Happy New Year and welcome back to the Friday ritual. It’s the Class of 2017 recruiting snapshot where we take a look at all the basics of where Auburn stands.
National Signing Day, which happens on Feb. 1, is less than a month away, yet some major uncommitted prospects remain on the board. The Tigers have a top-10 class set right now, but they have a handful of spots they’d still like to fill. It appears Auburn received some positive news Thursday when the team’s only 5-star commit, Calvin Ashley, publicly assured his commitment to Auburn.
He had been flirting with Maryland for months. I still wouldn’t rule out the Terrapins, but Auburn’s chances are as good as they’ve ever been.
Since the last snapshot (pre-holiday break), Auburn has added a pair of crucial commits — quarterback Malik Willis and defensive tackle Alec Jackson, both 3-star prospects. Those additions helped Auburn work its way into a top-10 spots in the team rankings.
In negative news: Tray Bishop looks lost to Georgia. He committed to the Bulldogs at the U.S. Army Bowl and only plans to take a Georgia official visit.
Let’s dive deeper into the specifics.
Where Auburn’s 2017 recruiting class is ranked
At this time of year, these specific rankings vary from day to day because it’s that time of year for commitments and de-commitments. As of Friday morning, Auburn sits at No. 8 in the team rankings. The Tigers hold a slight advantage over Texas A&M and Notre Dame. There is a significant gap between No. 7 LSU and Auburn, but with the Tigers’ wants remaining, they have the ability to jump closer to No. 5 if they crush the finish. The only SEC teams ahead of Auburn are Alabama, Georgia and LSU.
Who are Auburn’s top 2017 commitments?
- 5-star (.9863) OL Calvin Ashley (Washington D.C.)
- 4-star (.9642) QB Jarrett Stidham (Waco, Texas)
- 4-star (.9435) LB Tadarian Moultry (Birmingham, Ala.)
- 4-star (.9372) OL Austin Troxell (Madison, Ala.)
- 4-star (.9346) OL Nick Brahms (Navarre, Fla.)
Who committed to Auburn this week?
Nobody committed this week; let’s reassess the last two.
Willis de-committed from Virginia Tech and committed to Auburn in short order just prior to 2017. I attended two of Willis’ games this fall — against Rush Propst’s Colquitt County and Chandler Wooten’s North Cobb. Willis was the star of the show both times. He played for a Roswell High (Ga.) team loaded with Division I talent, including another potential add for Auburn. But Willis fits perfectly into what Gus Malzahn and Rhett Lashlee like to do offensively. He could play multiple positions at the next level, but quarterback seems like the logical choice for Auburn.
Jackson said he wanted to be a National Signing Day hat-picker, but Auburn was too much to turn down. The big-bodied defensive lineman can play defensive end or tackle, but I think the latter makes the most sense. He has been a lifelong Auburn fan, so the commitment to the Tigers didn’t require much digging to understand its surprise immediacy. Jackson became the first defensive line commitment for Auburn this class, which was important in its own right.
Who de-committed from Auburn this week?
On the bright side, not Ashley. And, technically, Tray Bishop didn’t de-commit this week. But early this week Auburn received the news it was likely expecting for a while: Bishop is a goner. He hinted at taking a Jan. 20 official visit to Auburn, but that no longer appears to be part of the plan. Bishop was entranced by his experiences with fellow Georgia commits in the early stages of the San Antonio all-star showcase. Bishop committed during a Facebook Live interview with all the other Georgia commits in the game.
Bishop’s position at Auburn was never clear. He could’ve been a quarterback, but he wanted to play defensive back. Ultimately, Georgia had the in-state edge all the way. But this loss can’t be underestimated. Bishop is a stud. Georgia picked up a baller.
Who are Auburn’s top uncommitted prospects?
- 5-star DT Aubrey Solomon (Leesburg, Ga.)
- 4-star safety Devon Hunter (Chesapeake, Va.)
- 4-star DL Ryan Johnson (Mobile, Ala.)
- 4-star LB Tyler Taylor (Buford, Ga.)
- 4-star DE Jarez Parks (Sebastian, Fla.)
- 4-star DE Markaviest Bryant (Cordele, Ga.)
- 3-star WR Tamorrion Terry (Ashburn, Ga.)
- 3-star LB Thomas Johnston (Spanish Fort, Ala.)
Quarterback (2): Jarrett Stidham, Malik Willis
Running back (3): Devan Barrett, Alaric Williams, Octavius Matthews
Wide receiver (1): Noah Igbinoghene
Tight end (1): Salvatore Cannella
Offensive line (3): Calvin Ashley, Nick Brahms, Austin Troxell
Defensive line (1): Alec Jackson
Linebacker (3): Tadarian Moultry, KJ Britt, Chandler Wooten
Cornerback (2): Malcolm Askew, Traivon Leonard
Safety (1): Jordyn Peters, Carlito Gonzalez
Long snapper (1): Bill Taylor
Kicker (1): Anders Carlson
The geography of Auburn’s 2017 class
In-state commits: 10 — Williams, Matthews, Troxell, Moultry, Britt, Askew, Peters, Taylor, Igbinoghene, Jackson.
Out-of-state commits: 10 — Barrett, Ashley, Wooten, Gonzalez, Carlson, Brahms, Willis, Cannella, Stidham, Leonard.
Other states represented (5): Florida (Ashley, Barrett, Brahms, Leonard), Georgia (Willis, Wooten, Gonzalez), Illinois (Cannella), Texas (Stidham) and Colorado (Carlson).