We are only eight days away from National Signing Day and the end of the 2018 recruiting cycle. But that also means we are just eight days away from the kickoff of the 2019 cycle. That’s the insane and wonderful thing about recruiting, it never stops.
This weekend the Tigers are expected to host a loaded Junior Day. I figured now would then be a good time to start taking a look at some of Auburn’s top targets in next year’s class. Let me throw out the huge caveat that it is super early and chances are high that I am leaving off names that will end up being top targets and including prospects that won’t ever give Auburn a 2nd look. But this should at least give you an idea of names to keep an eye on in the early months.
Those prospects marked with an asterisk do not yet currently hold an offer. I am also taking a guess at how many I think Auburn will take at a given position.
Quarterback - 1
Barring an unforeseen transfer, I expect Auburn to take only one quarterback in the 2019 class. There is a chance that changes if the staff doesn’t feel comfortable with only 3 guys on scholarship in 2019 (assuming Jarrett Stidham leaves early) but seeing who Auburn brought in last class and who they are expecting to bring in this one, it’s hard to see another top talent wanted to jump on board.
Auburn went as all in on a prospect as a team can go when it came to Bo Nix. The Tigers have offered a grand total of 1 quarterback a scholarship in the 2019 class. That one man is Bo Nix and the Tigers got him. It’s not a huge surprise Auburn snagged Nix considering he’s the son of former AU great Patrick Nix but it’s always risky to put all your chips in on one prospect. Thankfully, it appears to have paid off and now Nix will be the centerpiece of next year’s class. I have already seen a few top wide receiver prospects mention their interest in AU is piqued due to the Tigers having Nix committed. Expect the Pinson native to be a frequent visitor to the Plains in the coming months as he tries to help the coaching staff reel in top talent. Oh and he might be getting coached some by Cam Newton this summer.
Running Back - 2
Auburn took three running backs in the 2018 class and not a single back on the roster will be a senior after the 2018 season. However, with that many bodies at one position there’s always the chance of attrition so I expect Auburn to try and bring in two backs in next year’s class. The Tigers typically aim for 2 running backs each signing class anyways so it’s a safe guess.
Cain has been a well known name in the recruiting world since he burst on the scene as a true freshman. Originally from Denton, TX before transferring to IMG Academy, Cain is the #2 ranked running back prospect in the country and holds offers from virtually everyone. Funny enough, the #1 ranked running back is his teammate and former Alabama commit 5* Trey Sanders. Cain’s recruitment seems fairly open but Ohio State might hold the early edge. The good news for Auburn is he plans to visit for the Tigers Junior Day this weekend. On the field, Cain is a powerful back with frightening lateral quickness. He’s as complete a prospect as you will find in this class and will be a major target for every top team in the country.
If I was able to pick any running back in the country to sign with Auburn in 2019, I would pick Emery without hesitation. This kid makes everything look way too easy and effortless. There is no wasted motion in his running style and he is incredibly difficult to bring down in the open field. Right now, it’s hard to see him leaving the state of Louisiana but many will try and convince him otherwise.
As of now, Brown looks like the most likely back to land in this class. The explosive junior out of Buford grew up an Auburn fan and was in attendance for the Iron Bowl back in November. He was part of a loaded Buford backfield this past season that included two Power 5 signees in 3* Christian Turner (Michigan) and 3* Anthony Grant (Tennessee). I would not be surprised to see Brown visit this weekend.
A one time Florida State commit, Thompkins looks like the type of back Chip Lindsey wants to use in his system. He can run between the tackles or hurt defenses in the passing game. Thompkins plays on a loaded Grayson team that includes a number of other top Auburn targets such as 5* LB Owen Pappoe, 4* OT Wanya Morris and 3* CB Jalen Alexander. Pappoe is reportedly going to be at Auburn’s Junior Day this weekend so there’s a very good chance the rest of the Grayson posse will be in attendance as well including Thompkins.
The state of Georgia is absolutely loaded with running back talent in 2019. A name to keep an eye on is Jamious Griffin. His older brother is former LSU DL commit JaQuon Griffin who was apart of that insane Rome defensive line that helped lead Wolves to a perfect season and a 5A state title. Griffin doesn’t yet hold an Auburn offer but I would not be surprised if he landed one down the road.
Currently, Amerson is the highest ranked running back in the state of Alabama though I think Hoover’s Larry McCammon along with others will give him a run for that title this season. Amerson is a kid with a lot of power who put up some gaudy statistics this past season. He’s still searching for an offer from either instate school but does hold three SEC offers already from Kentucky, Mississippi State and Vanderbilt. Keep an eye on the Montgomery native next cycle.
If there is a Goodson hype train, consider me it’s conductor. Goodson was one of the breakout stars in Georgia 7A high school football this past season helping lead his North Gwinnett Bulldogs to a state title. That run included knocking off that previously mentioned Grayson program loaded with D1 talent. I love Goodson’s running style and his incredible balance. He seemed to play his best this past year in the biggest of games as well. He’s just recently started reeling in some D1 offers and I would not be surprised to see some SEC programs jump in soon as well. He and Emery are near the top of my wishlist in 2019.
Thursday we will look at the impressive list of wide receivers giving Auburn a hard look in 2019. Bo Nix’s commitment has turned some heads as has Auburn’s resurgent passing offense.