First off, I am super proud of that headline.
If only we knew....
Anyways, onto actual recruiting talk. It’s been a good week for the Tigers on the trail and it’s probably about to get even better very soon. On Sunday, Auburn landed their 5th commitment of the 2020 class in 3* DL Damarjhe Lewis. Yesterday, Rivals promoted three Auburn commits, George Pickens, Owen Pappoe and Bo Nix, to 5* status. Tomorrow and Friday, two of Auburn’s top defensive targets plan to announce their collegiate decisions.
This recruiting thing is pretty fun sometimes.
The first “Boom” expected should come tomorrow afternoon when 3* DE Colby Wooden announces his commitment. The 6’4” 230 lb Georgia native is a talented edge prospect who has long been a top Auburn target. His offer list is impressive including the likes of Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Miami and plenty more. It’s those first two schools though that have made the final cut.
Auburn’s first head to head contest vs Clemson for a top defensive prospect out of Archer High School did not go well. Dabo’s squad won the fight for 5* CB Andrew Booth. However, Auburn appears to be the favorite to win round two. Wooden has the skillset to play either Buck or defensive end at the next level. He possesses a deadly quick first step and already seems to have a great understanding of how to use his hands to create separation and make plays on the ball carrier. Do not be surprised if he ends up a 4* before this cycle is over.
Friday, another major Auburn target is expected to come off the board. One of the quietest but fiercest recruitments in the southeast this season has been the fight for 4* ATH Zion Puckett. Programs such as Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State and Tennessee have all come after the Griffin, GA native HARD. But throughout the process he’s maintained that Auburn is his leader. According to AuburnUndercover’s Keith Niebuhr, at halftime of his season opening game Friday, his commitment will be announced via a video shown on the jumbotron. Funny enough, Auburn’s most recent 2020 commitment Lewis will be on the other sideline. Chances are pretty good that by the start of the 2nd half, there will be two Auburn commitments on the field.
Puckett is an elite prospect who could honestly excel at a number of different positions at the next level. Auburn wants him at defensive back where his combination of size, physicality and athleticism can be especially affective. There are some kids whose film you turn on and within just a few seconds you fall in love. This would be an absolutely huge victory for the Auburn coaching staff if they can land Puckett Friday. He might not be rated so but he’s a top 50 talent in this class.
Corky Kell Classic Preview
High school football returns this weekend in a number of states including the state of Georgia. Quite a number of Auburn’s commits and top targets will kickoff their senior campaigns. One of the premier kickoff events every year is the Corky Kell Classic. It features matchups between some of the top programs in the state. Last season, Auburn commits Matthew Hill and Michael Harris both had strong showings. This year, a possible future commit and quite a few top targets will be in action. All of these games will be watchable via 11alive.com.
Here are some matchups Auburn fans might wanna tune in to see.
Thursday - Rome vs Marietta @ 8:30 pm ET
This is one of the must watch games of the week. Both programs are loaded with D1 talent. Just last season, the 2016 and 2017 5A state champs, the Rome Wolves, featured a defensive line that all signed with Power 5 programs. They still have plenty of talent but a few names Auburn fans probably want to keep an eye on are NC State commit 3* RB Jamious Griffin and 2020 3* OT Quantavious Leslie. Griffin might be a down the line guy the Tigers look at if they miss out on Noah Cain or Mark-Antony Richards. Leslie will more than likely be a top OT target for a number of SEC programs in next year’s class. In fact, he already holds offers from Florida and Tennessee.
7A powerhouse Marietta (who have been dealing with some off field drama this offseason) might actually field more D1 prospects this year than the Wolves, especially in the 2020 class. Auburn lost out to Tennessee earlier this spring for 4* WR Ramel Keyton who is expected to be a major target for elite 2020 4* QB prospect Harrison Bailey. 2020 5* ATH Arik Gilbert recently visited the Plains for the first time and is expected to return this fall. He will play both defensive end and tight end for the Blue Devils but wants to be on the offensive side of the ball in college. Georgia beat Auburn out for 4* DE Azeez Ojulari last cycle and now will battle the Dawgs again for his young brother 2020 4* DE BJ Ojulari. There’s also 2020 4* OT Jake Wray who is already committed to Ohio State. However, the Blue Devils will be without two very talented 2020 prospects in 4* CB Rashaad Torrence and 3* ATH Dawson Ellington (who holds an Auburn offer) due to being ruled ineligible by the GHSA for violating transfer rules.
But ya.... There’s gonna be some serious D1 talent on display Thursday night.
Friday - Buford vs Tucker @ 5:30 pm ET
You will be hard pressed to find another offensive line in the country more loaded with D1 talent than the one that will be suiting up for the Buford Wolves. 4* Harry Miller (Ohio State), 3* Riley Simonds (Florida), 3* Reece McIntyre (Ole Miss) and 3* Carter Colquitt (Ole Miss) are going to cause some pain for defensive fronts in the coming season. They will be attempting to open holes for 4* RB Derrian Brown who at one point in time looked like an Auburn lean but is probably now headed to Texas. But the guy Auburn fans might really wanna pay attention to is QB Aaron McClaughlin. He’s a 2021 prospect but is already considered one of the premier arms in the southeast. The rising sophomore has already been offered by almost 30 D1 programs including Auburn, Alabama, Georgia and lots of other big name schools. Auburn is thought to be on the the top contenders in his recruitment.
Michael Harris’s alma mater loses some D1 talent from last season but should still be a program to contend with in GHSA 6A classification. Florida State commit 3* DE Derrick McClendon will be the star of the defense while 2020 4* CB Isaiah Dunson is a name to track over the next two seasons. I’ll be honest, this is going to be a tough battle for the Tigers. That’s a LOADED Buford squad.
Friday - Archer vs Milton @ 8:30 PM ET
This game might be the first time 3* DE Colby Wooden takes the field as an Auburn commit. Fellow defensive studs 5* CB Andrew Booth and 3* S Jalyn Phillips will more than likely be teammates at Clemson next season. But name I am going to throw out there as a guy to watch is 2020 DE Jaylen Mayala. He’s a massive human being at 6’6” but is still putting muscle on that frame. I could see him growing into a D1 offensive tackle target down the line.
Clemson will have commitments on both sides of the field as 4* S Joseph Charleson is a star for his Milton Eagles squad. You can also get a peak at future Georgia Tech QB Jordan Yates. I would also keep an eye on 2020 4* OT Paul Tchio. He doesn’t yet hold an Auburn offer but I imagine that will change at some point in the coming months.
Saturday - McEachern vs Colquitt County @ 2:30 PM ET
I really like this matchup. The McEachern Indians once again have a ton of collegiate talent starting in the backfield with 3* RB Paris Brown (who I think is very underrated), 2020 4* RB Jordan Simmons and 2021 QB Carlos Del Rio. They have weapons galore on the outside in 2020 4* Javon Baker (MAJOR AU target), 2020 WR Zaire Thornton and 2021 WR Dacari Collins (another top AU target). Then there’s that stout defensive line lead by 2020 4* DT Jamil Burroughs and 2020 3* DT Kyle Mann. This will be a fun team to watch.
On the other sideline, the infamous Rush Propst will lead his Colquitt County Packers into battle with plenty of D1 talent of his own. Auburn is hard after 3* OG Kamaar Bell who appears to favor the Tide over the Tigers and Gators for now. The Packers offense will feature one of the top running backs in the 2020 class and guy Auburn has prioritized already in 4* Daijun Edwards. This should be a high scoring affair Saturday afternoon.