Yesterday, we took a look at Auburn’s current 2021 class. Today, we’ll look to the future to get an idea of who might join those 9 already committed to the Tigers. We are already at a record number of commits this early in the cycle and with the NCAA extending the dead period to July 31st, effectively ending any chance of on campus visits this summer, you are likely to see even more commits over the next two months.
So what names should Auburn fans be monitoring? I took a stab at a list with the prospects ordered from most likely to least likely to pick the Tigers.
This one feels imminent. King committed to the Longhorns in late April but backed away from that pledge just a month later. Why the backtrack? Well according to AuburnUndercover, King reached out to Auburn immediately following Dematrius Davis’s commitment to the Tigers. The two are childhood friends and it sounds like they want to team up at the next level. Auburn plans to take at least one tight end in this class and as of today, King looks likely to be that guy.
Auburn needs a pass rusher in this class and with the Tigers missing out on 4-star Dylan Brooks, Williams has become the top target for the Tigers. This is an interesting recruitment with both Auburn and Alabama reportedly feeling confident about where they sit. In the past, that’s often meant bad news for the good guys but I think this one might be different. Williams is very close to Auburn’s staff, most notably Gus Malzahn. Throw in the amount of edge prospects Alabama signed last class and are after in 2021, this race feels like one that ends positively for Auburn. A decision is likely to come in June.
South Florida has been kind to Auburn’s defensive backfield in recent cycles and the Tigers are hoping that continues in 2021. They already have a pair of 3-star DBs from Florida committed in Tar’varish Dawson and Phillip O’Brien Jr. That number could soon rise to three. Kinchens announced yesterday he plans to commit July 11th. This appears to be a two team battle between Auburn and Miami. In the past, Kinchens has stated that he wants to see Miami perform better on the field if they are going to land his pledge. Given the fact he’s committing before they can do so feels like a good thing for the Tigers. Kinchens and O’Brien would make for an outstanding safety pair in this 2021 class.
I’m not sure how close Robinson is to a decision but it wouldn’t shock me if he decided to lock down a spot in Auburn’s class this summer. Rodney Garner made Robinson a priority very early on and the Tigers appear to sit in the pole position currently in his recruitment. Florida State looks to be Auburn’s stiffest competition. I expect the Tiger to sign at least two defensive tackles in this class.
This has been an interesting recruitment to track. Early in this race, Auburn looked like one of the top teams to beat, possibly even #1. But started to fade during the spring with Oklahoma becoming his likely landing spot. However, just a couple weeks ago Alabama surged ahead in the race with Florida likely chasing the Tide. Leary was going to commit June 11th but has now postponed the announcement. He told Rivals this week that he’s down to a top 3 of Auburn, Alabama and Florida. Per AuburnUndercover’s Keith Niebuhr, Dematrius Davis has been working hard behind the scenes to get Leary to join him on the Plains. I still think Alabama is the team to beat but it’s starting to feel like this could be one of those surprise pulls the Tigers get every cycle. It would be a massive win if Auburn could land Leary’s pledge.
If I were given the choice to pick a single recruit in this class to sign with Auburn it would easily be Kool-Aid. The state’s top player is an elite athlete who will have the opportunity to play both football and basketball at the next level. Auburn has been hard after the Pinson Valley standout for going on three years now and are very much in this race. But I’ve followed recruiting long enough to know that 5-star instate cornerbacks sign with Alabama. They are likely the leader in this race though no one seems to have a great read on McKinstry’s recruitment. A commitment could come at any time. This would be a monster win for the Tigers if they could pull it off.
Auburn doesn’t plan to sign a very large linebacker class. In fact, they might only sign one. I think if you asked T-WILL who he would want that one to be, he would likely say Smael Mondon. There’s been some Owen Pappoe vibes in this recruitment given Mondon’s close relationship with Travis Williams but there continues to be an abundance of confidence in Athens that he will state instate. I think that’s the most likely outcome but if a team steals him away, it will be Auburn. He’s expected to announce a decision sometime in June.
As crazy as it may sound, I would not be surprised if Auburn signed two tight ends in this class. That seems crazy given the fact Auburn already has five on campus and looks poised to land another this cycle in King. But the Tigers are in deep with a number of studs that I am not sure they would turn away if they wanted on board, Terrance Ferguson possibly being one of them. The Colorado native has Auburn in his top 5 with Chad Morris being a big reason why. Auburn’s new offensive coordinator was one of the first to offer Ferguson back when Morris was at Arkansas. He quickly made Ferguson a priority again when upon his arrival to the Plains. The big man wants to announce a decision in July. If Auburn has King on board but Ferguson wants in come July, do they say no? It will be interesting to watch how things play out.
Not that long ago I thought McRee would be Auburn’s tight end in this class. Another former Longhorn commit, Auburn has been hard after the Austin native for a few months now. McRee missed all of his junior season due to an ACL injury so tape on him is somewhat limited but he plays at Lake Travis where Chad Morris won two state titles so it’s likely Morris has enough connections there to get a good feel for his skillset. This has come down to an Auburn vs USC race with the Trojans appearing to be the likely victor. We will see though if Auburn makes a late push. A decision is likely to come in the near future.