Kickoff is fast approaching. Auburn’s coaching staff is focused mostly now on getting this 2021 team ready for the grind ahead but that doesn’t mean recruiting is on pause. Recruiting is a 24/7, 365 day a year gig and Auburn’s staff continues to work the trail hard in hopes of adding more impact players to next year’s roster.
Right now, Auburn is still last in the SEC and outside the top 50 per 247’s Composite Team Rankings. That’s very likely to change as two top Auburn targets are set to announce their decisions tomorrow.
First there’s 4-star Tre Donaldson out of Tallahassee, FL. He’s a unique prospect in the fact that he’s a highly recruited point guard and a highly recruited safety. In fact, he’s reportedly Bruce Pearl’s #1 PG target for the 2022 cycle. Pearl is a big reason why Auburn is considered the frontrunner ahead of Florida and Florida State. Donaldson is also close with new Auburn defensive coordinator Derek Mason but the feeling on the Plains is that if given the choice of which sport to play, Donaldson is more likely to pick basketball over football. Still, Auburn is going to give him the opportunity to at least try both when he arrives. He’s a big time playmaker who will bolster both programs.
The other name to know is 4-star WR Omari Kelly. Kelly is the top ranked wideout in the state of Alabama and a guy that’s been on Auburn’s radar for a number of years. Earlier this cycle, it looked like Kelly might be headed elsewhere possibly to Alabama or Georgia. However, both programs appear to be prioritizing other targets while the Tigers have turned the heat up in recent months. The big change in his recruitment happened at Big Cat Weekend when Kelly got plenty of 1 on 1 time with Auburn’s staff. Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, and UCF are all factors in his recruitment but all signs currently point to Kelly joining the Tigers.
Assuming Auburn adds both Donaldson and Kelly, they would move from #56 nationally to inside the top 40. The Tigers would also move out of the cellar of the SEC by jumping ahead of Ole Miss. More importantly, it would bump Auburn’s average player rating (when not including Alex McPherson’s stupidly low number) to just over 89. That would be good for 7th in the conference and position the Tigers for a strong chance of pushing for a top 15 class.
Darrius Clemons Trending AU?
Auburn has built a ton of momentum over recent months specifically following Big Cat Weekend. Adding both Donaldson and Kelly tomorrow would be huge for the Tigers’ class and have them well positioned heading into the 2021 season.
However, even bigger news could be coming next month. Arguably Auburn’s top overall target, 4-star WR Darrius Clemons, is set to unofficially visit the Plains on September 3rd when the Tigers begin the 2021 campaign against Akron. He told AuburnUndercover’s Keith Niebuhr he’s planning on taking the redeye following his high school game Friday night with his mom, dad, stepmom, and two coaches to be on the Plains for kickoff Saturday night. More importantly, he told Niebuhr that he might make a decision shortly after that game.
This is obviously huge news. The fact Clemons is not only willing to fly halfway across the country on his own dime to see Auburn play Akron but doing so with so many important people in his inner circle along with considering making a commitment shortly after makes it clear the Tigers are probably the team to beat right now. Oregon and Penn State are Auburn’s top competitors but both have loaded WR classes already. While either would take Clemons in a heartbeat, no one is pushing for the playmaker as hard as the Tigers.
We will see what goes down that first week of September. First Clemons needs to make the trip to the Plains. If that happens, then it’s all about nailing the visit. Assuming the trip happens and Auburn impresses him and his family and coaches, don’t be surprised if the Tigers class gets an even bigger boost next month.