There are only two weekends left in the 2018 recruiting cycle. With 23 commitments and 15 of those signed, most of the work is already done for this Auburn coaching staff. But there are still some big fish out there that the Tigers would love to reel in by February 7th. This weekend might be Auburn’s last chance at convincing a few of them that Auburn is the place to be for the next 3-4 years. Here’s a look at this week’s official visitor list.
4* LB Quay Walker | 6’4” | 236 lbs | Cordele, GA | Alabama Commit
As of this writing, Walker is expected to be on campus this weekend. There’s always a chance that changes considering the young man’s official visit schedule has been erratic at best. The Florida Gators are trying to make a late push to steal this visit but all indications are he will be on the Plains this weekend.
There was a time I thought Walker would land in this class but a lot has changed. He might be committed to Alabama publicly but most seem to believe this has turned into a Georgia-Tennessee battle with the Tigers and Gators chasing. If Auburn wants to land one of the top linebackers in the country they will have to blow him away this weekend. I wouldn’t be shocked if Auburn does just that in the coming days. Walker is very close with Auburn linebacker coach Travis Williams and his close friend and former high school teammate Big Kat Bryant is already on campus. I don’t think you can write Auburn off just yet in this race but if the Tigers are going to make a move it has to be this weekend.
4* WR Justyn Ross | 6’4” | 201 lbs | Phenix City, AL
Another year and another familiar storyline is unfolding. A highly rated local talent appears to be trending to the Crimson Tide. Alabama has signed the 247 Composite #1 player in the state every year but one under Nick Saban. It looked like Ross might be #2 with the Clemson Tigers being the overwhelming favorite for many months but after Ross’s recent official visit to the Capstone, that no longer appears to be the case.
For Auburn, they are more than likely running #3 right now. The good news is Auburn’s resurgent offense this past season that featured a 3,000 yard passer is a major selling point to the talented instate wide receiver. He is also close with a number of Auburn signees including 4* QB Joey Gatewood. I am not optimistic on Auburn’s chances but having the final official visit is never a bad thing in recruiting.
4* WR Seth Williams | 6’3” | 212 lbs | Cottondale, AL | Auburn Signee
Losing out on Ross would hurt a lot more if Auburn didn’t already have Williams signed, sealed and delivered. The Tigers wanted to add a big bodied wideout in this class and Williams fits the bill. Auburn doesn’t usually have much success recruiting the Tuscaloosa area but Williams bucked that trend this year. Very excited to see this kid suit up for the Tigers in 2018.
4* DE Caleb Tannor | 6’3” | 225 lbs | Lithonia, GA
Auburn finished #2 for Tannor back in 2017 when he committed to the Dawgs over the Tigers. However, UGA dropped the talented pass rusher this past fall over “academic concerns” that no other schools appear to have with Tannor. The Gators made a major push this past weekend but I still think that if Auburn wants Tannor they can get him. The question is if there is a spot or not. I personally hope there is as I think Tannor has a bright future as a pass rusher at the next level.
3* DL Caleb Johnson | 6’3” | 250 lbs | Columbus, GA
There might not be a more overlooked prospect in the state of Georgia than Johnson. Despite his low rating, the Columbus native holds some big time offers and has become a priority for a number of top teams. He played mostly linebacker for his high school but his future is on the defensive line at the next level. I am not sure where he is on Auburn’s board or if the Tigers have room but I would not at all be surprised if Auburn made a big push and landed the talented defender. He’s going to play in the SEC next season, the question is whether it’s for Auburn, Georgia, Florida or Tennessee.
3* CB CD Daniels | 6’2” | 180 lbs | Birmingham, AL
More than likely, Roger McCreary’s commitment this week ended the chances Daniels lands in this class. But the former Memphis commit still plans on taking an official visit to the Plains. There is an interesting relationship to keep an eye on in this recruitment. Auburn’s new defensive backs coach, Marcus Woodson, was a major player in getting Daniels to commit to Memphis originally. We will see if there is space in this class for the talented in-state DB. Whomever lands Daniels is getting a kid with tremendous upside.
I plan to start talking 2019 recruiting next week as Auburn will hold their first big junior day February 2nd. But there is some big 2019 news to talk about from this past week. Last night, Chad Simmons of Rivals.com broke the big news that longtime Georgia commit 4* DT Rashad Cheney was stepping back from his commitment to the Dawgs.
BREAKING: 2019 #Rivals250 DE Rashad Cheney has de-committed from #Georgia. He talks about why he made the decision here: https://t.co/ElCY8P46On pic.twitter.com/HOYKYOn5FS— Chad Simmons (@ChadSimmons_) January 25, 2018
What’s interesting about the timing of this decommit is that Cheney is coming off a visit to Auburn this past weekend. He was visiting with teammates and fellow Dawg commit 5* WR Jadon Haselwood.
January 20, 2018
Had a Great Visit in Auburn This Weekend I appreciate the Whole Tiger Coaching Staff @KodiBurns @CoachGusMalzahn #WDE pic.twitter.com/twEcvr4HmQ— F E D E R A L (@jadon_haselwood) January 22, 2018
Both are major targets for Auburn in next year’s class and although I don’t think the visit to Auburn is the main reason why Cheney decommitted, it is something worth noting. It will be very interesting to see how soon Cheney returns for a visit. Keep an eye on South Carolina in this race as well. I will have more on names to know in the 2019 class in the coming weeks but these two are definitely near the top of the list.