The next 7 days could be a lot of fun for Auburn football. As many as six prospects spanning the 2018, 2019 and 2020 classes could announce their commitments and all six could possibly pick Auburn. In fact, it’s more likely the Tigers hit on every one than it is for them to whiff completely. That’s a nice place to be. But it’s also far from a certainty. There are still a lot of moving pieces and big decisions to be made. Here are the six names to keep an eye on over the next week.
Auburn might not be done adding to their 2018 class. As has been discussed ad nauseam since signing day, the Tigers struck out at offensive tackle this past recruiting class missing on top prospects such as 4* Dylan Wonnum (South Carolina), 4* Richard Gouraige (Florida) and Rice graduate transfer Calvin Anderson (Texas). But Auburn has apparently been working diligently behind the scenes to fix that problem. This past weekend, offensive tackle Jack Driscoll took an official visit to the Plains. The 6’5” 300 lb Connecticut native was not able to get into graduate school at UMass (much to the ire of his former head coach) and so is looking for a new home to finish his collegiate career. He’s down to a top 3 of Auburn, UCLA and USC. Driscoll is expected to announce his decision sometime today and there appears to be some decent confidence on Auburn’s side they will land the talented OT prospect.
What’s interesting is Pro Football Focus graded Driscoll as the 2nd best offensive tackle in the G5 last season. That means he was actually rated higher than former Auburn target Calvin Anderson, who is a really good player in his own right. Phil Steele placed Driscoll on his 1st team All-Independent Team. All that to say, Driscoll is a very talented player who could have a major impact on Auburn’s offensive line in 2018. Driscoll could play guard or tackle for the Tigers though I suspect he’s being recruited to play on the outside. This would be a very nice late addition to Auburn’s 2018 roster. It’s also important to note that Driscoll will have 2 years of eligibility remaining so this is like signing a high quality junior college prospect.
Auburn’s 2020 recruiting class is already off to a strong start with 4* DL Andy Boykin’s commitment. It could get even better this Friday when Boykin’s high school teammate, Kobe Hudson, makes his decision. Hudson is ranked as the 52nd best player in the 2020 class by 247 and in my opinion has a real chance to challenge for 5* status in next year’s class. Gus Malzahn has reportedly taken the lead in Hudson’s recruitment which shows how badly the Tigers want this kid. Chances are really good they will get him too.
Obviously the 2020 signing day is a long ways away and it’s hard to get too up or down about kids that are entering their junior year in high school but don’t underestimate how big of a commitment this would be for Auburn. Hudson has stated he wants to be the top recruiter for his class and getting a kid of his talent on board this early would be a great way to have some early momentum in next year’s class. He will announce his decision Friday morning and the consensus appears to be it will be really good news for the Tigers.
There’s a REALLY good chance the Tigers will be adding another cornerback commitment this weekend. Last week, 3* Cordale Flott surprisingly announced his intentions to don the orange and blue next season. It would not be a surprise at all if Simpson were to do the same this weekend.
Simpson is an elite athlete. He does a little bit of everything for his high school team including quarterback, defensive back and return man. Auburn likes him at cornerback and appear poised to land the stud prospect out of Georgia. Flott and Simpson would make a heck of an early CB class for the Tigers.
Sheffield is probably the longest shot to land with Auburn this weekend but not because he doesn’t favor the Tigers. As of now, it appears Sheffield wants to take a little more time and make a few more visits before announcing his commitment. But it’s also not out of the realm of possibility that a great visit might convince him to go ahead and pull the trigger as well this weekend.
At one point in time, Sheffield was a 5* prospect. He’s seen his stock fall some in recent rankings updates but he’s still considered a top 140 talent. I listed Sheffield in my wide receiver preview a few months ago (totally gonna finish that series....) but it wouldn’t be a surprise if Sheffield flipped to the defensive side of the ball and played safety at the next level. Either way, he’s a very talented athlete who could help Auburn either at WR or DB and appears to be a guy the Tigers really like. He’s also reportedly good friends with Owen Pappoe, another top Tiger target.
This recruitment has been a wild one in recent days. It seems like every other day Auburn or Tennessee is considered the team to beat. Morris is fresh off an official visit to Knoxville and was originally planning to take an OV to Auburn this weekend. However, AuburnUndercover’s Keith Niebuhr reported Monday night that visit might not happen. That would appear to be a bad sign for the Tigers’ chances come May 1st.
But it’s also important to note that Morris has taken a number of under the radar visits to Auburn including one last week. He seems to sneak over to the Plains a bunch so there’s a chance he just decides to not take his OV this weekend because he’s already made his decision and wants to save his AU official visit for a later date. Honestly, I’m not really sure what’s going to happen with Morris’s recruitment. As of today, the Tigers hold the edge in 247’s Crystal Ball but I wouldn’t be shocked to see that change over the next few days. Bottom line, this will be a battle all the way up to May 1st and beyond. Morris is obviously one of Auburn’s top priorities this recruiting class.
Once again, Auburn finds themselves in a hotly contested recruitment with the Georgia Bulldogs for an elite prospect. Last cycle, those contests went very poorly for the Tigers. Early in 2019, it hasn’t improved. Auburn has already finished runner up for 5* WR Jadon Haselwood, 5* WR Dominick Blaylock and 4* TE Ryland Goede. Pappoe would be a nice place to start in reversing this disturbing trend.
Pappoe has seemed all Dawg for a number of months but in recent weeks the Tigers made a serious push starting with his 3 day visit earlier this month. Now, some Auburn insiders, such as SECCountry’s Benjamin Wolk, now believe the Tigers are the team to beat. But UGA insiders seem to feel just as confident and currently UGA holds the edge in the 247 Crystal Ball. Like Morris, this will be a battle all the way up to his announcement and won’t stop until he signs. Auburn will work hard to try and get the #8 rated player in the country back on campus one final time this week before his decision. It goes without saying that landing Pappoe would be a monster win for Auburn on the recruiting trail this cycle.