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Auburn Football Recruiting: Momentum Needed

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Tigers hunting for some momentum on the recruiting trail.

NCAA Football: Outback Bowl-Minnesota vs Auburn Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Every recruiting cycle consists of highs and lows. The end of May was a big high for the Tigers. The end of June and most of July has been a low.

Over the weekend, Auburn missed on 4-star safety Kamren Kinchens. Yesterday, 3-star wide receiver Adonai Mitchell, a former Ole Miss commit many believed was trending to the Tigers, announced his commitment to Georgia.

This came as a pretty major surprise to most folks. While the Dawgs were considered Auburn’s top challenger, belief was strong that it was only a matter of time before Mitchell flipped his pledge to the good guys. But things change fast in recruiting and over the weekend the Tennessean posted an article stating that Mitchell had flipped his commitment to Georgia. That clued people in that things weren’t as they seemed in Mitchell’s recruitment and a few days later he made it official himself on social media.

There appears to be a concerning trend developing this cycle where kids Auburn is feeling confident about landing suddenly commit elsewhere. 4-star DL Dylan Brooks was believed to be a major lean to Auburn before he committed to Tennessee out of the blue. 4-star WR Christian Leary delayed his initial commitment reportedly due to a strong Auburn push. He then chose the Crimson Tide. Now Mitchell, a name that has been strongly linked to Auburn for a number of weeks, chooses UGA instead.

Fun stuff...

So where does Auburn go from here at wide receiver? Two of their top targets, possibly THE top targets, are off the board. Luckily, Auburn still has plenty of talent to choose from and will likely turn the heat up on some other pledges. Here are some names to know at wide receiver:

  • 4-star Deion Colzie - The former Notre Dame commit was once thought to be a lock to UGA but that is looking less likely these days. Alabama and UGA are likely only taking one more WR in their respective classes and seem to be prioritizing other guys above Colzie. Auburn sits in a good position as of today but we will see where things stand in a few weeks. I still wouldn’t count out UGA.
  • 4-star Malcolm Johnson Jr. - Auburn wants speed in this class and with Leary off the board, Johnson is likely the top guy for the Tigers. One of the fastest players in this 2021 class, Johnson will probably also run track at whichever school he chooses. Alabama, Georgia, Maryland, Oklahoma and others are all very involved in his race. Let’s see if the Tigers can get him on campus when things reopen.
  • 4-star Marcus Burke - I haven’t written much on Burke but he’s a name to file away. Long believed to be a Florida lock, UGA appears to be trending now in his recruitment. If the Dawgs steal Burke away, I think it becomes even more likely Colzie lands elsewhere. Auburn is after Burke but have work to do if they want to land the playmaker out of Florida.
  • 4-star Chase Smith - Auburn initially was recruiting Smith as a linebacker but per AuburnUndercover’s Keith Niebuhr that has changed. He wants to play offense and now Auburn is obliging recruiting him to play wideout. His father was a stand out tight end for Miami so the Canes could be tough to beat in this race. I personally think he’s more suited on the defensive side of the ball but we will see what happens.
  • 3-star Brashard Smith - Smith stepped back from his Florida pledge in early May. The Gators are still very much involved but its likely his home city school Miami is the team to beat. After missing on Leary, it is believed Smith will now be a top target for the Tigers. Oregon and Tennessee are also very involved with Smith.
  • 3-star Latrell Neville (Nebraska Commit) - Neville was apart of Virginia Tech’s initial big push into Texas in the 2021 class. You know the one where Dematrius Davis was going to be the next Mike Vick? It was basically a formality after Davis’s flip that Neville would also leave the Hokies class. He has since committed to Nebraska but if Auburn decides to turn the heat up I think they could add him to the class.
  • 3-star Roc Taylor (Tennessee Commit) - Taylor landed an offer from the Tigers late last night. The Oxford standout committed to the Vols in April but things could get more interesting now that Auburn has officially offered. He’s a big kid that likely slots in at the 5 spot in Auburn’s system.

Auburn has some work to do at wide receiver following the misses on Leary and Mitchell. Fortunately, they don’t need a large class following last year’s outstanding haul. They are also in pursuit of 4-star TE Michael Trigg who is athletic enough to play the 5 if needed as could Auburn commit Landen King.

War Eagle!