Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Auburn football recruiting notebook with Auburn recruiting beat writer Benjamin Wolk. Today, we talk with a trio of 2019 prospects — TE Ryland Goede, WR Dominick Blaylock and OL Keiondre Jones — who enjoyed their Auburn visits last week. All three are top-100 prospects.
6-foot-7 TE likes Auburn, Georgia
Auburn fans can’t wait to see how tight ends are utilized under new offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey. The only group more intrigued by the new-look changes? The program’s tight end targets.
The Tigers still have a few options to sort through in the 2018 recruiting cycle, but they’re already laying some serious groundwork for the Class in 2019. One of the top tight ends in 2019, Ryland Goede, visited Auburn last weekend. He’s becoming a regular on the Plains.
Like many, he’s eager to see how Auburn uses its tight ends in a slightly new offensive scheme.
“They are telling me they’re going to a true tight end now instead of using both H-Backs and tight ends, and they’re telling me I’m their No. 1 guy. They want me to keep getting back over here,” Goede said. “That’s big-time. One of the first things I consider in a school is seeing how they would use me. The way (Lindsey) talked to me it seems like they’re going to be using the tight end a ton.”
At 6-foot-7 and 237 pounds, Goede offers a physical presence unmatched by other rising junior tight ends.
The new tight end conversation suggests that Auburn’s future targets will be multipurpose guys who can block on the line and also run routes on the perimeter. Goode can do it all. In the 2019 class, he’s the No. 4-ranked tight end, which places him as the No. 67 overall prospect, according to 247Sports.
Goede’s trip last weekend allowed him to check out a scrimmage. He won’t be at A-Day, but he said he’ll watch to see if there truly is much difference with the tight ends.
“I loved it. Every time I get over here it’s exciting seeing all of the coaches and meeting the new staff. I’m just creating those relationships,” Goede said. “(Auburn) is very high. I love Auburn a lot.”
With that said, he hasn’t narrowed down his list yet.
Previous reports suggested Auburn and Georgia were his top 2. That’s more of an unofficial list than anything. Those were the first two programs that recruited him, and Goede confirmed the Tigers and the Bulldogs continue to put more recruiting pressure on him than others.
But he’s still shopping.
“They have kind of a special place in my heart, but no top schools at the moment,” Goede said.
This was Goede’s last planned visit to any school for the time being. He expects to return to Auburn this summer for a camp.
Top-10 prospect in 2019 visits Auburn
The 247Sports recruiting service released its top 247 prospects in the 2019 class on Thursday. Two wide receivers made the top 10. Key Auburn target Dominick Blaylock was one of them. He came in at No. 8.
Blaylock has been on Auburn’s campus a lot over the course of his recruitment. He visited last weekend with Goede. For Blaylock, it was more of the same at a school he is quite familiar and comfortable with.
“I like the campus here, I like watching them practice — it was another good experience for me to see Auburn again,” Blaylock said. “I like (Kodi Burns) a lot. He’s a good receivers coach. It was cool to meet him, too, for the first time.”
Most of Blaylock’s communication goes through Tim Horton, his area recruiter, hence the initial meeting with the Auburn wide receivers coach.
Those relationships with Auburn need to start building in a hurry. The 6-foot, 180-pound Blaylock doesn’t expect his recruitment to carry on much longer. He has, more or less, narrowed his recruitment to three programs — Auburn, Georgia and Clemson. Most believe Georgia is the leader and that the decision is imminent.
Even Blaylock confirmed he’s on the verge of a commitment.
“I’m probably going to have where I’m going to commit this summer and probably announce it later on,” Blaylock said. “(With Auburn), I like their facilities, I like their academics here, the coaching staff and how long they’re going to stay here. I like it a lot.”
Blaylock is considering a return to take in the spring game. If not, he’ll be back over the summer prior to his final decision.
300-pound offensive lineman pits Auburn high
Along with Goede and Blaylock, offensive lineman Keiondre Jones was the other top-100 prospect in 2019 who visited last weekend. Jones ranks as the No. 4 offensive guard in the class and the No. 83 overall prospect.
Since his recruitment picked up, the 6-foot-3, 318-pound offensive guard has been on the Plains “three or four times.”
His most recent trip received a top-notch review.
“I like it a lot. It’s real nice. It’s pretty close to home. I like that it’s a small city,” Jones said. “I love it up here, man. It’s a great hometown feel. It’s very close to home.”
Those words ring true when Jones lists his top factor in making his college decision.
“Basically being comfortable wherever I’m at because I know I have three or four years there,” Jones said. “I need to be comfortable with my surroundings and have a good relationship with coaches.”
Jones’ closest coaching bond at Auburn is with offensive line coach Herb Hand.
The two have communicated ever since Hand took over as offensive line coach. Last weekend was another opportunity for that bond to grow.
“We’re really close. He got here, my first time here was his first couple weeks here, so we’ve been talking off-and-on since then,” Jones said.
Jones said Auburn, Clemson, Georgia and Ohio State are the four schools recruiting him the hardest and contacting him most frequently.
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