Auburn Family News: Auburn Football Recruiting: Big Cat Weekend Recap

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Auburn Football Recruiting: Big Cat Weekend Recap

Although Auburn landed no commitments, it was another successful Big Cat event on the Plains.

I apologize ahead of time for this obnoxiously long article but there’s a whole lot of information to cover.

Last Thursday, I speculated that AU could see as many as five commits this past weekend. Realistically, I didn’t think that would happen but felt pretty confident Auburn would get two in 3* WR Shedrick Jackson and 4* WR Matthew Hill.

Auburn got zero....

I want to take this moment to remind the wonderful readers here at College and Magnolia that I am not a paid expert….

The zero commitments aside, it appears the Tigers had a great weekend. Auburn solidified themselves as leaders, or at least appeared to do so, with some of their top targets including Shedrick Jackson, Matthew Hill, 3* S Joseph Foucha, 3* DE Andres Fox, 3* CB Juanyeh Thomas and S Charles McClelland. It appears Auburn has also battled their way to a close #2 for 4* LB JJ Peterson (Alabama #1), 4* LB Channing Tindall (South Carolina #1) and 4* LB Michael Harris (Ohio State #1). I think Travis Williams will get one, if not more, of those 3 before it’s all said and done.

If you want a play by play recap of this past Saturday, I highly recommend the 247 live thread that Keith Niebuhr ran. It’s long but gives you an idea of the flow of the day. Also, Benjamin Wolk over at SECCountry put together a nice recap as well. Based on those and reports by AL.com and Rivals, I have compiled a list of players that made the trip. I have it broken down by position with notes on each player:

Quarterback

Auburn had zero QB visitors this weekend but that shouldn’t worry anybody. Auburn commit 4* Joey Gatewood and the Tigers’ top target, 5* Justin Fields (more on him later), were both in Oregon at the Elite 11 competition.

Runningback

  • 4* Asa Martin - Martin’s recruitment has become a 3 team battle between Auburn, Alabama and Florida. There hasn’t been much info out on his visit this past weekend but from what I can tell it was another successful trip. He will be choosing between his top 3 on August 24th. I personally think he lands with Auburn though Alabama is absolutely a major threat.

Wide Receiver

Unfortunately, 4* Jacob Copeland did not make the trip. I have seen a few reports that Auburn might be focusing in on some different guys but not sure how true or not true that might be. There was apparently also a chance 4* Marquez Ezzard might stop by but didn’t. However, as you see below, there were plenty of big names on hand

Tight End

Offensive Line

Defensive Line

Linebacker

Unfortunately 3* Richard Jibunor and 4* Zakoby McClain were unable to make the trip. Still Auburn had quite a few of their top targets on hand:

Cornerback

4* Jalyn Armour-Davis elected to go to Tuscaloosa Saturday instead of Auburn. That ship looks like it has all but sailed away... The good news is Auburn has emerged as a top threat for another highly rated CB.

  • 4* Kyler McMichael - That other highly rated CB is McMichael. Auburn really wasn’t on his radar a few months ago but now might be battling Clemson for the top spot. He was set to commit soon but Auburn’s recent push has made him hold off. Definitely a name to watch moving forward.
  • 3* Juanyeh Thomas - I thought there was a chance Thomas might commit this past Saturday and he even said the thought crossed his mind. However, the talented athlete out of Florida decided to hold off and take his visits. He didn’t eliminate the possibility he could commit on a return trip in July.
  • Xavier Lanier - I know nothing about this kid and it doesn’t appear the recruiting services do either. However, the fact he got a Big Cat Weekend invite shows that AU has some serious interest in him. Lanier said that if AU offers, then it will be tough to turn that down.
  • 2019 Jammie Robinson - Crisp County has become a fertile recruiting ground with Markaviest Bryant in 2017, Quay Walker in 2018 and now Robinson in the 2019 class. As of now the Tide are the leader.

Safety

  • 3* Jamien Sherwood - After the evaluation period, Sherwood has emerged as one of Greg Brown’s top safety targets. I have seen some make Jabrill Peppers comparisons in that he’s a hybrd safety, linebacker and even wide receiver type of player. It will be hard to pull him out of Florida but Auburn is making a push.
  • 3* Joseph Foucha - Foucha was another recruit that almost pulled the trigger Saturday. The New Orleans native plans to release a top 3 later this summer and Auburn should make the cut. I personally think Foucha is one of the top safeties in the southeast and if AU could get him and Quindarious Monday that would be a major success.
  • 3* Charlie Thomas - Thomas committed to Georgia Tech this week so obviously Big Cat Weekend didn’t have too big of an affect on him.
  • Charles McClelland - AU offered McClelland last week and the GA native decided to make the trek to Auburn for Big Cat Weekend. I am unsure where he is on Auburn’s board but he’s definitely somebody to keep an eye on.

Athlete

The athlete tag means that either the coaching staff isn’t quite sure what spot they want them at but still want to sign them or there are multiple positions they think they could play once they arrived.

  • 3* Kolbi Fuqua - I have never been completely sold on Fuqua being an SEC WR. Not that he’s a bad player just that I think he projects more as a safety at the next level. It’s starting to sound like that’s where he might end up next season. Barring something crazy happening Fuqua seems like a lock to sign with the Tigers.
  • 3* Tae Provens - This is an interesting recruitment to track. He has had Tennessee as his favorite but AU has recently gotten back involved. As Saturday progressed, rumors started emerging he might commit but it never happened. It could be because he wants to play running back but Auburn wants him as a defensive back. If he rejects the athlete label he will probably pick Tennessee when he commits in August, if not then I like AU’s chances.

Justin Fields Decommits

Buckle up folks, things are about to get wild. This past Tuesday night, Auburn’s top remaining QB target, 5* Justin Fields, announced he was decommitting from Penn State. This isn’t a shock but it no doubt ramps up the recruitment for the 5*. If you don’t know why there is so much hype around this kid, watch his highlights. Seriously do it right now:

Fields has gone from a player that was considered a quality QB in this class to challenging all world recruit 5* QB Trevor Lawrence for the top spot in this class. Fields is a true dual threat QB who can take it 80 yards with his feet or chuck it 80 yards down the field.

Auburn, Florida, Florida State and Georgia appear to be the top four teams though Alabama, LSU and of course Penn State will also try to get in the picture. For Auburn, Cam Newton could prove the difference as Fields plays for his 7v7 team and the two have become close. The Tigers need to get him on campus before you can feel confident about AU landing him. I personally think Auburn has a better than good chance of snagging Fields but it’s going to be an insane battle no matter what. No doubt I will be talking more about him in future posts.

Other News

  • I have been on the Master Teague bus since AU offered back in February. I personally think he’s the 4th best RB in this class behind Zamir White, Lorenzo Lingard and James Cook. I could even be convinced he’s #2 behind White. Well I think more people are catching on especially after his ridiculous performance at Alabama’s camp Sunday.

At this time it sounds like the Georgia Bulldogs are trending but Auburn’s a threat. Watch out though for Alabama and Ohio State who could both be offering soon.

  • Speaking of offers, it was not a great weekend for AU and 4* S Quindarious Monday. He camped at Georgia Thursday, who is pushing hard for the talented safety, missed Big Cat Weekend because of a 7v7 event and now a school he has been wanting an offer from the most in Clemson finally pulled the trigger over the weekend. It will be interesting to see how this affects his recruitment. Just a few months ago I thought AU was in line to land both 4* CB Jalyn Armour-Davis and Monday but now there’s a very good chance they get neither. That’s recruiting for you…
  • Finishing on a happier note, I do think things are going to pickup for Auburn over the next few months. I know I hinted at big things that didn’t happen this Saturday but it does seem like a number of top targets are getting closer to decisions and quite a few I think will pick the Tigers. Camp season is now underway so some new names might pop up too. After the next two weeks of camp, I plan on doing a big update on Auburn’s recruiting board and possibly even attempt a class projection. All that to say, stay patient, good news should be on the way soon for Auburn Recruiting.

War Eagle!



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