We have talked about offers a lot over the past months, but the truth is none of those so called offers were official. They were simply verbal offers where a coaching staff tells a player they want them to come play for their school. That changed Tuesday at 12:01 AM when schools could send out official written offers to all their top targets. But like most things in recruiting, official offers aren’t just simple paperwork to be reviewed but instead a chance to show off a school’s photoshop skills and maybe catch the eye of a top recruit or two.
Here’s what Auburn’s official offer looks like
At times in the past, I have been a bit underwhelmed by some of the edits put out by Auburn’s athletic department. Not here. That’s a pretty awesome graphic.
If you find things like this interesting, Keith Niebuhr put together a massive slideshow of schools’ official offers.
August 1st was also the start of a dead period. SBNation’s Bud Elliott has a great article breaking down the different recruiting periods and what coaches and players can or cannot do. Here’s the dead period definition.
The dead period is the most restrictive. No in-person contact is allowed, even if a prospect makes a visit to the college campus. Written and electronic communications are still permitted.
And yet, prospects still do decide to commit to schools in late December and early January, often because they've considered all their options, taken all their visits, and are ready to pull the trigger.
With fall camp starting not only for Auburn but for many high school teams as well, recruiting tends to slow down some. However, just before the dead period Auburn squeezed in a few last minute visitors:
- 4* DE Adam Anderson (Former UGA & LSU Commit)
- 4* WR Anthony Schwartz
- 3* LB/S Josh Marsh (AU Commit)
- 2020 QB Robby Ashford
The surprise of the weekend was Adam Anderson. Anderson has already committed and decommitted twice so he’s kept his recruitment interesting. I am pretty sure if Kevin Steele could create a player from scratch to play his Buck spot that player would look a lot like Anderson. The Rome native stands 6’4” (though some have him at 6’5”), weighs 215 lbs and is explosive off the edge. This kid can play. As of now, the consensus seems to be that he will end up back at Georgia but considering how his recruitment has played out so far, that could easily change. He told SECCountry’s Benjamin Wolk that he liked the fact freshman can play early at AU and enjoyed the environment. Garner has a history of stealing away a supposed UGA lock late in the recruiting cycle, sure would love for that trend to continue with this kid.
As for Schwartz, he has long had Florida as his leader. However before the dead period, the speedster took a whirlwind trip around the southeast visiting Georgia, Tennessee, LSU and Auburn. He plans on being a two sport star in college, not only playing football but also running track. That’s because he’s not only a great wide receiver but also one of the fastest recruits in this class. Schwartz would be a big land for not only a school’s football program but their track team as well. It still sounds like the Gators are the team to beat but Auburn and Georgia have made it a race.
The final 2018 visitor was recent AU commit Josh Marsh. The athlete out of Decatur told Jeffery Lee of Rivals that he doesn’t have a set defensive position but will play wherever he is needed for the Tigers. I am really excited to see what kind of numbers this kid puts up as a senior this season. He could end up being a steal in the 2018 class.
Finally, there was Hoover quarterback Robby Ashford. The 2020 national signing day is a long ways away but recruiting never starts too early. Ashford is only a rising sophomore but already holds a few offers including one from Georgia. The 6’3” 200 lber is in a four man quarterback battle so chances are we might have to wait a bit before seeing him consistently take varsity snaps. However, file this name away because chances are he will be a top target two years from now.
The Tigers sent out two new offers this past week. One to a tight end which has been a position that has been hard to follow for the Tigers. I am still not quite sure who is where on the board and who Auburn ends up snagging at tight end.
- 3* TE Ben Sims (Baylor Commit) - At 6’5” 240 lbs, Sims moves much quicker than you would expect. He’s got really nice hands and is a stout run blocker. His route running will need some polish but hard to not like this kid’s potential. He committed to the Bears earlier this summer.
- 2019 CB Andrew Booth - I will not be shocked if this kid ends up rated a 5* by the end of next year’s cycle. He’s got an impressive skillset of length, speed and instincts. Just a fun player to watch on tape. He already holds 11 offers including ones from Alabama, Clemson and Georgia.
I am not going to lie, I am pretty bummed Gonzalez did not make it on campus. Forget how it affects Auburn. This is a kid that was committed to the Tigers for almost two years through three different defensive back coaches. You just don’t see stuff like that these days. It’s always been clear he wanted to play for Auburn and you hate to see a kid miss out on that opportunity.
As for Auburn, I don’t think it will make a huge impact on the 2017 season. I personally think Gonzalez would have earned some snaps but if he was asked to play a bunch something has already gone wrong. Where it really hurts Auburn is in 2018. With Tray Matthews, Stephen Roberts, Nick Ruffin and Jason Smith graduating after this season, Markell Boston and Marlon Character no longer on the team, there’s a clear hole in Auburn’s secondary. Basically the three guys I thought were poised to be the core of Auburn’s safety group in 2018 are gone.
The good news is Auburn is hitting on their top guys at safety in this class. Auburn is already done at that spot having landed commitments from 4* Quindarious Monday, 3* Jamien Sherwood, 3* Kolbi Fuqua and 3* Josh Marsh. At least one of those guys is going to have to be ready to go immediately in 2018, probably more than one. Either way, Auburn will have plenty of help on the way in next year’s freshman class.