It was a good weekend on the Plains. Three of Auburn’s biggest remaining targets in the 2018 class made it to campus for official visits. Later Saturday, Auburn hosted at least 50 or more 2019/2020 prospects for the year’s first Junior Day. Oh and Auburn basketball won again. Not a bad weekend at all.
2018 Official Visitor Recap
I said Friday that Auburn could end up signing all three of these big time official visitors or none of them. That still looks the case though unfortunately the latter part of that statement looks more likely than the former. But from all reports, the coaching staffs gave all three of these big time prospects something to think about over the final days of the 2018 recruiting cycle.
The fact Auburn even got Gouraige to visit is big. Herb Hand was the main reason for Gouraige’s interest in Auburn in the first place. When he left, it looked like all hope was lost. But credit both Tim Horton and JB Grimes for convincing the Tampa native to give Auburn one final look. It sounds like Auburn made another big impression on Gouraige and his family but the optimism isn’t as high as you would like for a player fresh off an official visit. The #1 reason why Gouraige chose Florida in the first place over Clemson and why he has remained committed despite all the coaching turnover at Florida is the fact that Gainesville is basically two hours from his home. No matter what Auburn did this weekend they can’t change that fact. If Gouraige decides that distance to home isn’t a factor then I think he would pick Auburn but I am not sure that will happen.
It finally happened. After two previous visits were cancelled, JaMarr Chase was finally able to make it campus and Auburn rolled out the red carpet. Despite the Tigers holding commitment from four other wideouts, Auburn absolutely wants to sign Chase on signing day. He’s just one of those prospects that you have a spot for no matter what. There seems to be some cautious optimism that Auburn might have done enough to steal him away from the home state Tigers but I still think LSU is the team to beat. It just isn’t easy getting kids out of Louisiana.
A lifelong Auburn fan, Malik Langham got a chance to achieve a childhood dream this weekend: take an official visit to Auburn University. The Tigers were the absolutely last program to offer the big man from Huntsville but were still able secure his final official visit. Confidence is still high in Tuscaloosa that Langham will pick the Tide but I don’t think this is a done deal just yet. Rodney Garner is one of the best closers in the country so it’s hard to count the Tigers out. Langham told reporters Sunday that he hopes to have his decision by the end of the day today and will inform the coaching staffs.
Junior Day Recap
While Auburn is working hard to try and finish the 2018 class with a bang, they also were looking to start the 2019 class with an equal or greater bang this weekend as well. It sounds like they did just that.
Five Star Updates
Friday I stated that there would be no shows and surprise visitors. Both happened with prospects rated five stars Saturday. CB Derek Stingley Jr did not make it to the Plains electing to go to Alabama instead. However, surprisingly 5* DL Nolan Smith, a longtime Georgia commit, made the trip with his family and spent the night according to AuburnUndercover’s Keith Niebuhr. No information has come out yet on Smith but like 5* WR Jadon Haselwood two weeks ago, getting these guys to visit is important. It will be hard to flip either but the more times you get them on campus, the better your odds.
As for the other two expected 2019 5* visitors, LB Owen Pappoe and RB Noah Cain, they both made it and apparently both loved it. Pappoe told reporters after his visit that he now has Auburn in his top 3 and will push back his commitment date to give himself more time to evaluate his options. Cain was also impressed, specifically by the fact that Auburn has put more running backs in the NFL than any other program. It also helped that Auburn’s two current 2019 commits were in his ear all day. These three would make a heck of three headed offensive monster down the road....
Marcus Woodson might not have had much time to really make an impact on the 2018 class but he’s wasted no time hitting the trail for the 2019 cycle. It’s becoming clear that Auburn is going to hit the Magnolia State HARD in the 2019 class and Woodson is the man leading the charge. Auburn welcomed a number of Mississippi prospects to campus this weekend and almost all of them at some point over the weekend tweeted out the hashtag #SipMaul19. Maul19 is the hashtag Auburn has been using for the 2019 class but it sounds like Woodson is selling a specific Mississippi brand to the 2019 class. I got a sneaky suspicion you are going to see a few more Mississippi natives added to the roster after the 2019 class signs.
Plenty of prospects took to social media to share pics from Junior Day. Here is just a sampling of what I saw over the weekend.