Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Auburn Tigers football recruiting notebook with Auburn recruiting beat writer Benjamin Wolk. It’s Friday, and SEC Country talks with Christian Tutt about shutting down his recruitment. Also, there were important early signing developments. The Tigers are looking at a legacy target. And finally, clarification on a surprising offer.
Cornerback commit readies for Auburn after OSU-Tennessee push
A Wednesday night in-home film session with Auburn defensive backs coach Greg Brown helped 4-star cornerback Christian Tutt realize he’d made the right decision.
Tutt committed to Auburn shortly after his official visit for the Georgia game. He cited early playing time and proximity to home as the primary reasons. Still, last-minute pushes from a pair of programs — Ohio State and Tennessee — had him thinking.
But Brown went to the Tutt household Wednesday and broke down why Tutt needs to suit up for the Auburn Tigers.
“Coach Brown was actually right here [Wednesday]. We were watching film and stuff, he was showing me where I was going to fit in this defense,” Tutt told SEC Country. “We watched some schemes, some snag, some of the concepts they do. They’re just trying to get me prepared, getting in tune, for when I get there.”
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Tutt will be at Auburn in short order.
He confirmed to SEC Country on Wednesday he plans to move in this weekend along with a few other commits. Tutt and others will be on campus for bowl practices, so he’ll move in before he can sign next week. Any pushes from Ohio State and Tennessee have been nixed.
“Me and a couple of guys, we’re supposed to be actually going up Saturday and moving in so we can practice during bowl week. We can’t play or anything, but they want us to come up and practice during bowl week. So that’s what we’ll do,” Tutt said. “I’m ready to get all of this behind me. All this recruiting, it’s been hectic. I’m just ready to get out there with the guys and build relationships and all that.”
The Tigers had to fight until the end.
Ohio State had been around since the beginning. Urban Meyer & Co. visited Tutt during the in-home period, and he stayed in contact with former a Nebraska defensive backs coach — Tutt’s closest player-coach relationship — who was entertaining potential job opportunities elsewhere, including Ohio State, but that never came to fruition.
Tennessee also entered the mix when Jeremy Pruitt took the coaching job. Pruitt stayed in regular communication with Tutt’s father over the last few weeks.
Ultimately, Auburn was able to win out.
“Just those two, Ohio State and Tennessee. I’m still committed to Auburn. But they just stayed after me, because I haven’t signed those papers yet. So they’re still on me. They’re still recruiting me,” Tutt said.
In the end, Tutt’s reasoning for sticking with Auburn remained the same as when he committed.
Brown made the message clear that, especially if Carlton Davis leaves for the NFL, the Tigers will have a hole to fill at cornerback. He feels Tutt has the ability to step in to fill that void, and that’s what Tutt intends to do.
“The message I got from him was that there was a need for corners right now. He told me that this was the most perfect opportunity for me, because I’m the only corner committed, and I’m the only one coming in December,” Tutt said. “He doesn’t even know who is going to replace Carlton. So that’s why he said, ‘This is the perfect opportunity for you to come in and establish yourself and come and start.’ The whole front seven, they’re not going anywhere. They just need a little help in the back end. That’s why I’m trying to come in and compete for that starting job.”
Early signing information for Auburn commits
The 4-star offensive guard from Stone Mountain, Ga., altered his signing plans. He’ll sign with Auburn next week on Dec. 20 rather than wait until February as originally planned. The change came following an in-home visit with Herb Hand and Larry Porter who encouraged Irvin to use the early period to finalize the process.
Irvin didn’t need much more convincing than that. He will wait until May to graduate from Stephenson High School.
Along with Irvin, on Thursday, SEC Country learned several signing/early enroll plans for Auburn commits.
Seth Williams and Kam Stutts won’t enroll early, but both intend to sign next week.
Stutts will sign his paperwork on Dec. 20, though he doesn’t have a specific time set, and it won’t be a big ceremony. He’ll save that for February to do a mock signing ceremony with the rest of his Brooks High School teammates. Williams hasn’t set a date or time for his signing next week, but it’s something he’ll discuss with his family this weekend.
Asa Martin will leave the Alabama-Mississippi all-star game on Saturday and head straight for Auburn. He’s moving in on Saturday as a way to participate in Auburn’s bowl practices. Martin isn’t sure how the signing process works for prospects who are already on campus for bowl practices, but the ink will be put to paper some time on Dec. 20 most likely.
The same goes for Christian Tutt who, despite the push from other programs (laid out above), will move in over the weekend. He will take in the Tigers’ bowl practices, which will be an especially important learning experience for Tutt since Auburn might need him to step in immediately in the 2018 season.
Shedrick Jackson will move in Monday and sign at some point between Dec. 20 and Dec. 22.
I wasn’t able to confirm it directly with the prospects, but my sources believe Josh Marsh, Joey Gatewood, Daquan Newkirk and Quindarious Monday will all move in early to participate in bowl practices. Jamien Sherwood will sign next week and enroll early, but his move-in date has been finalized.
Auburn still monitoring in-state legacy Nathaniel Watson
The Tigers have a few of the best pass-catchers at the Alabama-Mississippi all-star game already in the class — wide receiver commits Seth Williams and Shedrick Jackson.
When it’s all said and done, they might not be the only prospects in the showcase who suit up for Auburn. Obviously 4-star wide receiver target Justyn Ross will be a top target for Auburn, Alabama and Clemson leading up to National Signing Day.
But there’s another in-state prospect to keep an eye on: 3-star athlete Nathaniel Watson, a Mississippi State commit.
Watson’s great uncle, Tommie Agee, and cousin, Harold Morrow, played for the Tigers. It’s not out of the question for Watson to do the same, but it’ll take a couple of dominoes to fall first.
Auburn is evaluating Watson as a potential tight end option.
The Tigers would like to take a tight end after missing on Alabama commit Michael Parker. They’re still in the game for 4-star tight end Luke Ford who will decide in January between Auburn and Georgia. If Auburn were to miss on Ford, Watson would likely be the go-to backup option.
Auburn offers Texas running back commit (sort of)
An interesting tidbit hit the web Thursday when 4-star Texas running back commit Keaontay Ingram tweeted out an offer from Auburn.The Tigers already have two running backs committed in the Class of 2018 in 4-star Asa Martin and 3-star Shaun Shivers. Ingram’s tweet raised the question: Do the Tigers plan on taking three?
For now, at least, the answer is no.
As it turns out, Ingram actually received the offer from Auburn earlier in the year, but it was never communicated to him by his high school coach. There really isn’t much more to it than that, but when the “news” finally reached him on Thursday, Ingram just wanted to make sure to thank the Tigers’ staff for extending the offer.
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