At 12:01 AM on Tuesday morning, a 15 month dead period finally came to an end. The floodgates are now open and players from across the country from 2022 kids to 2024 and beyond are hitting the roads to make up for lost time. Programs everywhere are working their tails off to get as many top targets on campus as possible. The madness is finally here.
It was an eventful first day on the Plains as a number of targets made the trek in order to meet with Auburn’s new staff in person and tour the campus. For some, it was an opportunity to workout for the staff and attempt to earn themselves an offer. Remember, no staffs anywhere have been able to get eyes on players in person to evaluate their skillsets. Everything has been virtual or via film. Recruiting boards across the country are about to get switched up as coaching staffs get a chance to check these prospects out in person.
Given the insanity of this month, I am going to be doing almost daily updates to stay on top of everything that’s going on. If you want breaking news updates, AuburnUndercover’s Keith Niebuhr and AuburnSports’s Jeffrey Lee are your follows. These are really daily recaps of their reporting.
Let’s take a look at what went down on day 1 of the return to normalcy in recruiting.
Jordan Ingram Officially A Tiger
There have long been rumors that this would happen but yesterday it was finally confirmed. Former St. Paul’s standout and Central Michigan signee Jordon Ingram will be an Auburn Tiger.
He was reportedly on campus yesterday to work out for the staff and will enroll this summer. He will go on scholarship in August and count against the 2022 class giving the Tigers a 5th running back on the roster heading into 2021.
It’s very clear this staff has a type at running back. They prefer agile, wide bodied backs who excel in zone based schemes. When you turn on Jarquez Hunter’s tape and Jordon Ingram’s, you see a lot of the same things. Kids with size who move well laterally, flash excellent vision and aren’t afraid of contact. Both lack elite top end speed but both are capable of grinding out yards between the tackles against SEC competition.
Hopefully we get to see both a bunch those first two weeks of September.
Tigers Offer JUCO Defensive Back
I was curious if the spring JUCO season would result in any late JUCO additions to the 2021 class. It’s looking like that could be happening as Auburn offered 3-star defensive back Roterius Torrence yesterday.
Torrence had an excellent season for Hutchinson Community College who is set to play Snow College for the JUCO national championship on Saturday. He recorded 20 tackles, 3 TFL and 6 pass breakups in 7 games thus far.
His performance caught the eye of Tennessee’s new staff and the Volunteers offered last week and landed his commitment. However, early yesterday he decommitted from the Vols likely due to Auburn’s offer. Torrence is originally from Bessemer and it appears the opportunity to come play instate might be too much to pass up.
Torrence is a big kid at 6’3” 195 lbs. That length allows him to excel as a press corner where he can bully wide receivers at the line of scrimmage and disrupt their releases. He plays a bunch of man coverage at Hutchinson and holds up well. I think speed will be the big question at the next level. Does he have enough to recover if he gets beat at the line of scrimmage? He could also slide to safety or nickel if needed.
He’s listed as a sophomore for Hutchinson so due to the free COVID year he will have four years of eligibility essentially making him another freshman signee in the 2021 class ala Joko Willis. Expect a decision soon.
June 1st Unofficial Visitors
- 3-star OT Eston Harris - There are higher ranked kids on Auburn’s board. There are more day 1 ready players on Auburn’s board. There are prospects with even flashier offer lists on Auburn’s board. But given his position, his location to campus, and his talent, you could make a real case that Eston Harris is a top 5 player in terms of importance for Auburn in this 2022 class. The 6’6” 275+ pound offensive tackle prospect made it to the Plains yesterday to meet with the coaching staff in person. Unsurprisingly, Will Friend harped on Auburn’s need for tackles and it appears Harris is listening.
Something else that stuck out to Harris was the opportunity to potentially play early at Auburn. With a huge need at offensive tackle, Auburn is making Harris a priority.
“We were looking at the practice film and we were seeing some of those guys, they were guards but they were at tackle,” Harris said. “He wasn’t saying I was just going to start but he said they need tackles.
“It’s something to think about. It’s very important to think about coming in and playing early.”
He’s set to visit UGA and Alabama this week and has an official visit scheduled with Oregon for later this month. If either the Dawgs or the Tide decide to offer things could get dicey but for now I like where the Tigers sit for the Beauregard standout.
- 3-star CB Jarell Stinson (AU Commit) - Stinson was on campus day 1 following the lift of the dead period which has to be a good sign for the Tigers. He committed while Auburn had no coach in December under the assumption that the defensive staff was being retained. That’s why Florida is lurking as a major threat to the Tigers as former AU DB coach Wesley McGriff is now running that secondary and Stinson be taking an official visit there this weekend. But he’ll be back on the Plains for an official later this month so getting some time with the staff before that OV schedule could prove big for Auburn’s chances of hanging onto the speedster out of Opelika.
- 3-star QB Conner Harrell - It’s hard to get a read on whether or not Auburn plans to sign 2 quarterbacks in the 2022 class. But it appears they are at least evaluating what’s out there and could very easily pull the trigger on someone that impresses. Maybe someone like Conner Harrell who is coming off a ridiculous debut season at Thompson? The dual sport athlete threw for Auburn’s staff yesterday morning and reportedly impressed. Auburn has not yet offered as they want to evaluate some other QBs, most notably Memphis native Tevin Carter, but it sure sounds like Harrell is someone to monitor in the coming weeks.
- 3-star WR Kody Finley - Harrell wasn’t the only 2022 prospect on campus working out for the staff in hopes of landing an offer. Auburn’s newest commit TJ Finley’s little brother Kody traveled up to the Plains to workout for the Tigers. He’s a big kid at 6’4” 180 lbs with a couple of Power 5 offers, most notably from Indiana and Kansas. Could he be joining his big brother on the Plains? Something to watch this cycle.
- LB Brad Harper - That Auburn high school defense is loaded with talent. The Tigers already have one commit off that group in 3-star Powell Gordon. Another to watch is Brad Harper. The 6’1” 210 lb thumper holds a number of FCS and G5 offers but he’s hoping to turn some heads at Power 5 schools this summer. He’s got a chance to given his combination of athleticism and size. I am not sure if he will land an AU offer but don’t be surprised if he’s on campus often this cycle.
- 2023 5-star DT James Smith - There was some concern late last night that the #6 player in the country in next year’s class would not make it to campus yesterday. Those concerns prove unnecessary as the big man along with his teammate Jaquavious Russaw made a stop in Auburn on the very first day of allowed visits. He’s without question one of the Tigers top targets in next year’s class and Nick Eason appears to be doing a great job in this recruitment. There’s a long ways to go in this race but this is absolutely someone Auburn fans should be keeping a close eye on moving forward.
- 2023 4-star OG Harris Sewell - Auburn offered the top 100 player in the 2023 class just last week. The big man out of Odessa, TX made his first ever trip to a college campus yesterday and was blown away by what he saw on the Plains.
“It was awesome,” Sewell said. “It was awesome getting to see everything. I haven’t ever been in a football facility like this.
“All the people were super nice and just the atmosphere here was pretty crazy.”
He’s expected to make a number of stops over the summer to programs like LSU, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, TCU, and Texas but it appears the Tigers have quickly made themselves a contender for one of the top OL prospects in next year’s class.
- 2023 3-star OLB/DE Jaquavious Russaw - Smith will understandably get most of the headlines but don’t sleep on Russaw. The edge prospect’s stock is on the rise and he transferred to play with Smith at Carver this fall where I expect him to have a big time season. Auburn wants to do a better job locking down local talent. Snagging both Smith and Russaw in the 2023 class would be a major step in that direction.
Expected June 2nd Visitors
Like today, chances are good a number of players will show up on campus that haven’t been reported but here are a few names that per AuburnUndercover’s Keith Niebuhr, the Tigers expect to see today.
- 5-star DT Mykel Williams - Niebuhr broke some pretty big news yesterday afternoon when he reported that Auburn is expecting the #23 ranked player in the country on campus today. The big man out of Columbus, GA visited Gainesville yesterday and will be in Athens and Tuscaloosa later this week. Those 2 are believed to be the top contenders. In fact, Auburn wasn’t believed to be much of a factor in his recruitment seeing as they didn’t make his top 10 list. But today’s visit could be a big step towards making them one.
- 4-star Khurtiss Perry - Auburn is unquestionably a top contender for Park Crossing star Khurtiss Perry. In fact, I’ll be shocked if the big man leaves the state. The Tide have long been viewed as the overwhelming favorite but new DL coach Nick Eason has Auburn deep in this race. Let’s see if some face to face time can help the Tigers chances even more.
- 4-star OT Qae’Shon Sapp - Sapp is another prospect who didn’t include AU in a recent top group list but is planning on checking out the campus anyway. He’s versatile enough he could play outside or inside at the next level. Most view Florida State as the leader right now.