The wild ride that has been 4* RB Harold Joiner’s recruitment has ended. After taking an official visit to Auburn this weekend, the nation’s top ranked uncommitted running back has elected to end his recruitment and commit to the Tigers.
It’s official!!! #WDE @CoachGusMalzahn @Keith247Sports @CoachTimHorton pic.twitter.com/sOBAPypw9m— Harold Joiner (@hkjoiner3) January 14, 2018
Joiner’s had a hot and cold relationship with Auburn this cycle. In the spring, it looked like Joiner was all AU but he had some concerns about how Auburn wanted to use him. Joiner saw himself as only a running back and the Tigers saw him more as an athlete that could see some time at wide receiver. LSU emerged as his favorite with promises of carries and grandeur. But Ed Orgeron’s staff stopped communicating with the nation’s #124 ranked player sometime in December opening the door once again for Auburn. Having lost both Kerryon Johnson and Kamryn Pettway this offseason, the Tigers decided that they wanted to add a third back to the class and were able to convince the talented playmaker to jump on board this weekend.
Unfortunately, Joiner’s senior tape isn’t yet available on his Hudl account but his junior season gives a good look at his skillset. I have mixed feelings on Joiner when it comes to projecting him as an SEC running back. Dudes this big shouldn’t move this quick. Despite being 6’3” 218 lbs Joiner is incredibly elusive in the open field. He’s got great vision and is a threat out of the backfield as a pass catcher. However, despite his size I would not label him a power back. He’s more likely to try and juke a defender than run through him. If he can learn to run behind his pads better and play with a more physical edge he has a chance to be special. Worst case, Auburn could move him to tight end or wide receiver. Bottom line is this kid has a rare combination of athleticism that should make him a weapon in this Auburn offense.
Auburn now has the top 2 ranked running backs in the state of Alabama and four of the top six players in the state. Joiner will join an impressive running back class that already has two backs signed in 4* Asa Martin and 4* Shaun Shivers. All three bring different skillsets to Auburn’s backfield and could all find ways to contribute early in their careers.
There’s a chance Auburn isn’t done today either. Keep an eye on 3* TE Matt Alaimo who is also wrapping up his official visit. Auburn was thought to be his leader heading into the visit and I wouldn’t be surprised if the coaching staff pushed for him to commit. Only reason he might hold off is Texas A&M has also offered him and wants him to take an official visit next weekend. Either way, Auburn has started their sprint to the finish with a commitment from a top 150 player. Not a bad way to kick things off.
War Eagle Harold!