Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Auburn Tigers football recruiting notebook with Auburn recruiting beat writer Benjamin Wolk. It’s Thursday, and SEC Country previews the official visit weekend ahead.
Auburn is on tap for another momentous recruiting weekend.
The Tigers hope to build off the two commitments in three days from Mississippi defensive linemen Jamond Gordon and Jaren Handy. Another Mississippi defensive line prospect will be on his official visit this weekend. Two other official visitors — one from Georgia and one from Florida — will also take their official visits this weekend.
Here is the latest on each:
4-star DE Nathan Pickering, Seminary, Miss.
To my knowledge, this will be defensive line target Nathan Pickering’s first visit to Auburn since his trip back in February. Multiple other Mississippi recruits made that tour with him — including Charles Moore and Derick Hall who have emerged as top targets, too — but Pickering was the headliner of the visit thanks to his top-50 national ranking.
My message on Pickering has always been to watch for a return visit. He has spoken highly of Auburn in the past, but Pickering is the type of person who isn’t going to speak negatively on any of the programs he’s visiting. He has a lot of respect for the process and each of the coaching staffs recruiting him.
Well, that return visit is finally here — and in official visit form.
Any trip back to the Plains would’ve been big. The fact it will be Pickering’s first official visit means even more.
“The trip was great. Auburn is somewhere I wanted to experience and I loved it,” Pickering said after his last visit. “They obviously will be a factor. When I put my top schools out, Auburn will be high on it. I loved it. … I’ll definitely be back. Anytime I get a chance to come, I’m coming.”
Pickering will actually take a slightly different official visit schedule than normal. He will arrive at Auburn on Thursday and leave Saturday as opposed to the typical Friday to Sunday weekend official visits.
4-star ATH Jashawn Sheffield, St. Simons Island, Ga.
Nobody in this class has been on commit watch longer than 4-star athlete — wide receiver or safety — Jashawn Sheffield.
It reminds me of Matthew Hill in the 2018 class, a prospect that always seemed destined to land in Auburn’s class, but it is taking longer than initially expected. This looks like it could be the weekend that’s all sorted out.
Sheffield visited earlier this spring along with high school teammate Jaylin Simpson. Shortly after the weekend, Simpson committed to the Tigers. It was within reason to see Sheffield make the same decision a few days later, but he elected to be more patient and take visits to Florida State, South Carolina and Tennessee.
It was always my belief that Sheffield would take those trips and eventually return to Auburn — and commit to the Tigers. He’s on his way back this weekend for an official visit. We’ll see if the final part of that equation, the commitment, happens.
Sheffield hasn’t backed off his comments about Auburn following his last trip.
“Right now, visiting Auburn, seeing this, it’s totally different than any other college I’ve ever been. Auburn is No. 1. Just talking to the coaches, 1-on-1 time with them, it wasn’t football all the time. They were talking about after college,” Sheffield said. “It’s great. I love the coaches. I got to spend 1-on-1 time with them. I got to meet the players, see how the coaches coach. They coach their players up very well. They work hard here.”
4-star WR John Dunmore, Hollywood, Fla.
One of the biggest risers this spring has been Chaminade-Madonna Prep wide receiver John Dunmore.
He hasn’t been a name linked to Auburn, and that’s because the mutual interest is relatively newfound this summer. Auburn has focused primarily on other elite wide receivers such as Jadon Haselwood and Jalen Curry. Dunmore has been one who has always considered Auburn a top school, and it’s starting to show that the Tigers see him similarly.
Dunmore will make his official visit to Auburn this weekend. He has already taken two official visits, Penn State and Michigan.
If Dunmore’s high school rings a bell, it should. He was high school teammates with Auburn running back Shaun Shivers from the Class of 2018. Given Shivers’ outgoing nature, I’d expect him to play a major role on Dunmore’s visit this weekend.
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