for their cookout event so it was incredibly important for Auburn to get him on campus. The Tide are the trendy pick for Martin but again I don’t think you should count Auburn completely out in this hunt.
Fox, meanwhile, has decided to push back his decision timeline. After his Alabama visit, he announced that he had a top 2 of Auburn and Alabama. That’s a bit of a surprise as LSU was long considered Auburn’s top competition with some LSU insiders even thinking the Bayou Bengals lead. With Caleb Tannor committing to Georgia this past week (another recruitment that might not be completely over though), landing Fox has become even more important for this Auburn coaching staff.
Overall, it sounds like it was another successful event for the Tigers. There were a few disappointing no shows in guys like 4* WR Matthew Hill (sick), 4* LB Zakoby McClain (could not get back from West Virginia in time) and 4* Buck Richard Jibunor (practice) but for the most part, Auburn got the guys they needed to get on campus. No commits went public that day but both Harris and Sherwood silently committed at the event and went public a few days later. Hard to complain about a 4 commit week.
With the Tigers having their last camp of the summer, there were quite a few offers that went out this past week. One name in particular might be someone Tiger fans should keep a close eye on in the coming months.
- 3* DE Kayode Oladele - Nigerian natives are becoming a theme in Auburn recruiting. Prince Tega Wanogho, Prince Sammons, Richard Jibunor and now Oladele. He’s a bit raw but man he’s got some serious upside. At 6’5” 238 lbs he’s got some of the best bend I have seen in this class as a pass rusher and could easily fill out that frame and play at 260+ lbs. If things go sideways with Andres Fox, don’t be shocked if this kid becomes a top target.
- 3* OT Jalen Goss - AU is still searching hard for some offensive tackles this class and Goss is another name to add to the list. The former Florida commit has great size but will need some time to develop at the next level. Another name to track in the coming months.
- 3* CB Jamari Brown - This is the name to keep an eye on. Brown is a tall CB prospect at 6’3” 180 lbs and he impressed the coaching staff Friday earning an offer. He also happens to be Junior Rosegreen’s nephew. If he’s anything like his uncle, sign me up. Auburn’s CB recruiting has been a mystery at times this year but after this weekend it seems Brown and Derek Turner are names to watch.
- 2020 WR Deajaun McDougle - Besides having an awesome name, I don’t really know much about McDougle as I couldn’t find much tape on him. Suffice it to say, if Auburn is offering a rising sophomore, he can probably play.
- 2020 WR Dazalin Worsham - Hewitt-Trussville is absolutely loaded with talent and Worsham has a chance to be one of the best of the bunch. He’s a threat to score every play and has a nice combination of length and speed. Explosive is probably the best description. Will be a top player in 2020
- 2020 LB Quanderrius Robinson - The Tigers are looking to build a pipeline in Jackson-Olin. They landed Tadarian Moultry in 2017, pushing for Coynis Miller in 2018 and now have offered Robinson for the 2020 class. Not a ton of tape available on this kid but will apparently play safety in the fall though his future is at linebacker.
This was another long post but it was a busy week. The Tigers are finally starting to see some dominoes fall and according to Shaun Shivers, more are expected.