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Auburn Football Recruiting: Recapping Massive Weekend on the Plains

Four commits in three days ain’t bad at all.

Samford v Auburn Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images

Auburn’s 2021 class entered Friday with 4 commits and ranked #50 overall by 247 Composite. By noon on Sunday, it had doubled in number and moved up 29 spots to #21 overall. Not a bad weekend at all.

Commit Recap

It all got started Friday morning when speedy athlete Tar’varish Dawson announced his commitment to the Tigers.

Dawson is rated a 4* by both 247 and ESPN but Rivals is much lower on him which is why he sits just outside of blue chip status on 247 Composite. He’s a fascinating prospect whose position of the future is still to be determined. When initially watching his tape I assumed he would end up at defensive back, which is still completely possibly, but his lead recruiter was actually new Auburn offensive coordinator Chad Morris who wants to give him a look on offense as well. After signing a wide receiver class loaded with size in 2020, Auburn is hard after some speedsters this cycle and got one in Dawson. I still think long term his future is at cornerback but he will at least get a look at wideout when he gets to campus.

A few hours after Dawson’s announcement, another boom emanated from the Plains when offensive tackle Caleb Johnson went public with his commitment.

You could make the case Johnson’s commitment Friday afternoon is the biggest to date in the 2021 class. Yes Auburn has more highly rated prospects currently committed but Johnson checks a box the Tigers have left empty for quite awhile in that he’s an offensive tackle prospect out of the high school ranks rated a 4* or higher. The Tigers haven’t signed one of those since the 2017 class when they landed a pair in Calvin Ashley and Austin Troxell. Johnson’s stock has been on the rise this spring landing offers from about everyone in the country. He’s got tremendous upside and will have a chance to compete for a starting spot pretty quickly in his career.

But it didn’t just end there. An hour later, Johnson’s teammate, Garner Langlo, decided to jump on board too giving the Tigers 3 commitments in a single day, two from offensive tackle prospects.

Langlo’s recruitment has taken off in recent months with programs like Auburn, Florida State and Mississippi State all turning up the heat on the Florida native. I am interested to watch Langlo’s development over the coming years as his frame screams offensive tackle but his tape shows an SEC quality guard. That versatility will likely come in handy for Langlo as he fights for playing time down the road. It’s pretty clear Jack Bicknell has a type and that type is BIG DUDES.

The final boom happened Sunday and it was big one. After being hired as Auburn’s offensive coordinator, Chad Morris parted ways with former Auburn, turned NC State commit 4* QB Aaron McClaughlin and turned the heat up on a number of signal callers from the Lone Star State. #1 on that list? 4* Dematrius Davis who at the time was committed to Virginia Tech. But a couple of weeks ago he backed off that pledge. Sunday, Davis announced that Morris got his man.

I plan to do a deeper dive on Davis next week but suffice to say this is a massive pickup for the Tigers. In my opinion, Davis is a perfect fit for Auburn’s scheme, which has been a struggle for the Tigers in the past when signing QB prospects from the high school ranks. Davis is a pass first, dual threat QB with a history of winning. He’s not afraid of the big moments and can do everything needed to get the most out of Malzahn and Morris’s system.

Even more important though is the impact Davis could have on the trail for the Tigers with other top prospects. He’s well known in Texas due to his success helping lead North Shore to two straight state titles. Apparently he had already begun working behind the scenes for Auburn on a number of prospects and it wouldn’t be surprising to see some booms in the not too distant because of it.

List Season

What’s Next?

Obviously after a weekend like this the first thought many fans have is who will commit next, so here’s a quick rundown of Auburn targets who are likely to make a decision by the end of June. This is recruiting so everything can change at any moment but these are the names to keep an eye in the coming weeks.

  • 5* CB Ga’Quincy McKinstry - Auburn’s top cornerback target dropped a top 5 Sunday evening that featured Auburn, Alabama, Clemson, Georgia and LSU. Truthfully, the man that goes by “Kool-Aid” is likely down to the trio of Auburn, Alabama and LSU all who like where they sit right now. Of those three, Auburn appears to be selling the two sport angle more than any other program. McKinstry is also an outstanding basketball player and would like to play at the next level if possible. He’s gotten the green light from Malzahn and Bruce Pearl that he will get that opportunity if he were to sign with Auburn. He hasn’t set a date for a commitment yet but there’s buzz he could be close to ending his recruitment in the not too distant future.
  • 5* LB Smael Mondon - Mondon sent out a cryptic tweet last week hinting that a commitment could be coming in the month of June. For many months now, the nation’s #2 ranked OLB has appeared to be a lock to the instate Dawgs. But that could be changing. Mondon has repeatedly stated that of all the coaches recruiting him, he’s closest to Auburn’s linebacker coach Travis Williams. The buzz around this recruitment feels eerily similar to Owen Pappoe’s recruitment. UGA is unquestionably the team to beat but this is race that is still very winnable for the Tigers.
  • 4* LB Barrett Carter - A race that does not appear winnable is Carter’s recruitment. This was at one point believed to be an Auburn-Georgia battle but the Clemson Tigers have surged ahead and it would be a shock at this point if he did not pick Dabo’s squad later today.
  • 4* Buck Jeremiah Williams - Aubun’s Buck recruiting suffered a major setback when 5* Dylan Brooks committed to Tennessee. While I don’t think that recruitment is over, Auburn has turned the heat up in a big way on their other top Buck target, Jeremiah Williams. The state’s 5th ranked player has been a frequent visitor to the Plains in recent seasons and the Tigers reportedly feel good about where they sit right now. But they face some stiff competition. Alabama LOVES Williams as well and out of state programs Oklahoma and Florida are pursuing Williams heavily too. He hasn’t set a commit date either but there seems to be some belief that an announcement could come sooner, rather than later.
  • 4* LB Ian Jackson - The state’s top ranked linebacker is reportedly closing in on a decision thought that’s likely bad news for the Tigers. Alabama has made the Prattville standout a top priority in recent weeks and that effort could soon pay off. I should note that while the Tigers like Jackson, spots are few in this class for that position and the Tigers have made Mondon the priority. We will see if that gamble pays off.
  • 3* WR Latrell Neville (Virginia Tech) - This is an interesting recruitment to track in the coming days. Neville is very close with recent Auburn commit and former VT pledge Dematrius Davis. Since Auburn’s pursuit of Davis picked up so did their recruitment of Neville. Could AU steal another stud from Justin Fuente’s class?
  • 3* TE Lake McRee - Auburn all of a sudden REALLY wants tight ends these days. After signing two talented ones in the 2020 class, Auburn has offered 17 this class. One to keep an eye on is former Longhorn commit Lake McRee. The Lake Travis standout missed his junior season due to a torn ACL but Auburn is reportedly high on his potential. He’s also good friends with Davis. He told AuburnUndercover that a decision could come soon.

War Eagle!