Ah the tight end position. Something that causes absolutely ZERO debate among Auburn fans....
The Tigers did not sign a true tight end in the 2018 class though they very well could have if AU had elected to push for 3* Matt Alaimo’s commitment after his official visit. Instead, Gus Malzahn elected to go with Harold Joiner in hopes of bringing back the weapon he once had in Charles Clay. In 2019, I fully expect Auburn to sign at least one true tight end, possibly two. There’s also the chance the Tigers sign another RB/TE hybrid like Joiner. Per usual, this position should be an interesting recruitment to track.
Players marked with an asterisk (*) do not yet hold an Auburn offer.
Tight End - 1, maybe 2
They don’t get much bigger than Ryland Goede. At 6’7” 235 lbs, the Georgia native is the embodiment of the “just throw it up and let him go get it” target. While not the fleetest of foot, Goede makes up for it with his massive frame and outstanding hands. He’s also a very good blocker at the line of scrimmage. Unfortunately for Auburn, Goede committed to the Dawgs last Wednesday. Chances are slim he will flip considering his childhood buddies 5* WR Dominick Blaylock and 4* LB J.D. Bertand are also committed to UGA. All three had Auburn in their top groups so that’s something at least.... Auburn will more than likely continue to recruit the talented tight end prospect up until he signs.
Deal is probably my favorite Auburn tight end target currently. He’s just the complete package and exactly the type of player Auburn needs. Strong enough to be an inline blocker but athletic enough to also be a threat in the passing game, Deal can line up all over the place for an offense. He has some of the best hands you will see on a kid his size. I fully expect him to be a top 200 prospect in the 2019 class. As of now, he only holds three offers (Auburn, Georgia, NC State) but expect that to change in a hurry this spring.
Chances are good, if coaches were visiting Cartersville last season they were going to see phenom Clemson signee 5* QB Trevor Lawrence. This season, chances are good they will be going to see Jackson Lowe. Lowe is a true pass catching tight end. He was one of Lawrence’s favorite targets this past season due to being a matchup nightmare for defenses. Lowe visited for Junior Day a few weekends ago and seems to be high on Auburn. However, Clemson will probably be the team to beat in this recruitment.
Randolph is a long, lanky prospect with tremendous upside. He would absolutely need a redshirt year to put some muscle on that massive 6’6” frame but this kid possesses unreal potential at the tight end spot. He’s got enough speed to get by linebackers and get separation against safeties along with outstanding hands. His catch radius is just insane. I am very interested to watch his recruitment unfold and see his development over the next year. I believe South Carolina is the main team to watch early in his recruitment but he did visit for Auburn’s Junior Day just a few weeks ago.
Brown doesn’t yet hold an offer from Auburn but it could be coming soon. The Rome, GA native was on campus for Auburn’s Junior Day (he’s pictured with Jackson Lowe below) and is a guy the Tigers have visited a few times this past month. He’s surprisingly tough to handle after the catch while also being an outstanding blocker on the edge. You can also see his athleticism show out when lined up as a defensive end making plays in the backfield. I would not be surprised at all if Brown landed an offer during the evaluation period or at a camp this summer.