I don’t typically write articles about rankings updates. Rankings change constantly through a recruiting cycle and while stars are extremely important in a macro sense (meaning sign as many highly rated guys as possible), things can get a little ridiculous when you narrow in on specific players. Like what’s really the difference between the #48th ranked player and the #59th?
But today’s new Rivals 100 update absolutely deserves some discussion.
Rivals this week is unveiling updates to their 2019 rankings. Yesterday, they released a video showing their new top 10 prospects in the country. No Auburn players made the cut. However, today something pretty historical happen. Rivals bumped not one, not two, but THREE Auburn commits to 5*s.
I’ve been following recruiting for some time and I honestly can’t remember a time when one team had three commitments earn 5* status on the same day. Given the fact that Auburn has never had more than two 5*s in a class, this is pretty significant.
As for the three players selected, it’s hard to argue against the moves.
It’s kind of crazy Owen Pappoe wasn’t already a 5* on Rivals. The 6’0” 210 heat seeking missile has been on recruiting radars for years. His commitment has been the biggest boom in this class and he looks like the future leader of Auburn’s defense. With Rivals update, Pappoe is now considered a 5* by every single recruiting service. That’s pretty durn impressive. It will be interesting to see if this bump gets him back into the 247 Composite top 10. Right now he sits at #11. Here’s what Rivals had to say on his promotion:
“Whenever Pappoe shows up to compete at an event, he creates a buzz. The college football game is really trending his direction as a linebacker. With so much spread out there now all over the country, the Auburn commit should excel on the next level. He is at that new-age linebacker that coaches covet due to his speed, versatility and the ability to stay on the field. He may not have elite size, but he is so explosive, he makes plays all over the field and Pappoe continued to shine among the best over the summer.” -- Simmons
George Pickens, meanwhile, may have had the best summer of any prospect in the country. He’s gone from “hey this kid has nice potential” to “HOLY S**T DID YOU SEE THAT” real fast. At 6’4” 190 lbs, Pickens possesses an insane skillset of quickness, leaping ability, hands and physicality. Every time he showed up at a camp this summer he left people amazed by his athletic feats. There is no question he will step up on campus day 1 as an impact player. Honestly, I am a little surprised he got jumped THIS high in the rankings, but hey I ain’t complaining.
Finally, there’s Bo Nix. I’ll be honest, I did not think he would ever get that 5th star from any service. Not that he’s isn’t worthy just that he doesn’t have that prototypical 6’4”+ frame or elite athleticism that 5*s typically posses. But there’s no doubting the fact that he’s probably the most college ready prospect in this class. Nix was the QB MVP at the Rivals 5* Challenge and then lead his 7v7 team to the Elite 11 Finals. The biggest thing about Nix is he seems to posses that leadership intangible that you want in your signal caller. Right now, he’s my pick to be Auburn’s starting QB in 2019. Not because I don’t like Malik Willis or Joey Gatewood but because I think he’s that good of a football player.
“Nix has been one of the most consistent quarterbacks over the past year. He stood out at the Rivals 3-Stripe Camp presented by adidas in the spring, but he took it to another level at the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge in June. He showed great arm strength, he was on target all day and he was even calling plays for his team. He may not have elite size, but he checks every other box. The Auburn commit is a winner, a leader and an elite quarterback, so it wasn’t a difficult call to make him a five-star.” -- Simmons
- Georgia 5* WR Jadon Haselwood jumped 3 spots to #3 overall
- Major Auburn target and Tennessee commit 5* OT Wanya Morris dropped one spot to #16 overall
- 5* C Clay Webb is no longer the state’s #1 player (it’s now Pickens) but is still listed a 5* despite falling 13 spots in the rankings to #23
- Mississippi native and major AU linebacker target Nakobe Dean is still a 4* on Rivals and fell 8 spots to #32
- A surprising drop for Auburn RB target Mark-Antony Richards who fell 42 spots to #70
- Just a spot below him is Auburn’s other top RB target, possibly their #1 target, Noah Cain who fell 12 spots to #22
- 4* WR Jalen Curry only dropped one place in the rankings to #73
- Auburn is finalist for 4* ATH Devonta Lee though most believe he’s an LSU lock. He’s ranked #75 overall, down 31 spots
- Alabama commit and 4* CB Christian Williams has said he will officially visit Auburn this fall. He’s down only 2 spots at #95
- Recent UGA commit 4* LB Rian Davis rounds at the top 100 at #100. He’s expected to officially visit this fall as well