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Auburn Football Recruiting: Halfway Through Busy June

An update on who has visited and where things stand in their recruitment.

On June 1st, the college football recruiting world reopened and it’s been a whirlwind of action ever since. Every single day, Auburn has hosted numerous top prospects from the 2022 class and beyond. There’s been multiple high school camps where coaches get a chance to evaluate players in person and two weekends of official visits. While that’s still a pretty small data point to measure how Auburn’s new staff can recruit or how the 2022 class might shape up, it is our first real data point this year so now feels like a good time to evaluate where things stand.

Official Visitors

Auburn has had two weeks of official visits. Neither weekend featured 10+ official visitors like you are seeing other places but they were comprised of some of Auburn’s top targets and guys that have a very good chance of ending up in this class. Here’s a quick rundown on who has visited and where things stand in their recruitments.

  • 4-star CB Laterrance Welch (LSU Commit) - Welch officially visited the Plains this past weekend and created some buzz on social media when he cryptically tweeted that “big news” was coming the following Monday. That “big news” turned out just to be an All-Star game commitment but it does appear the Tigers have made things interesting. He told AuburnUndercover’s Keith Niebuhr he plans to return for a game this fall. However, flipping a kid from Louisiana away from LSU will be difficult. Need another 2020 repeat for the Bayou Bengals to make this one interesting.
  • 4-star RB Omarion Hampton - Auburn’s staff in a very short amount of time has made the Tigers a major factor in the recruitment of one of the best running backs in this class. Hampton appeared to love his official visit and told AuburnSports’s Jeffrey Lee that AU will definitely be one of his final 3 teams. UNC is believed to be the team to beat right now with Ohio State knocking on the door. Auburn though appears to be positioning themselves to make a push come decision time. Hampton took an official visit to Auburn this past weekend and will be at Penn State this weekend.
  • 4-star LB Shemar James - Last month, James announced a final 2 of Alabama and Florida seemingly closing the door on Auburn’s chances with the big time linebacker out of Mobile, AL. But it appears that final 2 wasn’t completely final as James decided to take an official visit to Auburn this past weekend. There’s been very little intel to come out on that visit other than the staff feels they made up some ground. It was also reported that Owen Pappoe took a lead role in James’s recruitment while the 4-star was on campus. A decision is likely to come in July. I still think Alabama is going to be really difficult to beat in this race.
  • 4-star WR Darrius Clemons - Clemens was the top rated player to officially visit the first weekend of June and raved about his experience. He went as far as to say that Auburn is his current leader with the caveat he still had three more official visits scheduled. He was in Los Angeles this past weekend and while he had positive things to say, I didn’t get the impression the Trojans had passed the Tigers. The real threat though is this weekend when he visits Happy Valley. Auburn, Penn State, and Oregon will likely be the top contenders in this race up until National Signing Day.
  • 4-star S Emory Floyd - After a recent Rivals bump, Floyd is now a 4-star on 247 Composite. Auburn’s staff though saw his talent immediately and made him a priority early this cycle. That made them his top team though recently he backed off those comments telling AuburnUndercover’s Keith Niebuhr that Auburn, Florida, and Georgia are all even right now. I think the Dawgs are the team to watch here especially after losing their 5-star safety commit Deyon Bouie. However, Auburn has done a great job making Floyd a priority from the start and I still think are the team to beat heading into July.
  • 3-star DL Kaleb Artis - Artis was one of the first prospects new defensive line coach Nick Eason offered after being hired. That earned Auburn the opportunity to host Artis on his first official visit. He raved about Auburn’s new staff, specifically Nick Eason, and left with the Tigers as one of his top teams. This past weekend he visited Penn State (noticing a theme here?) who appear to be the Tigers top challenger. Will distance from home play a role? If so, he probably plays for James Franklin. If not, I like Auburn’s chances. Keep an eye on that trip to Tallahassee at the end of the month as well.
  • 3-star TE Micah Riley-Ducker - I am not sure a player has spoken more positively about Auburn following an official visit then Riley-Ducker. The big time tight end prospect out of Nebraska entered his official visit with Iowa and Iowa State as the presumed favorites. I think he left with Auburn at least joining that group maybe even moving ahead. He told AuburnSports’s Jeffrey Lee that a decision will come on July 7th. His final four consists of Auburn, Iowa, Iowa State, and Illinois. I think, like Artis, it could simply come down to his willingness to travel a considerable distance from home. If he’s ok with getting out of the midwest, Auburn has a great chance at snagging one of the top tight ends in this class.
  • 3-star OT Jacob Hood - The only offensive tackle to take an official visit to the Plains so far, Hood is understandably one of Auburn’s top targets on the board right now. Unfortunately, I am not sure Auburn made a big move on that visit. I think his other two finalists of Georgia and Miami are the teams to beat right now. He was in Athens this past weekend and will be in Coral Gables at the end of the month. The Tigers got in this race thanks to Will Friend but there is still a lot of ground to make up.
  • 3-star DT Maxie Baudoin IV - If there is someone Auburn fans should have on commit watch next month it’s Baudoin. The big man out of Louisiana was the other DL prospect Nick Eason immediately offered after being hired and also made the trip to Auburn, AL the first weekend of official visits. He left with the Tigers firmly in the lead. Georgia, Florida, and Texas A&M are also major factors in his recruitment. A decision is likely to come this summer.
  • 3-star K Alex McPherson - The #1 kicker in the country grew up an Auburn fan and journeyed to the Plains the first weekend of June for an official visit. He was in College Station this past weekend, will travel to Athens this weekend and finish the month in Gainesville. Auburn and Florida appear to be the top contenders in this race. I like where the Tigers sit right now. Adding McPherson would be a huge boon for Auburn’s 2022 roster when they have to live in a world where there isn’t a Carlson on the sideline.

Auburn is actually hosting two official visitors as we speak for mid-week visits. Both are safety prospects and appear to be top priorities for the Tigers.

  • 4-star PG/S Tre Donaldson - Donaldson is actually on a basketball official visit as he’s a legitimate 2 sport collegiate athlete. Both Bruce Pearl and Bryan Harsin have offered him a scholarship and that has the Tigers in the thick of this race. He’s expected to spend some time with the football staff while on his official visit. Florida is the current favorite but Pearl’s offer has made the Tigers a real threat. We’ll see if they can unseat the Gators this week.
  • 3-star S Jaylen Lewis - Auburn fans should get real familiar with this name as Lewis is a major Auburn lean right now. The playmaker out of Brownsville, TN has scheduled all five of his official visits for this month. He’s already taken a trip to Corvallis, OR to check out the Beavers, is on campus at Auburn right now and is scheduled to visit Georgia Tech, Arkansas and Indiana later this month. The Hawgs are likely Auburn’s top threat because Lewis would really like to play with fellow Tennessean 3-star Anthony Brown in college. The pair have talked about being a package deal and both committing at the same time. Auburn appears to be the favorite for Lewis while Arkansas is the team to beat for Brown. Brown has yet to make it down to the Plains this month but I suspect he will before the dead period returns. We’ll see how committed the two are to being teammates in college next month.

Last weekend proved that these official visit lists are always in flux. Two targets, 4-star LB DeMario Tolan and 3-star WR Kaydin Pope, both cancelled their trips while 4-star CB Laterrence Welch and 4-star LB Shemar James were late additions. Don’t be surprised if there are more changeups over the next two weekends but as of today here’s who is also expected on campus in an official capacity this month.

  • 4-star CB Toriano Pride - I don’t expect this official visit to happen which makes me sad because he’s best cover corner in this class. Pride took an unofficial to Clemson this past weekend it’s highly likely he’ll be committing to the Tigers this Friday. Dabo has a “you do not visit other places” policy for his commits so expect Pride to cancel that OV if he does pull the trigger. Zac Etheridge made up some serious ground in a short period of time positioning Auburn likely 3rd on Pride’s list behind Clemson and Ohio State heading into June. But close doesn’t really matter in recruiting, it’s about who you can actually get and I don’t think the Tigers are going to get Pride.
  • 4-star OLB Trevion Williams - Williams is another example of an excellent evaluation by Auburn’s new staff. It wasn’t that long ago he was a mid tier 3-star when the Tigers offered. He’s since blown up on the camp circuit and appears poised to be one of the top EDGE prospects in the 2022 class. Getting him out of Mississippi will be no easy feat but Auburn is the team with the best chance to do so. He’s expected on the Plains this weekend for what will be a very important visit for Auburn’s chances.
  • 4-star OLB Tyrese Fearbry - Auburn’s other top OLB target hails from Pittsburgh, PA but will take an official visit to the Plains the final weekend of June. His home team Pitt is believed to be the overwhelming favorite and hosted the lanky pass rusher for an official visit the first weekend of June. He was in Lexington last weekend and will be in Happy Valley this weekend. I am not sure he’s going to leave the northeast but Auburn is going to do their best to try and convince him he should.
  • 3-star WR/S Ja’Kobi Albert - When Auburn’s new staff was hired, they very quickly made Fairfield, AL native Ja’Kobi Albert a top priority. Initially, he was being recruited just to play defense but now Auburn is offering him the opportunity to play on either side of the ball. He will officially visit the Plains this weekend and I think the Tigers are the team to beat right now. Kentucky is probably the top competitor unless Alabama decides to offer.
  • 3-star CB Marcus Allen - Allen has very quietly become one of the more coveted CB prospects in this 2022 class. His older brother plays at Georgia Tech and he took an official visit there last weekend. He’ll be on the Plains this weekend and then in Chapel Hill the following week. Alabama is reportedly in communication as well and Allen will camp in Tuscaloosa in hopes of earning an offer. He’s definitely a player that has a chance to rise to 4-star status this fall.
  • 3-star TE Kaden Helms - The teammate of Micah Riley-Ducker, Helms had originally scheduled to take an official visit next week. However, it’s sounding like that might end up being canceled as he’s started focusing on the trio of Arizona State, Oklahoma and UNC.
  • 3-star CB Myles Pollard - Lemme shoot my fake expert shot right here. Myles Pollard is a top 200 player in this class. Yes, he’s currently ranked #429 but I think that’s way off. The 6’2” 185 lb corner out of Ravenwood, TN is being recruited by Auburn, Alabama, Florida, Michigan, Oklahoma, and Washington. Not bad for a mid tier 3-star. He’ll be on Auburn’s campus at the end of the month. I really like this kid’s upside and hoping the Tigers can make a move.
  • 3-star CB Jarell Stinson (AU Commit) - Stinson is the only member of Auburn’s 2022 class that did not commit to Bryan Harsin so unsurprisingly he’s the only member of Auburn’s 2022 class taking official visits to other schools. He’s already been to Florida and UCF for official visits and will be in Auburn at the end the month. Stinson visited right when things reopened at the beginning of June to meet with the new staff in person before going on his other visits. While the Gators are a legit threat, I think he ends up sticking with the Tigers.
  • 3-star WR Jay Fair - Auburn will now use a typical slot WR in their 11 personnel packages. As such, the Tigers have started targeting smaller, quicker wideouts to fill that role. Fair is a perfect example of the prototype Harsin wants. He’s a 5’11” 182 pound speedster out of Texas who has already officially visited TCU and Florida. He’ll be in Auburn this weekend before likely making a decision next month. Getting him out of Texas could be difficult but the Tigers have a shot.
  • 3-star WR Camden Brown - I feel very safe in saying that Brown will be Auburn’s next commit in the 2022 class. I also feel very safe in saying that he’s not the 610th player in America. Like Pollard, I think he’s vastly underrated. Brown transferred to St. Thomas Aquinas last fall and was stuck behind four D1 receivers. This year he’ll get to be the top guy and after his performance at Auburn’s camp where he won the offensive MVP, I feel safe saying he’s gonna have a monster year. He will officially visit the last weekend of June and announce his decision on July 1st. A lot of AU fans won’t be excited because they’ll see the low rating. But I think come signing day a whole lot of folks are gonna be pumped to see him in Auburn’s class.

Unofficial Visitors

Auburn has also hosted many unofficial visitors over the past couple of weeks and more show up on campus every single day. While this list is far from exhaustive, it features the top Auburn targets to have made it to campus this summer and who will likely at least consider taking an official visit this fall.

  • 5-star S Kamari Wilson - Wilson visited AU as part of the IMG bus tour. He seemed to come away impressed and claimed he’d be back for a game this fall. However, UGA looks to be the overwhelming favorite in his recruitment.
  • 5-star DT Mykel Williams (USC Commit) - There was some buzz that Auburn had made up some ground after getting the big time DL out of GA to visit but Williams surprised a lot of people this week by committing to USC following his official visit. His recruitment is likely far from over but I am not sure how big a factor Auburn will be moving forward.
  • 4-star DT Khurtiss Perry - AU made up some serious ground on his visit earlier this June and this is likely to be a major AU-AL battle to the finish.
  • 4-star DT Tyre West (UGA Commit) - West made a somewhat of a surprise visit earlier this month to meet with the new staff. He clicked with Nick Eason and will likely take an official visit this fall. FWIW there’s some buzz on UGA message boards that West and UGA could be drifting apart. If that proves true, I would expect Auburn to be a factor.
  • 4-star OT Riley Quick - The big question with Quick is will he play football or baseball? As of today, I actually think he might be leaning baseball. If he does decided to play football, I like Auburn’s chances.
  • 4-star WR Antonio Williams - One of the most explosive wideouts in the 2022 class, Williams took an unofficial to AU earlier this week. If Clemson offers it might not matter who is after him, otherwise it’s a wide open race.
  • 4-star LB TJ Dudley - Dudley has not yet made it to campus but he’s expected to before the end of June. He will take an official visit during the fall.
  • 4-star WR Barion Brown - Another elite prospect from Tennessee took a very under the radar trip to Auburn last week. Alabama is believed to be the top team but the Tigers could be quietly making a move.
  • 4-star DL Caden Story - Story was initially expected to take an official visit to Auburn this month but elected to push it to the fall. He took an unofficial the first week of the summer. I believe Auburn remains his leader though everything could change if Alabama decides to offer.
  • 4-star WR Jayden Gibson - One of the freakier players in this class, Gibson is set to visit the Plains this month. Getting him out of the state of Florida will be difficult.
  • 4-star QB Holden Geriner (AU Commit) - Originally, Auburn’s QB commit was supposed to take an official visit last weekend but he changed it to a 3 day unofficial instead to save his OV for the fall. Geriner earned an Elite 11 invite and continues to climb up the rankings while also recruiting hard for the Tigers.
  • 4-star OL/DL Tae Woody - A former 3-star, Rivals moved Woody to just outside the top 100 after some impressive camp performances. Auburn initially was recruiting him strictly as an offensive tackle but he’s been impressing as a DT on the camp circuit and the Tigers are now going to give him the choice to choose which side he wants to play. Auburn and Florida State appear to be top contenders.
  • 4-star LB Stone Blanton - Blanton has yet to make it campus though he’s expected to do so before the end of the month. A Mississippi State baseball commit, Blanton is exploring all his options before making a final decision and Auburn looks to be a factor.
  • 4-star RB Damari Alston - LSU blew away Alston on his OV and a number of predictions came in for the Bayou Bengals but Alston was on Auburn’s campus later that week and it sounds like the Tigers made an impact too. If Auburn misses on Hampton next month don’t be surprised if Alston emerges as Auburn’s new top RB target.
  • 4-star WR Amarion Brown (Rutgers Commit) - Brown earned an offer the first week of June and was very honest about how impressed he was with the Tigers. The Rutgers commit is likely to return for an official this fall.
  • 4-star CB Benjamin Morrison - Before June this was shaping up to be a Washington vs Notre Dame battle but following a trip to the southeast, it’s looking like this could be a good ole fashioned Iron Bowl showdown for the Arizona native. New Auburn defensive coordinator Derek Mason was friends with Morrison’s dad as a teenager and the relationship played a huge role in getting him on campus earlier this month.
  • 4-star OL Qae’shon Sapp - Auburn was not a factor for Sapp before the coaching change. Now the Tigers are coming on strong to challenge Florida State. The Noles still hold the edge but the AU is likely to host the GA native on an official visit at some point.
  • 4-star WR Omari Kelly - Kelly was a top target for Auburn’s former staff. While he remains on Auburn’s radar, I am not so sure he’s as high on the new staff’s board. Keep an eye on UGA who might like him more on the defensive side of the ball.
  • 3-star CB Nick Cull - Another player that hasn’t reportedly made it to campus yet but someone that I think will before the month is over. He did visit for A-Day.
  • 3-star OT Eston Harris Jr. - On the first day visits were allowed Harris was on Auburn’s campus. He’s without question one of the top 5 targets for Auburn this cycle. The only problem is he seems to be waiting for a committable offer from Alabama. If it comes, I am not sure he’ll pass. If not, he will likely be an Auburn Tiger.
  • 3-star LB EJ Lightsey - The GA native reportedly had a private workout with the staff earlier this month and will likely take an official visit in the future.
  • 3-star RB Quinshon Judkins - Judkins has been a top target for AU’s new staff since Harsin was hired. He reportedly spent two hours with Auburn’s head coach on an unofficial visit last week. Penn State and Florida are Auburn’s top competitors.
  • 3-star DL R.J. Moss - The Mississippi standout camped at Auburn in hopes of landing an offer earlier this month. It didn’t come but it sounds like it could this fall. If Auburn ever offers, I like their chances. As of now, Mississippi State is the team to beat.
  • 3-star OLB Joshua Josephs - Per AuburnUndercover’s Jason Caldwell, Josephs spent a lot of time with Auburn’s new outside linebackers coach Bert Watts at a camp earlier this month. He’s been blowing up this spring and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him land an offer from the Tigers at some point. Kentucky, Michigan, Penn State, and Tennesse are all hard after the linebacker.
  • 3-star QB Tevin Carter - There are some split opinions on Carter’s ability. Rivals has him as a 4-star while 247 rates him as a mid 3-star and ESPN sees him as a low 3-star. He threw for Auburn’s staff last week as the Tigers continue to evaluate a possible 2nd QB.
  • 3-star LB Powell Gordon (AU Commit) - Auburn’s most recent commit has been on campus multiple times this summer including camping earlier this week. He’s not planning to visit any other programs and doesn’t appear to be much of a recruiting camp type of guy so I don’t expect his rating to rise much over the year. But this kid will undoubtedly be one of the most disruptive players on the field every Friday night this fall.
  • 3-star OL Drew Bobo - He had to camp to earn his offer which is exactly what Bobo wanted. Now this is shaping up to be an Auburn vs UGA battle.
  • 3-star QB Conner Harrell - The instate playmaker threw for Auburn’s new offensive coordinator Mike Bobo earlier this month in hopes of landing an offer. The Tigers have been working out multiple quarterbacks as it’s looking likely they will take a 2nd this cycle. If an offer comes I would expect Harrell to begin to trend Auburn’s way.

War Eagle!