Every recruiting cycle, a number of Power 5 caliber athletes go undiscovered due to playing in areas with low exposure, inability to get travel to camps, or injuries that limit film evaluations. That’s likely to be even more true this cycle given the on campus visit restrictions and the lack of recruiting camps due to COVID-19 restrictions.
3-star safety Cayden Bridges was almost one of those prospects. The 6’2” 190 lb safety plays in Magee, MS, a town in south Mississippi with a population size of just over 4,000. Despite recording 52 tackles, 6 TFL, a sack, 4 INTs, 8 pass breakups while also catching 44 passes for 606 yards and 7 touchdowns, just two weeks ago, Bridges only held offers from Central Arkansas and Florida A&M.
That’s until new South Alabama head coach Kane Wommack offered and landed his pledge. Then Auburn got its hands on his tape and new defensive coordinator Derek Mason made Bridges an immediate priority. Now the former little known prospect is headed to play in the SEC.
Welcome to The Plains, @03Cayden!— Auburn Football (@AuburnFootball) February 3, 2021
This hard-hitting, ball hawk is going to be feared for many years to come.#WarEagle pic.twitter.com/LdzCKSRuEG
Mississippi State attempted to make a late push but Auburn doling out the offer first proved huge in him leaving the Magnolia State.
After seeing his tape, it’s easy to see why Mason immediately put Bridges at the top of the board. A big rangy athlete who plays with a physical edge, Bridges excels as a run stopper out of the defensive backfield. He consistently demonstrates the ability to shed WR and TE blocks to make plays on ball carriers out in space. If he had better hands, he might have had 8+ interceptions this past season. The big question mark I have is speed, it’s just hard to fully know based off his film if he has enough to crack the starting rotation in the SEC. If he does, I think Bridges could end up being one of the biggest steals of this class.
Bridges is the 16th commit of the 2021 class and the Tigers 4th DB. His commitment moves Auburn ever close to the top 20 though I doubt they reach it by the end of the day as Dylan Brooks has still not been release from his NLI by Tennessee.
Another commitment could be coming soon as 3-star S Juwon Gaston is expected to make his decision at 1:30 CT. There’s continues to be buzz that a surprise flip may go down this afternoon as well.
War Eagle Cayden!