Only a small percentage of high school athletes earn SEC football offers. An even smaller earn offers from SEC basketball programs. You can probably count the number of prospects that land both SEC football and basketball offers on one hand.
4-star Tre Donaldson is one of those unique prospects.
The blue chip point guard and safety prospect out of Tallahassee, FL is a legitimate SEC caliber prospect on both the hardwood and the gridiron. Today, he publicly announced he plans to take those talents to the Plains.
Truth be told, Bruce Pearl deserves the most credit for this recruitment. Florida was long seen as the favorite heading into this summer until Donaldson took a basketball official visit in June. From that point on Donaldson was Auburn’s to lose. On the football side, Derek Mason lead the way and also played an important role in his recruitment. He clicked with both staffs but Bruce pitching that Donaldson is Auburn’s #1 point guard target seemed to be the ultimate difference in this race.
I couldn’t find any specific highlight tapes for Donaldson as a bball player so I’ll just keep it simple when it comes to evaluating his basketball talent. Bruce thinks he’s one of the best point guards in the class. That should be all you need.
As for football, Donaldson played on both sides of the ball for Florida State University High School serving both as the team’s starting quarterback and safety. He lead FSU High to a 9-1 regular season record last fall completing 68% of his passes for 1,765 yards and 15 touchdowns. Also rushed for over 700 yards and 10 touchdowns. At safety he recorded over 40 tackles, picked off 2 passes and broke up 5 pass attempts. Needless to say this dude is a ball player.
A well built safety prospect at 6’1” 190 pounds, Donaldson spends most of his time defensively lined up as the deep man over the top where he patrols looking to punish poor QB decisions or deliver vicious hits. He has elite quickness allowing him to make tough open field tackles. There’s a surprising physicality to his play considering he’s also a prominent bball player and QB. This kid ain’t afraid of contact and is a violent striker. I think he’s probably best suited for the boundary safety spot where Smoke Monday will start this fall though he’s got the athleticism to move to field or even the nickel.
Derek Mason has been a busy man since joining the Tigers. Auburn signed 2 prep safeties in the 2021 class (though Juwon Gaston was unable to make it to campus), added 2 more via the transfer portal and now has 3 committed in the 2022 class.
Donaldson might have the most upside of any of the prep prospects Mason has brought to the Plains assuming he stays committed to playing football for the Tigers. Most likely he will eventually commit to basketball full time but it will be interesting to see if how long he can do both and whether he can be an impact player on both rosters. He’s without question one of the most athletic players in this 2022 class and gives Auburn a player with huge upside at two sports.
Auburn isn’t done today. 4-star WR Omari Kelly will announce his decision at 5 PM CT and it would be a shock at this point if the Tigers were not the pick. That would be 2 blue chip pickups in one day for Bryan Harsin and move Auburn ever closer to the top 20.
It’s been a slow grind but Auburn’s 2022 recruiting class continues to trend in the right direction.
War Eagle Tre!