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Auburn Football Recruiting: Jibunor Names Auburn His Leader

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One of Auburn’s top targets told reporters this weekend on visit that the Tigers hold the lead and a decision will be coming soon.

NCAA Football: Georgia Southern at Auburn John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

4* Buck Richard Jibunor has been on commit watch for quite awhile. In fact, back in March I speculated that Auburn looked like it was about to land the talented athlete out of Athens, GA. However, he didn’t make the follow up visit and since then has made it clear that no decision would come until he had visited a handful of schools. That list appears to be down to one: Florida. Jibunor told Benjamin Wolk over at SECCountry that he is planning on visiting Gainesville for the Florida-Tennessee game on September 16th. He plans to have a decision very soon after that which should be good news for Auburn as he also finally admitted publicly this weekend that the Tigers are his top team and have been for awhile.

From the very beginning of this recruiting cycle, Auburn has made the Nigerian native a priority. He’s very raw having only played football for a few years now but is an elite athlete who has the chance to be an absolute force as a pass rusher at the next level. Over the summer, he won the DL MVP at The Opening Regional in Atlanta and the LB MVP at Rivals 5 Star Camp. He also took reps as a CB at another camp and plays WR for his high school team. This is a kid with a lot of ability, a great attitude and the raw tools to be something special in a few years. If Auburn can lock him down in a few weeks that would be a huge win for this staff and a big boom for this recruiting class.

Jibunor isn’t the only Nigerian native to track though. 3* DE Kayode Oladele seems to be trending Auburn’s way as well right now with the last 7 Crystal Ball picks pointing to the good guys. The Tigers would like to land five defensive lineman this class and Oladele seems to be emerging as one of the top defensive end targets to go with 3* Andres Fox. For both Jibunor and Oladele, the fact that Auburn already has two Nigerian natives on campus in Prince Tega Wanogho and Prince Sammons appears to be playing a major role. Commitments from Jibunor and Oladele would solidify that Nigerian pipeline that seems to be emerging and give Auburn two high ceiling athletes on the defensive line. Definitely something to track over the coming weeks and months.

Recapping Weekend Visitors

Of the four expected 4* 2018 visitors, three made the trip this weekend. 4* OG Trey Hill, 4* DT Coynis Miller and 4* Richard Jibunor all made the trek to the Plains Saturday to see Auburn open the year with a dominating performance. Unfortunately, 4* WR Seth Williams ended up not making the trip but I wouldn’t read too much into that as he didn’t visit anywhere this past weekend. He was supposed to come with his team but the trip got called off.

I am starting to really believe that Trey Hill could end up an Auburn Tiger. He’s visited AU now more than ten times and seems to love the fact that the Tigers have made him a priority. He also told Wolk that he likes the look of Auburn’s depth chart and thinks he could find his way onto the field pretty quickly.

Hill won’t judge his entire decision on playing time, but he sees a channel to the field with the Tigers.

“The depth chart situation, you’re going to have backups at either school that can play. It’s just a matter of coming in and working hard and fitting in. I’m paying attention to it, but I’m really not [looking at it too much],” Hill said. “Most of their [interior] guys are seniors. If I come here, I feel that I’d fit in.”

As for Miller, he continues to state that Florida holds the edge though not by much. It sounds like Auburn continues to feel really good about where they stand with him and having 4* RB Asa Martin committed could really help as the two are close. Throw in his former teammate Tadarian Moultry being on campus along with his close relationship with Rodney Garner and it’s hard not to think that if Auburn takes care of business on the field this season, Miller will end up a Tiger.

Wolk put together a nice summary of info on some of the top targets that made it to campus this past weekend. Here’s who looks to have made it on campus, always a chance I missed somebody:

Commit Tracker

Auburn’s pair of running back commits had big nights this past week. 3* RB Shaun Shivers bounced back from a rocky first game with a 23 carry 163 yd performance in a 14-13 win over Miramar. He apparently even took some snaps at cornerback, shutting down 3* WR Dominick Watt in the second half. Not to be outdone, 4* Asa Martin rushed for 4 TDs and 200 yards in a 41-14 beatdown of Bob Jones. That’s 363 yds and 4 TDs between the pair of them. Auburn is adding two very explosive backs to the backfield next season.

While Martin is having an insane start to the season, you might argue that 4* QB Joey Gatewood has been the best of Auburn’s commits so far. The 6’4” 232 lb beast put on a show on ESPN2 two weekends ago in a tough loss to Cartersville then followed that up by leading his Bartram Bears to a 35-24 victory over Mainland, a team that was on a 30 game regular season home winning streak. Gatewood rushed for 68 yds and 2 TDs to go along with 144 yds through the air and 2 more TDs. That’s 7 TDs through two games and over 500 total yards all while rotating every other series with teammate 3* Riley Smith. Gatewood is quickly silencing the haters and establishing himself as one of the top QB prospects in this class.

Here’s how the last week went for the rest of Auburn’s commits:

War Eagle!