Auburn’s second to last official visit weekend is in the books. The Tigers welcomed six official visitors to campus along with a number of top 2019 targets. Here’s a quick look at who ended up making the trip this weekend along with some important news on two instate defensive line targets.
2018 Official Visitor Notes
Per usual, Walker left without giving any interviews so there really hasn’t been much information out on the talented linebacker or how his visit went. There have been a number of reports though that his former teammate and current Auburn Tiger, Big Kat Bryant, spent much of Walker’s official visit by his side hoping to convince Walker to join Bryant at Auburn. Walker is expected to visit Georgia this weekend before making his final decision. At this point, I think Auburn’s running #3 but that’s just a guess. There will be a lot of eyes on this young man’s commitment next week.
From all accounts the state’s top rated player had a great visit this past weekend. However, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of positive buzz that Auburn made a big enough move to steal away the Phenix City native. Barring a surprise, Ross will more than likely end up choosing the Tide next Wednesday. However, Gus Malzahn will visit Ross at some point this week and there is enough time left that Auburn could make a late push. Reading the tealeaves though it doesn’t look likely.
I loved the interview Williams gave Jeffery Lee over at Rivals. The Auburn signee is all set to head to the Plains this summer and seems very comfortable with his decision to sign with the Tigers. Williams is a physical specimen at 6’3” 212 lbs but is just as scary after the catch as he is when battling DBs for the ball in the air. Hard not to be excited about this kid’s upside. The Tigers are adding some serious weapons to this offense next season.
Auburn missed on Tannor the first go around, they are trying real hard to not miss a 2nd time. After his visit, Tannor announced he had a top 3 of Auburn, Florida and Nebraska but most seem to think this is a straight up Tigers/Gators battle. From the sound of it, Auburn has pitched the pass rushing monster on the idea that he would have a chance to help Auburn’s pass rush early. I personally have always been extremely high on Tannor and would love to see him join the class. He’s the archetype of what Steele and company want at the Buck position.
This has been one of the more interesting recruitments this cycle. Johnson hasn’t gotten a ton of pub and his rating isn’t going to catch anyone’s eye but this is a kid being pursued by a number of top teams. Auburn, Georgia and Florida are all giving the Georgia native a hard look right now. Part of the fascination is it’s hard to really know where he will project at the next level. He spent this past year playing linebacker but there’s a very good chance he will transition to the defensive line in college. As for his status with Auburn, it looks like he might have to wait and see how some other pieces fall. That’s not to say this kid isn’t talented or Auburn doesn’t want him but numbers are extremely tight right now. I would not be surprised or disappointed if this talented playmaker landed in Auburn’s class next week.
Auburn has a tendency to dole out a very late offer on National Signing Day to instate targets when it becomes clear they have an extra spot open. In 2016, when Auburn missed on Nigel Warrior they sent out a late offer to Daniel Thomas who promptly signed. Last year, right before JaTarvious Whitlow was going to sign with Tulane he got a phone call from Kevin Steele asking him if he wanted to be an Auburn Tiger instead. This year’s candidate for a similar story is CD Daniels. He said after his visit that he will know on February 7th (National Signing Day) if he has a spot or not. His close relationship with Marcus Woodson (Daniels has already committed to Woodson once when he was at Memphis) has the Birmingham native hopeful he will have a spot. Don’t be surprised if for the third straight year Auburn lands an overlooked instate player to finish off the class on signing day.
Big Defensive Line News
The biggest news from this weekend came from prospects not on Auburn’s campus. It also came from two instate defensive lineman. First, there was 4* DT Coynis Miller. Fresh off an official visit to Tennessee, the longtime Auburn commit took Twitter to let everyone know he plans on being a Tiger next season.
Auburn University Locked In— #BallGame (@junior256_) January 28, 2018
This is huge news for Auburn. While Miller has consistently stated that he’s solid to Auburn there were concerns when he didn’t sign early. But the young man stayed true to his word, taking some visits he always planned but staying loyal to the Tigers. In the very near future, Auburn is going to need some playmakers ready to go on the defensive line and I would not be surprised at all if Miller ended up being one of the major standouts. He has as high a ceiling as you will find in this class at the defensive tackle position and is an incredibly important piece of this signing class.
It’s felt like Auburn has been too late to really get in the 4* DL Malik Langham race. The Huntsville native was expected to visit Tennessee this upcoming weekend but after his Florida official visit he cast doubt on those plans stating that he is now debating taking a visit to Auburn instead. That’s big news for the Tigers. Langham grew up an Auburn fan and there might not be a better closer when it comes to defensive line recruiting than Rodney Garner. Expect Auburn to visit Langham at some point this week to hopefully convince him to use his last official visit on Auburn. Also expect Tennessee to stop by to try and convince him to stick to his original plan and Alabama to visit in hopes of convincing Langham to just shut his recruitment down and commit to the Tide. Some big decisions ahead for this young man. If he ends up visiting Auburn this weekend you have to like the Tigers chances.
**UPDATE 9:00 PM EST**
SECCountry’s Benjamin Wolk dropped some big news tonight on Langham.
4-star in-state defensive lineman decides to take final official visit to Auburn. Tigers coaches will make in-home visit Wednesday. Can a late push pay off? | https://t.co/MVfS8g3A5e pic.twitter.com/aE2Axk2vGq— Benjamin Wolk (@benjaminwolk) January 30, 2018
Always trust in Rodney Garner. The Tigers will host one of the hottest prospects in the country this weekend and are hoping to steal another talented instate DL away form the Tide. Alabama will be tough to beat, especially considering how late Auburn got into the game. But the fact that despite such a late offer he will use his last official visit on Auburn is a very positive sign. Garner could end up with his spring wish of 5-6 defensive lineman in this class.
2019 Visitor Notes
We are nine days away from National Signing Day and the end of the 2018 recruiting cycle but things are already picking up for the 2019 class. The Tigers are expecting a loaded list of 2019 prospects on campus this weekend for Auburn’s first Junior Day but there were a few big time names visiting this past weekend.
The biggest was no doubt 5* LB Nakobe Dean. The #1 ranked linebacker in the country made the trip from Horn Lake, MS to the Plains this past weekend for an unofficial visit and stayed the night. There were multiple reports that Auburn’s newest defensive coach Marcus Woodson spent a lot of time around the Mississippi native. Not a ton of reports have come out on Dean’s visit but it sounds like the Tigers are a real factor.
Dean wasn’t the only Horn Lake native on campus. His teammate 3* ATH Raydarious Jones also made the trip and landed an offer on the visit.
Jones actually plays quarterback for his high school team but most seem to think he will transition to defensive back at the next level. He’s got a great combination of speed and length that will made him a highly coveted DB in next year’s class. Expect Marcus Woodson to make a lot of stops by Horn Lake in the upcoming cycle.
Auburn also had another top defensive back target on campus in CB Christian Williams. Williams is currently unrated but I would not be surprised to see him end up a top 5 player in the state and the top ranked defensive player in Alabama. He’s the complete package at cornerback possessing size, speed and toughness. He recently received an Auburn offer and will be a top target for the Tigers next cycle. Unfortunately, I think Alabama is the current favorite.
Finally, there is 3* ATH Malik Washington who I am not sure if is being recruited as a DB or WR. My guess is Auburn is looking at him on the offensive side of the ball due to his height and quickness. Washington is fun to watch on tape as the kid just makes plays. Doesn’t matter the position, if he has a chance to make a play on the ball he’s going to do it. It will be interesting to watch his recruitment unfold.
Tomorrow, I plan on taking an early look at some top quarterback and running back targets in the 2019 class. Auburn has a chance to make some serious noise in next year’s recruiting cycle and that will really kickoff this weekend in what looks like will be a monster junior day. Recruiting starts early and never ends.