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Auburn Football Recruiting: Less Than Two Months Until Early Signing Day

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The early signing period is rapidly approaching and the Tigers are setting themselves up for a really fun finish.

Auburn v Arkansas Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Somehow we are already past the halfway mark on the season. Auburn sits at 5-2 with everything still to play for heading into the bye week. Off the field, Auburn’s coaching staff has plenty of work to do with the Early Signing Period beginning on December 15th.

This week will be a big one for Auburn’s staff on the trail. They’ll be all over the country visiting top targets including a west coast trip to check out some big time players considering making the cross country journey to the Plains. Auburn has slowly been building momentum on the trail and are poised to be one of the biggest story lines this December. Here’s a breakdown on where things stand with less than 2 months until the first signing period of the 2022 cycle.

Auburn Commits

Michael Floyd
  • 4-star DL Caden Story (61 tackles 29 TFL 16 sacks 17 QBH)
  • 4-star QB Holden Geriner (133/200 1,715 yds 15 TD 2 INT 36 carries 71 yds 5 TD)
  • 4-star S Tre Donaldson (16/19 156 yds 2 TD INT 6 carries 106 yds TD 5 tackles INT 2 FF)
  • 4-star RB Damari Alson (128 carries 1,008 yds 7.9 avg 17 TD 14 rec 151 yds TD)
  • 4-star WR Omari Kelly (64 rec 943 yds 7 TD 14 carries 103 yds TD)
  • 3-star DB Ja’Kobi Albert (25 tackles 4 INT 22 rec 459 yds 10 TD 7 carries 153 yds TD)
  • 3-star OT Eston Harris Jr.
  • 3-star TE Micah Riley-Ducker (21 rec 439 yds 4 TD)
  • 3-star WR Jay Fair (26 rec 546 yds 7 TD)
  • 3-star OL Drew Bobo
  • 3-star LB Powell Gordon (27 tackles 4 sacks 2 FF)
  • 3-star S Caleb Wooden (31 tackles TFL FF 2 INT TD)
  • 3-star K Alex McPherson

Auburn’s class no longer ranks dead last in the SEC following last week when they landed 2 offensive line commits from Auburn High School. The Tigers still have the fewest commits which is why they sit so low in the rankings but it’s also why they are likely to have one of the busiest Decembers of any program.

As of now, I believe all of Auburn’s commits are solid including Omari Kelly and Ja’Kobi Albert who were the 2 players most affected by the surprising firing of Cornelius Williams. Both returned to campus for the UGA game and will likely be back for Ole Miss in 2 weeks as well.

I included season stats, courtesy of AuburnLive’s Jeffrey Lee, to highlight their performances so far this fall. Tre Donaldson has been dealing with a shoulder injury and made his debut this past weekend where he absolutely stole the show with an insane performance. Thea one stat line that probably stands out is Powell Gordon’s but he’s missed a couple of weeks due to injuries and has seen limited action at times in blowouts. Will be interesting to see how he finishes the season especially come playoff time.

Finally, I don’t care where they are ranked, Jay Fair and Micah Riley-Ducker are absolutely going to be impact players for the Tigers. Fair likely at the Z spot though he could easily slide to the slot as well. Riley-Ducker does everything this coaching staff wants their tight ends to be able to do and will likely see the field as a true freshman. Auburn fans should be really excited about adding those two kids to the program.

Top Flip Targets

Given the numerous prospects committed elsewhere Auburn continues to pursue, I figured I’d make this its own section. Auburn’s new coaching staff has taken a somewhat calculated risk. There are kids out there that would already be on board if Auburn pushed but they are being patient because this staff believes there are some targets committed elsewhere who 100% fit what Auburn wants to do both on and off the field. They aren’t going to give up on those kids yet especially because Auburn believed they’d put a good product on the field this fall and that getting kids back in Jordan-Hare Stadium to experience that atmosphere would change some minds. The way things are trending for a number of these top prospects, I think it’s a risk that’s going to really pay off for the Tigers.

  • 4-star CB LaTerrance Welch (LSU) - Welch took an OV over the summer and was back on campus for the UGA game. But this recruitment will come down to a simple question. Does LSU’s new head coach retain Corey Raymond? If he does, Welch is all LSU. If he doesn’t, he lands at Auburn.
  • 4-star LB Robert Woodyard (Alabama) - Honestly this flip feels inevitable. Ever since Woodyard snuck onto Auburn’s campus for an official visit over the summer the Tigers seem to be trending the right way. He was back for Big Cat Weekend and for the UGA game. Some buzz he might already be silently committed to the Tigers. Let’s see if Auburn’s new staff can finish the deal and pull of a major instate win.
  • 4-star RB Tre’Vonte Citizen (LSU) - Another LSU commit Auburn is pursuing heavily is Lake Charles, LA native Tre’Vonte Citizen. He took an OV to AU over the summer and the good looking Tigers likely finished 2nd to the home state ones when he made his initial decision. But given the struggles LSU has had running the football paired with a coaching change there is some optimism Auburn might be able to sneak this stud back out of the state. Auburn’s staff loves the RB room right now and will likely only take a 2nd back if it’s a kid like Citizen.
  • 4-star CB JaDarian Rhym (LSU) - Noticing a theme? Rhym just might be Auburn’s top CB target and I think this flip could end up being more realistic than Welch seeing as Rhym is a Georgia native. Getting LA kids away from LSU is incredibly difficult. Auburn is working hard to get the 6’1” 170 lb playmaker on campus this fall. Would not surprise me if he ended up taking an official visit to the Plains at some point. Like Welch though the fate of Corey Raymond could play a pivotal role.
  • 4-star LB DeMario Tolan (LSU) - The final LSU commit to know is a guy Jeff Schmedding offered almost as soon as he got the job with the Tigers. Tolan never made it to campus for an official visit and still hasn’t been to Auburn this year but has told 247, On3 and Rivals that the school pushing the hardest to flip him right now is Auburn. If he does finally make a trip to the Plains I really like the Tigers chances.
  • 4-star OT Riley Quick (Alabama Baseball) - Quick committed to play for the Tide’s baseball program over the summer but it appears he’s having second thoughts. Auburn’s staff never gave up and were rewarded with a visit for the UGA game. Now there’s a very real chance he’ll be back for an official visit later this fall. This decision will come down to which sport Riley wants to pursue at the next level. If it’s baseball, he’ll roll with the tide, football and he’s probably a Tiger.
  • 4-star EDGE Trevion Williams (Florida State) - I am not 100% sure how to classify Williams’s commitment status. He apparently has not technically decommitted per FSU 247 but he’s “reopened” and “softened his recruitment”. Either way, most believe he lands in the SEC with Auburn, LSU, Ole Miss, and Mississippi State looking like the top contenders. I think the Bulldogs might be the early team to beat but don’t count the Tigers out. He took an official visit over the summer to the Plains and will likely be back for a home game later this fall.
  • 4-star DL Tae Woody (Florida State) - This was one of the toughest blows during the summer to Auburn’s recruiting class. Auburn’s new staff came hard after Woody but he got caught up in the excitement FSU was generating on the trail over the summer and was one of the many kids to commit to the Noles. Now he’s one of the many reconsidering that decision. He’s been to Auburn twice this fall and both AU and FSU insiders believe a flip could be iminent. Something important to note is Auburn is now recruiting him to play defensive line which is his preferred position. The big man one the DL MVP at one of Rivals big camps over the summer.
  • 4-star OL Qae’Shon Sapp (Florida State) - Hey another FSU kid! This one seems the longest shot but per AuburnLive’s Cole Pinkston, he’s someone Auburn’s staff continues to pursue and believes they can make a move on if they can get him back on campus. As of now though I think he sticks with the Noles.
  • 3-star OT Percy Lewis (Oregon) - Lewis was one of the first players Will Friend offered after being hired by the Tigers. The 6’8” 360 lb JUCO behemoth chose the Ducks over the summer but there’s a growing belief he’ll be staying closer to home next fall. Auburn continues to pursue as does Ole Miss and Mississippi State. Let’s see if the Tigers can snag an official visit.
  • 3-star LB Deuce Spurlock (Michigan) - Spurlock is one of the best athletes in the state of Alabama but Auburn was slow to make a move. The Wolverines have been recruiting the southeast very well this cycle and snagged Spurlock the same weekend Auburn finally offered. However, this battle isn’t over. The Tigers continue to pursue and it would not surprise me to see Spurlock on campus in the near future.

Top Uncommitted Targets

While flips appear to be a big part of the game plan as the early signing period approaches, Auburn is obviously also heavily involved in a number of major battles for uncommitted prospects. If a few of these recruitments can swing Auburn’s way they’ll have a chance for a big time finish to this 2022 class.

  • 5-star S Kamari Wilson - Look this one is probably a reach but it’s worth keeping an eye on. Wilson visited AU over the summer as part of the IMG bus tour. However, last week, he told Rivals that he really wants to get back to Auburn and might take an official visit this fall. Georgia has long been considered the leader but maybe just maybe a late OV could swing this thing AU’s way.
  • 4-star DL Khurtiss Perry - I was feeling good about Auburn’s chances with Perry coming into the season but a trip to Tuscaloosa for the Ole Miss beat down appears to be sending this recruitment the wrong way. Auburn got him back on campus for UGA and is working hard to secure an OV. Still, beating Saban for instate kids he wants is very tough.
  • 4-star LB Shemar James - Earlier this morning Shemar James reopened his recruitment. On one hand, that’s great news for Auburn who have continued to pursue James even after committing to the Gators over the summer. The bad news is this decision came after a trip to Athens. He’s expected to return to UGA on an official visit later this fall as well. Not liking Auburn’s chances right now.
  • 4-star WR Darrius Clemons - It seemed Auburn was close to landing Darrius Clemons earlier this fall but the sudden firing of Cornelius Williams appears to have slowed things down. The instate Ducks remain a threat but Auburn is likely still the team to beat. New WR coach Eric Kiesau will make a trip out west this week to see Clemons along with some other top targets. Auburn is working to get Clemons back on campus for the Iron Bowl.
  • 4-star WR Antonio Williams - This is a sneaky recruitment to watch. He’s one of my favorite wideouts in this class showing explosive potential from the slot and as a return man on special teams. Most have seen Ole Miss and South Carolina as the frontrunners. His parents are Ole Miss alums and he plays in South Carolina but the Tigers have stayed involved lead by Mike Bobo. He will take an official visit for the Iron Bowl. If the Tigers could somehow pull a 4 man WR class of Clemons, Williams, Kelly & Fair that would go a long ways toward addressing the wide receiver room struggles.
  • 4-star CB Austin Ausberry - For much of his recruitment, Ausberry has been considered a lock to LSU. His dad played there and now works in the athletic department. But that sentiment is starting to change especially after his OV to Auburn for the Georgia game. Ausberry is one of Auburn’s top overall targets and someone that could be trending their way. Give a lot of credit to Trovon Reed in this recruitment as he spent a lot of time with Ausberry and his family during the OV and left a very positive impression.
  • 4-star OT Malik Agbo - The Tigers are feeling good about snatching one big time west coast prospect. Could they make it a double? Agbo visited Austin, TX this past weekend and seemed impressed by the Horns but he still has an OV scheduled to the Plains. It could end up an Auburn-Texas battle down the stretch.
  • 3-star CB Keionte Scott - Per AuburnUndercover’s Keith Niebuhr the #1 ranked JUCO CB is expected to take an official visit to the Plains for the Iron Bowl. Auburn is looking for some secondary help for 2022 as they will be losing a number of key contributors following this season. He doesn’t plan to announce a decision until February so there’s a lot of time left in this recruitment.
  • 3-star OL Anez Cooper - The big man out of Pleasant Grove, AL landed an Auburn offer while attending the UGA game. That’s the one he’s been waiting on and if he gets the green light from the Tigers he’ll likely commit. While listed as an offensive tackle his future is likely in the interior at guard.
  • S Marquise Gilbert - Auburn offered Gilbert in September and immediately became a top contender. He’ll be on campus next weekend for an official visit and it would not shock me if he left an Auburn commit or at least with the Tigers on top.
  • S Juwon Gaston - Gaston signed with Auburn in the 2021 class but never made it to campus. However, his plan is to return to the Plains in January assuming he takes care of what he needs to in the classroom. He is teammates with Gilbert at Hutchinson Community College the same program Auburn landed Ro Torrence out of last cycle so there could be a lot of former Blue Dragons lining up in Auburn’s defensive backfield next fall.

Top Secondary Targets

This final section includes a number of prospects Auburn appears to be recruiting or monitoring but I am not sure yet if they are takes. I could be wrong and some kids are in fact major priorities but this should give you an idea of who to watch if Auburn misses on some names above.

  • 4-star LB Jaron Willis (Georgia Tech) - Per AuburnLive, the Tigers have been in contact with Willis and he could be someone moving up the board. However, there just isn’t much real intel on Willis right now that I have a hard time knowing if this is a recruitment to really follow or not.
  • 4-star LB TJ Dudley - I think if Dudley were given the chance he’d stay in state to play football. But both Auburn and Alabama appear to have bigger targets in mind. With that said, if some recruitments don’t go Auburn’s way I would not be surprised to see the Tigers push for a late flip.
  • 4-star CB Marquez Dortch (Ole Miss) - At one time I thought Dortch was a major flip candidate for the Tigers but it appears Auburn has started to prioritize some other targets ahead of him. That could also be due to Dortch’s desire to play wide receiver in college which is where the Rebels plan to use him.
  • 3-star RB Justin Williams (West Virginia) - If Auburn decides to take a 2nd back and misses on Tre’Vonte Citizen keep a close eye on Williams. He’s had a big senior season and Carnell Williams has always been high on his talent. I think the question is simply whether or not the staff decides to use an extra RB spot on someone not named Citizen.
  • 3-star RB Quinshon Judkins (Ole Miss) - I thought Judkins would land in Auburn’s class but with the strong showing by Hunter this fall paired with the staff really liking Damari Alston they decided to be patient at this position. The Rebels took advantage though if the Tigers decide to circle back later this cycle, I think a flip could be very possible.
  • 3-star CB Caleb Coley (Vanderbilt) - I don’t know a ton about Coley but per AuburnLives’s Jeffrey Lee he’s someone the staff is high on and could be a guy the Tigers push for later this fall. Ideally Auburn flips Rhym, lands Ausberry and Scott then calls it a day but if those plans fall through Coley could be someone to watch.
  • 3-star CB Andre Stewart (Kentucky) - After visiting for Big Cat Weekend I thought there was a very good chance the former AU commit was about to jump back on board. I think if Auburn had pushed that would have happened but the Tigers have some higher targets on the board. If they strikeout on those names you could see Stewart move back up as a higher priority.
  • 3-star WR Marquarius White (Tennessee) - One of the most electric wideouts in this class hails from Pinson, AL. He holds offers from both instate programs but neither have made him a major priority to date. However, if Auburn misses on Antonio Williams and decides they want a 4th wideout, White would very likely become one of the Tigers top target. He visited for UGA and I think he’d be very flippable if Auburn pushed.
  • 3-star DL Terrell Jones - Auburn’s DL board looks pretty slim right now. Some of that is likely due to how big a DL class Auburn signed last year but unless Auburn hits on all their top targets they’ll likely need to put out some late offers. The main kid to watch is Jones who plays for Hoover and was on campus for Big Cat Weekend. If that offer ever comes he will jump on it.
  • DB Christian Harrison - The son of Rodney Harrison, Christian recently decommitted from Liberty and has seen his recruitment take off. Both Georgia Tech and Tennessee have offered. Per AuburnUndercover’s Keith Niebuhr he plans to visit the Plains next weekend. He’s high school teammates with Damari Alston who reportedly has been pushing the staff to make a move. If the Tigers offer things could get interesting.

War Eagle!