Well this stinks. Auburn’s top DB target, 5* CB Andrew Booth, announced today that he will be taking his talents to Clemson, SC and not the Plains. Booth was long considered a lean to Dabo Swinney’s squad but things got interesting after Owen Pappoe committed to Auburn. In fact, there seems to be a consensus that Auburn became the team to beat for the nation’s #3 ranked cornerback after his Big Cat Weekend visit.
But Auburn never got Booth back on campus again. Instead, he visited Clemson for their big recruiting event this past Friday bringing along most of his family. When he didn’t show up at Auburn on Saturday or Sunday the writing was on the wall. Booth made it official on Twitter today.
y’all already knew what it was!!!!! #WETOODEEP19 #NFZ #ALLIN #GGG pic.twitter.com/zdVZp5H2ZQ— Andrew Booth Jr. (@andrewbooth21) July 30, 2018
There’s no hand waving away that this hurts. Booth has the talent to step on the field and start next season for the Tigers. His commitment would have also helped solidify Pappoe’s pledge as well. There’s also the momentum of having another 5* jump on board which would be really helpful right now considering what’s going on in Athens. So ya, this is a tough blow....
But unlike seasons past, Auburn is actually in a strong spot in terms of it’s DB recruiting. The Tigers hold commitments from two talented prospects in Jaylin Simpson and Jashawn Sheffield. There’s also a good chance 1-2 more prospects could jump on board in the near future. So let’s take a look at the current state of the Auburn DB board and what names Tiger fans should pay attention to moving forward. I am operating under the assumption Auburn will take 3 more DBs with two being cornerbacks and one being a safety/nickel prospect. That could obviously change at some point.
I would be surprised if two of the prospects listed below are not on Auburn’s commit list come kickoff in September.
- 4* S/N Zion Puckett - Andrew Booth was undoubtedly Auburn’s 1A target in the 2019 DB class. I don’t think there’s any doubt Zion Puckett is 1B. The Griffin, GA native is an elite athlete who could literally play anywhere in the secondary or on the offensive side of the ball. He’s expected to have a decision in the coming weeks and continues to list Auburn as his leader. With Booth off the board, Puckett is an absolute must sign.
- 4* CB Adonis Otey - Shockingly, Auburn might not have room for a 4* cornerback. Otey camped at Auburn in June and came away very impressed with the Tigers. He was back on campus this past weekend and plans to announce his commitment Wednesday. If given the choice, I’m pretty sure Otey would pick the Tigers. However, I am not sure he’s a take for Auburn right now. More than likely Arkansas or Louisville will be landing a very talented defensive back this week. Booth’s Clemson commitment could change his standing with AU but I have not seen that reported.
- 3* CB Nehemiah Pritchett - I’ll be honest, I’m shocked Pritchett left this weekend not on Auburn’s commit list. However, the speedy instate defensive back told reporters that he is “very close” to announcing his commitment. My guess is he wants to film some sort of commitment video and that he will be an Auburn commit by the end of August. The Auburn coaching staff is reportedly extremely high on this kid.
New Names to Watch
Another sign Auburn wasn’t feeling great about their chances with Booth was the sheer number of new CB targets that showed up on campus this past weekend. All three of these prospects are fresh off their first visits to Auburn so it’s too early to really tell how much of a factor Auburn will be moving forward. However, the fact that all three made it down this weekend shows they are at least giving the Tigers serious thought.
- 4* CB Jalen Perry (UGA) - Another weekend, another UGA commit on campus. Auburn is trying hard to flip 5* WR Jadon Haselwood and have hosted 4* LB Trezman Marshall on campus a couple of times. Now you can add Jalen Perry to the list of flip targets. Perry seems to be preparing for the possibility he might get pushed out of the Dawgs class. Auburn would probably take him in a heartbeat if he wanted to flip. The young man was on campus for the first time and seemed impressed by the Tigers. More than likely, he will take an official visit during the fall. Definitely a name to monitor moving forward.
- 4* CB Cam’Ron Kelly - Kelly’s recruitment has been all over the place. He was once thought to be trending Clemson, followed by Penn State before committing to Virginia Tech and then decommitting shortly after. So it honestly wouldn’t shock me if he ends up in Auburn’s class or we never hear his name again. From all accounts, Smith came away impressed with the Tigers and is considering using his last official visit on Auburn during the fall. If he does in fact make that trip then I think Auburn has more than a puncher’s chance to land the Virginia native. This recruitment has a bit of a Christian Tutt feel to me honestly.
- 4* CB Dreshun Miller (LSU) - Earlier this summer, LSU flipped Auburn commit Cordale Flott. Could Auburn return the favor? The nation’s #3 ranked JUCO CB was one of the surprise visitors this past weekend. Not much has come out on his visit though there’s a very good chance he will return for an official visit. Flipping DBs from LSU ain’t easy but any time you can get kids on campus multiple times, you got a shot.
No one saw Christian Tutt coming last year and Roger McCreary didn’t pop up on the board until late in the cycle. There’s always some guys that emerge late in a recruiting cycle that could end up in the class. Here are some names to file away long term that might become major targets by December.
- 4* CB Christian Williams (Alabama) - Williams has long been one of Auburn’s top CB targets. The Tigers lost out to the Tide earlier this spring and for now the Daphne native seems firm in his pledge. But Williams has visited Auburn this summer since his commitment and told 247 that he plans to take an official visit to the Plains this fall. We will see if Alabama let’s that visit happen.
- 4* S/N Jammie Robinson - Robinson was expected to visit this past weekend but it doesn’t appear he ever made it to the Plains. Georgia and South Carolina are thought to be his top teams at the moment with Auburn and Tennessee both trying to stay involved. Robinson seems like an ideal fit at Auburn’s nickel spot but the Tigers have work to do in this recruitment.
- 3* S/N Kenny Logan - I’m not really sure where things stand with Logan and the Tigers. The Florida native visited Auburn for the 2nd time this past weekend. He was recently offered by Florida State and his teammate 3* ATH Tye Edwards seems to be trending to the Seminoles. I suspect Auburn has some guys ahead of Logan but that could change in the coming months.
- 3* S Jamal Hill - Hill’s recruitment is on the upswing. Despite being ranked #869 in the country by 247 Composite, the 6’2” 190 safety prospect has recently landed offers from Alabama, NC State, Michigan and Arkansas. He was on campus for Auburn’s BBQ event and seems like a name to track over the coming months.