Recruiting never stops. As the 2019 class wraps up, focus shifts to 2020. It’s already been plenty busy for the Tigers with a decommit and two commitments in just the last two weeks including last night’s big boom. A few weeks ago, I took an early look at Auburn’s 2020 class. It’s already WAY out of date. Even this far out, things can change fast in recruiting.
In the coming weeks, I plan to dig into Auburn’s top targets at each position in the 2020 class but wanted to give a quick look at some names to watch early this next cycle. Obviously it’s still early for this class so chances are very good new names will pop up that probably should have been on this list. At the same time, there will also probably be names that never turn into meaningful targets for the Tigers. But I will do my best to focus on actual prospects who have visited the Plains and appear to be giving Auburn a hard look. We can laugh at it next February...
For the first time in awhile, Auburn doesn’t already have their QB committed. But that could change next month when Ashford makes his decision. This is shaping up to be another Auburn-Georgia battle with the Dawgs trending up. Ashford is also an excellent baseball player and that will supposedly be a major factor in his decision as well.
Who doesn’t want a running back nicknamed Tank? Accurately named, Bigsby is as physical a back as you will find in this class. His former HS teammate Keiondre Jones is already a Tiger and Auburn appears to be an early factor in this recruitment. But South Carolina might be the team to beat right now.
Pryor won’t be a 3* for long. He’s one of the hottest names on trail right now and Auburn jumped into the fray this past weekend with an offer. Pryor is a one cut, no nonsense back with some surprising burst and plenty of strength. Early on, it appears Auburn, Texas and South Carolina stand out.
Auburn looked close to landing one of the top players in the state next cycle late in 2018. But then offers started pouring in including two big ones from Clemson and Georgia. Those two programs now appear to be right there with Auburn. He was back on the Plains for Junior Day this past weekend but I think Clemson might be tough to handle in this race with his former teammates Justyn Ross and Ray Thornton on campus.
Ja’Varrius Johnson lead all AL receivers in yards last season sans one person - JJ Evans. The Montevallo standout was unstoppable last year and has emerged as one of the top playmakers in the 2020 class. This might turn into an Iron Bowl battle but in the early going, I like where Auburn sits.
When it’s all said and done, a tight end might end up ranked #1 overall in the 2020 class. Arik Gilbert is that good. The Marietta native, could play defensive end at the next level but prefers tight end. The Tigers hosted Gilbert in the fall but UGA is probably gonna be tough to beat.
Merriweather-Lewis was another Junior Day visitor that left with the Tigers high on his list. A bit of a tweener, he could end up playing any of the five positions on the OL at the next level though given his height he’s probably destined for guard. He has an early top four of Auburn, Florida, LSU and Michigan with the Bayou Bengals thought to be the team to beat.
Not often Auburn goes to the northeast and plucks away a highly regarded prospect but that could very well happen in 2020. Mayo has already visited Auburn twice with his most recent visit being for the Southern Miss game. I suspect he will be back on campus soon. Kentucky appears to be the Tigers’ top early challenger
I’m taking some liberty here on this one. Zimmerman was only recently offered by the Tigers but given his location and Auburn’s need for OT help, I could see him soon becoming a major target moving forward. He’s a big kid whose stock I think will only rise in the coming months.
Cohen doesn’t yet hold an Auburn offer but I expect that to change in the very near future. Auburn hasn’t had a ton of success recruiting Central High School recently but will look to change that in 2020 with EJ Williams and Cohen. Given Auburn’s need for a large OL class, you have to think the local prospect will become a priority for the Tigers in the near future.
Probably Auburn’s best shot at a 5* prospect this early in the cycle, Murphy is an elite defensive line prospect and could end up the top ranked DE in the country this next class. Auburn, Alabama, Georgia, Clemson and Tennessee are all hard after the Powder Springs native. The Tigers’ poor performance in 2018 might hurt them here but Rodney Garner will keep them in this thing until the end. A strong on field performance in 2019 and you never know... As of today though Georgia and Clemson appear to be the top two.
Auburn’s first commit of the 2020 class reopened things just prior to the 2018 season. It was thought he would soon be joining the Dawgs class but they might already be running out space for the big man. I don’t think it would be a complete shock if he landed back in Auburn’s class. His teammate Kobe Hudson is one of Auburn’s most vocal recruiters.
This one might be less likely with Manny Diaz sticking around but file the name away. Moise visited the Plains last summer and came away impressed. I wouldn’t be shocked if he was back on campus at some point again this spring. I think this might prove a tough flip but one to monitor in the early going.
It looked like Anderson could be soon to join Auburn’s class this past fall but a strong recent push by Florida State might have changed things. His recruitment sort of reminds me of Colby Wooden’s at this point in that his rating isn’t super high but he’s got an impressive offer list that I expect to get even better as he camps this summer.
I was surprised to see Robinson reopen things last week as he’s long been a top priority for Auburn and seemed like a lock to sign with the Tigers. But Alabama has made a strong push recently and might now be the team to beat. But don’t count Auburn out of this race just yet. Of Boykin and Robinson, I think it’s much more likely Robinson rejoins the fold.
Another major Auburn-Clemson battle appears to be shaping up for another big time defensive prospect. Webb is high school teammates with recent Auburn signee Kameron Brown and was actually visiting the same weekend Brown to his OV. Could that relationship give Auburn the edge it needs to win this battle? Hopefully...
Groce could be the next 2020 prospect to join Auburn’s class. He admitted he thought about pulling the trigger at Junior Day last weekend. While not highly rated at the moment, watching just some of his film and you can quickly see why Auburn has made him an early priority. A class of Kennedy/Webb/Groce would be strong for T-WILL.
I’m not sure where exactly Riley is on Auburn’s board but he’s definitely a guy to watch this summer. Mississippi State might have the early edge but it seems like Riley is on campus almost every other weekend. If Auburn makes a push, I think they could get him on board.
Pulling DBs out of Louisiana ain’t easy and if LSU does offer, I’m not sure he leaves the state. But Auburn was one of the first to offer this lanky athlete out of Amite which could make them a factor moving forward. It should be noted that this part of Louisiana has become Bammerland so if Alabama jumps into the race, watch out.
Williams landed an offer earlier this month and is an intriguing prospect. Long, rangy kid with an already impressive offer list, he was on campus for Junior Day and I expect him to be a top DB target for Auburn next cycle.