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2021 Class Preview: Wide Receiver

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After signing an outstanding WR class in 2020, Kodi Burns is hoping to add at least 2 more talented wideouts to the mix in 2021.

Isaiah Brevard
https://twitter.com/BrevardIsaiah/status/1223240917236232194

Over the next 2 weeks 2-3ish week, we will be taking a position by position look at the top targets on Auburn’s 2021 board. This is a first pass at who might be looking at Auburn the hardest this early in the cycle and whom Auburn might have the most interest in. However, recruiting is fluid and these lists will likely change.

Under Gus Malzahn, Auburn has only once finished in the top 5 in SEC for passing yards per game. That happened in 2017. Yet despite the inconsistency of Auburn’s passing attack over the years, Kodi Burns was still able to go out and sign one of the top WR classes in the country last cycle. Now, he and the rest of Auburn’s staff can sell Chad Morris’s track record of producing explosive passing attacks. 7 wide receivers have surpassed the 1,000 yard mark under Morris and you can bet the Tigers will be showing a lot of DeAndre Hopkins, Sammy Watkins, Mike Williams and Courtland Sutton tape to recruits this cycle. If he can get similar results with Seth Williams, Anthony Schwartz and company this fall, it could be another strong WR haul this cycle


5* Jacorey Brooks | 6’3” | 185 lbs | Miami, FL

Recruitment

Auburn hosted Brooks briefly last summer and were expected to have him on campus this spring until the coronavirus wrecked everything. Still, Brooks is reportedly close with Kodi Burns and is giving the Tigers a close look. Unsurprisingly, the big 3 in the state of Florida (UF, FSU, UM) are expected to be major factors in Brooks’s recruitment along with Auburn, Alabama and LSU. This is a recruitment where visits being cancelled could really hurt the Tigers. However, if he decides to take his time and wait until later in the year to make a decision, Auburn could be a darkhorse contender in this race.

Scouting Report

247’s comp for Brooks is Courtland Sutton. I imagine Chad Morris might try and make use of that information... Brooks has the combination of size and explosiveness all teams covet at the WR position. While not necessarily a burner, he’s got enough speed to get on top of cornerbacks to make plays in the deep passing game or to take it to the house after the catch. Brooks is also a tremendous basketball player and that athleticism jumps out when watching his tape. He’s the prototypical 9 man in Malzahn/Morris’s scheme and would be a day 1 impact player for the Tigers.


4* Isaiah Brevard | 6’4” | 200 lbs | Southaven, MS

Recruitment

The 2021 class in the state of Mississippi is a little down this year though not so much at one position group. The top 3 players in the Magnolia State this year are wide receivers. Auburn has their eyes on one in particular in Isaiah Brevard. The Southaven standout visited Auburn in January and he put the Tigers in his top 3 alongside Georgia and Oregon earlier this year. Still, instate programs Ole Miss and Mississippi State cannot be discounted nor can longtime Mississippi raider Alabama. Look for the nation’s #119 player to officially visit the Plains whenever restrictions are lifted.

Scouting Report

You will be hard pressed to find a more physically imposing wideout in this 2021 class. Despite being 6’4” 200 lbs, Brevard is incredibly fluid in and out of his breaks making him a nightmare matchup on the outside. He does a great job using his size to box DBs out and get great position on jump balls. Brevard also takes blocking seriously, consistently playing until the end of the whistle to open up plays for his teammates. Hard not to like his tape.


4* Ketron Jackson | 6’2” | 186 lbs | Royse City, TX

Recruitment

It’s not just at quarterback where Chad Morris is using his Texas connections to try and bring in elite talent for the Tigers. Jackson has quickly become one of Auburn’s top targets at wide receiver but they will face some stiff competition in landing him. He actually named Arkansas his leader early last month but is also strongly considering Auburn, Texas, Texas A&M, Baylor and TCU.

Scouting Report

Jackson is a 2 sport athlete excelling on the track along with the football field. Those track skills translate nicely when he gets the ball in his hands. Jackson is a nightmare in the open field displaying outstanding short area quickness and elite speed. He’s got consistent hands and the length to make plays on the ball in the air. I think he’s got a chance to finish ranked in the top 100 before this cycle is over.


4* Julian Nixon | 6’4” | 205 lbs | Roswell, GA

Recruitment

Not too long ago, Nixon was my pick to be Auburn’s next commit. But this is recruiting and things change. The Georgia native appears to have slid down the board a bit for the Tigers since Chad Morris’s arrival. That’s not to say Nixon won’t end up in orange and blue in the end. However, as of today, it appears both sides are looking elsewhere. Tennessee might now be the team to keep an eye on.

Scouting Report

Nixon is another big WR prospect. At 6’4” 205 lbs, he ain’t losing many 1 on 1 confrontations on the outside. He’s a weapon in the redzone, excelling at using his size to get great position and flashing strong hands to make catches in traffic. Speed is a bit of a question mark which is why there are some who think he might grow into a tight end. Personally, I think he’s WR all the way and would be a good fit at the 5 position in Auburn’s offense.


4* Malcolm Johnson Jr. | 6’1” | 185 lbs | Alexandria, VA

Recruitment

Johnson had hoped to visit Auburn last week but obviously couldn’t make it down. He reportedly still wants to make it to campus which is a good sign for the Tigers. At this time, things seem pretty wide open for the Virginia native though he did recently drop a top 12 that included 8 SEC teams, one being Auburn. It’s all about when and if the Tigers can get Johnson on campus.

Scouting Report

Johnson is one of the most explosive playmakers in this class. His ability to get to top speed is impressive and once he finds some open field, there aren’t many defenders that can run him down. Johnson flashes consistent hands and is a very fluid route runner. The Tigers are looking for some speed at the WR spot so it’s easy to see why Johnson is so high on the board.


4* Christian Leary | 5’9” | 180 lbs | Orlando, FL

Recruitment

Leary recently dropped a top 6 that included the Tigers and told 247 that Auburn, Alabama and Arizona State have been showing him the most attention recently. He had set a commit date for early June but that is likely on hold now. Still, if there is a WR prospect that Auburn might be the closest to landing right now it’s probably Leary. Their biggest competition is likely rival Alabama who is attempting to sell the speedster on being the next Jaylen Waddle. This is definitely a name to track in the coming months.

Scouting Report

Based purely off confirmed times on the track, Christian Leary is the fastest prospect in the state of Florida in the 2021 class and one of the fastest athletes in the country. He posted a 10.5 in the 100 meters last spring. He did a little of everything for his high school team last season on their way to a state championship totaling over 1,500 yards of offense and 16 TDs. Leary has the skillset to impact a team not only on offense but on special teams as well. Auburn will likely need a new speedster following the 2020 season and would love for it to be Leary in 2021.


3*. Tray Curry | 6’4” | 210 lbs | Cleveland, TN

Recruitment

Back in early February, Curry told GoVols247 that his top two consisted of Auburn and Tennessee. He attended Auburn’s Junior Day on February 1st where he got to witness the Tigers’ basketball team’s takedown of the Kentucky Wildcats. But the Vols might be the team to beat in this race at the moment though Curry has said he plans to wait until after the season to make a decision.

Scouting Report

Another big bodied wideout, Curry is a big time down the field threat and the Tigers reportedly like his jump ball ability. While listed as a wideout, he could also flip over and play defense if needed which is something the Tigers seem to be doing more of in recent years. The spots are limited at WR in Auburn’s class this season so it will be interesting to see where Curry ends up on their board.


3* Roc Taylor | 6’3” | 212 lbs | Oxford, AL

Recruitment

Probably the player most impacted by the recruiting suspensions on this list is Oxford standout Roc Taylor. He’s high on the Tigers but has yet to receive an offer from Auburn. If that offer does come things could get very interesting in Taylor’s recruitment. This is where being able to camp for the Tigers could have been big for Taylor. Given the limited spots in this class for WRs, Auburn is understandably being cautious about offering instate kids who could commit quick.

Scouting Report

The big question mark with Taylor and possibly a reason Auburn has yet to extend an offer is the question over whether or not he’s a WR or a TE at the next level. 247 recently designated him an “athlete” but ranked him as a tight end. He’s a big kid with the frame to put on 15+ more lbs pretty easily at the next level. Despite his size though Taylor has surprising burst and can stretch defenses vertically. He’s got great length and does a great job using it to win jump balls. I would love for him to end up in Auburn’s class even if it’s as a hybrid WR/TE option.


Kanarius Johnson | 6’2” | 190 lbs | Laurel, MS

Recruitment

I mentioned earlier that Mississippi is loaded with talented WR prospects this cycle. One player though that hasn’t yet gotten the same type of hype as some of those other top players is Johnson. But his offer list is more than impressive enough featuring Auburn, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Penn State and a few others. He’s a prospect flying under the radar right now that could see his stock take off this fall.

Scouting Report

I love Johnson’s skillset. At 6’2” 190 lbs, he’s got great length paired with outstanding explosiveness. Fluid out of his breaks, Johnson can win with both with his route running ability and speed. Don’t be surprised to see him shoot up the rankings by the end of this cycle.

War Eagle!