I wrote earlier this week that there were indications things were about to pickup in a big way on the recruiting trail for the Tigers. Later that evening, the #1 kicker in the 2022 class Alex McPherson committed to Auburn. Yesterday evening, Auburn’s top tight end target, 3-star Micah-RileyDucker, chose the Tigers over Illinois, Iowa, and Iowa State. This morning, Auburn stayed hot on the trail landing 3-star S Caleb Wooden.
July 8, 2021
Caleb is the younger brother of standout Auburn defensive lineman Colby Wooden. He’s coming off a very productive junior season where he recorded 88 tackles, 4 interceptions and forced 2 fumbles. Wooden camped at Auburn earlier this summer where he was reportedly one of the top performers. His performance was so impressive that Auburn reworked their safety board and moved the Georgia native to near the top. Now he’ll join his brother on the Plains.
Wooden is an intriguing prospect. Especially when you consider the fact that Auburn’s staff were more impressed with him than other more highly regarded targets who at one point were believed to be Auburn leans. First thing to know about Caleb is he checks all the boxes off the field Bryan Harsin wants. He’s a smart, hard-working player who will buy into the culture Harsin is trying to build on the Plains.
On the field, Wooden is a big bodied safety who excels at coming downhill to help in the run game. He plays the deep safety position for his high school where he’s asked to make plays all over the field. What jumps out quickly when watching his tape is his high football IQ. He consistently identifies the play quickly and gets in position to disrupt it. Top end speed is a question mark so being able to quickly read and react can help mitigate some range concerns. I think he likely slots in at the boundary safety spot in Mason’s scheme where Smoke Monday will start this fall. Between Wooden and Cayden Bridges it’s becoming clear that Mason has a type at that spot.
Auburn’s class has doubled in size in only three days and they are far from done this month. 4-stars RB Damari Alston and DL Caden Story have decision dates set for later this summer but a number of other high priority targets like 3-star LB Micah Pollard, 3-star WR Jay Fair, 3-star OL Drew Bobo, and maybe 3-star DL Maxie Baudoin IV could all announce their decisions in the coming days and weeks.
There’s still plenty of work to do in this 2022 cycle if the Tigers are gonna land inside the top 20 or better but the staff’s efforts in the month of June are starting to produce results. Come kickoff, Auburn should have the foundation of this 2022 class in place.
War Eagle Caleb!