Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Auburn football recruiting notebook with Auburn recruiting beat writer Benjamin Wolk. In this edition, we talk to an out-of-state defensive back who calls Auburn his leader. Also, what’s the latest on Caleb Tannor and Michael Harris? Plus, I explain my Crystal Ball flip on Justin Fields.
Louisiana DB calls Auburn ‘top school’
AUBURN, Ala. — Auburn’s cornerback recruiting might be slightly more clear after this weekend.
The Tigers hosted 3-star defensive back Derek Turner from West Feliciana (La.) for their camp on Friday. He impressed the defensive coaching staff and stayed overnight to take part in the early stages of the summer cookout.
While he’s listed as a safety, Auburn is recruiting him as a cornerback who could likely play star.
The Tigers are at the top.
“Auburn is my top school right now,” Turner said. “It was pretty good. I’ve been trying to get up here for a couple months. He said at camp I did pretty well. It was pretty good.”
Turner has flown under the radar some, and hadn’t visited Auburn until now, but the Tigers were quietly working him.
When Greg Brown took over as secondary coach at Auburn, he called Turner to tell him he was offering. It was Turner’s first offer, which is meaningful for the Louisiana defensive back. Since then, Ole Miss and South Carolina also have become factors for him, but Auburn is going to be the team to beat.
“Coach Brown is a guy I’ve been knowing for a long time. That’s a guy I’d really want to play for,” Turner said. “He’s a good guy. We’ve maintained a relationship. Coach Brown is recruiting me the hardest.”
Turner expects to have a final decision in July or early August. My Crystal Ball pick went in for Auburn on Saturday morning after speaking with a few Auburn sources. The conversation with Turner only re-affirmed that stance.
The latest on Caleb Tannor‘s announcement
As previously reported, Caleb Tannor plans to announce his college decision Monday after a weekend stay in Auburn. The decision is down to Georgia and Auburn.
If you’d asked me at any point before this weekend, I’d have told you Tannor was all Georgia, without a doubt. Auburn has been hashing out its defensive end priorities, and Tannor said he hasn’t always had his re-assurances about where he stood with the Tigers. All of that was cleared up in the days heading into the visit and during his two-day trip to the Plains.
He ended up staying overnight to spend extra time with Auburn commit Quindarious Monday and linebacker Michael Harris, who I expect to publicly be in the Tigers’ class by the end of this week. Is that a sign of Auburn overtaking Georgia?
That’s the million-dollar question. It’s closer now than it’s ever been.
With that said, there’s no question Tannor is a take at both schools, according to multiple sources. Auburn has other interests such as Andres Fox, Richard Jibunor and Channing Tindall who could fit into similar roles, but the Tigers would gladly have Tannor.
As for Georgia, the Bulldogs have a crowded recruitment at the position, as well, with the likes of Adam Anderson, Azeez Ojulari and KJ Henry still on their radar. But again, Georgia wants Tannor in the class.
I’ve yet to put in a Crystal Ball. I think there’s a good chance, by morning, I’ll end up placing one — most likely to Georgia, but I’ll keep you posted if I start hearing something different. A few sources have told me Tannor has already created a commitment video and all said the ending involved Georgia, but even Tannor admitted Saturday the Tigers were making him think.
Michael Harris nearing a decision
The clock is ticking on Michael Harris’ announcement.
He spoke with Keith Niebuhr of 247Sports following his visit and — for the first time, to my knowledge — publicly called Auburn his leader. Auburn has been trending for a while.
“Auburn is my leader,” Harris told Niebuhr. “I like Coach [Gus] Malzhan and his family. I like the family up here. Everybody bonded and everybody connected.”
Harris will have a commitment announcement some time this week, and I remain very confident he’ll choose the Tigers. He stayed overnight to spend some extra time with Quindarious Monday and Caleb Tannor, among others.
He’s been in my projection for a few months now, and I have little doubt he’ll officially be in the class by the end of the week.
Why my Justin Fields prediction changed
For those who didn’t notice, I flipped my Crystal Ball pick on Justin Fields from Auburn to Georgia. Yes, I had Fields in my Auburn class projection last week (though I did it hesitantly), but my sentiment has changed. Here are my reasons.
- My Auburn sources have always felt Georgia was the Tigers’ biggest threat, and most of them have reiterated to me in recent days they feel the Bulldogs are the team to beat.
- My Georgia sources have been confident since well before Fields de-committed from Penn State, and as you’d imagine, that confidence has grown with every visit.
- As for the flurry of FSU predictions, yes, I’ve seen them. I can only report — and predict — what I’ve been told by people I trust, and all of those signs point to Athens. I’m not as tied in with FSU as Georgia and Auburn, so I can only tell you what I’ve been told.
- People can say Matt Corral chose Florida without visiting Georgia because he liked the Gators that much. That may very well be true. But you’ve got to find it peculiar Corral decided to cancel his Georgia visit despite calling the Bulldogs his leader at The Opening, especially considering he was in Gainesville with Fields.
With all of that said, Auburn hasn’t taken its foot off the gas, or lost confidence in their ability for a late push. The Tigers continue to talk to Fields on a daily basis. Until Fields announces, the coaching staff will stay diligent in its pursuit of the nation’s top quarterback prospect.