This is dumb.
Attempting to guess what a high school senior is thinking in a single moment is an effort in futility. Attempting to guess what they might be thinking six months from now after having been recruited by some of the top football programs in the country during a pandemic in which a football season may not even happen is sheer lunacy.
But I have never pretended to be a sane individual so why start now?
Today, I will take my first stab at projecting Auburn’s 2021 signing class. I will be wrong, likely very wrong but the exercise should at least provide some context on where this class sits right now and its potential upside. I was very conservative in this projection with only a few bold predictions thrown in because Auburn always lands 2-3 kids no one expects.
For now, I am going to assume Auburn signs a full 25 man class. That number always seems to fluctuate so it’s safe to just stick with the base number for now. Here’s my best guess in June on whom ends up in Auburn’s 2021 class come signing day.
Davis was the first tangible proof that Auburn’s efforts in Texas were proving fruitful. The nation’s 6th ranked dual threat QB recently received an invitation to compete in the Elite 11. His stock has already been on the rise after an outstanding junior campaign. A strong performance in Nashville could push him into the top 50.
There was buzz earlier this week that Auburn’s longest committed member of the 2021 class might be on flip watch. LSU is reportedly hard after the explosive playmaker but confidence remains strong on the Plains he sticks with the better looking Tigers. When visits reopen this fall though Goodwin will be a prospect to monitor. Does he make it down to Baton Rouge? I still believe Auburn’s relationships win out here but Ed O’s Tigers cannot be ignored.
Georgia appears to be prioritizing speed this cycle specifically honing in on 4-star Malcolm Johnson Jr and 4-star Xavier Worthy. Alabama has only one more WR spot in their class and are putting the full court press on 4-star Brian Thomas Jr. Put those facts together with buzz that Colzie might be leaning towards leaving the state and it doesn’t seem too crazy that he ends up in Auburn’s class.
Auburn has already flipped two prospects in this class and could be on the verge of a 3rd. Tennessee’s 11th ranked prospect told AuburnUndercover’s Keith Niebuhr earlier this week he speaks with Auburn’s staff daily. Georgia is also a threat but Auburn has long prioritized Mitchell and I think those relationships pay off in the end.
The Tigers are looking to sign at least one 2 man in this class. 4-star Christian Leary was the top target and Auburn felt good about him up until he committed to the Tide. Now the Tigers are likely to turn the heat up on former UF commit Smith. This pick is a reach at this point with Miami and Florida appearing to be the top 2 teams for Smith at the moment. But I had to put one speedster in this class and with Malcolm Johnson possibly leaning UGA, I decided to go with Smith. I wouldn’t be surprised to see home new names emerge in the coming months.
Yes, Auburn might actually take two more tight ends this cycle. As I have written previously, it’s a position that should become much more involved in Auburn’s offense moving forward outside of just being an extra blocker. While the Tigers don’t necessarily need another tight end, you don’t say no to an elite athlete like Trigg. Auburn will have to fight off Florida State and LSU but I like the Tigers chances as of today. He’s another player that would like the opportunity to play both football and basketball at the next level.
Auburn’s most recent commit, King is a prospect with tremendous upside who fits the mold of athlete Chad Morris covets at the 3 spot in his offense. He continues Auburn’s recent success recruiting the state of Texas. I expect a big senior campaign out of King and wouldn’t be shocked to see him earn that 4th star before signing day.
Arguably Auburn’s most important commit to date, Johnson gives the Tigers a blue chip prep offensive tackle for the first time since Calvin Ashley and Austin Troxell in 2017. Johnson is likely to take official visits this fall so Auburn will have to fight off Notre Dame, Florida and Florida State to hang onto their coveted OT commit but I feel good about that happening right now. Give Johnson a year of development and I think he will be ready to make an impact as early as 2022.
Orr doesn’t yet hold an offer from Auburn but that could soon change. His stock is on the rise, moving to blue chip status in 247’s most recent ranking update. The instate standout is considering Florida State, Mississippi State and Ole Miss at the moment but an Auburn offer would likely shake things up in a major way. The Tigers are swinging for the fences hoping to land one of Tommy Brockermeyer, Amarius Mims and Savion Byrd. If they strike out on all three don’t be surprised if Orr lands an offer and joins Auburn class soon after.
Gooch recently told AuburnUndercover’s Keith Niebuhr he’s dropped 18 lbs putting him at a slim 340 lbs. His goal is to play at 330 which feels like a good number for a kid his size. Auburn is high on his upside but will likely have to fight to keep his pledge as instate Tennessee continues to pursue as now does UGA. Again, if you are bored and need a pick me up, I highly recommend checking out Gooch’s tape.
Despite his height, Langlo’s future might in the interior of Auburn’s offensive line. He currently plays guard for his run heavy high school program which is loaded with D1 offensive line talent. There’s some Braden Smith to his game and if he can even come close to that type of production, Auburn will be VERY happy with this pickup.
It was believed that if Auburn could flip Dematrius Davis they would have a great chance at landing his teammate Jaeden Roberts. Turns out that belief had merit. Auburn beat out Alabama, LSU, Oklahoma State and plenty others to land the big man’s pledge. A physical freak, Roberts will bring a much needed edge to the interior of Auburn’s offensive line.
I know very little about Pennington’s recruitment outside of the fact Auburn is in his top 5 and if Clemson has a spot for him he likely goes there. But Dabo’s Tigers seem to be prioritizing other OL at the moment which makes me think this will end up an Auburn v Florida State battle. The Tigers would like another interior OL if possible and Pennington feels as good a bet as any right now.
Auburn will lose at least two interior players after the 2020 season in Tyrone Truesdell and Daquan Newkirk. If Coynis Miller has the breakout season some expect he will, that number could climb to three. The Tigers will need at least one immediate impact player in this 2021 class for next season. Hunter is that guy. Auburn will have to fend off Alabama, Georgia, Florida State and Tennessee to keep Hunter in the class but I see that happening for now. Hunter is one of the most dominating defensive tackle prospects in the country and has the skillset to thrive on the Plains under Coach G’s tutelage.
A decision still looks far off for Robinson but Auburn is clearly the team to beat in his recruitment. The Milton standout is also strongly considering the instate Noles but the Tigers have been on Robinson for quite awhile. Pairing him with Hunter would give Auburn an excellent defensive tackle class in 2021.
File this name away. Auburn is chasing some higher ranked talent in the likes of Leonard Taylor, Shambre Jackson, Dylan Brooks and Keanu Koht but the Tigers also really like Okoli. Auburn only offered in May but immediately made his top group. Nebraska looks to be the team to beat at the moment but don’t sleep on Auburn’s chances in this race.
Robinson is likely to be a top 10 JUCO prospect in the 2021 class and someone Auburn’s defensive staff is extremely high on. After a solid redshirt freshman season at Dodge City, Robinson transferred to Monroe Community College in Rochester, NY which has a loaded defensive line heading into the 2020 season. I don’t think it’s a definite that Auburn takes a JUCO lineman in this class but if they do Robinson is likely the choice.
Williams is unquestionably the top man on Auburn’s board at the Buck. The Ramsay standout is coming off a 14 sack junior season and is being pursued by pretty much every major football program in the country. However, this likely ends up being an instate battle with the Tigers possibly holding the edge at the moment. Williams wants to take some visits before making a decision. Oklahoma and Florida lurk as out of state threats.
I have zero confidence in this prediction but I have no idea who to pick at linebacker if not one of the studs T-WILL is chasing. The nation’s #2 ranked OLB by 247 Composite hinted a commitment would come in June but that doesn’t look likely at the moment. Both Auburn and Tennessee have made this is a legitimate three team race with the Dawgs. I still think UGA is gonna be tough to beat but I also believe in T-WILL’s ability on the trail. If Auburn gets Mondon they likely would not take any other linebackers sans Xavian Sorey.
Over the past few weeks, Auburn has started trending the right direction with Green. In fact, there are some who believe the Tigers are the team to beat. But Auburn has had moments of confidence in the past when facing off with Clemson for top Georgia talent only to be disappointed in the end. But Green has a strong relationship with Auburn’s staff and is very close with Dre Butler. Will it be enough for the Tigers to snag one of the best DBs in the country? Let’s hope so.
Lassiter’s offer list and rating do not jive. Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, LSU, Florida and Florida State are all in hot pursuit of the nation’s 25th ranked cornerback. The Tigers appear to be sitting in a pretty good spot this summer but the Tide might be tough to beat if they push. For now, I am going to project him landing with the Tigers.
There hasn’t been much buzz around Brown’s recruitment but this is a kid Wesley McGriff really likes. Auburn hasn’t had a ton of success recruiting IMG but that could change this cycle. The Tigers will have to beat out Florida and Ole Miss to land Brown’s pledge but I like where they sit right now in this race.
Dawson will get a shot on the offensive side of the ball but I think his future is on defense. A speedster from south Florida, Auburn has had a lot of success putting kids like Dawson in the league. He’s someone that could have an early impact on special teams.
Kinchens is set to make his decision on July 11th. This is essentially a two team race between Auburn and Miami. A month ago I really liked where Auburn stood in his recruitment. My confidence though has steadily dropped over the past few weeks. The Canes already hold pledges from four of his teammates including beating out UGA for 4-star WR Romello Brinson. I think Auburn is still very much in this battle but Miami might currently hold the edge. Still, it wouldn’t shock me if he picked the Canes now but Auburn stayed after him and pulled off the flip come signing day.
The most underrated commitment in Auburn’s 2021 class, O’Brien Jr remains solid to the Tigers despite the continued pursuit by Florida State and Michigan. His commitment came as a surprise back in March but he’s been a vocal recruiter for the Tigers on social media. I think he’s a top 200 player in this class and will be an early impact player on the back end of Auburn’s defense next fall.