It’s been a long time since any football recruit has had a chance to officially visit Auburn. That drought came to an end this weekend when Auburn welcomed six top targets on campus for official visits. Not only were these six official visitors the first since last January to officially visit Auburn but this was also the first time Bryan Harsin has had a chance to officially host top prospects since becoming Auburn’s new head coach.
From all indications, his first official visit weekend was a success. Three named Auburn their leader while the other three included Auburn among their top schools. Don’t be surprised if most, if not all of these official visitors end up in Auburn’s 2022 signing class.
Clemons had the quote of the weekend telling AuburnUndercover’s Keith Niebuhr that Auburn’s new staff “recruit the hell out of people. They know what to do when it comes to recruiting.”
Said @DarriusClemons, the No. 1 recruit in the state of Oregon, about @CoachHarsin's Auburn staff: ""They recruit the hell out of people. They know what to do when it comes to recruiting." Full story here (VIP) https://t.co/QTzar5uxcX pic.twitter.com/ElyxEPeN45— Keith Niebuhr (@Keith247Sports) June 7, 2021
The elite playmaker out of Oregon was in Auburn for four days this past weekend and it appears he liked what he saw. He told AuburnSports’s Jeffrey Lee that the visit greatly exceeded his expectations and that the Tigers were now his top school though he did caveat that statement with the note he’s only been on one official visit.
“They are in the lead right now, but take that with a grain of salt,” Clemons said. “That’s my first official visit, so of course I’m going to be wowed. I’m sure I’ll feel the same way about the rest of my visits, but I loved my visit to Auburn and couldn’t have asked for a better experience.
“I love the culture. They have good quarterbacks and a good defense, but they don’t have a lot of depth at wide receivers. I think that provides someone like me a great opportunity.”
As crazy as it sounds, I truly believe this is a recruitment Auburn can win. It’s no sure thing and the Tigers will have to survive some official visits to USC, Penn State, and Michigan. The home state Ducks are likely to be top contenders too especially now that 5-star WR Caleb Burton has reaffirmed his commitment to the Buckeyes. This recruitment is likely to go for a few more months as Clemons doesn’t appear to be in a hurry to make a decision. But I really like where the Tigers sit right now. Those relationships with Harsin and others from their time at Boise along with the opportunity to play in the SEC puts Auburn in a really good spot.
Artis expects to make his decision in mid-July and the Tigers have a great shot at being the choice. The versatile big man out of New York flew down to spend the weekend on the Plains and came away impressed. In particular, he loved spending time around new Auburn defensive line coach Nick Eason who continues to be a favorite among top recruits.
Artis said he’s extremely high on Eason: “Great guy. When he first offered me he said I was one of the first guys he’s offered at my position. We talk about life ... about anything. He’s a great guy.” He also likes Eason’s NFL experience. “It’s important because I want someone that’s been around the game, has knowledge and can get me to the next level. I want to be one of the greatest.”
Given he was one of the first players Eason offered, I feel safe in saying he’s someone near the top of Auburn’s DL board. He has four more official visits scheduled this month to Penn State, Virginia, Florida State, and Indiana. I really think, like Clemons, the Nittany Lions are going to be Auburn’s top competition in this race.
In terms of importance, you could make a real case that Jacob Hood was the Tigers’ #1 target on campus over the weekend. The big man out of Tennessee has been one of Auburn’s top targets since Will Friend was hired and the Tigers are hoping that relationship is enough to tilt things in their favor. However, UGA lurks as a major threat in this race and Hood plans to officially visit Athens this weekend. Miami is the other top contender and he’ll visit Coral Gables later this month. A decision could come this summer.
I think most people believed Auburn was the team to beat for Baudoin heading into his official visit but it wasn’t officially confirmed by Baudoin until this weekend.
“Auburn is definitely at the top of my list,” Baudoin said. “Just the place. I love Auburn — the city, the campus.”
The competition to land Baudoin is fierce with Georgia, Florida, and Texas A&M considered Auburn’s top competition. The Louisiana native will likely camp in Baton Rouge sometime this month in hopes of landing an offer. Obviously, that would greatly shake up his recruitment but I still think the Tigers have positioned themselves well in this race. It would not surprise me if he was a member of Auburn’s class by kick off in September.
I thought there was a chance Floyd might pull the trigger this weekend but given the fact visits have just now reopened, it’s not a surprise he didn’t. Either way, Auburn is still the team to beat and appear to have improved upon their lead.
“They’re still No. 1, I really like Auburn a lot,” Floyd said. “Everything around here is homey and I just love the school a lot.”
Georgia and Florida are both heavily involved as well and will likely host Floyd on an official visit at some point. Still, Auburn appears to be way out in front as the new staff has done a great job selling his fit in Derek Mason’s new scheme. Floyd has a lot of the skills to be an elite defensive back in the SEC. It would not shock me to see him steadily climb the rankings this off-season.
The #1 kicker in the 2022 class grew up an Auburn fan and got to live out a childhood dream by taking an official visit to the Plains this weekend. While McPherson won’t specifically name any leaders, it’s clear the Tigers are likely the team to beat right now. With this being Anders Carlson’s last year on the Plains, he’d have the opportunity to step in immediately and be Auburn’s kicker in 2022. I just think it’s going to be hard for the Fort Payne native to pass up that opportunity.
4-star UGA Commits Visits
The focus this weekend was understandably on official visitors but Auburn did host a handful of notable unofficial visitors as well. None bigger than UGA commit 4-star DT Tyre West. The #68 ranked player in the country chose the Dawgs over Auburn, Florida, Kentucky, and Ohio State in December. However, it doesn’t appear he’s completely closed the door on his recruitment.
West is from Mike Bobo’s area in south Georgia and Auburn’s new offensive coordinator reportedly played a large role getting the big man to campus. Unsurprisingly, West also connected with new Auburn defensive line coach Nick Eason. He told AuburnUndercover’s Keith Niebuhr that there’s an 80-90% chance he’ll be back for an official visit.
Auburn has never flipped a player from UGA since Kirby Smart’s arrival. That’s something that must change in the future if the Tigers wish to recruit at the level needed to consistently compete for SEC titles. Let’s see if Eason and this new staff can get West on campus again and put the Tigers in position to end that drought.
Auburn’s First High School Camp
Today will be Auburn’s first camp for high school prospects this summer and the first one held by Bryan Harsin. It’s these type of events that were missing last calendar year that greatly hurt teams’ ability to evaluate prospects in person and for underrated prospects to get noticed. Now it seems a program is hosting one every day. Auburn will likely have 300+ plus kids on campus all hoping to impress the staff. I fully expect some new offers to go out, especially in the 2023 class, but I’ll be paying especially close attention to any 2022 kids who earn an offer. Some prospects of note that will reportedly be in Auburn today
- 4-star OT Riley Quick
- 3-star QB Tevin Carter
- 3-star OT Anez Cooper
- 2023 4-star DL Keldrick Faulk
- 2023 4-star QB Malachi Singleton
- 2023 4-star OG Madden Sanker
- 2023 3-star OT Koby Keenum
- 2023 DL Hunter Osborne
- 2023 WR DJ Tyler