A lot has changed in a short amount of time for Auburn on the recruiting trail. Over a nine day period the following happened:
- 3* DL Jamond Gordon committed to the Tigers, completing his flip from Ole Miss
- Two days later fellow MS DL 4* Jaren Handy also chose Auburn over the Rebels
- One of Auburn’s top OL targets in 3* OT Justin Osborne announced his decommitment from TCU
- This past Saturday 4* ATH Jashawn Sheffield finally pulled the trigger and went public with his commitment to the Tigers
- 3* CB Cordale Flott flipped to LSU after an official visit to Baton Rouge
- Osborne followed up on why he had decommitted from the Horned Frogs, he wants to be a Tiger in 2019
Oh and if you needed any other news, 5* OT Devontae Dobbs announced last night that he plans to stay instate and play for the Michigan State Spartans. Got all that?
Due to the new rule changes, we have entered a new dead period that will last until July 24th. Prospects cannot visit schools and coaches cannot visit prospects during this period but schools and players can communicate via phone or mail. But don’t expect that to slow down recruiting news. One of the biggest recruiting events of the offseason, The Opening, goes down this week along with the Rivals 5* Challenge. Chances are also good there will be plenty of prospects, including some top Auburn targets, that use this break in the recruiting calendar to go ahead and announce their commitment before fall practice gears up.
Speaking of prospects possibly announcing during the dead period and The Opening....
The WR and DB board has been a roller coaster ride over the past two weeks. I talked some on the DB buzz in the Flott decommitment article but I’m not sure I have really done a good job highlighting what’s happening at the WR spot. Not that long ago, the plan seemed pretty clear for the Tigers, take only 2 WRs in this class. That also came with the caveat that the 2nd WR would have to be an elite prospect such as 5* WR Jadon Haselwood.
Then Ja’Varrius Johnson blew the coaching staff away at camp, landed an offer and committed on the spot. That pushed the WR number to 3 with the same caveat that the 3rd spot would only go to a guy you just can’t pass on.
That 3rd spot then looked to be heading to 4* Jalen Curry who took an official visit two weekends ago and left with the Tigers possibly as his top team. So maybe then you take 3 and add a 4th if that 4th happens to be Haselwood?
Well another player has entered the game, 4* WR John Dunmore. Dunmore was once a Florida commit (McElwain actually had an insane 2019 class on board before his departure) and had since been linked mostly to FSU and Penn State. Auburn had always been a team mentioned as one of his leaders but considering he had never visited, chances seemed low the Tigers were a real threat. That changed this past weekend.
Dunmore took an official visit to the Plains, his first visit to Auburn, and like quite a few top prospects to visit Auburn this spring, left feeling surprised by how much he enjoyed himself. He told AuburnSports.com’s Jeffery Lee that he expected something completely different before his visit:
Dunmore admitted he was a bit surprised by his first visit to Auburn.
“I was impressed,” Dunmore said. “Before I got up here, I thought it would be all country, but I came up and gave them a chance and was impressed.”
Dunmore spent time during the weekend with Auburn receiver Eli Stove and running back Shaun Shivers. Shivers and Dunmore are former high school teammates.
“(Shivers) told me to come up and see for myself,” Dunmore said. “He was like me. He thought the same way I thought, that Auburn would be country, but it’s actually nice.”
There’s another important tidbit in that quote. Dunmore recently transferred to Chaminade-Madonna where 2018 Auburn signee Shaun Shivers won a state title last season. The two are reportedly friends and unsurprisingly Shivers was one of his player hosts and has been recruiting the talented wideout hard to the Plains. Shivers also had a recruiting update on his own this past weekend on Twitter.
Auburn got one more coming stay tuned next week— F R E A K Y (@V8Blazing) June 24, 2018
So what do you do if you are Auburn? You could have possibly two elite prospects in Jalen Curry and John Dunmore that want on board this summer while also still heavily recruiting Jadon Haselwood. Oh and if you are wondering if Haselwood is just some pipe dream you should know he was on campus again this weekend. That would be his 5th visit this year...
So again I ask, what do you do? Do you take the first one that jumps on board between Dunmore and Curry? Do you take both and just hope you can squeeze in Haselwood if he wants to flip later? Do you see if they are willing to wait until later in the year and you have a better feel for where you stand not only with Haselwood but with top prospects at other positions? Do you just abandon all notion of running the football, sign only awesome WRs & let Bo Nix throw for 5,000+ yards next year?
I have no idea what the staff should do or what they will do but there’s no doubt the Tigers are sitting in a pretty nice spot right now when it comes to their WR recruiting. They have one of the best prospects in the country already committed in 4* George Pickens, a rising star in JaVarrius Johnson, two elite prospects that might have AU on top and are in contention for one of the best overall players in the country who happens to be committed to your hated rival. Chances are good that no matter how this shakes out, it ends up being a positive for Auburn.
If Dunmore does decide to commit early, look for that decision to come in the next week. He’s talked about possibly committing at The Opening this week but if he does decide to wait until he’s home it could happen soon after. As for Curry, there was some buzz he might have a decision this week or he might wait until a later date (like July 28th at Auburn’s picnic event). Could his plans change with this recent development? Maybe. I am not sure the coaching staff or the prospects really know what is going to happen and when. But I have a sneaky suspicion this time next week we should have a better handle on where things stand for everyone involved.
I will say though that Curry does go by the nickname “Boobie”. That could prove crucial in the final decision....