Today is Big Cat Weekend and it couldn’t come at a better time. The Tigers have had a shaky start to the 2020 cycle with almost as many decommitments as current commitments. But there is still plenty of belief inside the athletic complex that this class has a chance to be really good. The hope is this weekend is when the Tigers can recapture some momentum on the recruiting trail.
So far so good.
Midway through his official visit and before the Big Cat Weekend festivities officially kicked off, 3* OT Javion Cohen announced on social media that he wants to be an Auburn Tiger.
This is huge for numerous reasons. First off, Cohen is a very high upside player. His stock is one of the fastest rising in the state this spring and I will be shocked if he’s not a consensus 4* prospect before this cycle ends.
Second, he’s from local powerhouse Central where Auburn has struck out in recent cycles for top talent. Markail Benton was all Auburn until he wasn’t and ended up signing with the Tide. Justyn Ross was a freshman phenom for Clemson and 2020 4* WR EJ Wiilliams appears to be trending Clemson and Georgia, though he’s expected to be on campus today. That’s a lot of local talent not heading to the Plains. A few months ago it looked like Cohen might join the list. Auburn was slow in offering with some wondering if it would ever come. That allowed other out of state programs to build some early momentum in his recruitment culminating in his commitment to South Carolina. But an Auburn offer soon came and he backed off his Gamecock pledge.
Finally, it’s no secret Auburn has struggled to sign high school offensive tackle talent in recent classes. While the Tigers have one of the top JUCO talents on board already in 3* Jonathan Buskey, it was vitally important for the future Auburn got some four year prospects at this position this class. They did just that today.
Cohen is a departure from many recent OL signees for the Tigers. In Auburn’s most recent classes, they’ve signed 300+ lb maulers that would need time to drop some of the bad weight and put on more lean muscle. Cohen is the opposite. He stands somewhere between 6’4” and 6’5” but is still growing. He’s been steadily putting on weight but is still listed under 300 lbs. He’s an athletic tackle who will only need to add more muscle to his long frame when he arrives at Auburn without having to drop the bad lbs.
As for his actual play, Cohen has built a reputation as an aggressive blocker who plays through the whistle every snap. With his lighter frame, he moves extremely well in space but also consistently gets great movement at the point of attack. Quick footed, Cohen excels at reaching his assignments at the 2nd level opening opportunities for big plays in the run game. He’s also solid in pass protection able to use his footwork and long frame to keep speed rushers at bay. He will need to continue to add muscle in order to handle SEC defensive lineman and will need to improve his consistency as a pass blocker but he has all the tools to be a multi year starter for the Tigers at offensive tackle down the road. He’s also agile enough that he could slide inside if needed.
This was a long time coming for the Tigers. Ever since offering Cohen in April, it’s felt like more of a matter of when not if Cohen would jump on board. His commitment gives Auburn seven in the class but more importantly three on the OL as Cohen joins Buskey and 4* OG Avery Jernigan, I also believe Auburn might not be done adding names to this list today....
War Eagle Javion!