It’s currently the dead period for recruiting (Auburn sports too) but that doesn’t mean things have slowed down on the trail. The next two months have a chance to be huge for Auburn’s recruiting efforts and could put the Tigers in a position to land a top 5 class come National Signing Day. Here are some names to watch over the next two months.
- 4* OG Keiondre Jones - Jones is expected to announce his decision this weekend and I would absolutely be stunned if the pick is not Auburn. Jones has been to campus at least EIGHT times this year and is one of Auburn’s top priorities on the OL. The big man is down to Auburn, Florida and Mississippi State. If he does pick the Tigers, a lot of credit needs to go to JB Grimes. He made Jones a priority the day he returned to the Plains and as a result AU went from a team fading in his recruitment to possibly his top school.
- 4* WR Jalen Curry - Sometimes the timing of the offer really does matter. Auburn was the first to offer this elite WR out of Texas and that kept them in the race for much of his recruitment. His summer official visit might be what has put the Tigers on top. Curry is expected to have a decision in the near future and the Tigers appear to be the team to beat. He’s expected back on campus for Auburn’s big recruiting event on July 28th. I would not be shocked if he left that trip an Auburn commit.
- 3* DB Nehemiah Pritchett - The Tigers recently lost instate commit 3* CB Cordale Flott to LSU. While Flott is a very talented prospect, Auburn did not fight hard to keep him. One reason why is they got to see what Nehemiah Pritchett can do at a camp this summer. Pritchett is one of the fastest prospects this cycle and had a strong camp performance at one of Auburn’s events in June, resulting in an offer from the Tigers. He recently reaffirmed Auburn as his leader and is expected back on campus on July 28th. Chances are good if the Tigers push Pritchett will jump on board.
- 5* DT Travon Walker - I probably should not have even included Walker but whatever... The talented GA native is not only a top target for Gus Malzahn but for Bruce Pearl as well. If he were to sign with the Tigers he would get an opportunity to play both football and basketball, something you don’t see all that often. However, AU is really behind in this race with UGA considered the favorite and South Carolina the main challenger. There’s a chance he visits at the end of July. Only reason I am including him is the hope that he makes that trip. If he does, he might wait to commit at a later date which would help Auburn. If he doesn’t, pretend I never mentioned his name in the first place.
- 5* CB Andrew Booth - This is the biggest domino yet to fall. Both Auburn and Clemson are locked in a knife fight for one of the premier cornerbacks in the country. Booth has said all along he wants to have a decision made this summer. There’s a chance he pops at the end of July (he’s expected to visit both Auburn & Clemson that last week) but my guess is the decision comes early August. Both sides seem to really like their odds while also recognizing the other guy has just a good of a shot. This would be an absolutely monumental win on the recruiting trail for Malzahn and his staff.
- 4* Buck Derick Hall - AU’s invasion of Mississippi is far from over. The Tigers already beat out Ole Miss for 4* Jaren Handy and 3* Jamond Gordon. They are now taking aim at Mississippi State in a battle for one of the southeast’s best athletes. Hall is being recruited as a true linebacker by the maroon & white while the orange & blue like him at the Buck spot. Hall named AU his leader at The Opening but this battle is far from over. He’s facing a ton of instate pressure from State commits to join them in Starkville. But he’s said repeatedly that he and his family are incredibly close to Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn. That could end up being the difference.
- 4* CB Adonis Otey - Auburn’s DB recruiting is going so well this cycle that a kid like Otey might not have a spot. Otey is planning on announcing his commitment August 6th but right now I am not sure if the Tigers have a place for him in this class. They have two DBs committed in Jaylin Simpson and Jashawn Sheffield but are the leader for Zion Puckett, in a heated battle for Andrew Booth and might like Nehemiah Pritchett a bit more than Otey. I should also add that AU landed a transfer from former Minnesota safety Kendarion Handy-Holly earlier this offseason so that’s probably another DB spot taken. Otey’s a talented player though and if he wants on board in August, the Tigers might just take him and let the numbers sort themselves out later.
- 3* DE Colby Wooden - This ain’t your average 3*. When you are a top DL target for both Auburn and Clemson, you are probably pretty good considering those two schools might have the two best defensive lines in the country this season. Wooden has become a top priority for the Auburn staff and it sounds like the feelings are mutual. He’s expected to announce his decision in August. Would not be surprised if he and teammate Andrew Booth both had announcements around the same time.
- 3* OT Charles Cross - Auburn’s raid of MS isn’t just limited to the defensive line. The Tigers offered Cross last week and jumped into his top group. Florida State has been trending recently but Cross plans to visit on July 28th. He’s talked about having a decision in August though that could change. Auburn probably has some ground to make up here and are also not giving up hope on flipping 5* Wanya Morris but Cross might be a guy that’s making his way up the Tigers’ wishlist.
So who does Auburn land from this group? Well I think they snag most of them in the coming weeks.
Andrew Booth is really the only name on that list I don’t have a ton of confidence in right now. Everybody else I feel like the Tigers have a great chance of landing over the next two months. I would also keep an eye on 4* LB Ge’Mon Eaford and 3* OG Kamaar Bell. Eaford has visited AU a few times and is expected to commit in late August. Bell seems to be rising up Auburn’s board and could have a decision this summer.
If Auburn were to land the names listed above that would give the Tigers a class score of 264 in the 247 Composite rankings. That would be good for the #3 class currently and is actually only .18 points behind Auburn’s score last year. Auburn would still have 5-6 spots remaining as well. Simply put, this class is well on its way to being Gus Malzahn’s highest ranked class ever.