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Auburn Football Recruiting: Early Signing Period Preview

A big opportunity for Bryan Harsin’s staff to make a statement tomorrow

The start of the early signing period is fast approaching. Starting tomorrow, the vast majority of top prospects in the 2022 class will effectively end their recruitments by signing their National Letters of Intent. Coaching staffs across the country are blowing up the phones of their top remaining targets in hopes of getting one last push to sign a much needed player.

For Auburn, tomorrow will have an old school National Signing Day feel to it. It’s already been a busy week for the Tigers with 3 commitments and a likely 4th coming soon. Auburn has spent much of this cycle at the bottom of the class rankings in the SEC but are poised to vault up the standings with a strong close. Let’s take one final look at where things stand before the festivities begin.

Auburn Commits Signing & Enrolling Early

  • 4-star QB Holden Geriner
  • 3-star OL Eston Harris Jr.
  • 3-star S Marquise Gilbert
  • 3-star TE Micah Riley-Ducker
  • 3-star WR Jay Fair
  • 3-star LB Powell Gordon
  • 3-star S Caleb Wooden

Auburn Commits Signing Early

  • 4-star DB Austin Ausberry
  • 4-star RB Damari Alston
  • 4-star S Tre Donaldson
  • 4-star WR Omari Kelly
  • 3-star K Alex McPherson
  • 3-star DL Enyce Sledge

Auburn Commits Possibly Not Signing Early

  • 4-star DL Caden Story — Story’s father told aldotcom earlier this week that he will not be signing during the early period but instead will wait until February. They claim it’s purely a logistics issue and that Caden is still locked in with Auburn. So far, Story has done nothing to give the impression he could be wavering but any commit that doesn’t sign early is someone to watch. We’ll see what happens during the late period. Always the chance he signs, sends it in but doesn’t have it released until a ceremony in February.
  • 3-star S JaKobi Albert — Honestly not sure what to think here. Albert is actually still planning to sign tomorrow but it broke across all the subscription sites that Auburn would not be sending him a letter of intent. Why that’s the case no one knows. If he does sign tomorrow it will probably be with Kentucky.

Auburn Targets Announcing

Now let’s take a look at the numerous Auburn targets that are expected to announce their decisions tomorrow. The staff is feeling VERY confident heading into Wednesday and so far their confidence has been well placed this week. We will see if they can win some final crucial battles. I am going to offer my own prediction for each target with my patented Lock, 50/50 or No Idea confidence system. Shoutout to Keith Niebuhr of AuburnUndercover and Jeffery Lee of AuburnLive for putting together the announcement schedules for these targets.

Here we go.

4-star CB JaDarian Rhym | 6’1” | 170 lbs | Valdosta, GA | LSU Commit

Announcing Tuesday @ 5 PM CT

Contenders: Auburn, LSU

The not gonna get hammered by the NCAA Tigers have been making a major move for the long time LSU commit. They hosted him on an official visit this past weekend despite the strong **s offer Tigers pushing hard to get him back on campus. A decision is coming up this evening and Auburn’s staff is confident that they’ll be adding another stud to this loaded DB class.

Prediction: Auburn (Lock)

4-star RB Justin Williams | 6’0” | 204 lbs | Dallas, GA

Announcing Wednesday @ 7 AM CT

Contenders: Auburn, Tennessee

While Williams would love to be a Tiger it’s trending towards that opportunity never materializing. Auburn likes Williams a lot but they seem to be all in on 4-star Tre’Vonte Citizen. Meanwhile, Tennessee sees Williams as their top RB target and hosted him for an official visit last weekend. With 4-star Damari Alston already on board and Tank Bigsby coming back, Auburn’s staff seems content to swing for the fences. There’s always a chance this takes an interesting turn late but I think Tennessee is in a great place to snag one of the better running backs in the southeast.

Prediction: Tennessee (Lock)

4-star CB Keionte Scott | 6’0” | 185 lbs | La Mesa, CA

Announcing Wednesday @ 10 AM CT

Contenders: Auburn, BYU, Miami, Oregon, Tennessee

With Roger McCreary heading to the NFL as a likely 1st round draft pick, Auburn’s coaching staff is looking for impact players to add to the secondary. Scott was identified very early on as someone that could come in and compete for a starting spot. The Tigers hosted him for an official visit for the Iron Bowl and appear to have built an insurmountable lead. The Ducks were probably the biggest competition until the coaching change while the Vols REALLY want Scott too. But this one looks to be heading Auburn’s way.

Prediction: Auburn (Lock)

4-star LB Robert Woodyard | 6’1” | 210 lbs | Mobile, AL | Alabama Commit

Announcing Wednesday @ 10 AM CT

Contenders: Alabama, Auburn

Woodyard was the 2nd player to join Alabama’s 2021 class. He’s been committed since June 2020. He’s a 4-star linebacker from Mobile, AL. Surely there’s nothing to see here? Well it appears there’s something very much to see here for Auburn fans as the long time Tide commit looks poised to make the flip tomorrow at his signing ceremony. Auburn snuck him on campus for an official visit over the summer and were able to get him back for Big Cat Weekend. Since that weekend this recruitment has been trending towards the good guys and it appears tomorrow for the first time since 2014 Auburn will flip an Alabama commit.

Prediction: Auburn (Lock)

3-star WR Camden Brown | 6’3” | 190 lbs | Fort Lauderdale, FL

Announcing Wednesday @ 11 AM CT

Contenders: Auburn, Georgia, Pittsburgh

This has been a wild ride. Brown balled out at one of Auburn’s summer camps earning MVP honors and was all set to commit on a later official visit. But the Tigers weren’t ready to take Brown so they cancelled the trip. Brown moved on and eventually committed to Pittsburgh. But following a strong senior season and Auburn’s struggles to get traction with some other WR recruits the Tigers came back around. Thankfully, Brown didn’t hold any grudges and now appears to be trending Auburn’s way. He took an official visit to Georgia this past weekend that gave me pause but the Dawgs just landed a former UF commit so it doesn’t appear they’ll push. I still don’t have strong confidence on this prediction yet because the WR board seems so up in the air still.

Prediction: Auburn (50/50)

4-star DL Khurtiss Perry | 6’2” | 265 lbs | Pike Road, AL

Announcing Wednesday @ 1 PM CT

Contenders: Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, UCF

Oh buddy... Another major showdown for an instate defender is headed towards signing day drama. Perry has arguably been Auburn’s top defensive target for this whole cycle. Derek Mason and Nick Eason have built strong relationships with the top 100 player and Perry even named the Tigers his leader following the Iron Bowl. But.... How many times have we seen this story play out? The Tide have been confident for months now and rarely does that work out well for Auburn. However, yesterday I saw the first waverings from Alabama insiders. Most still projecting him to the Tide but there were some mentions of this race having gotten tighter. Clemson is also lurking but no Venables make me believe they are probably just a hat on the table. I know Auburn’s coaching staff truly believe they are in position to win a major battle but I am just gonna have to see it to believe it.

Prediction: Alabama (No Idea)

4-star WR Darrius Clemons | 6’3” | 205 lbs | Portland, OR

Announcing Wednesday @ 2 PMT CT

Contenders: Auburn, Miami, Michigan, Oregon

Tomorrow afternoon will either be one to remember for Tiger fans or cast a pall over what has a chance to still be a very good day. An hour after we find out about Perry, the Great Clemons Saga shall finally come to a close. Twice now Auburn has emerged as the favorite only to be bumped by another program. First it was Oregon who had a spot open up in their class following some decommits and now its Michigan who hosted the big time playmaker on an official visit this past weekend. Most projections now see Clemons to the Wolverines but there is still a belief on the Plains they can get Clemons in orange and blue. I am skeptical at this point but funnier things have happened.

Prediction: Michigan (50/50)

4-star LB DeMario Tolan | 6’2” | 205 lbs | Orlando, FL | LSU Commit

Announcing Wednesday @ TBD

Contenders: Auburn, Georgia, LSU, Tennessee

This is a fascinating recruitment to follow tomorrow. Tolan committed to LSU earlier this year but has been open to other teams following the coaching change in the Bayou. He did not decommit and returned for an official visit to LSU this past weekend. The feeling for LSU folks is that he’s locked down. But his interview with On3’s Chad Simmons earlier this week made it clear he’s strongly still considering all his options. The Vols believe they are the top contender if he were to flip but Auburn’s staff feels really good about how things went following his official visit to the Plains. If there’s a big splash surprise tomorrow this is definitely the name to watch.

Prediction: LSU (No Idea)

4-star DL Jeffery M’Ba | 6’6’ | 305 lbs | Fougere, France

Announcing Sunday

Contenders: Auburn, Missouri, Tennessee

M’Ba will sign tomorrow but his school of choice will not release his letter of intent until he announces this Sunday on live TV in France. M’Ba was born in Gabon but moved to France when he was 4 years old. He played at Independence Community College this past season where he recorded 40 tackles with 13.5 going for a loss. While the Vols are a finalist this appears to be down to Auburn and Missouri with Bryan Harsin’s squad feeling confident as the early signing period approaches. He would be a huge addition to this 2022 class.

Prediction: Auburn (Lock)

4-star RB Tre’Vonte Citizen | 6’0” | 217 lbs | Lake Charles, LA

Announcing in February, allegedly...

Contenders: Auburn, Florida, LSU, Texas A&M

Auburn appears set to go all in on Citizen. The former LSU commit reopened his recruitment a couple of week ago. Auburn running backs coach Carnell Williams has made Citizen a top priority and there is real confidence that #9 ranked back might be leaning towards going to the Plains. But as of today, Citizen is reportedly going to wait until February before announcing his decision. With Auburn having already hosted him on an official visit they’ll have a tough time hanging onto that supposed lead next month when LSU and Florida can both host him for officials. He’s yet to publicly state his intentions though and it would not shock me if he decided to sign tomorrow. If that were to happen I would really like Auburn’s chances. For now though I expect him to wait.

Prediction: LSU (No Idea)

War Eagle!